How the Modern World was Made - The Literature of Engineering


How the Modern World was Made - The Literature of Engineering
The April 2014 seminar in the book-collecting series organised jointly by the Institute of English Studies (London University) and the Rare Book Society was given by Julia Elton (Elton Engineering Books), the only antiquarian bookdealer to specialise exclusively in the history of engineering and technology.

Her theme was no less than that of the books that made the modern world.

Julia Elton grew up surrounded by books and pictures recording the march of industry across the British landscape. Her father, Sir Arthur Elton, was an inspired collector, whose pictures (now at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust) formed the core of the 1968 landmark exhibition, Art and the Industrial Revolution.

In 1975 Julia joined Ben Weinreb Architectural Books, becoming the specialist on engineering and  compiling two substantial catalogues – Weinreb: No 45, Bridges, Docks & Harbours, and No 50, Rivers & Canals. Ten years later she left to set up Elton Engineering Books and apart from bookselling has been involved in many events concerning engineering history, including co-organising The Triumphant Bore – an exhibition at Institution of Civil Engineers in 1994 to mark the 150th anniversary of Marc Isambard Brunel’s Thames Tunnel. She has also written and continues to write entries for the Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers. Julia served as president of the Newcomen Society in 2005-2007 and is also an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

The seminar took place on Tuesday 8 April 2014 at Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. 

The seminars are aimed at a broad audience including book-collectors, book-dealers, historians of all kinds, librarians, indeed at anyone with an interest in collecting any sort of text from the sixth-former to the retired professor. The atmosphere is informal, as are the presentations. They are held in the University of London’s Senate House and run from 6.00 to 7.30pm on the second Tuesday of each month. The seminars are free and open to the public. There is no need to book and all are very welcome.