To celebrate Black History Month 2023, join Dr Frances Sands, Curator of Drawings and Books, for a session focusing on the various items of pro-emancipation literature within Sir John Soane’s collection.

It is often noted that Soane was an advocate for the emancipation of enslaved people, and here we will peruse a selection of surviving evidence to support that statement. Excitingly, these items include a first edition of the Letters of the late Ignatius Sancho of 1782 and a copy of Ottobah Cugoano’s Thoughts and sentiments on the evil of slavery… of 1791. Dr Frances Sands will explore this important subject in an illustrated lecture,  followed by a visit to the Soane Museum research library to peruse a selection of these rare items from Soane’s library and archive collections.

About the Speaker

Dr Frances Sands is Curator of Drawings and Books, Sir John Soane’s Museum, London. Fran’s research interests lie in early modern British architectural drawings. She has worked at Sir John Soane’s Museum since 2010, first as Catalogue Editor, tasked with cataloguing the office drawings collection of Robert and James Adam – a vast project which is still ongoing. In 2016 she was appointed the Curator of Drawings and Books, taking responsibility for the Soane Museum’s wider collection of 30,000 drawings and 7,000 books. She has curated various exhibitions, most recently Hidden Masterpieces at the Museum (2022) and publishes and lectures widely. Since 2010, Fran has also served as a Trustee of the York Georgian Society, the Mausolea and Monuments Trust, the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, and sat on the advisory committee for the Grinling Gibbons Society’s Tercentenary exhibition.

About the Event

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We are in a Grade I listed, 19th-century building, so access is not always straightforward. If you require step-free access or extra assistance, please contact us in advance of your booking on or 020 7405 2107.