Omnium Exposita Rapinæ: The Afterlives of the Papers of Samuel Hartlib


This article traces the afterlives of the papers of the Anglo-Prussian intelligencer Samuel Hartlib (ca.1600-1662), incorporating insights from recent studies of the archive and material history. Beginning with the idea that Hartlib’s papers are a social artefact, in the sense that their story is inextricable from the stories of those that have possessed, consulted, used (and abused) them, this paper outlines the microsociologies of interest and neglect which have irrevocably altered both their form and content over the centuries, and which have informed subsequent historical and historiographical opinion on Hartlib himself, as well as his endeavors.