Friends of the Bodleian Annual Lecture 2022

Left: front cover image for 'Hidden Hands: The Lives of Manuscripts and their Makers', which features illumination from a manuscript; right: a close-up shot of a woman with blonde hair

Friends of the Bodleian Annual Lecture 2022
Hidden Hands: The Secret Lives of Manuscript Owners and Makers

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 Thursday 23 June 2022


 Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

 Booking required
General public: £7 / £5 concession
Friends of the Bodleian: free

About the event

Disgruntled scribes, protective owners, artists interrupted… Manuscripts teem with life. They are not only the stuff of history and literature, but they offer some of the only tangible evidence we have of entire lives, long receded. In this year’s Annual Lecture, Mary Wellesley will trace the stories of the people who made, loved and sometimes destroyed medieval manuscripts, which are some of the most engaging artefacts ever made by human hands.

Join us at the Friends’ flagship Annual Lecture, the first in-person Friends’ Annual Lecture in three years.


Dr Mary Wellesley, writer and historian, teaches medieval language and literature as part of the British Library’s adult learning programme. Her book, Hidden Hands: the Lives of Manuscripts and Their Makers was published in October 2021 and was chosen as one of the history books of the year by both The Times and BBC History Magazine.

Booking information

This talk is supported by Friends of the Bodleian.

Booking is required for this event.

This talk is free to Friends and Patrons of the Bodleian. To book as a Friend, contact with your membership number.

General admission:

  • Full price: £7
  • Concessions (students and Bodleian Libraries staff): £5

Booking for this event is now closed.

To enjoy closer access to the Bodleian, including exclusive events and priority access to online content, join the Friends today. For more information, email

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