London History Festival 16 to 26 November

Welcome to the 7th London History Festival hosted by Kensington Central Library and Waterstones. It is a literary festival that aims to bring the work of the finest historians to the widest possible audience. The festival consists of a series of talks and discussions followed by book signings.

London History Festival 2015
London History Festival 2015

Part of us is amazed that we’ve got this far, but another part says it should be no surprise with the quality of speakers we’ve been able to present. This year’s programme has the same combination of eminent historians covering a wide range of subjects. Some veterans of the festival return – Max Hastings, Tom Holland, Jessie Childs, Helen Castor, Marc Morris and Dan Jones. But also some new names – Thomas Asbridge, Sinclair McKay and David Boyle. The subjects range from ancient Rome to World War 2 with much that is relevant to the world as it is today. A big thanks to the other Festival Director Richard Foreman. None of it would be possible without him.

If you’re interested in the history of Kensington and Chelsea, the most fascinating Borough in London, Local Studies Librarian Dave Walker writes a weekly blog, The Library Time Machine exploring aspects of the history of the Royal Borough through photographs, artworks and maps from the Local Studies Collection. Recently he has written about book illustrators and advertising, as well as adding some guest bloggers. There always seems to be something new to discover.

Please collect a programme from any of our libraries.

As well as hosting part of the London History Festival, we also have a fringe taster event.

Hoards (Greek & Roman coin hoards and Viking hoards) author talk by Eleanor Ghey

Ghey - book cover image
Ghey – book cover image

This was held on Monday 9th November, at Kensington Central Library

Hackney hoard - coins in a jar
Hackney hoard – coins in a jar

The talk focused on the hoards discovered in London including the Cheapside Hoard of exquisite Elizabethan jewellery, and the Hackney Hoard buried during the Second World War by a family fearing a German invasion. Eleanor Ghey is Project Curator in the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum.

Hackney hoard coins
Hackney hoard coins
Hackney Hoard Double Eagles
Hackney Hoard Double Eagles

Kensington Central Library – November 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library. It’s been yet another busy month here and we’ve lots to tell you about from displays, to events to service changes.

Who’s Who?

Dr Who display at Kensington Central Library
Dr Who display at Kensington Central Library

We  decided to honour the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who with a display of some of the many books we have in stock on this landmark TV series. 50 years! How did that happen? A blink of an eye for a Time Lord but a half century for us humans.

I have distinct childhood memories of the Doctor’s adventures through space and time, beamed to me via an old three channel Radio Rentals TV (Google it kids!) that stood in one corner of my childhood home. There are the Daleks of course but also the Cybermen as well as the dreaded, and to a six or seven year old me, utterly terrifying Sea Devils. “My” Doctor was Jon Pertwee, the dandy and expert in Venusian Aikido. Favourite Pertwee episode, “The Green Death” the one with the giant maggots!

Amazingly for such a popular and innovative show it was axed by the BBC for a number of years, a relief to me as it seemed that the later incarnations of the Doctor lacked punch and the storylines were laughable. Now of course it is hard to imagine the show being absent from the schedules given that new life has been breathed into the franchise once more. Eccleston, Tennant, Smith and now Malcom Tucker!

Who would have thought?

Mike Green
Mike Green

 Mike Green

Senior Customer Services Assistant

 London History Festival 2013

London History Festival 2013
London History Festival 2013

We’re really lucky to host the London History Festival for the fifth time at Kensington  Central Library – it’s such a fantastic opportunity to hear about our history spoken and debated about with such passion. Last week we had Sir Max Hastings speak about the First World War and Dan Snow and Marc Morris talk about medieval England.

Dan Snow and Marc Morris - signing books!
Dan Snow and Marc Morris – signing books!

Next week there are three events and a few tickets are still available:

  • Monday 25 November (TONIGHT!) – Antonia Fraser talks about The Great Reform Bill of 1832
  • Tuesday 26 November – Saul David and Col. Stuart Tootal discuss the British Army and its soldiers
  • Thursday 28 November – Artemis Cooper talks about the life and times of writer Patrick Leigh Fermor

There are more details on our events page – hope to see you there!

New displays

More new book displays this month include tributes to Doris Lessing and John F. Kennedy. Both these displays have items from our Biography Collection.

 Biography Collection – temporarily closed

And speaking of which – we will be getting new shelving in the basement where this collection is housed so we won’t be able to retrieve any items from later this month until February 2014. We’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused. Please speak to a member of staff if you need more information.

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian