I have just returned from the newly-opened exhibition entitled “London’s Dreadful Visitation: The Great Plague, 1665” in the Guildhall Library. The exhibition runs until September 11th. Readers might also be interested to know that there is an illustrated lecture and late viewing to accompany the formal launch of the exhibition between 6-8pm on July 16th (£5 payable, booking essential), and also a series of family-friendly storytelling workshops between 11am-12:30pm on July 27th and 28th and August 3rd and 4th.
As well as informative posters, the exhibitions features a selection of seventeen priceless and seldom-seen primary source materials from the library’s extensive holdings. The latter include a copy of the rare book “Certain Necessary Directions: As Well As For The Cure Of The Plague As For Preventing The Infection: With Many Easie Medicines Of Small Charge”, issued at the beginning of the outbreak by the Royal College of Physicians, sadly to little practical effect; a collection of the Parish Clerks’ “Bills of Mortality” for the plague year, compiled at the end; and St Giles Cripplegate’s parish register for the plague year (this parish was one of the worst affected).
Photography is permitted in the exhibition, although reproduction of photographic images is not, leastwise without written permission and payment of a fee.