J. B. Trapp

Joseph Burney Trapp ( * July 16, 1925 in Carterton at Wellington, † 14 July 2005 in London ) was an English librarian, historian and literary critic of New Zealand origin. He was director of the Warburg Institute and Professor of "History of the Classical Tradition" at the University of London from 1976 until 1990.


JB Trapp studied at Victoria College, Wellington ( New Zealand) and graduated in 1947 with a Master 's degree. In 1951 he moved to England, where he worked first at the University of Reading, and in 1953 at the Warburg Institute, London University, first as an "assistant librarian" ( 1953-1966 ), then as a senior librarian ( 1966-1976 ), finally he followed Ernst Gombrich in the post of Director of the Institute ( 1976-1990 ). At the same time, he served as professor of "History of the Classical Tradition" at the University of London. In 1980 he was appointed a member of the British Academy. The focal points of JB Trapp were mainly on the English and Italian Renaissance. He has published, among others, to Thomas More, Francesco Petrarca and to book history.


  • Essays on the Renaissance and the Classical Tradition. Aldershot 1990 ( Variorum Collected Studies series 323), ISBN 0-86078-272-7
  • Studies of Petrarch and His Influence. Pindar Press, London 2003, ISBN 1-899828-71-0