New Librarian appointed at the Hurd Library, Hartlebury Castle
The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, has appointed Christine Penney as the new librarian of the Hurd Library at Hartlebury Castle. Christine has over 40 years of experience of working on historic books and archive collections and has been a committee member of the Friends of Hartlebury Castle and the Hurd Library since its formation in 2007.
The outstandingly beautiful library was built by a former Bishop of Worcester, Richard Hurd, in 1782/3 and contains his important and wide-ranging collection of books, including some belonging formerly to Alexander Pope, William Warburton and George III. Bishop Hurd died in 1808 and included the library in his will:
"I give and bequeath to my Successors in the See of Worcester and all succeeding Bishops of that See for the time being forever the use of all my books which I shall leave in the Library of the Episcopal House or Castle of Hartlebury at my death and also all the furniture of the same Library".
Christine will be working to develop links between the Hurd Library and other libraries and academic institutions and is keen to encourage scholars' visits. She said: "This magnificent library is the only example of an Anglican bishop's collection remaining on its original shelves, in the room built for it. It has enormous potential for study and research and it will be an honour and a privilege to help it to become better known to scholars and, eventually, to the wider community".
Bishop John said: "I am delighted that Christine Penney has accepted this appointment. The Hurd library is a treasure of international significance and I doubt if there is anyone else so well qualified to care for it."
At present the library is open only to scholars. Those wishing to visit should contact Virginia Wagstaff, Secretary of the Friends of Hartlebury Castle and the Hurd Library on email@example.com or 01299 250883.
Christine Penney. BA Dip.Lib. (Lond.) MCILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)
Foundation Fellow, University of Birmingham
Life member of the University of Birmingham Court of Governors
Assistant Librarian, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, 1967-1971
University Archivist, University of Birmingham, 1971-1995
Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, University of Birmingham, 1995-2005
Since retiring in 2005 Christine has worked as a freelance cataloguer of rare books for the National Trust. She is Treasurer for the Religious Archives Group and the Historic Libraries Forum and a member of the Hereford Cathedral library Committee.
She acts as an honorary consultant for the staff at Worcester and Lichfield Cathedral libraries.
The Diocese of Worcester is one of 44 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.
From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester
Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516 Fax: 01905 612302