Home > Europa > Grossbritannien > Oxford 

The Bodleian Library

Address. Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG. [Map]
Dependent Libraries: The Radcliffe Science Library, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QP; [Map]
The Bodleian Law Library, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UR [Map]
Telephone. (01865) 277-000; (01865) 272-800 (The Radcliffe Science Library); (01865) 271-462 (The Bodleian Law Library)
Fax. (01865) 277-182; (01865) 272-821 (The Radcliffe Science Library)
Internet. http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/ [This site lists various e-mail contacts.]

Governing body or responsible institution. University of Oxford
Functions. University library, institution of national and international importance.
Subjects. The areas of collections cover all academic fields, excepting the study of modern European languages and literatures which, in the University of Oxford, is covered by the Taylor Institution.

Access. Readers' tickets are issued on application supported by evidence of identity and a letter of recommendation. Application forms can be obtained in advance by writing to the Admissions Office. There is currently a charge for admission. The Admissions Office, located in the Clarendon Building, Broad Street, by the central library complex, is open Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday 9.30 a.m. - 1 p.m. For further details contact the Admissions Office (01865) 277-180. Opening hours: Main library reading rooms: in Oxford full term Monday to Friday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. In Oxford vacation Monday to Friday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sunday closed. Modern Manuscripts Reading Room, Oriental5 Reading Room, Map Reading Room and Music Reading Room all close at 7 p.m. throughout the year. Disabled readers should arrange for assisted access in advance. This is particularly necessary at the Law Library.
Printed information. Readers' guides are available in printed form and on the Internet, location: http://www.ox.ac.uk/boris/guides/bod/.
Special facilities. Microfilm and microfiche readers. Photocopying is carried out by library staff. Photography Department.
Travel directions. Parking in central Oxford is limited. It is advisable to arrive using public transport. From London, coaches leave from Victoria Coach Station, and from Grosvenor Gardens near Victoria Train Station (minimum 90 minutes travel times); alight at Queen's Lane in Oxford; trains from Paddington Station (travel time c. 1 hour), from Oxford Railway Station c. 15 minutes walk; from the North, trains from Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International (Airport) (travel time c. 80 minutes) to Oxford Railway Station. Direct coaches from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.


History of the library and its collections 1.0

Outline of the Collections 2.0

Chronological outline and

analysis by language 2.1

Subject outline 2.8

Incunabula 2.8

The classification by

the four faculties 2.28

Numerical classification 2.57


Named collections 2.78

Dependent libraries 2.170

Catalogues 3.0

Modern general catalogues 3.1

Special catalogues 3.2

Historic catalogues 3.3

Archival sources and publications

about the history of the library 4.0

Archival sources 4.1

Publications 4.2

Publications about the collections 5.0


1.1 The Bodleian Library is the principal library of the University of Oxford, by whose statutes it is governed. The statutes require that it shall be maintained not only as a university library but also as an institution of national and international importance. The areas of collection cover all academic fields, excepting the study of modern European languages and literatures which, in the University of Oxford, is covered by the Taylor Institution.

1.2 Whereas some individual Oxford colleges had libraries already in the 13th century, a library of the University of Oxford as a corporate unity is first mentioned around 1320. In this year Thomas Cobham, Bishop of Worcester, provided money for a library building and began to make provision for the library which he intended to house there. He died in 1327, but his project continued and, in 1367, a University Library was established in the room above the Old Convocation House, attached to the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, although for a long time the ownership of both the books and the room was disputed by a college. While the room is still there, all original furniture is lost and only one possible surviving manuscript is known. There is no written record of the books in Cobham's library.

1.3 In 1439, 1441, and 1444 Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester (1391-1447), a younger son of King Henry IV, donated to the University well over 280 MSS of which we have knowledge of 274, although only 13 are known to have been preserved. To house this donation, the University decided to construct a library room above the Divinity School which was then being built. Because of a shortage of funding it was not finished until 1488. Little is known about the history of this institution. It seems to have been poorly funded and, as part of a weak central university, it lacked a voice in a corporate institution consisting of wealthy colleges. Bereft of patronage or protection, the medieval University Library was dispersed during the early years of the Reformation during the reign of King Edward VI (1547-1553). The process of destruction continued under Edward's sister, the Catholic Queen Mary (1553-1558): in January 1556, with no books left, the University set up a committee to dispose of the wood used for the library furniture.

1.4 In 1598, Sir Thomas Bodley (1545-1613), the son of parents who were Protestant exiles during the reign of Mary, and a diplomat, offered to re-create a university library. The new library, named after its founder, was opened in 1602 in the same room which had first served as a library in 1488. This room is still in use as the Bodleian Library's rare books and manuscripts reading room and is now named, after its first major benefactor, Duke Humfrey's Library. Around this nucleus the library expanded into the buildings round the Schools Quadrangle, finished as a complex c. 1640, but not occupied exclusively by the library until the 19th century.

1.5 In the first decades of the library's existence, money spent on purchases was chiefly used on foreign material, as current English imprints were given to the library as the result of an agreement made in 1610 between Sir Thomas Bodley and the Stationers' Company in London, an early deposit agreement.

1.6 This arrangement functioned satisfactorily until c. 1630, but it seems to have ceased to work entirely during the Civil War in the 1640s and during the Commonwealth. In 1662, two years after the Restoration of the monarchy, the press licensing act made the first statutory provision for compulsory deposit arrangements. A proper Copyright Act was passed by Parliament in 1710, but this only covered books registered with the Stationers' Company. Many important books were not registered for copyright, were not received as copyright material, and, consequently, had to be bought. This in turn affected the library's ability to purchase foreign material.

1.7 During Sir Thomas Bodley's lifetime, the library's purchases were conducted through two agents, John Norton and John Bill, who travelled abroad both to acquire material pre-dating the library's foundation and to keep the library's collection up to date. After Bodley's death, the library's annual income for book buying was £62.15s, a sum which remained available until 1642 when a loan to the King devastated the library's finances which were further damaged by the Civil War.

1.8 The responsibility for book selection fell on the Curators, the trustees of the library. The library's method of book selection indicates the importance of the German book trade for the Europe-wide distribution of books: the Curators of the library were meant to meet within a week after the arrival of the spring and autumn catalogues of the Frankfurt Fair, to determine which books were to be acquired. The library now has a total of 74 German book fair catalogues, 71 of which are from before 1700, the latest being an incomplete copy from 1799. This figure also includes 20 Frankfurt Fair catalogues reprinted in London between 1617 and 1621. The main producer of the London versions of the Frankfurt Fair catalogues was John Bill. He printed several of them jointly with the Bodleian Library's other foreign agent, John Norton, whose apprentice he had been. Fourteen of the London reprints from the 1620s purport to be printed in Frankfurt am Main, whereas the earlier ones tend to display a London imprint (see Graham Pollard and Albert Ehrman, The Distribution of Books by Catalogue, Cambridge 1965, p. 89). These English reprints demonstrate the extreme importance of the Frankfurt Fair for the international distribution of books. The tradition of reprinting the German book fair catalogues is represented as late as 1827, when the London bookseller Black, Young, and Young published An extract of the most important books announced as ready for publication at the Leipzig Easter Fair, 1830. Only a few of the book fair catalogues now in the collections of the Bodleian can have been the copies from which the library made its selections, as the majority of the earliest of them came with the bequest of Robert Burton (1577-1640). The presence of these catalogues in a collection which in itself was surprisingly weak in German material, indicates again the international importance of Frankfurt for book distribution. The Ashmole collection (see below 2.82-2.83) also contains 27 Frankfurt book-fair catalogues.

1.9 At least in the first decades of its existence, another source of the library's book selection was the Roman Catholic Index of prohibited books. A number of editions still in the library may have served this purpose, but they carry no marks of the selection activity. Out of the 66 editions of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, there are 12 editions from the German-speaking area: Cologne 1564; Munich 1582; Cologne 1597; Cologne 1598; [Strasbourg] 1599; Strasbourg 1609; Hanau 1611; Cologne 1620; Cologne 1627; Stadtamhof 1745; the last edition was probably not used for book selection.

1.10 Many books were purchased in London, and many of these were retrospective purchases. Thus, in 1613, the library purchased 142 second-hand books from George Edwards, the London bookseller (Day Book 1613-20, Library Records e.9, fols 18r-23r; not published by Hampshire, below 4.2), a high proportion of which were from the German-speaking area, including, for instance, Johann Jacob Grynaeus, Hypomnemata in Malachiam (Basel 1583), for £0.6.0; in 1615 it bought 100 second-hand items from him, for a total of £3.18.7 (Day Book 1613-20, Library Records e.9, fols 57v-60r; not published by Hampshire), with a smaller proportion of German books, but still containing a significant number, such as Christophorus Mylaeus, De scribenda uniuersitatis historia libri quinque (Basel 1551), bought for £0.2.0.

1.11 John Bill was the main supplier of foreign books until 1621; a bill of his of 14 June 1615 for £54.3.2 is presumably for books acquired at Frankfurt in the spring of that year (Hampshire 158-167). This list also includes examples of the extensive retrospective purchases. For instance, the library's copy of Johannes Forster, Dictionarium Hebraicum (Basel: Froben 1564) was bought through John Bill for £0.13.0. This purchase can also illustrate the interest in Hebrew books and books related to Hebrew studies which marked the early Bodleian Library, and which has since been continued (see Oppenheim below 2.138 -2.146). Many of the books on the list can, however, be shown to have been published in 1615, an indication of the speed with which current literature was diffused.

1.12 John Bill was succeeded in 1621 by Henry Featherstone as the library's chief agent. A bill of his, dated 27 July 1627 is now in Oxford, Corpus Christi College (MS 492, fol. 13; not published by Hampshire). It contains 85 items, all printed abroad, about three quarters printed in Germany. They were nearly all very recent publications, and the items of the bill give the impression of being a selection of books from a recent Frankfurt Fair, where both German and non-German books would have been available. An example of a German item is Fridericus Fornerus, Sermones tricesimales de felicissimo, ex hac vita transitu ...cultu atque deuotione ...virginis Mariæ (Ingolstadt 1627), acquired for £0.4.0. An example of the Italian items probably acquired through the Frankfurt Fair is Petrus Bellochius, Praxis moralis theologiæ, de casibus reservatis archiepiscopis, & episcopis Piceni ...seruiens (Venice 1627), the indication of price lost.

1.13 It is noteworthy that this is the first bill without a major component of retrospective acquisition. Seven quite recent items were rejected by the Bodleian as they were already in the library, e.g. Nicolaus de Passeribus, De scriptura priuata tractatus (Frankfurt a. M. 1625). This may indicate that the first great phase of retrospective buying was over and is perhaps also a hint that the library did not depend exclusively on the Curators for book selection, but also depended on being offered items by enterprising dealers. In the 1630s, book purchases are simply noted in the annual accounts as sums spent at the autumn or spring mart, that is at Frankfurt.

1.14 Featherstone was succeeded by George Thomason in 1632 but, probably because of the disturbances of the Thirty Years' War, by this time most books would appear to have been bought from Italy and France. This impression is formed on the basis of seven surviving bills from 1639 (published by Hampshire). The impression of a move away from the German market might be due to the chance survival of bills, but it is confirmed as a trend by looking at other books bought in the 1630s and 1640s. In 1633 Margaret Brooke left the library £100 which was invested in land in Wick-Rissington in Gloucestershire, providing an annual income of £5. The library still receives the rent. Books bought from this income were initially bound in distinctive bindings, but no bills for them survive. They are all either Italian or French, the majority being from Lyons.

1.15 Not only did the free deposit arrangement cease to function around 1640: in 1642, due to the Civil War, the library's income shrank and expenditure on books soon fell to less than £10 per year: the systematic purchase of foreign material ceased and, for nearly 40 years, it would appear that the library had no coherent approach to the buying of foreign books. In 1667-1672 a total of c. £125 was spent on purchases, but the annual accounts provide no details, and it is not clear to what extent they were foreign books, if at all.

1.16 In 1676 many duplicates were sold, mainly copies which were duplicated by the Selden bequest (see below 2.152-2.157). In general, Selden copies were retained while previously acquired copies were alienated. The sale brought in £238, but the money was borrowed by the University for the Ashmolean Museum. Most was repaid in 1685/86, and this enabled the library to buy books for £ 134 from the bookseller Robert Scott, probably from his Catalogus librorum ex variis Europæ partibus advectorum (London 1687), but expenditure soon fell back to c. £10 annually.

1.17 In November 1679 the Oxford bookseller Richard Davis presented a bill for £14.0.10, containing only foreign material (Library Records b.36). While more items are printed in Amsterdam than in any other one printing place, this bill shows the first sign of an increased interest in material from Germany. The last item on the bill consists of ``Catalogues of books n: 19: 20: 21', possibly book fair catalogues, and it is likely that Davis or a representative of his had been to either the Frankfurt or more probably the Leipzig Fair, for some items on the bill are recent imprints from Jena and Leipzig, such as Caspar Gottlieb Bierling, Adversariorum curiosorum centuria prima (Jena 1679) (£0.6.0), and Philipp Zeisold, Logicæ sacræ, in Novo Testamento comprehensæ ...pars prima (-tertia) (Leipzig 1677) (£1.12.0). Some items are older, however, e.g. Hermann Conring, Exercitationes academicæ de republica imperii Germanici, infinitis locis mutatæ et auctæ (Helmstedt 1674) (£0.11.0).

1.18 The assumption that the contents of the bills are an indication of Davis's connection with the German book market is reinforced by the contrast with two bills, from July and November 1679, for books supplied by two Oxford booksellers, John Wilmot and John Crossley, from which only one item can be identified as being German, namely volume one of Johann Christoph Sturm, Collegium experimentale, sive curiosum (Nuremberg 1676) (£0.5.6). A bill from 1680 for Cr57.7.16, in part paid with a copy of the library's published catalogue, was presented by Michael Zacharias. The bill was converted into £16.16.2, making the foreign currency worth 30 per cent of the pound sterling. The closest match that could be found is the Dutch duccatton, which corresponded to 28 per cent of the value of the pound sterling (John McCusker, Money and Exchange in Europe and America, 1600-1755, a Handbook, Chapel Hill 1978, p. 9). So Zacharias may possibly have been a Dutch dealer, but he is not found in I. H. van Eeghen, De Amsterdamse boekhandel 1680-1725 (Amsterdam 1960-1978). Almost all of the 43 items on the bill are German, nearly all legal material in folio. There may again be a link with the Leipzig Book Fair, as several items were printed in Jena and Leipzig; e.g. Matthias Berlichius, Pars prima (-quinta) Conclusionum practicabilium, secundum ordinem constitutionum divi Augusti, electoris Saxoniæ, discussarum (Leipzig 1670) bought for Cr4.4.0. By and large the books are quite expensive, being folios, the most expensive item on the bill being Gabriel Bucelinus, Germania topo-chrono-stemmato-graphica sacra et profana (Augsburg 1655, 1678), bought for Cr6.0.0.

1.19 Another surviving bill of 1680, for £12.7.3 from the Oxford bookseller Richard Davis, contains a number of German books of a more varied range, although several are medical, e.g. Johann Georg Walther, Sylva medica opulentissima (Bautzen 1679) (£0.14.0); Valescus de Taranta, Philonium pharmaceuticum, et cheiurgicum, de medendis omnibus, cum internis, tum externis humani corporis affectibus (Frankfurt a. M. 1680) (£0.10.0). Although some books on this bill were very recent, several of them were more than a decade old, e.g. Matthias Martinius, Lexicon philologicum (Frankfurt a. M. 1655), at £2.0.0 the most expensive item on the bill.

1.20 The retrospective purchases represented by these two bills probably reflect an attempt to redress the consequences of the absence of the library's representatives from the German fairs in the preceding decades. But the German trade was still perceived to be central to the acquisition of academic books and, in 1684, the Curators requested to see the Frankfurt Fair catalogues as they appeared: apparently the procedure had lapsed. In 1684 the Curators also recorded their wish to see the Acta eruditorum, the early instance of a German learned journal, containing reviews or summaries of recent books. While most of its own copies of the Frankfurt Fair catalogues appear to be lost, the library still has a complete run of the Acta eruditorum from 1682 to 1776. Although they undoubtedly are the copies bought for the library, they contain no annotations relating to the process of book selection. In 1692, the Curators demanded to see all foreign auction catalogues but, in that year, they had, in reality, little money to spend, and it would appear that only one book was bought: Martin Zeiller, Topographia Galliæ (Frankfurt a. M. 1655-1661), for £4.0.0.

1.21 Some exchange arrangements were made: in 1691/92 the University Press sent 55 vols to the Amsterdam bookseller J. T. Wetstein in exchange for other books, and in 1698 an exchange resulted in £154-worth of books imported from Holland by the bookseller John Owen (see below 4.2 Philip 1983, p. 68). These transactions do not feature in the library's accounts and it is not possible to determine which books were acquired in this way, although it seems reasonable to assume that a fair proportion would have come from Germany.

1.22 From c. 1710 to c. 1725 the library's average annual expenditure on books grew to around £40, but it seems that most of the books acquired in those years were from France. The summary accounts of 1720, kept with the library's bills, contain a detailed list of purchases from that year, with only 8 out of the 83 items being from the German-speaking area, several of these even being retrospective purchases, such as Sebastian Münster, Horologiographia (Basel 1533), bought for £0.2.0. Not only had the library's interest shifted towards France; it also spent money on buying English books, as the copyright deposit arrangements still did not work satisfactorily, despite having been given a statutory footing in 1710.

1.23 For the next 50 years purchases remained at a low level, but this does not mean that the library did not grow; numerous donations were made, some kept in separate collections listed below, others integrated with the general collection. The donations of named individuals can be examined in the two volumes of the Benefactors' register. For instance, Sir Hans Sloane presented over 1,400 printed vols, both old and fairly recent, many of them medical; one of the volumes which he presented in 1710 was Georg Wolfgang Wedel, Introductio in alchimiam (Jena 1706), shelved with the ``Linc.' collection (see below Lincoln 2.127 ) as E 1.21 (2) Linc. (Benefactors' register, vol. 2, 54).

1.24 In 1780 the library's annual income was suddenly increased to c. £480, the greater part of which was spent on books. In the same year the library began to print annual purchase lists, for distribution within the University, a practice which was continued until 1861. The renewed activity in book acquisition is apparent from the first list of purchases from 1780, which includes, for instance, five works by Albrecht von Haller, such as Iconum anatomicarum, quibus praecipuae partes corporis humani delineatae continentur, fasciculus i(-viii) (Göttingen 1743-1756), bought for £4.4.0; much of the material purchased was still books printed in London but not received by legal deposit, e.g. three of the works by Haller bore a London imprint.

1.25 Whereas the library had previously bought directly from auctions in the Netherlands, the library's first purchases directly from a German auction were made at the sale in 1796 of the library of Lüder Kulenkamp (1724-1794), the Göttingen professor of theology and philology; the sale catalogue, Bibliotheca Luderi Kulenkamp ...ordine digesta: quae Gottingae postridie festi ascensionis Christi A. MDCCLXXXXVI publica lege dividentur (Göttingen 1796), was prefaced by the librarian of the University of Göttingen, Christian Gottlob Heyne. He explained how the collection had been intended for the University Library of Göttingen, but the financial crisis during the upheavals of the Napoleonic Wars made the acquisition impossible. The auctioneers were aware that a British participation in the sale would increase their profit and the catalogue contains an introductory note in English explaining that bids could be placed through the German Circulating Library at Charing Cross in London which would organize delivery free of charge. Apparently the library did not take up this suggestion, for the annual summary of expenditure for 1796 indicates a sum spent on transport and customs on the books bought at his sale. The library's bills do not survive for that year, so we do not know who represented the library at the sale. A Catalogue of Books Purchased for the Bodleian Library (Oxford 1796) marks out the 25 books acquired at this sale, including a copy of Lactantius (Rostock: Fratres Domus Horti viridis 1476) for £1.9.0; the library's other copy of this edition is a Göttingen duplicate, so both have a Göttingen background.

1.26 This was the beginning of a long-term and very extensive policy of purchasing both current and antiquarian material which gathered pace in 1813, with the end of the Napoleonic Wars, when a tax, originally imposed by Convocation to meet the expenses of the Oxford University Volunteers, was transferred to benefit the library.

1.27 This coincided with the appointment of Bulkeley Bandinel as Librarian, from 1813 to 1860. He must count as the most outstandingly acquisitive of any Bodley's Librarian. Both modern and antiquarian books were bought in ever increasing numbers. In the area of older books this was partly possible because of the great drop in prices which took place towards the end of the second decade of the century. Book prices fell as spectacularly as they had risen in the preceding decades. A contributory factor to the fall in prices may have been the sudden availability on the market of large collections of books which had until then been kept in religious houses in Southern Germany. As houses were dissolved their collections were confiscated, but they were not available on the market at a great rate immediately, and the greater part of the books from Bavarian collections became available after the great fall in book prices had taken place, and the fall affected equally books which had no monastic connections. For instance the Rome 1474 edition of Flavius Blondus, Italia illustrata was sold in 1812 at the sale of the duke of Roxburghe for £8.0.0; the same copy was bought by the Bodleian already in 1822 for only £3.16.6 (Auct. 2Q 2.21); this was well before significant amounts of material from dissolved German religious houses came onto the market. The change in taste therefore appears to have been at least as significant a factor in the decline of the prices of old books as was the greater availability of monastic books. An example of a book with a German monastic background which fell dramatically in price is provided by a Sammelband of four items printed in Cologne by Ulrich Zell, c. 1467, in its original binding as given by Zell to St. Barbara of Cologne, which was sold in 1819 for £ 8.8 .0, but was bought by the Bodleian Library in 1835 for £4.16.0 (shelfmark Auct. 7Q 4.33).

1.28 During Bulkeley Bandinel's reign as Bodley's Librarian low prices were combined with a sharply increased book buying budget. Annual expenditure on books grew from £333.4.2 in 1800 to e.g. £3066.15.0 in 1858, although the trend towards greater expenditure was broken at several points, noticeably during the first decade of the century.

1.29 A significant part of the increase came in 1841 when Robert Mason left the Bodleian Library the then enormous sum of £40,000, which was invested to give an annual yield of £1,048.10.0. The purchases made from this fund were shelfmarked separately and are mentioned under Mason (see below 2.133). The nominal growth in expenditure represents a very significant increase in real purchasing power, especially if one remembers that the nominal price of old and rare books fell significantly from the high level reached in the first decade of the century. The annual expenditure on books was almost exclusively on foreign material, as the copyright system by then operated more satisfactorily.

1.30 The importance of German learned periodicals was recognised about 1826, when a number of retrospective purchases were made. For instance Göttingische Zeitungen von gelehrten Sachen, 1739-1826, was bought for £78.0.0; Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, 1785-1826, for £100.0.0; and Leipziger Literatur-Zeitung, 1812-1826, for £30.0.0. The subsequent years saw a continuation of this policy. These purchases were made through the London-based firm, Treuttel & Würtz.

1.31 Treuttel & Würtz were Strasbourg booksellers who in 1817 established a branch in London at 30 Soho Square. They feature separately in the manuscript accounts between 1821 and 1835, in those years submitting bills totalling £2966.4.0; although this figure is not exclusively for German books, as far as the Bodleian Library was concerned Treuttel & Würtz were predominantly suppliers of German material; this aspect of their activity has not been explored fully, although their role in importing French books has been examined by Giles Barber (see below 4.2). The first actually surviving bill of theirs is from 1826, in which year alone they received a total of £ 458.15.0. In 1826 they were evidently well integrated into the English book market, now describing themselves as ``Treuttel & Würtz, Treuttel junior & Richter. Foreign Bookseller to His Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg'. They were also active in promoting German literary culture in Britain through their Foreign Quarterly Review and Continental Literary Miscellany, which ran from 1827 to 1847. The prospectus for the periodical, kept with the library's bills, explains how the review aimed to expand the deficient knowledge in England of German literary activities. In the first part of the century Treuttel & Würtz seems to have been the most important among the German dealers settled in London.

1.32 Their bills occur at least until 1837, by which time Parker, the Oxford bookseller, had taken over as the main supplier of German material. The first surviving bill from Parker is from 1814. Initially they supplied general foreign material; slightly later they seem to have become more specialised in German material, whereas Barthe and Lowell in London predominantly supplied French books.

1.33 Numerous German antiquarian books were bought at sales in London, most importantly, perhaps, from the collection of Georg Franz Burkhard Kloss (1787-1854), a physician from Frankfurt a. M. His books were sold in London: Catalogue of the Library of Dr. Kloss, of Franckfort a. M., Professor (London: Sotheby, 7 May 1835). The library mainly bought incunabula from this sale (see incunabula below), but also numerous 16th-century items. At least 47 items, in 31 vols, were placed with the Marshall collection (Mar.860-Mar.891; see below 2.132); out of these 47, 35 are early editions of Erasmus's works, all but two from before 1520. A smaller number, 27 items, was placed with the Meerman books (Meerm. subt. 346-358; see below 2.134), of which nine were early editions of Erasmus. At least 25 other books from the collection of Dr. Kloss were placed in other sections of the Bodleian Library.

1.34 From the early 1840s, Abraham (Adolf) Isaac Asher (1800-1853), later Adolf Asher & Co. in Berlin became an important connection. His contact with the library began as a supplier of Hebrew and Yiddish books, and of books relating to Jewish culture (see Oppenheim below 2.138-2.146), but soon he also became an extremely important general dealer for the Bodleian, supplying a great variety of material from Germany and providing important contacts within the German book trade. The first year in which Asher figures separately in the manuscript accounts is 1842, when he was paid £90; his bills from 1842 to 1858 amount to a total of £2,532.5.9. On 22 May 1848 Asher wrote to Bulkeley Bandinel, Bodley's librarian, that ``the revolutions which convulse the Continent fall very heavily upon me and threaten my utter ruin'; he, and the successors to his business, avoided that fate until 1933. A bill for £ 48.17.6 from 1858 shows that Asher & Co. by then also supplied parts of periodicals to which the library subscribed.

1.35 Furthermore, Asher became very important indeed as a contact in the German book-selling world in general and as a negotiator of deals for the library (see below Libri Hungarici 2.125 , Libri Polonici 2.126 and the 1850 purchase of duplicate incunabula from the Royal Library in Munich 2.15).

1.36 Asher did not in any way, however, have a monopoly on the supply of German material; in 1854, e.g. a substantial bill for £85.2.0 consisting mainly of contemporary German books and periodicals was submitted by Williams and Norgate, booksellers of Covent Garden. Even during the period when Asher was supplying the library most extensively with German books, Parker, the Oxford bookseller, was an important source for German material and, for reasons unknown, from 1858 Parker obtained the monopoly as Bodley's foreign agent. He partly acted as an intermediary for German dealers, and several of the library's German booksellers' catalogues from this period are stamped with Parker's name, indicating that they did not reach the library directly from the individual German dealer. Thus in 1888, 263 Schulprogramme were bought through Parker from Bärthlein in Erlangen and Amann in Kiel for £8.2.0 (see Library Bills for the year, where the programmes are listed).

1.37 The library's direct contact with German booksellers never disappeared, however, and in 1878 bills submitted directly from foreign dealers become very frequent again. From that year and for the rest of the century K. F. Koehler's Antiquarium in Leipzig became a major supplier of both new and older German books. From 1885 we increasingly find bills from Karl W. Hiersemann (1854-1928), Karl Heinrich Gustav Fock (1854-1910), and Otto Harrassowitz (1845-1920), all Leipzig dealers. Fidelis Butsch & Sohn (Augsburg) not only supplied incunabula (see below 2.18), but also fairly recent German material (see e.g. the Library Bills of 1876); Joseph Baer & Co. (Frankfurt a. M.) became a very frequent supplier of recent material, as well as of antiquarian books (see incunabula below 2.18). Like those of Asher & Co., the bills of Joseph Baer & Co. indicate the international nature of the German book trade, with addresses both in London (136 The Strand and 36 Piccadilly) and Paris on his bill-headings from 1878.

1.38 The international importance of a book trade with a German origin is also illustrated by one of the library's main suppliers of Italian material in the 1880s, F. F. Münster's Deutsche Leihbibliothek, in Verona (Library Bills 1880-1890). The library dealt directly with an ever-growing number of individual dealers; from 1891 e.g. the library has bills from 18 different German booksellers but, in the last years of the 19th century, Harrassowitz became the main German connection for the Bodleian.

1.39 By the end of the century, the annual reports of the Curators from 1890 to 1900 give a surprisingly uniform picture of foreign accessions by number of volumes; in 1890 a combined total of 7,266 foreign volumes were received out of which the number from Germany was 2,869, France following as a distant second with 1,447 items; the corresponding figures for 1900 were a total of 8,276 items, 3,467 from Germany and 2,237 from France.

1.40 Close contact with the German book trade continued until the outbreak of the First World War. After the War, a number of German booksellers attempted to restore contacts with the Bodleian. The library now chose, however, to acquire books from Germany only through Parker, the Oxford bookseller. This was partly to avoid having to deal directly with practical problems relating to the unstable nature of the German currency, and with bureaucratic problems arising from ensuing exchange restrictions, from German export restrictions, and from British import restrictions. A volume in the library's archives contains material relating to the problems connected with acquiring German material from 1919 to 1939, including some correspondence with various authorities, German booksellers, and printed announcements from German dealers and German trade organisations concerning currency, tax, and export problems.

1.41 In 1919 the library received as a donation from the Military Censor a large collection of books and pamphlets, totalling 964 items, which had been seized from postal parcels during the war, being considered enemy propaganda. The overwhelming majority of the items are German; some are American, and a few are Russian. In the correspondence relating to the material the Military Censor also refers to the pamphlets as Peace Propaganda leaflets, although relatively few are of a pacifist nature. In a letter dated 27 January 1919 Colonel A. S. L. Farquharson, the Chief Postal Censor, described the collection in the following terms: ``The collection is unequal in character in that some of the items are very rare and of much interest, others of hackneyed types which have probably become widely known during the war. A special interest attaches, however, I believe, to the whole collection in virtue of the unique circumstances of its acquisition; for it is derived solely from postal packages seized by the Military Censor in his examination of letter mail tering or passing in transit through the United Kingdom, or landed from neutral vessels brought into or voluntarily entering our waters during the present war.' Restrictions on the use of the collection were lifted 15 September 1919. The collection was dispersed in the numerical classification system of the Bodleian Library but a list of the items drawn up by Farquharson and the relevant correspondence are found in the Library Records c.1021.

1.42 The Bodleian has the papers of the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, founded in 1933 to assist German academic refugees settled in Britain. By the outbreak of the Second World War some 2,000 academics were registered with the Society, and the archive contains some 5,000 files, the bulk being personal files on scholars assisted by the Society. The archive is described in an unpublished catalogue of 1988 by Nicholas Baldwin: ``Catalogue of the archive of the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning'.

1.43 In 1939, in order not to transfer money to the enemy, it was decided to cancel subscription to most German periodicals and other works acquired on standing order, even when it would have been possible to acquire them through agents in a neutral country. In 1945 a list of the last received issues of cancelled periodicals was drawn up with other desiderata from Germany; the list and library papers relating to the matter are found in Library Records c.1748.

1.44 The library has a large collection of books and pamphlets relating to the Second World War, including propaganda material, such as 14 vols of Allied airborne leaflets and magazines, the publications of the Allied occupying powers, a cumulative index of the legislation of the Control Council, the United States military Government, the Allied High Commission, and of the Office of the United States High Commissioner (see below 4.2 Blundell).

1.45 Very soon after the Second World War the library re-established contacts with the German trade and began its current policy of acquiring German material chiefly from two large suppliers, Streisand already during the 1940s, and slightly later Harrassowitz. Contacts with the German antiquarian trade were also resumed, although financial considerations have not allowed as extensive purchases as those made in the 19th century (see however Veteriora below 2.164-2.167).

1.46 In 1962, as a delayed result of the upheavals of the Second World War the library received, partly on deposit, the bulk of the surviving manuscripts of Franz Kafka. The collection was described by J. M. S. Pasley, ``Franz Kafka MSS. description and select inedita', Modern Language Review 57 (1962) pp. 53-59.


Chronological outline and analysis by language

2.1 The total number of books printed before the 20th century, catalogued before 1989, now kept in the library, amounts to 797,288 items; those from the German-speaking area number 102,019; the latter figure should be supplemented by some 540 items catalogued after 1988. An estimated 1,000 items with no given imprint must also be added to the total. The total of 102,019 has been arrived at through an analysis of the items catalogued in the library's catalogue of books printed before 1920, now available on CD-ROM, and these items are the basis for the indications of the size of the various aspects of the collection given below.

2.2 This figure is only exceeded by the 499,932 items from the United Kingdom, and far exceeds the holdings from the second largest foreign source, France, which is represented by 60,278 items; and the third largest, Italy, which is represented by 30,725 items (in both cases excluding books emanating from German-speaking communities). The group of 102,019 items is composed in the following way: 85,061 were printed in the area of the present-day Federal Republic of Germany, 3,275 in Austria and 4,872 in German-speaking Switzerland. Furthermore, an analysis has been made of the Bodleian holdings of material produced in other areas which have, or formerly had, resident German-speaking communities. In areas which had a community of mixed linguistic backgrounds at the time of production of the relevant items, an assessment has been made of whether the material had its background in a German-speaking community of the area or in its institutions.

2.3 For German-speaking areas now in France all items have been included which were produced before the area was made subject to the French crown. For later periods discretion has been used. Very little material from Lorraine is represented, whereas substantial numbers from Alsace have been included. Most pre-Napoleonic books from Strasbourg have been included, mostly works written in Latin and emanating from the University or from circles close to it. The items included from present-day France total 3,569 items.

2.4 For present-day Poland all works written in Polish have been excluded, although this distorts the reality of substantial Polish-speaking communities in areas which were, at the time, populated by a majority German-speaking community. Latin works from present-day Poland have been included with caution. Latin books from Wrocaw have largely been included, but Latin books from Cracow, and in French or in Latin from Warsaw have, in the main, been excluded. The total of relevant items included from Poland is 2,136. Works in Polish, Russian, and Lithuanian have been excluded from the works printed in the part of the former East Prussia which is now part of Russia. The total of relevant items from there is 621.

2.5 Very little German material is included from present-day Lithuania, only 4 books in all, whereas 149 items are included from Latvia and 163 items from Estonia, 127 of which are from Tartu (Dorpat). Similar criteria have been applied to holdings from the present-day Czech and Slovak Republics as was applied to material from Poland, with the result that 760 items from the Czech Republic and 37 from the Slovak Republic have been included. From Hungary 41 items have been included. From Romania 46 relevant items have been identified as coming from German-speaking communities in Transylvania. The overall figure includes 26 items from Slovenia, 16 items from Croatia, and 3 items from Bosnia-Herzegovina; 33 items have been identified as coming from German-speaking communities or institutions in the parts of Tyrol which now form part of Italy, and 4 items have been included from two institutions of the German-speaking community in the part of the former duchy of Schleswig now in Denmark. Only a single item has been identified as coming from a German-speaking institution in the former German colonies, a German grammar printed c. 1900 in Msalabani in Tanzania, then German East-Africa, Oswald Rutz, Kitabu cha kidachi. Huelfsbuch der deutschen Sprache für die Schulen in Deutsch-Ostafrika. Teil 1 (Msalabani [1902?]). Included are also 1,202 items with no identified place of imprint, but for reasons of language or contents assumed to be German.

2.6 Works in Hebrew and Yiddish have not been included in the overall figure mentioned above, because they are not included in the library's general catalogue of pre-1920 printed items; nevertheless, this material has been taken into consideration in the section on Hebrew books (see Oppenheim below 2.138-2.146), whether emanating from mainly German-speaking communities, as is often true of books from the later period of Hebrew and Yiddish printing, or acquired as part of a collection formed in a German-speaking community. - Not included is a small number of German-language items from USA, mainly socialist and anarchist publications from New York in the 1890s.

2.7 The chronological distribution of the material is roughly as follows: until 1501 c. 1,910 items; 1501-1550 c. 3,900 items; 1551-1600 c. 5,400 items; 1601-1650 c. 7,850 items; 1651-1700 c. 11,668 items; 1701-1750 c. 17,300 items; 1751-1800 c. 11,000 items; 1801-1850 c. 11,000 items; 1851-1900 c. 31,200 items.

Subject outline


2.8 As a result of four hundred years of purchases and donations, the Bodleian now has c. 5,500 incunable editions in its holdings, some in multiple copies; thus, the total number of incunabula is c. 7,000. About 35 per cent of the incunabula were printed in the German-speaking area, that is c. 1,950 editions; many others have German provenances. No incunable can be shown to have been in the University Library which was dispersed in the 1550s. Incunabula were, however, represented among the first books presented to the Bodleian Library and also among the earliest purchases made for it. Several of these books were printed in the German-speaking area. One example is the library's copy of Cicero, De officiis ...Paradoxa Stoicorum (Mainz: Johann Fust 1465), which has been in the library since its foundation. These books were acquired as part of the library's general acquisitions policy, not as specimens of rare or old books.

2.9 A few incunabula were contained among the donations made by William Laud (1573-1645) (see Laud below 2.124), mostly from Würzburg, having been alienated from their original owning institutions during the Swedish occupation and bought by Laud's agents. The largest 17th-century source of incunabula was the Selden collection (see below 2.152-2.157). With the exception of early English imprints, it cannot convincingly be argued that Selden collected incunabula for their age or rarity. The majority of his incunabula fall within the range of his general academic interests. Several of his incunabula are from the German-speaking area, e.g. a copy of Jacob Wimpheling, Isidoneus Germanicus (Strasbourg: J. Grüninger, c. 1479).

2.10 The 18th century saw no major acquisitions of incunabula until the last years of the century. The first great purchases after the years of stagnating intake were made in 1789 and 1790, when a concerted policy began of purchasing first or early editions of the Latin and Greek classical authors, of Aldine editions and of early editions of the Bible.

2.11 In 1789, when the library's book-buying budget was nearly £500, £1,080 were in fact spent, £538 of which on at least 79 incunabula from the collection of Maffeo Pinelli (1735-1785; see Bibliotheca Pinelliana. A Catalogue of the Magnificent and Celebrated Library of Maffei Pinelli, Late of Venice, London: James Edwards, 2 March 1789). The following year £1,152 were spent on c. 100 incunabula from the collection of Pierre-Antoine Bolongaro-Crevenna (1735-1792; see Catalogue des livres de M. Pierre-Antoine Bolongaro-Crevenna, Amsterdam: Changuion and den Hengst 1789). The greater part of these were Italian books, but at least 19 German incunabula are also to be found among them. They include the two items which were by far the most expensive of all the purchases of those years: the copy which formerly belonged to the Augustinian Canons of Bethlehem near Louvain, of Gulielmus Durandus, Rationale divinorum officiorum (Mainz: Peter Schoeffer 1459; GW 9101) for £80.10.0; and the Parisian Jesuits' copy of Biblia Latina (Mainz: Peter Schoeffer 1461; GW 4204), for the extravagant sum of £127.15.0. By way of comparison, in 1793 the library bought for £100 a copy of the 42-line Bible from the collection of the cardinal Étienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne (1727-1794), the copy originally given to the Carmelites of Heilbronn by Erhard Neninger (c. 1420-1475), mayor of Heilbronn (see Franc.-Xav. Laire, Index librorum ab inventa typographia ad annum 1500. Catalogue des livres de m*** par G. de Bure, pt 1, Sens 1791, p. 9).

2.12 In 1801 the Bodleian bought at the sale of Richard Franz Philipp Brunck (1729-1803) of Strasbourg (see Catalogue d'une partie des livres de la bibliothèque de Rich. Franç. Phil. Brunck, Strasbourg 1801). In the first two decades of the 19th century frequent individual purchases were made of German incunabula, e.g. the Mainz Psalter of 1459 was bought in 1819, for £70.

2.13 In the Post-Napoleonic era, the first larger antiquarian purchase from Germany was made from an unidentified source in Hamburg in 1825, where 26 vols were acquired, for a total of £42.1.6, according to the manuscript accounts of that year. This was the first time the library benefited in a major way from the availability on the market of German incunabula in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, mainly as a result of the secularisation of South German religious houses. However, there are also incunabula with a North German provenance among the books bought in Hamburg.

2.14 A great many incunabula were made available through the disposal of duplicates by the Royal Library in Munich (now Bayerische Staatsbibliothek); it is estimated that over 400 Bodleian incunabula have at one time been in the Royal Library in Munich. They reached the Bodleian in a variety of ways. The library bought extensively at the sale of A Catalogue of Rare Books and Early Engravings Consigned from Germany (London: Evans, 6 February 1832). In 1837 the library bought 38 vols of Munich duplicates from Thomas Rodd, the London bookseller, invoicing the library 904 Florins for ``Books from Munich', 2 shillings being the equivalent of 1 Florin (see Library Bills 1837-1838, no. 138). Many Munich duplicates were bought from A Catalogue of a Valuable Collection of Rare and Curious Books ... The Whole Consigned from Germany (London: S. Leigh Sotheby, 30 May 1840) and from Catalogue of a Valuable Collection of Choice, Rare, & Curious Books, Consigned from Germany (London: Sotheby, 27 August 1841).

2.15 In 1850 320 vols of incunabula were acquired from the Royal Library in Munich for £113.19.6, as stated in the manuscript accounts of the year (Library Records b.3); unfortunately the bills for that year do not survive and it is not possible to identify with certainty which books were acquired; the books were bought directly from the Royal Library through Abraham Isaac Asher, who negotiated on the Bodleian Library's behalf with the Royal Librarian Phillipp von Lichtenthaler in Munich. On 19 November 1850 Asher sent the Bodleian Library a list, now lost, of the incunables, marked up with prices (see Asher's letter to Bandinel). On 14 December, the books were packed in five cases four Bavarian feet long, two foot six inches wide and three foot high, and shipped to London, on the ``Jane White', a sailing vessel, as it only cost half the amount of sending by steamer (on the details of the payments see also Asher's letters to Bandinel 13 October 1849; 26 October 1849; 11 March 1850 and 22 March 1850, in Library Records d.248).

2.16 Other books from South German religious houses, often Munich duplicates, became available through the German antiquarian trade, e.g. from Fidelis Butsch (1805-1879), the Augsburg bookseller. The library particularly bought from his Catalog einer kostbaren Sammlung von Holztafeldrucken, Pergamentdrucken und anderen typographischen Seltenheiten, welche nebst einer namhaften Anzahl auserlesener Bücher aus allen Fächern am Montag den 3. Mai 1858 und folgenden Tage bei Fidelis Butsch in Augsburg öffentlich versteigert werden; with a list of prices (see below 5 Wagner).

2.17 The last bulk purchase of incunabula at a German auction sale took place in 1883, from the sale of the collection of the Charterhouse of Buxheim. At the dissolution in 1803, the books had become the property of the Graf von Ostein; they were sold in 1883 by Hugo Graf von Waldbott-Bassenheim (see [Catalog der Bibliothek des ehem. Carthäuserklosters Buxheim], Munich: Behrens, 20 September 1883; see below 5 Honemann).

2.18 In the 1880s, extensive purchases were also made from catalogues of Joseph Baer & Co. in Frankfurt am Main, in 1884 from his 143. Lager-Catalog. Incunabeln zum Theil aus den Klöstern Weissenau und Wimpffen (Frankfurt a. M. 1884); and from his Auctores Latini; [catalogue 235] (Frankfurt a. M. 1889); fewer from Monumenta typographica vetustissima ...; [catalogue 424] (Frankfurt a. M. 1900). In 1885 79 incunabula were bought and 94 in 1886, mainly from Fidelis Butsch & Sohn in Augsburg, and from Albert Cohn (1827-1905), 53 Mohrenstraße, Berlin (Bills 1885, no. 102), who had already been in contact with the Bodleian in 1853 when he worked for Asher & Co. (Bills 1853, no. 75); in 1885-1886, Caspar Haugg, another Augsburg bookseller, provided incunabula, many ultimately derived from South German monastic collections.

2.19 Numerous incunabula, most with an earlier German provenance, were bought from the libraries of private German collectors. Some 560 incunabula, mainly printed in Germany and, when known, nearly all with an earlier German provenance, were acquired from the collection of Georg Franz Burkhard Kloss (1787-1854), the physician from Frankfurt a. M. (see above 1.33 ), whose sale was held in London: Catalogue of the Library of Dr. Kloss, of Franckfort a. M., Professor (London: Sotheby, 7 May 1835). The Bodleian spent a total of £343.3.0 at the Kloss sale (see manuscript accounts for the year). The Kloss collection reflects an interest in the traditional academic disciplines; from a Bodleian point of view this collection is a source for many of the incunable editions of canon and civil law, an area which is otherwise less well represented in the collections.

2.20 Fewer, but still a significant number, some 50 items, were bought from the collection of Johann Heinrich Joseph Niesert (1766-1841), pastor of Velen: Catalogus exquisitae bibliothecae pastoris Niesert Velenae ... (Borken 1842) [sale stated to be 14 March 1843, but according to a manuscript note by Bulkeley Bandinel in the Bodleian copy it was delayed and actually took place July 1843]; among the provenances, the South German background is here less dominating.

2.21 Books from German collections also came indirectly to the Bodleian Library through collections formed in Britain. In 1834, the Bodleian Library received its largest ever donation of incunabula: 479 items, with the bequest of Francis Douce (1757-1834) (see below 2.106-2.114); this collection also contained numerous German incunabula.

2.22 The enormous collection of Richard Heber (1773-1833) was sold at auction in London 1834-1837. Heber had collected intensely in all areas close to the traditional academic disciplines, perhaps with a preponderance of theological material. Heber, like other collectors, benefited from the availability of incunabula from dispersed German monastic collections. For instance Ulrich Zell, the Cologne printer, presented a volume to the Cologne Carthusian convent of S. Barbara, which was dissolved in 1796; this volume came to the Bodleian via Heber, while another volume which Zell gave to the Augustinian nuns of S. Maria Rosa at Ahlen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, had previously been acquired by the Bodleian Library from the Crevenna collection. In all, 359 incunabula now in Bodley come from the Heber collection, of which 75 were printed in the German-speaking area.

2.23 47 German incunabula, out of a total of 101, were acquired from the collection of Joseph Thomas Hand (fl. 1835, 1841) (see Catalogue of a valuable collection of books, the property of a gentleman, London: S. Leigh Sotheby, 10. [12.] May 1837).

2.24 In the 20th century donations have been the main source of incunabula. In 1914 the Bywater collection was received, with a total of 210 incunabula (see Bywater below 2.95). The most recent large donation of incunabula is the Broxbourne collection, which contains some 190 incunabula, many of which also ultimately stemmed from medieval German libraries. Some come from Austrian monastic collections (see Broxbourne below 2.92 -2.93).

2.25 Although with much reduced funds, compared with the 19th century, a continuous policy of collecting through purchase has been pursued throughout the 20th century, and regular additions are still made to the holdings. Some purchases are made from German collections, e.g. 8 incunabula were bought at the dispersal of the library of Karl Engelbert, tenth Duke of Arenberg (1899-1974). Perhaps the most notable single German acquisition of later years was the purchase in 1976 of a substantial fragment of the Heldenbuch (Augsburg: Johann ``e not c', 24 Mar. 1491). Incunabula purchased in the 20th century have been shelfmarked ``Inc.' followed by a complex indication of place and date of imprint.

2.26 Thus, mainly in the course of the 19th century, the library has acquired what is not only a large collection of incunabula printed in the German-speaking area, but also a collection which contains numerous incunabula with early German provenances. Several South German religious houses which were dissolved in the first decade of the 19th century are represented with many volumes; e.g. the library holds some 30 items previously owned by the Benedictine abbey of St. Quirinus at Tegernsee (dissolved 1803); at least 18 incunabula previously owned by religious houses in Würzburg; 39 incunabula from Regensburg institutions; 38 from Augsburg; 23 from Munich institutions other than the Royal Library. Weissenau, with 20 incunabula, is better represented than most other houses from Baden-Württemberg. On the other hand, many religious houses from Hessen, Baden-Württemberg, and Nordrhein-Westfalen are represented with only one or a few books.

2.27 Even considering the preponderance of incunabula in Latin, the ancient languages are disproportionately represented in the Bodleian, with c. 4,770 editions of the 20,101 recorded in the ISTC; Greek incunabula are those best represented with 54 editions out of the 65 recorded by ISTC. Among the vernaculars only English is reasonably well represented, relatively speaking, by 95 editions, out of a recorded 230. German, on the other hand, is represented only by 132 editions, while the ISTC records 2,423. The incunabula of the Bodleian are not classified so one can gain only an outline impression of their distribution by subject. The collection of incunable Bibles is strong with 131 editions represented. Also the collection of 46 books of hours is significant. The classics, particularly first editions, are strongly represented, as are patristic and philosophical texts. Law, both civil and canon, is, however, relatively less well represented.

The classification by the four faculties

2.28 Sir Thomas Bodley saw his library as an academic institution intended for the University as well as for scholars from elsewhere. Its collections were therefore originally subdivided by subject into four sections after the four university faculties, Theologia, Jura, Medicina, and Artes, further subdivided by format and then by first letter of author. Originally the library's collection was to have a strong theological slant, as indicated by the space made available to the faculties in Duke Humfrey's Library, then the only library building: by counting the shelving indicated by the catalogue of 1605, it can be calculated that nine alcoves were allocated to theology, whereas arts got four and a half, law three, and medicine two and a half.

2.29 The problem of classification by shelfmark was particularly acute in the case of Sammelbände, and this obviously also caused problems with the shelving according to author's name. But more profoundly, there was the problem of determining under which faculty specific books should be referenced. The correspondence between Sir Thomas Bodley and Thomas James, his first librarian, details many such practical problems of classification (see Letters of Sir Thomas Bodley to Thomas James, First Keeper of The Bodleian Library, ed. G. W. Wheeler, Oxford 1926). Hebrew material could e.g. be classified either as theology or arts. The second-hand copy of Johann Reuchlin, De rudimentis Hebraicis (Pforzheim 1506), which was bought in 1613, was classified as arts faculty, whereas Johann Buxtorf, De abbreviaturis Hebraicis liber (Basel 1613) was classified as theology.

2.30 The incipient breakdown of the traditional arts faculty also shows in that the less philosophical part of material on natural history was classified increasingly under medicine. However, as well as history, philosophy, and literature in general, the arts faculty still included much natural philosophy, and all works relating to the quadrivium of the seven liberal arts, mathematics, astronomy, music, and geometry. The problem of the diminishing arts faculty can be exemplified by Valentin Andreas Möllenbrock, Cochlearia curiosa (Leipzig 1674), which was bought in 1680 for £0.2.4 and referenced in the Medical section, whereas the English translation of 1676 was classified in the ``Art.' section, as natural history traditionally was.

2.31 The four faculty sequences were in exclusive use until around 1659 when they were supplemented with a parallel system divided by faculty but called BS - for Bibliotheca Seldeniana, because these books were shelved in the vicinity of the books from the Selden collection (see below 2.152-2.157) in the extension of Duke Humfrey's Library. The folios of the BS sequence were however not divided by faculty. Many, but far from all, purchased acquisitions of the library and minor donations were placed in this scheme.

2.32 It soon became impossible to keep up the classification system, and books were to some extent allocated to shelfmarks according to the availability of space on the shelves; many current acquisitions were added to the end of named collections, notably to ``Linc.' (see below Lincoln 2.127) and, from 1789, the very extensive retrospective purchases were placed in a separate sequence named Auctarium, ``Auct.' (see below 2.84 -2.89). These shelfmarks can therefore only be taken as a rough guide to the proportion of books assigned to each faculty.

2.33 The shelfmarks ``Art. , ``Th. , ``Jur.' and ``Med.' remained in more or less frequent use down to 1824 for the books in smaller format; as late as 1840 folios were placed in BS; however, in reality these shelfmarks were little used: 85 per cent of the books in these sequences are from before the 18th century.

The Arts Faculty

2.34 Out of the total of 13,306 items shelfmarked as ``Art.' , 2,442 are from the German-speaking area (18 per cent); 1,118 of these (45 per cent) were printed before the foundation of the library and therefore certainly represent retrospective purchasing. Among the octavos and, to a lesser extent, the quartos, an important group is made up of German compendia and textbooks for university students written in the period of the intensive dogmatic battles between Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Calvinist institutions, from c. 1590 to the end of the Thirty Years' War.

2.35 Although not recognised by the official university curriculum, such compendia and textbooks increasingly replaced the classical or medieval authors whose works they summarised, systematised, and re-interpreted. Such works were acquired extensively by the Bodleian Library mainly in the first three-quarter century of the library's history. As a Protestant institution, the Bodleian in particular sought out works by authors whose denomination was close to religious views dominant in Oxford in the period; but works by the Roman Catholic opponents of the Protestant scholars are also well represented: there are 120 items from Ingolstadt alone. The ``Art.' collection is therefore at the centre of a substantial collection of works relating to German school-philosophy, particularly logic and metaphysics, and, to some extent, ethics.

2.36 There are in the entire library 53 items by or on Rodolphus Goclenius (1547-1628) of which 30 items are found in the ``Art.' sequence; similarly there are 42 items by Bartholomaeus Keckermann (1574-1609), of which 22 are shelfmarked ``Art.' ; there are in the collection also four English editions of Keckermann's works, one his Systema mathematices (Oxford 1661), the other his Systema ethicæ (London 1607), and two editions of his introduction to theology, translated into English.

2.37 Christoph Scheibler is also well represented with 25 of his works from the German-speaking area. Of interest are also the 10 English editions of Scheibler's works, the introduction to logic and the introduction to metaphysics in particular. They are all Oxford imprints, demonstrating the importance of this author for Oxford philosophy of the period.

2.38 Clemens Timpler is represented by 10 items, nearly all in the ``Art.' section, including his work on optics, Opticæ systema methodicum per theoremata concinnatum (Hanau 1617). Petrus Ramus, not a German, but frequently published in Germany, is represented by 77 items printed in the German-speaking area, out of a total of 160.

2.39 Of the 2,442 items, 453 are in folio, many being Basel imprints (155), all but one of which are from the 16th century; thus, surprisingly, by 1605 the Bodleian Library already had a copy of the German-language edition of Sebastian Münster, Cosmographey, oder beschreibung aller Länder des gantzen Erdbodens. Jetz gemehret (Basel 1578). The second largest section of the arts folios comes from Frankfurt a. M. (86 items), e.g. Valentin Schindler, Lexicon pentaglotton, Hebraicum, Chaldaicum, Syriacum, Talmudico-rabbinicum, & Arabicum (Frankfurt a. M. 1612), which was in the library by 1620.

2.40 The arts and the theology section together are important for the library's collection of books relating to Hebrew studies. While most of the early books entirely in Hebrew were printed in Italy, many works on Hebrew were produced in Germany. As a mere indication of the size of this collection, it can be mentioned that 20 relevant items by or on Sebastian Münster are in the faculty-divided sections, out of a total of 60 relevant editions. A further 16 of these are in the Selden section (see below 2.152 -2.157) and 14 are in the Oppenheim collection (see below 2.138-2.146). ``Art. BS.' contains 569 relevant items. A strong presence here is constituted by 55 works by Levinus Hulsius, in particular his edition of texts on sea voyages.


2.41 Out of the total of 15,951 items classified as ``Th.' , 3,433 are from the German-speaking area (22 per cent); 1,389 (40 per cent) of them are from before 1602. In the ``Th. BS.' section 376 out of 2,854 items are German (13 per cent). As in the ``Art.' section, the books in small format of the theological section demonstrate the importance of German school philosophy and theology for Oxford learning in the early 17th century.

2.42 Out of the 51 items by or about Johann Heinrich Alsted, 20 are shelfmarked ``Th. , while 10 are shelfmarked ``Art. ; of the 65 items by or about Johann Gerhard (1582-1637), 27 are shelfmarked ``Th.' . Gerhard is also represented by 18 English editions, mainly of his ``Meditations', several editions of which are in English. In contrast to the editions from Germany, few of these are in the ``Th.' section, but were acquired by the library at a later stage; at the time of their publication they were evidently considered to be of a popular nature, and not important for an academic library. Their popular nature is also reflected by the fact that they were reprinted as late as 1840 and 1846. Johannes Piscator is represented by 69 items, 49 of which are in ``Th.' .

2.43 Many other German philosophers or theologians of the period are also well represented, e.g. Daniel Cramer, Daniel Hofmann, Thomas Sagittarius, Balthasar Menzer, Balthasar Meisner, Nicolaus Selneccerus, and Martin Chemnitz who is also represented by the 1598 Cambridge edition of his commentary on the Lord's Prayer.

2.44 In fact, there was a stronger presence of such material in the Bodleian Library's original collections than the present holdings might indicate. This can be seen by comparing the library's bills with the actual books now in the collection. Some of the items listed on John Bill's invoice of 1615 (see above 1.11) as having been bought for the library, have since been moved to other sections of the library and therefore no longer appear to have formed part of the earliest collections. For instance, a copy of Jacob Gretser, Libri duo de benedictionibus (Ingolstadt 1615) was bought in 1615 for £0.0.6; the present location of the library's copy is ``4° G3(2) Th. Seld.' , and it might have been thought that the book came with the Selden collection, but this book contains an earlier Bodleian shelfmark, which indicates that this must be the copy bought for the library in 1615.

2.45 In other cases, the copies acquired then have since been alienated and replaced by copies in other collections; for instance, Jacobus Middendorpius, Originum anachoreticarum sylva (Cologne 1615), was bought in 1615 for £0.1.3, but the copy now in the library is truly a Selden copy (8° B37(2) Th. Seld.). The copy which was first acquired was probably alienated at the sale of duplicates in 1676. The presence of such works in other collections is an indication that interest in German school-philosophy and theology was not confined to the Bodleian Library, but they were read in wider circles.

2.46 Only 612 of the 3,433 items in this section are in folio. The folios of the theology section, like the other faculty sections, benefited from early substantial retrospective purchases; e.g. Andreas Althammer, Sylva biblicorum nominum (Basel 1535), was bought second-hand from George Edwards in 1613 for £0.4.0.

2.47 Although patristic texts in the ``Th.' section are now outnumbered by the combined collections in other sections of the library, the folios in the ``Th.' section provide the core of a very important collection of 16th-century patristic texts. This was an area of collection encouraged by Thomas James, Sir Thomas Bodley's first librarian, who during his whole life organised a large project of textual collations of printed editions and manuscripts of patristic texts, in an attempt to provide sound Protestant editions to counteract those emanating from Roman Catholic presses. Not only did he acquire the Catholic editions which were to be refuted, but Protestant imprints of patristic texts from Zürich and Basel, as well as Geneva were of the utmost importance for the library. As Basel was a source of Protestant editions of patristic texts, it is no surprise that it is as predominant in the theology section as it was in the ``Art.' section, e.g. Erasmus's edition of St. Jerome, Omnium operum diui Eusebij Hieronymi ...tomus primus (-nonus) una cum argumentis et scholijs (Basel 1516).

2.48 After Basel, Frankfurt a. M. was the second town among the ``Art.' folios, whereas Cologne, a Roman Catholic centre of printing, is the second-most represented among the theology folios, with 124 items, characteristically represented by 10 editions of Dionysius Carthusiensis, all in the library by 1605. The third-most represented printing town among the theological folios was Zürich, with 70 items. It was of obvious importance for a Protestant library; thus there are 13 items from Zürich by Rudolph Walther, while Bullinger and Rodolphus Hospinianus, for instance, are each represented by 10 Zürich editions.

2.49 From Frankfurt a. M., a characteristic early purchase was Concordantiæ Bibliorum, id est, Dictiones omnes quæ in vulgata editione Latina librorum Veteris et Noui Testamenti leguntur, ordine digestæ ([Frankfurt] 1600), which was in the library by 1605. Bodley's personal interest in Hebrew is also in evidence in this section; e.g. Elias Hutter, Cubus alphabeticus sanctæ Ebrææ linguæ vel Lexici Ebraici nouum compendium ετρ&acuteαγωνoν (Hamburg 1588). (For theology see also numerical classification, and the collections Selden, Mansfield, Kirchenkampf, Lincoln, and Marshall, below 2.154, 2.131 , 2.123, 2.127, and 2.132.)


2.50 Although some works on physics, natural philosophy, botany, and zoology were placed in the ``Med.' section, it is much smaller than ``Art. and ``Th. It consists of 4,099 items, of which 1,177 are German (29 per cent), 1,023 of which are in quarto or smaller formats. 442 (37 per cent) are from before 1602. In ``Med. BS.' are 303, of which 63 are German (20 per cent). In the ``Med.' sequence there are 31 items by or about Daniel Sennert, whose epitome of natural science was recommended reading at Oxford until 1719. The Bodleian collection as a whole also holds five English editions of this work of Sennert's, three printed in Oxford and two from London. Most of these are shelfmarked ``Med.' .

2.51 Seventeen out of the library's 63 works by or on Conrad Gesner are found in this section. The botanist Fuchsius is also referenced in the medical section, represented by 6 items. Four out of 11 editions of works by Georgius Agricola from the German-speaking area are held in this sequence, as are 8 out of 27 items by Caspar Bauhinus, and 17 out of 29 by Georg Horst.

2.52 Among the medical books Frankfurt a. M. is most represented, by 263 items. This sequence holds 12 of the library's 16 German editions of works by Robert Fludd, mostly printed in Frankfurt a. M., as was William Harvey, Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus (Frankfurt a. M. 1628) - an indication of the importance of Frankfurt a. M. for the production and international distribution of learned books written by Englishmen (see also Veteriora below 2.166). Frankfurt is followed by Basel (178, all but 39 from the 16th century), Leipzig (92), Strasbourg (83), and Wittenberg (81). (See also Ashmole and Lister below 2.82-2.83 and 2.128.)


2.53 Out of a total of 10,724 referenced under the faculty of laws, shelfmarked ``Jur.' , only 1,892 are German (18 per cent). 507 (26 per cent) are from before 1602. In the ``Jur.' section we find both the smallest proportion of German books and the lowest level of retrospective purchasing compared with the three other faculties. This may indicate the relative lack of interest in legal studies in the library's first years, when so many of the retrospective purchases were made.

2.54 In the sequence called ``Jur. BS.' , only 30 are German out of a total of 334 (9 per cent). More than in the other sections ``Jur.' seems to have received a substantial number of items which should either have been referenced as theology or arts. Only four out of the Bodleian's 13 items by Nicolaus Vigelius, who was of some importance for Oxford law studies, are present here; 10 out of a total of 16 items by Matthaeus Wesenbeckius are kept in this section.

2.55 Also politics was referenced here, e.g. Conrad Heresbach, De educandis erudiendisque principum liberis (Frankfurt a. M. 1570), which was bought second-hand from the London dealer George Edwards in 1613, for £0.9.0. Although to a lesser extent than for the three other faculties, many legal works were bought retrospectively in the early years of the library's existence, but current works predominate. In the 1605 catalogue we already find e.g. Christophorus Sturcius, In regulas iuris ciuilis commentarius absolutissimus (Frankfurt a. M. 1603). And, in 1615 (Bill, 14 June 1615), Helfricus Ulricus Hunnius's De transactione liber (Giessen 1615) was bought for £0.1.0. In 1680, through the dealer Michael Zacharias, 43 legal folios were bought from Germany, for a total of £16.2.0, for instance Benedict Carpzov, Processus juris in foro Saxonico (Jena 1675) for Cr2.4.0 (= c. £0.14.6; see above 1.18).

2.56 Among the 299 legal folios the geographical distribution is markedly different from both that of the arts and theological folios; 140, nearly 50 per cent, are from Frankfurt a. M., Basel being represented only by 40 items. Also among the smaller formats Frankfurt predominates but not to the same extent.

Numerical classification

2.57 In 1861 a first, basic numerical classification system was introduced. This classification was replaced by a more detailed one in 1864. In 1882 this was in turn replaced by a very much more elaborate system, which remained in use until 1989. There are no separate systematic catalogues for these sequences, but it has been possible to analyse the shelfmarks and use the results for some tentative classification. It must be emphasised that only a proportion of the books relating to any of the subjects mentioned below are found in the numerical sequence. Particularly earlier imprints are rarely found here.


2.58 In the numerical sequences, theology is represented by 5,681 items from the German-speaking area, the greatest subsection being church history with 1,615 items, followed by Biblical commentaries (1,008 items). The theology section includes non-Christian theology, 290 items classified as mythology, 75 comparative and non-Christian religions, and 150 on Judaism, most material relating to Judaism being in a separate sequence.


2.59 In the numerical sequences, 5,977 items from the German-speaking area have been classified as historical, the largest subsection being German history (1,945), followed by Italian history (418). To these may be added the 48 items kept under the shelfmark ``Hist.' , used for modern works on history between 1861 and 1883. Related to history are 107 items classified as chronology, 47 as genealogy, 531 as biography, and 105 items as archaeology.


2.60 This section contains 1,226 items from the German-speaking area, comprising many library catalogues, mostly of manuscript collections.

Philosophy, Art

2.61 In the numerical sequences, 1,050 items from the German-speaking area are classified as philosophy. The library is not particularly strong in the first editions of the great German philosophers of the late 18th and the 19th centuries. Looking not only at the numerical sequence, the German philosopher most represented in the Bodleian is Kant with 122 items, 76 of which are from before 1805, 32 printed in Königsberg, 17 printed in Riga. Many of the Kant items are recent purchases, in the ``Vet.' section (see below 2.164). He is followed by Leibniz with 74 items, 18 before 1717. Christian Wolff is represented by 36 editions. Of the 19th-century philosophers the best-represented is, somewhat surprisingly, Eduard von Hartmann, whereas Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, Schleiermacher, and Schopenhauer are all represented with only between 20 and 30 items each. The paucity of this material probably reflects the interests which have dominated the antiquarian purchases of the 20th century. Related to philosophy are 634 items classified as education.

Art is represented by 789 items, a very miscellaneous group, also comprising architecture, building regulations etc.


2.62 In the numerical sequences, works relating to the study of the classical world are found in a variety of categories such as ancient art, ancient history, ancient Greek, Latin, and classics. These categories contain 4,793 relevant items, but they do not by any means constitute the whole of the library's collection in this area.

2.63 An impression of the library's considerable strength in the field of classics can be gained from the result of a search through the unclassified, named, collections for works by or about 60 frequently printed classical authors. This has brought the total of ``identifiable' works on the classics to 8,542 items from the German-speaking area; this includes 730 items by or about Homer, 665 items by or about Aristotle, 411 items by or about Plato, 309 works by or about Cicero, 212 by or about Virgil. However, even this figure does not by any means represent the total of works relating to the classics among the Bodleian books produced in the German-speaking area. A number of other sources for books relating to the collection of the classics can be singled out.

2.64 The classics had not been as central to the early collecting policy of the library as theology. This imbalance had to some extent already been redressed by the Selden collection, received in 1659 (see Selden below 2.152-2.157), which was proportionately stronger in the arts faculty than was the general collection of the library, and by the purchase for £340 of the collection of Edward Bernard (1638-1697), Savilian professor of astronomy, from his widow. The purchase was recommended by Humfrey Wanley because it had ``many Latin classics of the best note, of which there was either no copy at all or no accurate copy' in the Bodleian Library. Apart from manuscripts, the printed books purchased were those not already in the library, and editions of the classical authors which had been annotated after collation with other editions or with manuscripts by a number of learned men of the 17th century. Bernard had acquired the greater part of these at the sale of Heinsius, but many of the texts were also collated by himself. These books have now been integrated with the main collections and it is not easy to identify them. A comparison with the Heinsius sale catalogue makes it possible to ascertain that a fair number of these editions were from the German-speaking area, although the number of Dutch books obviously is high.

2.65 James St Amand (1687-1754) bequeathed his books to the Bodleian, 22 of which are contemporary works on classical authors from the German-speaking area, a small contribution to making good the library's failure to purchase foreign, and in particular German, books in the early 18th century. The manuscripts of Jacques Philippe D'Orville, the Dutch classical scholar, were bought in 1805 for £1,025. The collection also contains 108 printed items, of which 21 are from the German-speaking area, several being interleaved and with manuscript notes.

2.66 In 1823, 113 vols from the series of Auctores classici Latini printed in Zweibrücken were acquired for £ 28.0.0, now shelved in the Meerman collection (see below 2.134). In 1825, 72 vols of the Leipzig-based Tauchnitz series Auctores classici Græci et Latini varii were acquired for £ 8.11 .0. The Teubner series of classical authors is represented by 308 items from the 19th century. In 1854 extensive purchases were made from the collection of Gottfried Hermann, the Leipzig professor of classics (d. 1848); see the catalogue of his sale, Catalogus bibliothecæ Gotofridi Hermanni ... publica auctione distrahendæ (Leipzig 1854); there are no bills, and the purchases are not mentioned separately in the manuscript accounts. (See also Bywater, Gladstone, Jacobs, Monro, and St Amand collections 2.95, 2.115, 2.119, 2.135, and 2.149.)

Other philologies

2.67 The original scope of the Bodleian Library did not include the study of European vernacular languages, as they had no place in the university curriculum. It is still not central for the collections of the Bodleian: in recent times the Taylor Institution has been the Oxford centre for such studies (see the respective entry).

2.68 Some vernaculars have been the focus of collections donated to the Bodleian Library but no collection with a German literary or philological focus has yet been acquired. In the numerical section only 1,687 items from the German-speaking area are classified as literature (excluding Greek and Latin), this includes 287 items relating to German. The lack of interest in this area will be obvious, if this figure is compared with the 1,122 items on Hebrew literature printed in Latin characters in the German-speaking area (see also Oppenheim below 2.138-2.146). Poetry has a separate section with 990 items from Germany. The library does, on the other hand, have an interest in Anglo-Saxon and older Germanic languages (see Junius below 2.122).

Medicine and Natural Science

2.69 In the numerical classification 6,587 items are classified under medicine. This would appear not to have been a field in which the Bodleian bought heavily from Germany for, of these, only 145 are from the German-speaking area. Of the 145, 63 are on medical history, such as Isak Münz, Ueber die jüdischen Aerzte im Mittelalter (Berlin 1887). However, the 3,774 relevant items at the Radcliffe Science Library (see below 2.170) cannot be subdivided by subject from their shelfmark; this material is either medical or natural science.

2.70 Natural sciences appear to be poorly represented in the numerical classification, probably for the same technical reason as medicine. In all, only 1,182 items from the German-speaking area have been classified as such, in the numerical sequences, the largest group being mathematics with geometry, represented by 538 items, followed by physics (222 items) and astronomy (115 items).


2.71 The section contains 187 relevant items. Many are historical items, a few of contemporary interest, such as Albrecht von Boguslawski, Taktische Folgerungen aus dem Kriege 1870-71 (Berlin 1872).

Social sciences, Geography

2.72 The social sciences, including enthnography etc. comprise 684 items. In the geographical section there are 1,324 items from the German-speaking area, 189 of these items are on German geography. The collection also includes 85 vols of Baedeker's guides.

Kristian Jensen


2.73 The holdings of editions of printed music from the German-speaking area up to the end of the 18th century are relatively small, although they include a number of notable items. The 16th-century large choirbook format is represented by Franz Sales's Missarum solenniorum ...officia labentis anni in catholicæ Ecclesiæ usum (Munich 1589) and two books of Lassus's masses (Munich 1574 and 1589). The Bodleian also has a complete set of partbooks of Lassus's posthumously published Opus musicum (Munich 1606) and one of two known copies of Heinrich Schütz's Kläglicher Abschied, an elegy on the death of Duchess Sophia of Saxony (Freiberg 1623).

2.74 There is also one of the few complete copies of Johann Donfrid's monumental collection Promptuarii musici concentus ecclesiasticus (Strasbourg 1622-1627). Among 18th-century items J. S. Bach is represented by a copy of the canonic variations of Vom Himmel hoch (Leipzig 1748), and his son Carl Philipp Emanuel mainly by keyboard sonatas. There are some rare complete sets of parts of Bavarian and Bohemian baroque church music, published between 1725 and 1763, including works by composers such as Francisco Habermann, Johann Anton Kobrich, and Georg Schreyer. For composers of the Viennese Classical School, the Bodleian has little of Haydn or Mozart in contemporary German or Austrian editions, but fares much better with Beethoven and Schubert, where the holdings include a fine uncut copy of one of Beethoven's earliest publications, the three ``Kurfürsten' sonatas for piano (Speyer 1783).

2.75 The strongest holdings are those for the period from 1820 to 1900, where there are good collections of first and early editions of most of the leading composers, and of many minor figures, especially in the fields of orchestral and operatic scores and of chamber music.

2.76 Outstanding is the Deneke-Mendelssohn collection. The children of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) presented most of his musical manuscripts to the Royal Library in Berlin in 1878, but retained other material. Marie Mendelssohn, the composer's elder daughter, married an Englishman. Her portion of Felix Mendelssohn's library was passed on to her son Paul Victor Benecke (1868-1944), who taught classics at Magdalen College, Oxford. He augmented the collection by purchases including items bought from another grandson, Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy, who settled in Oxford in the 1930s as a refugee from Germany. He trusted the collection to his friend Margaret Deneke, who was associated with Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. In the 1950s the collection was deposited in the Bodleian and Miss Deneke persuaded others who owned Mendelssohn material to donate it to the Bodleian, or to sell it for nominal sums. She died in 1969 and the collection formally passed into the Library's ownership in 1973, upon the death of her sister Miss H. C. Deneke. The collection includes a substantial part of Felix Mendelssohn's own music library, and a number of books from his general library. 58 items are from the German-speaking area. Beside many personal copies of his own compositions (often special presentation copies), it includes his 19th-century first editions of Bach, a fine run of the first German edition of Chopin, and presentation copies from other composers' works, including works by Niels V. Gade, Ignaz Moscheles, and Robert Schumann. The collection is particularly strong in manuscript material relating to Mendelssohn and his wife, containing letters, albums, diaries, 11 of the 14 extant drawing books, as well as music manuscripts.

2.77 Music treatises from the German-speaking area are quite strongly represented from the 16th-century to the end of the 18th, whilst the 19th-century holdings are comparatively weak. Pre-1600 works include editions of Faber, Fludd, Luscinus, Raselius, Rhau, and others, whilst amongst later works are classics such as Praetorius's Syntagma musicum in two editions, Walther's Musicalisches Lexicon, and treatises by C. P. E. Bach, Forkel, Fux, Kirnberger, Marpurg, and Mattheson, as well as those of many lesser known authors.

Peter Ward-Jones

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