'We look at something like Charles' speech from the scaffold, it was on the street available to be bought the very next day. We cannot get closer to these events than the very works we're holding in front of us here.'
– Des Cowley on the Emmerson collection
About this video
Join Des Cowley, former Principal Librarian, History of the Book and Arts, for an insight into the Library's extraordinary Emmerson Collection of rare books.
One of the world’s largest collections of rare British printed works, the John Emmerson Collection features books and pamphlets from the 15th to 18th centuries – mostly produced in England – and includes some of the earliest printed accounts of the trial and execution of King Charles I.
More to explore
Visit the online exhibition Beyond the Book: A Journey Through the Treasures of the Emmerson Collection