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Unlocking the Books of…
Norfolk Heritage Centre

How did you uncover Britain’s ancient history in the seventeenth century? What did an early-modern Englishman discover on his travels to Egypt and the Middle East? And why was the first book printed in Norwich (in the 1560s) written in Dutch? 

Explore the early-modern collections of the Norfolk Heritage Centre and discover the answers to these questions and more. Delve into important works about early-modern religion, alongside books which changed the way Renaissance readers understood their own place in world history. Get ready to marvel at outstanding examples of the bookbinder’s art, and be inspired by beautiful woodcuts and decorative initials. Many of these books were originally part of the Norwich City Library, founded in 1608, and have been part of the city’s civic life for centuries. Don’t forget to look out for our specially-chosen Family Book, which might particularly appeal to younger bookworms with an adventurous streak!

With special thanks to Rachel Ridealgh, Community Librarian for Local Studies, and Chris Tracy, Archive Specialist. For more on the history of the Norwich City Library itself, don’t miss Clive Wilkins Jones’s splendid book, Norwich City Library 1608-1737 (2008).

Choose a book to unlock...

1

A grand sixteenth-century binding…

2

A great work of British history…

3

FAMILY BOOK! A seventeenth-century adventure…

4

A book with intricate decorative initials…

5

An interactive history of the world…

6

The first book printed in Norwich…