Words on Witchcraft

The late 16th and early 17th Centuries saw the peak of ‘witch hysteria’ in Europe. Paranoia surrounding ideas about sorcery and demons led to accusations, trials and cruel punishments, including tens of thousands of executions. This month’s blog post explores the literature that fuelled this phenomenon: as texts that condemened or seemingly provided evidence for witchcraft circulated, feelings of panic and suspicion also spread. The following texts reveal not only the literature and academic ideas regarding witchcraft, but the real impact they would have had on ordinary lives.

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Stories from the Shelves

From the founding of St John’s College in 1555 through to the present day, the life of the Library has been one of bold choices and big changes. Our current exhibition, Stories from the Shelves, explores the Library and its readers throughout the ages using items from our special collections.

Here you can see a few of the treasures on display. Click on the images to read about the item.

If you would like to visit the exhibition and are not a member of the College, please contact us at library@sjc.ox.ac.uk.