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  • Rauner Special Collections Library
  • 6065 Webster Hall
  • Hanover, NH 03755
  • Tel: (603) 646-0538
  • Fax: (603) 646-0447
  • Email Rauner Reference

Now on Exhibit

Current exhibit - detailAdorn'd with Sculptures:
John Ogilby & Jacob Tonson

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Exhibitions at Rauner

Rauner Special Collections Library installs numerous exhibits throughout the year as a part of our outreach efforts to the community. At any given moment, the exhibit space in the Class of '65 Galleries is filled with fascinating items from our collections. Here you can browse the posters, labels, and materials from current as well as previous exhibits.

Now Showing

"Adorn'd with Sculptures": John Ogilby and Jacob Tonson

Current exhibit - detail

In many important ways, the modern English publisher was born in the second half of the 17th century. The printer/publisher model that had been established with the introduction of the printing press, where an individual armed with a printing press often acted as printer, editor, distributer, promoter, and sometimes even author, gave way to a professionalized group of individuals largely dedicated to the acts of production, distribution, and promotion. These new publishers evolved into intermediaries between authors and the reading public as they cultivated a new role in the realm of literary production.

This exhibit looks at two major London publishing houses that illustrate this transition: the firm headed by John Ogilby from 1650 to 1676; and the family publishing empire founded the year of Ogilby’s death by Jacob Tonson. Ogilby wrote, translated, and compiled works to feed his press, one of his many sources of income. He had a flair for the extravagant and produced many monumental texts of the 17th century. Tonson concentrated on literary production. Writing very little himself, he gleaned profit from promoting the literary talents of others. In so doing, he established his firm as a modern publishing giant that came to dominate London publishing for over a century. Curiously, many of the volumes issued by both Ogilby and Tonson look remarkably similar—in fact, Tonson’s edition of Virgil relies on the original plates Ogilby commissioned for his translation.

The exhibit was curated by Jay Satterfield and Morgan Swan.

The Exhibits

Last Updated: 7/25/17