Rare book holdings precede even the existence of the library itself. The first donation to the special collection made 33 years ahead of the founding collection. Donor Baron Overstone gave his collection in the hope that it would form the ‘first fruits of a Library which shall ere long become such in all respects as the London University ought to possess’.
While acquisitions have become more gradual they continue to arrive, with twenty-first century gifts ranging from the M.S. Anderson Collection of Writings on Russia Printed between 1525 and 1917 to the working library of Walter de la Mare and to two growing collections, of left-wing politics and of the works in all editions and translations of Terry Pratchett.
More about the Special Collections.
First donations of 185
First donation of 185 18th century German volumes are donated to the University.
Founding collection given by Baron Overstone
Founding collection given by Baron Overstone, including 2,800 Agustus De Morgan mathematical books printed between 1474 and 1870, including some copies annotated by the author
Donation by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmith’s
Library doubles in size following the donation of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmith’s gift of the Goldsmith Library of Economic Literature; 30,000 volumes on economics from the 15th to 19th Century amassed by Herbert Somerton Foxwell. The collection includes a copy of Das Kapital inscribed by Karl Marx.
Thousands of old and rare books go to the Special Collections
Thousands of old and rare books go to the Library after the folding of the London Institute in Finsbury Circus
Acquires a 14th century manuscript recounting the Life of Edward
The library acquires a 14th century manuscript recounting the Life of Edward, the Black Prince.
Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence’s widow donates his literature library
Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence’s widow donated his English literature library, including works by Sir Francis Bacon and the first four Shakespeare folios
London County Council permits the Library’s use of the Senate House
London County Council permits the Library’s use of the Senate House tower, significantly increasing capacity and storage capabilities.
Harry Price gives his collection on magical literature
Harry Price gives the University his collection of books on magical literature, on topics ranging from sleight of han to spiritualism, in a bid for respectability for his area of interest
EMI Director Sir Louis Sterling donated 4,200 titles
EMI Director Sir Louis Sterling donated 4,200 titles ranging from a manuscript of Piers Plowman and books printed by William Caxton to seventeenth century Shakespeare quartos and folios, as well as original parts of novels by Charles Dickens