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Cambridge University Library

Address. West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR [Map]
Telephone. (01223) 33 30 00
Fax. (01223) 33 31 60
e-mail. [library@ula.cam.ac.uk]
Internet. http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/

Governing body or responsible institution. University of Cambridge (partially funded by the Higher Education Funding Council England)
Functions. University library. As one of the six copyright deposit libraries in the British Isles, the library also has an important national role as an archive of British publishing.
Subjects. 1. General collections: All subjects. The copyright privilege was exploited systematically since the mid-19th century. Extensive purchases are made of overseas and antiquarian materials. - 2. Special collections: Incunables and post-incunables, Irish publishing, Japanese materials (the second largest collection in Europe), printed Bibles, books with coloured illustrations, the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the papers and personal library of Charles Darwin.

Access. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. - 7.15 p.m. (10 p.m. in the Easter Full Term), Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Reading rooms open at 9.30 a.m. The Manuscripts Room, the Official Publications Room and the Rare Books Room close at 6.45 p.m. throughout the year. The Map Room and Anderson (Music) Room close at 5.10 p.m. (4.50 p.m. on Fridays); they are closed 12.45 a.m. - 2 p.m. daily. The Admissions Office is open 9.30 a.m. - 12.30 a.m. and 2 p.m. - 4.15 p.m. on Monday to Friday, and 9.30 a.m. - 12.30 a.m. on Saturday. Any persons over the age of 21 who are gaged in private study or research are eligible for a Reader's Ticket and admittance to the library, upon production of appropriate evidence of academical standing and fitness for admission. A small administrative charge is made for the issue of a Reader's Ticket, which is valid

 for  up  to  two  years
5 but is renewable. Intending visitors are advised to write in advance, particularly if they wish to consult early books and manuscripts. About one third of the library's collections is on open access. Material can normally be fetched from closed access shelving within 30 minutes, except at particularly busy periods. Arrangements can sometimes be made to fetch particular items in advance, if visiting time is very limited.
Special facilities. The Microfilm Reading Room has a range of microfilm and microfiche readers, together with a microform reader-printer. Further microfilm and microfiche readers are available in the Rare Books Room. Work stations for the consultation of CD-ROM publications are distributed throughout the library. Readers are not permitted to make their own photocopies from material published before 1900. Requests for photocopying are carried out by library staff. The library's Photography Department is equipped to produce virtually all kinds of photographic reproductions. Battery-operated lap-top computers are permitted in most areas of the building, including the Rare Books Room, provided that they do not disturb other readers.
Printed information. A general leaflet, entitled Introduction for new readers, gives the minimum of practical information necessary for a first visit to the library. More detail is provided in the Reader's handbook, available in the Entrance Hall, and in a series of information leaflets on the library's collections, catalogues, reading rooms and other services.
Travel directions. Frequent bus service from railway station to centre, which is about 1 km on foot from the library. - The library grounds have extensive provision for car parking (motor access from West Road). A token, available free of charge from the Entrance Hall, is necessary to operate the automatic barrier upon departure.


1.1 The earliest references to books owned by the University date from the middle of the 14th century. Specific reference to a library is first made in two wills proved in 1416, which bequeathed volumes to the ``new or ``common library. During the 15th century the University developed the site now known as the Old Schools, and the library was first housed on the upper storey of the western range of this block. By 1475 it had moved into two rooms in the east and south ranges, which proved sufficient to hold the University's entire library for the next two hundred years. The library's first catalogue, of about 1440, list 122 vols in nine subject areas, of which more than half are theological works. By the end of the century the library comprised some 600 books.

1.2 The library acquired its first significant collection of Greek texts in 1529, a donation by Cuthbert Tunstal, later Bishop of Durham (1474-1559). During the Reformation and the years that followed it, the library suffered destruction and neglect. By the time of the 1557 catalogue, drawn up for Cardinal Pole's commissioners, the collection had shrunk to some 200 vols. These included a few of the earliest possessions, and much of the benefactions of Tunstal and Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York (1423-1500).

1.3 Andrew Perne, Master of Peterhouse (1519?-1589), was responsible for the restoration of the library in 1574. He persuaded four impressive patrons - first Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, then Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Robert Horne, Bishop of Winchester, and James Pilkington, Bishop of Durham - to furnish, subject by subject, a representative collection of recent European scholarship, chiefly in printed form. In 1577 superintendence of the library passed from the University Chaplain to the University's first Librarian, and five years later the first set of regulations for the library's administration was drawn up. Further benefactions were stimulated, including in 1581 Theodorus Beza's gift of the fifth century manuscript of the Gospels and Acts in Greek and Latin, now known as the Codex Bezae and regarded as the library's greatest treasure. By 1600 the collection approached 1,000 vols.

1.4 The library's first recorded purchase of a book dates from 1617, although it was only after 1666 that a fund was established specifically for book purchasing. Materials in Hebrew and Oriental languages were acquired in significant numbers during the first half of the 17th century, most noteworthy being the 400 Hebrew items which John Selden (1584-1654) prompted Parliament to buy for the library in 1647. Selden also persuaded Parliament to present Cambridge with the Lambeth Library of the Archbishops of Canterbury, its fate uncertain since the abolition of episcopacy in 1643. This collection of 10,000 vols, about eight times the number held by the University Library, was delivered in 1648/9, only to be returned some fourteen years later, after the Restoration. In compensation the library of Richard Holdsworth, the former Master of Emmanuel College (1590-1649), was adjudged to the University in 1664. This was at that time numerically the largest private collection in England, the strength of its 10,095 printed books lying especially in divinity, in incunables and in early English books.

1.5 In the same year the library was further augmented by the bequest of nearly 4,000 printed books from Henry Lucas

 (d.  1663), Member of the Parliament for
the University. This collection admirably supplemented Holdsworth's, containing many books of contemporary history, political memoirs, travel, genealogy, archaeology and antiquities. It also provided the library with its first volumes in modern European languages, some hundreds of books in French and Italian, including literary texts, but nothing in German.

1.6 At the beginning of the 18th century, after the disposal of quantities of duplicate copies of printed books, the library's holdings amounted to some 15,000 vols. This pre-1715 library is now mainly to be found in the ``Stars' classes A*-U*, Dd*-Qq*, which contain some 3,635 German titles. There is virtually nothing in the German vernacular, however, and only a small proportion of material in Romance languages. The gift of the Royal Library in 1715 (for which see below 2.36-2.40) trebled the size of the collections, which increased to 45,000 vols. The Royal Library included many titles in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, and many German imprints (mostly in Latin but also in French), but nothing in German.

1.7 The next 150 years are conspicuous for the failure of the university authorities to acquire any really notable and sizeable additions to the library's holdings. The Copyright Act of 1709 confirmed it as a library of copyright deposit, but publishers found it easy to evade the Act's intent and the University made little effort to press its claims, even selling off to local booksellers such titles as it thought unsuitable for an academic library. It was only after 1812, when the University successfully sued a publisher for non-delivery of a particular title, that the Act was more rigorously enforced, and the library began to take seriously its responsibilities as a repository of national literature.

1.8 A considerable enlargement of the library's premises was started in 1842 and continued throughout the century. During the terms as Librarian of J. E. B. Mayor (1864-1867), the distinguished scholar Henry Bradshaw (1867-1886), and Francis Jenkinson (1889-1923) administrative and scholarly reforms were carried out which gradually established the library as an lightened centre to which scholars and collectors were happy to donate their books. From the 1860s onwards a constant stream of acquisitions flowed into the library, to be recorded by printed catalogue entries in the guardbook catalogue which was introduced in 1861 and which is still in use today.

1.9 No section of the library's holdings benefitted more from this great expansion than the German collections. Contemporary German language materials began to be purchased in great numbers, a process which has continued unabated until the present day. At the same time much retrospective acquisition from earlier centuries took place. Many of the library's German incunables, for example, were only added in the seventy years between 1870 and 1940. Some were bought, and many others acquired as part of the numerous bequests with a strong German component which are described below.

1.10 The present library building, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, was opened in 1934. A first extension was completed in 1972, and a second, named the Rotherham building after the library's 15th-century benefactor, was opened in 1992.

1.11 The scope of the collections ranges in date from papyri of the 2nd century B.C. to the most recent British Parliamentary Papers. The publications of every country in the world are represented, and subject coverage is comprehensive. The copyright privilege, whereby the library is entitled to claim one copy of every work published in the United Kingdom free of charge, was first granted under the Licensing Acts of 1662, but only exploited systematically since the mid-19th century. Additionally extensive purchases are made of overseas and antiquarian material.


2.1 The subject strengths of the library's holdings almost all have a significant German component, which is now in many disciplines the equal of material in other foreign languages, despite earlier emphases on French and Italian rather than German. The collections of theology, philosophy, history, classical philology, Near Eastern languages, the history of science, mathematics, and medicine are all strong, and all contain many German imprints.

2.2 The one great exception is in the field of belles-lettres. Literature in modern European languages was not seriously collected in Cambridge until the 20th century, and even then the emphasis was initially upon French rather than German. As late as the 1920s there was no separate provision in any of the classification schemes for German literature. Thus the library's holdings of 17th, 18th and 19th-century literary texts in original editions are extremely patchy. Where gaps have been plugged, it is mostly as a result of purchase and donation in the last forty years. Heine is well represented, but coverage of German romanticism is thin. The collection has a large number of Goethe first editions, but not many by Schiller. There are 42 different editions of Kotzebue's plays published between 1790 and 1810 in English translation, but only three in the German original. Baroque literature is particularly weak, a fact recognised some years ago in the decision to purchase the Harold Jantz collection of German Baroque literature on microfilm.

Arrangement of the collection

2.3 Any attempt to consider the collections by language or by date of imprint is complicated by the extraordinary diversity of classifications which exist within the library for materials acquired before the 1930s. Most bequests from the late 19th century onwards have been left intact as special collections (see below), but constant rearrangement of the general collections went on until the library moved to its present location in 1934, and it is not uncommon to find items which have had three or four different shelfmarks. This rejuggling of the collections was partly the result of the acute overcrowding which existed in the old library buildings, and of the need to provide valuable materials with greater security.

2.4 Many items have thus been transferred from the two collections which provide the foundations of the library's holdings of rare books, the Royal Library and the ``Stars' classes. They reappear in the proliferation of classes formed or begun in the 19th century. All these are now on closed access, and most are ``closed' also in the sense that stock is no longer added to them. They are all referred to in the library as the ``nineteenth century classes', even though some contain large quantities of pre-1800 material. They include A-Z (non-Royals), Aa-Zz, Aaa-Kkk (pamphlets), Ba & Eb (illustrated books), Sc (schoolbooks), Sm (small books), Ta-Te (typographical interest), Th (theology), MA-MH (natural sciences), NA-NF (topography), PA-PM (law), Ant (superseded editions), Econ (economics), Lib (select books, mostly illustrated), Lit (English literature), Pam (pamphlets), Rel (fine bindings), Sel (selected fine books), 1-34 (theology) and I-XXIX.

2.5 The classes within this group which contain large quantities of pre-1800 German material are A-Z (230 items, mostly 18th-century), Aa-Zz (800 German items, of which 75 per cent are 18th-century), Aaa-Kkk (500 items, of which 50 per cent are 17th-century), Ta-Te (170 items, all 16th-century), Rel (220 items, of which 90 per cent are 16th-century), 1-34 (1,800 items, of which 55 per cent are 18th-century), I-XXIX (720 items, of which 85 per cent are 18th-century).

2.6 The collections for which no subject is specified in this list are general classes, often with some subject arrangement embedded in their structure. The subject divisions are, however, fairly crude. The letter K, for example, represents ``Astronomy, local history, medicine and physics', while within the Roman numeral sequence medicine is represented by seven different numbers and mathematics by three.

2.7 Current accessions to the rare book classes, if not placed in one of the special collections described below, are for the most part placed in F three-figures (foreign, especially pre-1700, with approximately 1,000 German titles) and the 7000s (English and foreign 18th-century, with a German component of approximately 1,300). Valuable or fragile 19th-century foreign books are placed in F three-figures or S three-figures. Class Syn is now used for English materials, but was originally also intended for Continental printing, and therefore contains 250 mostly 16th-century German books.

2.8 Two other categories of material should be mentioned which do not fall within the general pattern. Early books on music are arranged within the music classification scheme; they include some 150 pre-1800 German imprints. The library's collection of atlases numbers 12,000 items, but there is little early German material.

Size of the collection and chronological outline

2.9 The library currently houses more than 6 million printed vols. This estimate is considered to represent the number of physical items as opposed to the number of titles. In addition the collections hold 130,000 MSS, more than one million maps and one million microforms. Nearly 60,000 periodical titles are currently taken.

2.10 Only a very approximate statistical breakdown of the printed collections is available. No figures are available for material in individual languages. Even consideration of the German component as a proportion of foreign language holdings as a whole requires caution. It must be borne in mind that whilst the general figures for totals of foreign books or size of a particular collection, as given below, relate to the number of volumes, the analysis of the German component refers to the number of titles. Thus each German periodical or multi-volume set has been counted as one item, whereas a volume of five distinct pamphlets bound together has been treated as five items.

2.11 English books 1475-1640: 15,000; 1641-1700: 35,000; 1701-1800: 50,000; 1801-1900: 400,000. Foreign books 1450-1500: 4,500; 1501-1600: 30,000; 1601-1800: 120,000; 1801-1900: 200,000.

Size of the German component of the collection

2.12 The present study represents a first serious attempt to isolate and quantify the German component of the collection, by working through the handwritten shelflists for some 48 different classification schemes, and counting the number of titles with a German imprint. The compilation is therefore fairly crude, and given the imperfections in some of these early listings and difficulties in deciphering handwriting, a margin of error of 5 per cent is to be admitted.

2.13 The total for pre-1800 German imprints is approximately 25,000. No accurate figure can be given for 19th-century imprints, as these are so numerous and distributed so widely throughout the library's holdings that their quantification is an ormous undertaking, beyond the scope of the present project. 80,000-90,000 titles would seem a reasonable estimate.

2.14 The library's collection of incunables was described by J. C. T. Oates in his Catalogue of fifteenth-century printed books in the University Library Cambridge. It currently contains 4,586 items. Oates lists 1,355 items from Germany, 123 from German-speaking Switzerland, and 19 from Austria-Hungary. Since his catalogue was published in 1954, a further 76 items have been added to the German holdings, 13 to the Swiss and one to the Austro-Hungarian. The Bible Society brought in a further 20 items, making a grand total of 1,607 incunables emanating from the German-speaking world. Of that total the vast majority are in Latin. Only 75 of the titles listed in Oates are in German or a combination of German and Latin, and most significantly, 61 of those were acquired in 1870 or later. (For a description of the incunables see below 2.17-2.21).

2.15 The pattern thus detected in the growth of the incunable collection is also to be seen in the 16th-century imprints. The collections contain, for example, approximately 160 16th-century German imprints of Luther texts: 90 of these are in Latin and 70 in German, and of the latter 75 per cent were acquired after 1870. In total the library has some 7,000 16th-century German imprints (see also below 2.22-2.24). There are approximately 7,700 17th-century titles, and only marginally more 18th-century ones (8,400), a clear indication of the relative inactivity and neglect suffered during the century which followed the acquisition of the Royal Library in 1715.

2.16 The linguistic breakdown of this material between Latin and German has already been considered. Reference should also be made to items published in other languages with a German imprint. Titles in French are relatively common, and reinforce the historical preference for Romance rather than Germanic materials. Hebrew books are also present in significant numbers, and are easy to locate, having been grouped together within two particular classification schemes (7000s and S three-figures). There is also a sprinkling of material in Yiddish, Arabic and Turkish. A number of titles in English appear amongst the German publications of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, mainly of literary works.

Subject outline


2.17 The library's first printed books came as gifts from Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England (1423-1500). The bequest of Richard Holdsworth, Master of Emmanuel College (1590-1649) included more than 200 incunables, about one third of them German imprints. This was the largest accession before George I's gift of the library of John Moore, Bishop of Ely, in 1715 (known as the Royal Library: see below 2.36-2.40). Later generous donors include Samuel Sandars (1837-1894), Sir Stephen Gaselee (1882-1943), and University Librarians Henry Bradshaw (1831-1886) and Francis Jenkinson (1853-1923). Among German previous owners were Johann Georg B. F. Kloss (1787-1854) and Friedrich Georg H. Culemann, Senator of Hanover (d. 1886). A number of incunables come from dissolved German monasteries such as Ottobeuren, and from the Hofbibliothek in Munich, which sold numerous duplicates on the antiquarian market in the middle of the 19th century.

2.18 There are a great number of imprints from all important German printing centres, above all from Cologne, but also examples from small towns such as Blaubeuren, Marienthal, Offenburg and Zinna. These are (in descending order): Cologne (598 items, which means about half of the 1280 imprints quoted by Voulliéme, Der Buchdruck Kölns bis zum Ende des 15. Jahrhunderts, Bonn 1907), Strasbourg (214), Basel (122), Augsburg (108), Mainz (54), Nuremberg (41), Speyer (38), Leipzig (35), Ulm (24), Lübeck (20), Memmingen (17), Vienna (16), Passau and Reutlingen (14 each), Esslingen, Hagenau and Urach (10 each), Freiburg and Heidelberg (8 each), Bamberg and Würzburg (7 each), Magdeburg and Tübingen (6 each), Blaubeuren (4), Erfurt, Ingolstadt and Lauingen (3 each), Beromünster, Breslau, Eichstätt, Marienthal, Munich, Offenburg, Rostock, Schleswig, Schussenried, Stuttgart, Trier and Zinna (1 each). Imprints from Kirchheim (Alsace), Lüneburg and Münster (1 each) have been added to the collection since the publication of Oates's catalogue. One of the volumes from the Abbey at Ottobeuren, containing five separate treatises, has copious manuscript annotations by an Augsburg doctor called Ulrich von Ellenbog. It enables a clear picture to be drawn of the activities of one of Augsburg's earliest printing presses, situated in the monastery of Saints Ulrich and Afra. Jacobus de Clusa's Quodlibetum statuum humanorum is an important work for our knowledge of the career of Johannes Hug of Göppingen, a little known printer who worked for Conrad Fyner, the only documented printer in Esslingen in the 15th century.

2.19 The collection is, of course, mainly theological. There is an impressive series of Bible editions (59 Latin Bibles including duplicates, 6 German Bibles, 4 low-German Bibles) including the 42-line Bible (Mainz: Johann Gutenberg c. 1455; GW 4201), the 49-line Bible (Strasbourg: Johann Mentelin 1460-1461; GW 4203) and the Latin Bible (Mainz: Fust and Schoeffer 1462; GW 4204). The library also owns a considerable number of liturgical books, such as Breviaria (14 items), Missalia (20 items; remarkable examples are e.g. the Missale Aboense, Lübeck: Ghotan 1488, and the Missale Strengnense, [Lübeck?]: Ghotan 1487), and editions of the Psalter (10 items; starting with the Mainz edition by Peter Schoeffer, 1457; H 13479). There is a great variety in editions of patristics, prayer books and medieval theological authors.

2.20 Among non-theological writings a considerable number of classical authors should be noted, including two editions of Cicero's De officiis, the first printed classical text. Historical works include Werner Rolewinck's Fasciculus temporum (10 editions printed in German-speaking countries) and Conrad Botho's Cronecken der Sassen (Mainz: Schoeffer 1492). In more scientific subject areas there are a few titles on astronomy, e.g. 3 items by Albumasar and 2 by Regiomontanus (all printed in Augsburg); a herbal (Mainz: Schoeffer 1494) and 3 editions of Bartholomaeus Anglicus's De proprietatibus rerum (Cologne, Heidelberg, Nuremberg).

2.21 Although only 75 of the titles listed in Oates are in German, there are some noteworthy examples, such as 4 bilingual vocabularies (2 in German and Latin and 2 in Latin and German) printed in Augsburg, Blaubeuren, Hagenau and Speyer. The earliest printing of medieval literature in the vernacular is represented by editions of Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival ([Strasbourg: Mentelin] 1477; H 6684) and Titurel (ibid. 1477; H 6683). There are examples of mirror-literature, such as Speghel der Sammitticheyt (Lübeck: Stefan Arndes 1487) and of pilgrim books, e.g. Bernhard von Breydenbach's Itinerarium (2 German editions, 2 in Latin) and several low-German texts printed by Lucas Brandis and Bartholomaeus Ghotan of Lübeck. Of the library's six substantial blockbooks four come from the monastery library at Göttweig, and a fifth (a German text of the Biblia pauperum) from the Ducal Library at Gotha.

Reformation literature

2.22 The library is extremely rich in Reformation literature. As well as a large number of pamphlets there are numerous works by almost all theological writers of the period; Luther (160 titles), Melanchthon (93), Joachim Camerarius (37), Johann Brentz (25), Matthias Flacius Illyricus (19), Johannes Oecolampadius (18), Andreas Osiander (18), Martin Bucer (16), Urbanus Rhegius (11), Johannes Bugenhagen (9), Wolfgang Capito (6), Veit Dietrich (6), Andreas Bodenstein (5), and Michael Stiefel (5). Roman Catholic authors are also well represented, especially those from Southwest Germany, e.g. Johannes Cochlaeus (35 titles), Johann Eck (20), Friedrich Nausea (9), Kaspar Schatzger (5), Friedrich Staphylus (4), Thomas Cajetan (3), and Hieronymus Emser (3).

2.23 The library has a good collection of theological works of the later Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Germany, which form the legacy of the theological controversies between Protestants and Catholics as well as among Protestants themselves. Lutheran orthodoxy is represented by Martin Chemnitz (19 titles), Aegidius Hunnius (13), Martin Crusius (10), Jacob Andreae (9), Nicolaus Selnecker (7), Jacob Heilbronner (3), Jacob Heerbrand (2), and Caspar Huberinus (2), while Johann Piscator (30 titles) stands out as a representative of the Reformed Church tradition. Works by Roman Catholic authors include Roberto Bellarmino (78 titles), Jacob Gretser (47), Gregor Valentia (9), Petrus Canisius (8), and Georg Scherer (2).

2.24 In addition to German Reformation literature there are many texts by Swiss authors, e.g. Jean Calvin (111 titles), Heinrich Bullinger (38), Rudolf Gwalter (37), Benedictus Aretius (31), Ludwig Lavater (24), Johann Jacob Grynaeus (18), Ulrich Zwingli (15), and Joachim Vadianus (8).

Special collections with a notable

German component

Royal Commonwealth Society Library (350,000 vols)

2.25 The library of the Royal Commonwealth Society was presented to Cambridge in 1993, following a three million pound national appeal. It is the most extensive collection for the history of the British Empire and the Commonwealth in existence, comprising approximately 350,000 printed items, many manuscripts (including letters of Livingstone and Rhodes) and over 70,000 photographs dating from the 1850s to the present.

2.26 Although the library is primarily of importance for its English language material - its original objective was to offer assistance and information to colonial administrators - an attempt was also made from an early stage in the library's history to collect material relating to foreign colonial powers and their territories. A select bibliography of publications on foreign colonisation - German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and Belgian - contained in the Library of the Royal Colonial Institute was published in London in 1915. Almost half the items listed relate to German colonisation, particularly of German South-West Africa, Togoland, Kamerun, German East Africa, the Pacific and the Far East, Mesopotamia and the Bagdad Railway. It is, however, impossible to quantify the number of German titles in the collection, since the German holdings suffered particular damage during the bombing of London in World War II, and no attempt was made subsequently to calculate and make good those losses.

Acton Library (60,000 vols)

2.27 The collection of the historian John Emerich E. D. Lord Acton (1834-1902) was presented to the library in 1902 by Lord Morley. Until 1993 it was the single largest donation in the library's history, and it remains the most significant as regards German content. Many of the 60,000 vols (some of which contain upwards of 20 separate items) are in contemporary or near-contemporary bindings. They range from the 15th to the 19th century. French, German, Italian and Spanish imprints predominate. The main subject emphasis is upon the political and ecclesiastical history of Europe - it is a fundamental collection for the history of the papacy - although Acton's interests also embraced theology, political philosophy and belles-lettres. The collection is usefully divided into 53 subject areas under the main headings of (1) ecclesiastical history, (2) political history and (3) subjects not falling under these two heads. Identification of those sections which relate specifically to Germany, Austria and Switzerland is straightforward, though the final section of the classification, entitled miscellaneous pamphlets, includes an abundance of valuable German material.

2.28 As his entry in the Dictionary of National Biography reveals, ``Acton was never more than half an Englishman', and his ties to Germany were as close as those to England. Both his mother and his wife were German. The most formative years of his education were spent in Munich, where from 1848 onwards he studied for six years under Ignaz von Döllinger. German training was to stimulate Acton's profound love of historical learning and critical scholarship. He maintained close links with Döllinger until the latter's death, though a projected biography never materialised. In middle life Acton divided his time between England and his mother's family seat at Herrnsheim on the Rhine, and after Herrnsheim was sold in 1879, he spent extended periods at the Arco Villa at Tegernsee, which belonged to his wife's family. It was at Tegernsee that he died in 1902. Though Acton's influence on Catholic thought was minimal in his lifetime, since his death he has become recognised, according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, as ``the most farsighted Catholic historical thinker of his generation'.

2.29 Given his family connections and the lengthy periods spent in Germany, it is hardly surprising that so much of Acton's great library should be in German. It contains approximately 15,400 German items. There are 39 incunables, though Oates considers that ``there is little of interest among them'. That part of the collection devoted to the Reformation accounts for almost 100 of the 400 16th-century titles; a further 60 deal with the Counter-Reformation, including more than 30 published in Ingolstadt between 1560 and 1590, eight of them by the Jesuit Professor Theodor Peltanus. Martin Bucer is represented by four editions of the 1540s, and there are seven contemporary attacks on his theology published in the same decade. There are five titles by Johann Eck dating from the 1530s and 1540s, Johannes Cochlaeus is represented by 11 German editions published before 1550, and Albert Pigge by eight titles, including his principal work Hierarchiae ecclesiasticae assertio (Cologne 1538).

2.30 There are approximately 1800 17th-century German imprints, of which more than a third are concerned with the general political history of Germany and Austria. One of the great glories of the collection is the concentration of materials dealing with the Thirty Years' War, as is acknowledged in the Cambridge modern history. Vol. 4: The Thirty Years' War (Cambridge 1907). This includes an attempt at a full bibliography of the War, and in particular of its extant original documents and contemporary narrative and controversial literature. As the introduction makes clear, it is based very heavily upon Acton's collection. ``Probably few larger and more varied bodies of printed contemporary documents and `monuments' of all sorts connected with the Thirty Years' War exist than that comprised in the Acton collection in the University Library at Cambridge.'

2.31 There are approximately 700 contemporary items relating to the War, the majority in German. The range and depth is extraordinary. Twelve items published between 1618 and 1620 are of decrees and ordinances of the Bohemian Parliament. There are eight versions of acts and edicts issued by Friedrich V von der Pfalz in 1620, and contemporary discussions of Friedrich account for another 28 titles published between 1619 and 1622. A further 20 items from 1620 to 1624 are concerned with Maximilian I. There are eight editions of the writings and speeches of Gustavus Adolphus dating from the 1630s, and accounts of his exploits and death account for 29 titles published between 1630 and 1633. There are an equal number of titles in the collection about Wallenstein. Acton has ten contemporary accounts of the sack of Magdeburg, all published in 1631. The Peace of Westphalia is represented by 24 titles, of which 14 are 17th-century (including eight from 1648), and another eight from the 18th century.

2.32 Other interesting 17th-century material includes nine items published between 1629 and 1631 on the centenary of the Augsburgische Konfession, six contemporary accounts of the siege of Vienna from 1683 or 1684, and 30 titles by the Catholic polemicist and philologist Gaspar Scioppius.

2.33 The emphasis of the 18th-century German imprints shifts from general to local history. Acton's library is remarkable for the number of works printed by small local presses scattered throughout the German-speaking world. The 2845 18th-century titles include, for example, a collection of 47 Latin plays performed at Kloster Tegernsee and printed at the monastery between 1713 and 1768.

2.34 The Acton Library also added more than 10,300 19th-century German imprints to the University Library's collections. More than 2000 of these concern German history; a further 700 are general historical works, while 650 treat of ancient history, 700 of metaphysics and ethics and a further 700 of political philosophy. There are 48 titles by Acton's friend Döllinger, some of them inscribed, as well as six edited texts and ten critical works. Other 19th-century writers who are particularly well represented include the philosopher Ignaz Paul Vitalis Troxler, with 26 vols, and the church historian Johann Friedrich von Schulte, with 18. Other treasures include a first edition of Die Nachtwachen des Bonaventura (Penig 1805).

2.35 Acton's library also contains a particularly significant body of material relating to Switzerland. There are 500 19th-century titles on the history of Switzerland, including many items produced by local printers in such towns as Agen, Burgdorf, Olten, Rapperswyl, Sursee and Stäfa. Seven titles published in 1829 or 1830 relate to Thurgau, and a further 11 published in 1830 or 1831 are on St. Gallen. Lucerne imprints are particularly abundant, and include some 33 vols, mostly from the first half of the 19th century, discussing the canton of Lucerne. Even more extensive is Acton's collection of materials on Bern, which includes 73 ordinances issued by the Bern Chancellery and printed between 1635 and 1764. There are also important runs of early Swiss periodicals, including Museum Helveticum (1746-1752), Schweitzersches Museum (1783-1790), Neues schweitzersches Museum (1794-1796), Der schweizerische Geschichtsforscher (1812-1840) and Helvetia (1823-1833).

The library has reproduced its printed catalogue entries for four of the most interesting sections of the collection.

Royal Library (30,000 vols)

2.36 The library of John Moore, Bishop of Ely (1646-1714), was purchased by King George I after Moore's death and presented to Cambridge in 1715. The collection, considered to be the finest private library in the country, was renowned throughout Europe, consisting of 28,965 printed books and 1790 MSS. After its arrival in Cambridge it was usually known as the King's or Royal Library in honour of its donor. As was indicated earlier, many items have been replaced into other general library classes, and a few titles are later additions; today's Royal Library contains between two thirds and three quarters of its original holdings.

2.37 Moore's library is essentially a personal collection, reflecting the owner's very varied interests. A great deal of theological material is complemented by much history, geography, philosophy, law, archaeology, medicine, editions of classical writers, contemporary poetry and drama. Moore's interest in the history of printing led to his collecting many items specifically for their bibliographical value; the library contains also a wide range of bibliographies, library catalogues and dictionaries.

2.38 The material is arranged within broad subject bands, regardless of date and origin of imprint. One exception is the grouping together of over 100 17th-century Helmstedt imprints in Bb *.14. In 1714 a contemporary of Moore's had described him as collecting ``in all Languages, Ancient and Modern', but German was presumably a language Moore did not know. There are numerous titles in French and Italian, and a significant number in Spanish and Portuguese, but not a single text in German, with the exception of a few early dictionaries which feature German as a component language. The German imprints are almost entirely in Latin, with a few titles in French.

2.39 It thus follows that German imprints are less well represented in Moore's library than those of England, France and Italy, but they still number nearly 3,700 items. There are more than 1,350 16th-century titles, over 2,000 17th-century and 250 18th-century titles. Imprints from the main publishing centres - Basel, Frankfurt, Cologne, Zürich, Strasbourg, Leipzig and Jena - naturally account for a high percentage of the total, but there are also a good number of more unusual imprints, from such places as Sélestat (1520), Solingen (1542), Gera (1624) and Geismar (1649). Items in the Royal Library include the first Schmalkalden imprint of 1565, Friderici Dedekindi Metamorphosen sacrarum libri quinque, the first Rinteln imprint of 1622, Codex Criticus Joh. Reinhardi Robbigii sive Robbigalia, and a scarce item published in Spiremberg in 1618 titled Origines Murensis Monasterii in Helvetiis.

2.40 In accordance with general library policy, the incunables in Moore's collection are now arranged with the rest of the library's pre-1501 imprints. Of the 469 incunables emanating from the Royal Library, French and Italian publishing is again best represented. Incunables from German-speaking Europe account for only 85 of the total, but they include the Mainz Catholicon of 1460, two editions of Hartmann Schedel's Liber chronicarum of 1493 and an unusual volume on the Turks which includes Georgius de Hungarica, De moribus Turcorum (Urach, n.d.) and Mahomet II, Epistolae magni Turci (Cologne, n.d.). The Royal Library copy of Cicero's De officiis, printed at Mainz by Fust and Schoeffer on 4 February 1466, was bought in Bruges on 17 April 1467 by Caxton's patron, John Russell, Chancellor of England. It is the earliest surviving printed book to have reached England.

Bible Society Library (30,000 vols)

2.41 The British and Foreign Bible Society was founded in 1804, and during its history has been responsible for publishing Bibles, and selections from the Bible, in hundreds of languages. Its library, which amounts to 30,000 items in almost 2,000 languages, was transferred to Cambridge in 1984. The archives followed in 1985. For practical purposes Darlow and Moule's catalogue of Bibles is a catalogue of everything in the library up to 1911.

2.42 The library contains the largest collection in Britain of Bibles in the languages and dialects of Germany, including a complete set of the texts from 1466 to 1522 in both High and Low German. There are 20 incunables, 112 16th-century items, 36 17th-century, 76 18th-century and nearly 500 19th-century titles printed in the German-speaking world. Texts in other languages include 44 in Yiddish, 22 in Upper Sorbian, 11 in Lower Sorbian, as well as Frankish, Cimbro and Romani Sinte. Dialects represented in the collection include those of Cologne, East Friesland, Bern, Lucerne, Zürich, Basel, Transylvania and Pennsylvania.

World War I Collection (10,000 vols)

2.43 A collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets and ephemera relating to the 1914-1918 war, started in 1915 with the aim of producing as detailed a documentary record as possible of the European conflict. The 10,000 items are in a wide variety of languages, with approximately 20 per cent of the collection in German. The majority of books are in the library's main catalogue, but some of the more ephemeral items are in a separate card catalogue in the Rare Books Room. The Cambridge War Reserve Collection is one of the most extensive of its kind, and is particularly notable for its fugitive material. It is an extraordinary record of the voices of ordinary people caught up in the war, both civilians and soldiers. An extensive collection of personal narratives and reminiscences includes many German items from as early as 1915 and 1916. Trench journals, flysheets and pamphlets produced by men at the front line are another key element of the collection, together with magazines from internment camps such as Lager-Echo and Deutsche Internierten-Zeitung.

2.44 Perhaps the greatest strength of the War Reserve Collection is that body of material devoted to the war's cultural history, as governments and private individuals sought to represent the conflict as a struggle between civilizations, of higher versus lower values. As a history of wartime propaganda it is invaluable. Already in 1916 the University Librarian wrote that ``German propaganda literature has been accumulated chiefly from Italy, Spain, the United States, and some of the South American Republics. Much of this is printed in Germany; but some is produced by partisans at Genoa, Barcelona, Castellon, New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Bogotá, Medellin ...' .

2.45 A microfilm project has been launched to preserve the collection and make it available to a wider audience. It is being approached on a subject basis, concentrating on ephemeral materials and rare printed items not likely to be held by most other libraries.

Hunter Collection (10,000 vols)

2.46 The Hunter-Macalpine library of works on psychiatry and psychiatric treatment was acquired in 1982 after the death of Richard Hunter (1923-1981), who with his mother Ida Macalpine (1899-1974) formed the collection. Macalpine was born in Nuremberg, and emigrated to Britain with her young son in 1933. There are 10,000 items, ranging from the 16th to the 20th century, of which more than 1,000 are in German. Almost half the German total dates from the 19th century, but, as well as assembling texts relating specifically to the history of psychiatry, both on a theoretical and practical level, Hunter interested himself in the evolution of the discipline. In consequence the collection includes 22 17th-century and 94 18th-century items on subjects as diverse as witchcraft, demonology, dreams, suicide and epilepsy.

2.47 The collection contains many detailed accounts of individual hospitals and lunatic asylums across the German-speaking world, produced by small regional presses, and a considerable number of translations of significant French and English texts. It is possible to trace the development of key texts from edition to edition: Emil Kraepelin's Psychiatrie: ein kurzes Lesebuch für Studirende, for example, is represented in every edition up to and including the 8th. Cambridge previously held no original German version, while the British Library has only the 5th.

Waddleton Collection (10,000 vols)

2.48 This collection of books with colour-printed illustrations or decorations is currently being formed and gradually transferred to the University Library by Mr Norman Waddleton, an expert in this neglected field of printing history. The books are chiefly of the 19th and early 20th century, though there is some earlier work (mostly French). The earliest German title in the collection is Christian Ludolf Reinhold's Das Studium der Zeichenkunst und Mahlerey für Anfänger, published in Göttingen in 1773.

2.49 The German component numbers between 400 and 500 items, and includes examples of various colour-printing techniques as practised in the German-speaking world. One of the few exponents of chromoxylography outside the United Kingdom was Heinrich Knöfler in Vienna. His extremely fine style of engraving is represented by several titles issued between 1867 and 1875. The school of chromolithography developed in Berlin in the 1830s, in the main to reproduce paintings from the excavations in Pompeii, is represented by a particularly fine copy of Wilhelm Zahn's Die schönsten Ornamente und merkwürdigsten Gemälde aus Pompeji, Herkulaneum und Stabiae, printed by G. Reimer with contributions by several lithographers, and his later Ornamente aller klassischen Kunst-Epochen, of which the collection has three editions published between 1843 and 1870. Notable developments of the chromolithographic technique are to be found in the work of Winckelmann & Söhne in Berlin (imprints range from 1831 to 1862), J. Bach in Leipzig (1855 to 1880) and Max Seeger in Stuttgart (1870 to 1900). That part of Waddleton's collection devoted to the history of colour-printing techniques includes perhaps the first book on chromolithography, Heinrich Weishaupt, Theoretisch-praktische Anleitung zur Chromo-Lithographie (Quedlinburg and Leipzig 1848). Of the main centres for 19th-century colour-printing in the German-speaking world, Berlin is represented in the collection by the work of 39 different printers, Leipzig and Vienna by 31 each, Munich by 20 and Stuttgart by 19.

Peterborough Cathedral Library (7,200 vols)

2.50 The books printed before 1801 in the library of Peterborough Cathedral were deposited in 1970. The collection is particularly rich in early English printing, including about 2,400 books printed before 1640. There are approximately 800 German imprints, of which the majority are 16th century (556). The library also contains 16 German incunables and 235 17th-century titles. The authors numerically strongest among the German imprints include Erasmus (39 16th-century editions), Melanchthon (16 16th-century editions), Johannes Piscator (20 Biblical commentaries published between 1610 and 1617) and St. Peter Martyr (14 titles published in Zürich and Basel between 1551 and 1581). The collection also has one of the library's two first editions of the Latin version of Foxe's Book of martyrs, Commentarii rerum in ecclesia gestarum, published in Strasbourg in 1554, and a first edition of Valentin Schindler's Lexicon pentaglotton (Frankfurt a. M. 1612).

2.51 The Peterborough library has significantly more books in French than in German, though in both cases the proportion is small. Only a few of the German imprints are not in Latin: these include 21 16th-century titles in German (mostly a collection of texts by Joachim Moerlin and Andreas Osiander dating from the 1550s).

Morison Collection (6,000 vols)

2.52 Stanley Morison (1889-1967) was an English typographer and historian of printing, particularly celebrated for his design of Times New Roman, one of the most successful new typefaces of the first half of the 20th century. His library was a working tool, bought by Sir Allen Lane on the death of Morison in 1967 and donated to the library in 1968. The collection is particularly strong in paleography, typography, book design and type specimens, but also includes books on liturgies and church history. There are approximately 600 titles in German. Most are 20th century, and they include an interesting collection of modern German fine printing (Morison 74).

Ritschl Collection (6,000 vols)

2.53 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806-1876) was a classicist. He became a Professor at Breslau in 1833, moved to Bonn in 1839, and to Leipzig in 1865. His collection of 6,000 foreign dissertations, together with 87 of his own works, was given in 1878. The vast majority of these were published between 1830 and 1870. More than 75 per cent of the collection emanates from German universities, with dissertations from Berlin, Bonn, Göttingen, Halle, Leipzig and Marburg being particularly well represented. The subject emphasis is strongly classical and philological, but there are also a substantial number of dissertations devoted to classical antiquities and ancient history.

Rosenthal Collection (6,000 vols)

2.54 This collection of Africana, formed by South African historian Eric Rosenthal (1905-1983), has only recently been acquired, and is still being catalogued. It includes significant amounts of material in Afrikaans and German from the second half of the 19th and the 20th century, and is particularly strong in works relating to South African colonial history and industry.

Library of the Society for Psychical Research (2,000 vols)

2.55 The library of the Society for Psychical Research was deposited in 1989, and includes 360 German items from the 16th to the 20th centuries. The emphasis is upon 19th-century material, which accounts for 215 of the total. In its subject range - the occult sciences, the supernatural, and hypnotism - the collection forms an excellent complement to the Hunter-Macalpine library.

Library of David and Herbert Bach (1,900 vols)

2.56 David Josef Bach (1874-1947) was a leading Austrian social democrat, journalist and ``Kulturpolitiker' in Vienna in the early decades of the 20th century. An intimate of Schönberg, Webern and other members of the Vienna school, Webern dedicated a string trio to him and Kokoschka drew his portrait. Having left Austria in January 1939, Bach died in London in 1947. His library passed to his nephew Herbert, whose widow presented the books to Cambridge in 1975. They were integrated into the library's general collections, but a record was kept of the titles concerned.

2.57 This donation considerably enriched the library's holdings of German literature from the period 1900 to 1930, adding approximately 1,900 new titles to the collection. It is particularly strong in Austrian authors, in plays in acting editions and in works on theatre history, and therefore complements the 247 box files of manuscripts and 20 box files of correspondence in the University Library's Schnitzler archive. Bach's position at the centre of Viennese cultural life is confirmed by the personal inscriptions in many of the books. There are personal dedications by Rudolf Bartsch, Franz Theodor Csokor, Karl Kraus, Else Lasker-Schüler, Robert Neumann, Alfons Petzold, Alfred Polgar, Joseph Roth, Felix Salten, Fritz von Unruh, Stefan Zweig and many others. The collection is also rich in works from other European literatures in German translation.

Ely Cathedral Library (1,700 vols)

2.58 It was donated to the Library in 1970 by the Dean and Chapter of Ely Cathedral. It does not represent the entire library, the remainder of which was sold at auction in 1972. A general theological collection, ranging from the 15th to the 19th century, it includes 150 German imprints, almost exclusively in Latin, of which some 50 per cent are 16th-century.

Collections on National Socialism (1,600 vols)

2.59 The library has two closely linked collections on National Socialism. The first was acquired in August 1947 from His Majesty's Stationery Office, and contains a selection of books representing National Socialist Germany. It contains some 750 items, including school textbooks and songbooks.

2.60 A parallel collection, of somewhat wider scope, was started in November 1972. It is concerned with National Socialism and its origins, and thus includes many titles published in the early decades of the 20th century. It also contains works exemplifying other patriotic (``völkisch'), racialist, and pan-German movements, together with contemporary works critical of such movements. This collection currently contains some 850 items.

Adams Collection (1,500 vols)

2.61 The collection of early printed books of John Couch Adams (1819-1892) was bequeathed to the Library in 1892. It contains approximately 1,500 titles, of which almost 1,000 were published before 1700. The main interest for Germanists lies in the earliest material. Of the 84 incunables, 42 originated in the German-speaking world, and many were derived from old German monastic libraries. They include some theological works, but are particularly noteworthy for the texts of astronomical or mathematical interest. The earliest item in the collection is an edition of St. Augustine's De verae vitae cognitione (Mainz: Peter Schoeffer, about 1475).

2.62 The Adams bequest also contains important Reformation material. There are nine Luther items from the 1520s, and a similar number of 16th-century Erasmus imprints. In total there are 220 16th-century items, including 82 German imprints. Thereafter the proportion of German items drops sharply, with only 46 German imprints amidst 630 17th-century titles.

Bensly Collection (1,500 vols)

2.63 The books of Near Eastern scholar and Professor of Arabic Robert Bensly (1831-1893) were given to the library in 1895, and include a very significant number of German imprints. There are four 16th-century items, 49 from the 17th, 147 from the 18th and 958 from the 19th century. Noteworthy historical imprints include the collection of texts by Christophorus Cellarius published in Zeitz between 1678 and 1688, a Syriac New Testament printed in Köthen in 1622 by Martin Trost, and the new edition of Valentin Schindler's Lexicon pentaglotton (Frankfurt a. M. 1653).

2.64 The German component of Bensly's library is an integral and important part of the whole, and an analysis by subject of the German imprints reflects the subject coverage of the entire collection very accurately. Bensly's is essentially a scholar's working library from the second half of the 19th century, and it has three particular emphases: comparative Semitic philology, Syriac (and to a lesser extent Arabic) texts, and Biblical commentary. Printed catalogues of manuscript collections in all three fields are a particularly noteworthy feature of the collection.

2.65 The collection of Semitic philology contains dictionaries, grammars, and works on language. Material relating to Syriac and Arabic predominates, but Hebrew is not neglected, and Phoenician, Ethiopic and Aramaic are also covered.

2.66 Bensly's library demonstrates a clear attempt to build a collection of Syriac texts covering the whole field of Syriac literature, including Biblical and some contemporary Syriac. There is also critical material on Syriac literature, and works on the Nestorians and other aspects of faith and culture. 247 of the German imprints relate specifically to Syriac.

2.67 An almost equal number of German titles, some 230, are devoted to Arabic, but Bensly's Arabic collection is not as important for modern scholarship as his Syriac holdings. It is strong in the 19th-century published texts of early and classical Arabic literature, with some historical texts and a few philosophical and theological ones. There is also a reasonable amount of linguistic material in Arabic, and one or two examples of 19th-century Arab editors.

2.68 That aspect of the collection devoted to Biblical commentary concentrates upon philological criticism of books of the Old Testament. There are texts of many individual books, and translations into different Semitic languages, including the Targum, or Aramaic translation of the Bible. The commentaries concentrate on linguistic and textual aspects, but there is also some standard Rabbinic criticism, such as August Wünsche's edition of Midrash. A smaller amount of New Testament commentary is concerned with the Greek text. Apocryphal books are included, in various Semitic languages, but not the extended Wisdom literature.

2.69 Material relating to Coptic and Ethiopic is also worthy of note, and accounts for 36 of the German imprints. There are a few volumes on Islamic and Jewish numismatics, a run of the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft and some other periodical volumes on Biblical criticism. These are obviously ancillary, rather than incidental, to the main part of the collection.

Sandars Collection (1,460 vols)

2.70 The bequest of Samuel Sandars (1837-1894) came as the culmination of 25 years of munificent donations to the library. In terms of incunables alone Sandars had already presented 89 titles to the library, 41 from German presses.

2.71 The 1894 bequest added a further 1,460 printed books to the library's holdings, including 109 incunables. The subject matter is very diverse, but Sandars was particularly distinguished as a collector of liturgical works and of fine bindings. The collection includes 72 books printed on vellum, while many others are lavishly bound or illuminated. The German component is not large, approximately 125 items, but these include 32 incunables and 70 16th-century items. Among the great treasures which the bequest brought to the library, Oates singles out the 1465 Schoeffer and Fust edition of Cicero's De officiis, the first printed edition of a classical text.

White Collection (1,350 vols)

2.72 The books of F. P. White (1893-1969) on early mathematics, physics and optics were acquired between 1962 and 1964. There are 1,350 items, mostly dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Of the European imprints the emphasis is on Italian and French works, but the German content is not inconsiderable, and includes French texts published in Frankfurt and Dresden. There are 10 German 16th-century items, 23 from the 17th and 77 from the 18th century.

2.73 The German component is quite mixed. It includes three 16th-century editions of Euclid, and early editions of titles by Johannes Kepler, Johann Heinrich Lambert and Leonhard Euler. The collection is chiefly remarkable, however, for the material from the second half of the 18th century, written by individuals of no great academic stature. Most of this is in the German vernacular, and follows Enlightenment ideals in attempting to make scientific and mathematical principles comprehensible to a popular audience. Titles include J. Hentz's Arithmetische Lust-Spiele (Stettin 1758), G. F. von Tempelhoff's Geometrie für Soldaten und die es nicht sind (Berlin 1790), G. L. H. Spohr's Anweisung zur Differential- und Integral-Rechnung für Anfänger (Leipzig 1793) and J. Kretscheck's Praktischer Unterricht zur kubischen Berechnung ...aller Bauholzgattungen (Vienna 1794).

De Laszlo Collection (1,300 vols)

2.74 This collection of books on phytotherapy was bequeathed to the University by H. G. de Laszlo in 1968. It consists of 18th to 20th-century items, in all languages. About 25 per cent of the collection is in German, with 20th-century imprints predominating.

Picken Collection (1,300 vols)

2.75 Laurence Picken presented his library of ethnomusicological materials to the library in 1976. The collection includes books, pamphlets, offprints and runs of periodicals. It is particularly strong in the music of China, Japan and Korea. Turkish and Central Asian music are also well represented, as is the folk music of Eastern Europe, and there are many works on musical instruments of all cultures. Whilst the linguistic focus of the collection is upon Russian and the languages of the Far East, the German component is also significant, numbering approximately 180 items. These date mainly from the first half of the 20th century.

Venn Collection (1,160 vols)

2.76 The collection of books on logic formed by John Venn (1834-1923) was presented to the library in 1888, and contains approximately 1,160 items. There are 21 incunables, 140 16th, 227 17th, 313 18th and 465 19th-century items, the majority from European presses. German imprints predominate, including material from local presses in Dillingen and Herborn (several items each), Brieg, Kalisch, Kaufbeuren, Lich and Plauen. There are 11 incunables from German presses, 77 16th-century items, 128 17th-century and 214 18th-century. Venn does not appear to have built his collection around particular authors. The best represented German philosopher is Johann Heinrich Alsted, with 12 items. The collection also contains several works by Christian Thomasius, Johann Heinrich Lambert, Ludwig Strümpell and Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg.

Darwin Library (700 vols)

2.77 The University Library's manuscript department holds approximately 700 of the most heavily annotated book and periodical titles from the library of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the majority on permanent deposit from the University Botany School. The collection also includes approximately 2,000 offprints from scientific journals, which were amassed by Darwin. At his death, Darwin's library probably contained at least 2,500 titles (in addition to the offprints), but the collection has now become widely dispersed. In 1908, the main body of his scientific titles (numbering c. 1800) was donated by Darwin's son, Francis (a botanist, and his father's biographer), to the Chair of Botany in the University of Cambridge. Most of these were transferred in 1935 to Down House in Kent, following the decision to open Darwin's former home as a museum. However, approximately 550 titles (including the most heavily annotated) were removed from the museum to Cambridge University Library in 1961 for conservation purposes, and to make them available to scholars alongside the main Darwin archive, which had been donated to the library in 1942. Subsequent smaller transfers from Down House and the University Botany School have brought the total to approximately 700 titles.

2.78 Quite independently of the interest of Darwin's annotations, his library constitutes one of the foremost surviving collections to have been accumulated by a Victorian scientist. Moreover, the Darwin Library includes a remarkable European component, and approximately 120 of the 700 titles are German. This also applies to the collection of offprints, most of which were sent to Darwin by their authors, which includes a significant proportion of works in German. Authors represented include Ernst Haeckel, Ludwig Büchner, Heinrich Georg Bronn, and Julius Sachs. Such books are interesting in at least two respects. First, Darwin's annotations chart the relevance to his early theorising of particular German works. Secondly, the large number of presentation copies of German works sent to Darwin after the publication of The origin of species provide additional evidence about the German response to Darwin's theory, and about the development of an international scientific network.

Norton Collection (666 vols)

2.79 The collection of post-incunables (1501-1520) of F. J. Norton (1904-1986) was purchased by the library in 1984, and includes books printed in all the major countries of Western Europe. Of the 666 items 145 were printed in Germany, 26 in Switzerland and 6 in Austria. The subject range is broad, and the collection includes not only works of scholarship but also ephemeral popular pamphlets and single sheets. Three of the ``indulgences' against which Luther fulminated, for example, complement the eight copies of Luther's own works.

Scott Collection (650 vols)

2.80 This collection of Haydn scores was presented by the English musicologist Marion Margaret Scott (1877-1953) in 1953. Of the 600 scores, just under half have a German imprint, including 20 18th-century items. The collection also includes approximately 50 works about Haydn, mostly German publications of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Broxbourne Collection (550 vols)

2.81 This collection of books from the Broxbourne Library, formed by Albert Ehrman and presented by his son John Ehrman in 1978, is particularly strong in type specimen books and other material related to type design. Imprints range from the 15th to the 20th century. The German component is small (about 60 titles) but includes such notable items as the library's only Lüneburg incunable, a first edition of Dürer's treatise on geometry of 1525, an early single-page primer printed in Leipzig about 1550, and several 18th-century printer's specimen books. Twentieth-century imprints include titles from Der goldene Brunnen and the Cranach Presse, thus complementing the modern German fine printing in the Morison Collection.

Young Collection (350 vols)

2.82 The benefaction of A. W. Young (1852-1936) of 1933 and 1936 consists principally of Bibles in a wide range of languages and dialects, together with liturgical and literary works. There are some 350 items, including 27 incunables, of which 12 were printed in Germany. These include Gutenberg's 42-line Bible (see above 2.19) and the Fust and Schoeffer Bible of 1462. There are a further 23 German imprints from the 16th century, including editions of Erasmus and Calvin.

Petronius Collection (310 vols)

2.83 This important collection of works by and about Petronius was formed by Sir Stephen Gaselee (1882-1943) and acquired by the library in 1943. There are some 75 German imprints, which include excerpts from the Satyricon published by J. Thanner in Leipzig in 1508 under the title Petronius Arbiter poeta Satyricus. There are three French translations of the Satyricon published in Cologne between 1687 and 1694, and five different 18th-century German translations.

Erasmus Collection (280 vols)

2.84 The library's collection of Erasmus materials started as a compilation from existing holdings in the mid 1940s. About 75 per cent of the collection originates from the German-speaking world, with Basel the predominant place of publication. The emphasis is upon texts written by Erasmus, and these include 212 titles with a 16th-century German imprint. Best represented are the Adagia, with 22 different 16th-century editions, and the Enchiridion militis Christiani, with 11 different editions. It must be emphasised, however, that this collection is only a proportion of the library's Erasmus holdings. The library possesses almost 400 16th-century German editions of texts written by Erasmus, together with another 125 16th-century editions of titles which he edited or translated.

Illustrated Insel books (215 vols)

2.85 183 illustrated vols of the Insel Bücherei were donated by the typographer Hans Schmoller (1916-1985) in 1983. The collection is added to as new titles appear.

Glaisher Collection (170 vols)

2.86 The collection of early mathematical material formed by James Whitbread Lee Glaisher (1848-1928) was presented in 1928. There are 170 titles, mostly from European presses, which include 21 16th-century and 10 17th-century German imprints.

Hegel Collection (150 vols)

2.87 This collection of critical works on Hegel built up within the library consists almost entirely of 19th-century imprints in German. The latest titles in the collection date from about 1920.

Karl Kraus Collection (120 vols)

2.88 Mrs Josephine Brügel, widow of the Czech historian J. W. Brügel, presented her husband's collection of books and papers on the Austrian satirist Karl Kraus in 1987. The collection consists of approximately 120 printed books, including rare or early editions, and 13 files of documentation (articles, letters, newspaper cuttings, theatre reviews, etc.).


3.1 General catalogues

Guard-book catalogue (``Old catalogue')

[closed in 1978, but maintained until 1994 for acquisitions printed up to 1977; author catalogue, permits only very limited access by subject (books about a named individual or text, conference proceedings, etc.)]


[includes records for all items published in 1978 or later, and a rapidly increasing amount of earlier material; contains over 1,470,000 records, including 81,000 in German; permits full subject access via Library of Congress subject headings]

Supplementary catalogue (1800-1905)

[slip catalogue; lists over 170,000 books and pamphlets]

Supplementary catalogue of secondary material (1906-1977)

[Card catalogue; lists 600,000 books and pamphlets. Only a small percentage is in languages other in English.]

Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL) [The University is a member of CURL, and all University Library holdings which are catalogued online are also included in the COPAC union catalogue. COPAC is accessible on the Internet: http://copac.ac.uk/copac/.]

3.2 Special catalogues


[They do not for the most part appear in the ``Old catalogue', but there is an interleaved and annotated copy of Oates (see below 3.3) available in the Rare Books Room.]

The incunables are recorded in Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC).

World War I Collection

[card catalogue available in the Rare Books Room]

Some of the largest of the library's special collections came complete with their own catalogues, and these have not been integrated into the general catalogues.

Bible Society Library

[slip catalogue, available for consultation in the Anderson (Music) Room]

Royal Commonwealth Society Library

[card catalogue, located in the Official Publications Room]

Catalogues of music, main and supplementary

[available in the Music Department]

Catalogue of maps and atlases

[available in the Map Room]

English and foreign pamphlets

[card catalogue, arranged in two chronological sequences which split at 1906]

Catalogue of foreign dissertations (1800-1950)

[card catalogue; lists about 20,000 titles]

A significant proportion of the library's holdings of German dissertations for the 19th and early 20th century remains uncatalogued. They are arranged by university and date, and can always be found if these details are known. The library's small collection of German school ``programmes' is likewise uncatalogued, but the material has been ordered and listed. A significant number of the items derive from a research collection on Aeschylus.

3.3 Printed catalogues

The library has never published general catalogues of its holdings, but printed catalogues do exist to particular collections.


Oates, J. C. T.: Catalogue of the fifteenth-century printed books in the University Library Cambridge. Cambridge 1954

16th Century

Adams, H. M.: Catalogue of books printed on the continent of Europe, 1501-1600, in Cambridge libraries. 2 vols. Cambridge 1967

Special collections:

Acton Library

Acton Collection. Classes 1, 2, 3, 6, 7: Papacy, canon law, religious orders, Counter-Reformation. Cambridge 1910 (Cambridge University Library Bulletin. Extra series)

Acton Collection. Class 34: Germany, Austria, and Hungary (General political history). Cambridge 1908 (Cambridge University Library Bulletin. Extra series)

Acton Collection. Class 48: Political philosophy, social philosophy, economics, law. Cambridge 1909 (Cambridge University Library Bulletin. Extra series)

Adams Collection

A catalogue of a collection of early printed and other books bequeathed to the library by John Couch Adams. Cambridge 1902 (University Library Bulletin. Extra series)

British and Foreign Bible Society

Darlow, T. H.; Moule, H. F.: Historical catalogue of the printed editions of Holy Scripture in the library of the British and Foreign Bible Society. 2 vols in 4. London 1903-11

Peterborough Cathedral Library

Hall, J. J.: Peterborough Cathedral Library: a catalogue of books printed before 1800 and now on deposit in Cambridge University Library. Cambridge 1986

Royal Commonwealth Society

Subject catalogue of the Royal Commonwealth Society, London. 7 vols. Boston, Mass. 1971. With 1st supplement. 2 vols. 1977

Venn Collection

Catalogue of a collection of books on logic, presented to the Library by John Venn. Cambridge 1889 (University Library Bulletin. Extra series)

Waddleton Collection

Waddleton, N.: Waddleton chronology of books with colour printed illustrations or decorations; 15th to 20th century. 5th ed. York 1993


Oates, J. C. T.: Cambridge University Library, a history. From the beginnings to the Copyright Act of Queen Anne. Cambridge 1986

McKitterick, D.: Cambridge University Library, a history. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Cambridge 1986


Fern, A.: Typographical specimen books in the Broxbourne Library. In: Book Collector 5 (1956) pp. 236-272

The First World War. A documentary record. Series One: European War 1914-1919, the War Reserve Collection (WRA-WRE) from Cambridge University Library. Part 1-. [Ed. by J. M. Winter]. Reading 1991-

Hall, J. J.: The F. J. Norton collection of post-incunabula. In: Bulletin of the Friends of Cambridge University Library 7 (1986) pp. 10-12

Lowe, D. K.: Cambridge University Library. In: David Pasey (ed.): German studies: British resources. Papers presented at a colloquium at the British Library 25-27 September 1985. London 1986, pp. 128-133 (British Library occasional papers 8)

Lowe, D. K.: German psychiatry - the Hunter Collection. In: German Studies Library Group Newsletter 7 (1990) pp. 9-10

McKitterick, D.: Typographers tallied. The origin and growth of the Stanley Morison Room, Cambridge University Library. In: Matrix 5 (1985) pp. 15-22

Picken, L.: The Picken collection. In: Bulletin of the Friends of Cambridge University Library 2 (1981) pp. 8-11

See also: A directory of rare book and special collections ... 2nd ed. London 1997, pp. 25-29

January 1994

David K. Lowe

Quelle: Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland. Digitalisiert von Günter Kükenshöner.
Hrsg. von Bernhard Fabian. Hildesheim: Olms Neue Medien 2003.