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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Institutional Libraries

Oxford & Cambridge Libraries

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James, Thomas.

Ecloga Oxoniensis-Cantabrigiensis. — London: George Bishop & John Norton, 1600.

Thomas James (1573?–1629), librarian to Sir Thomas Bodley (1545–1613) and first librarian of the Bodleian Library, compiled this list of the manuscripts at Oxford and Cambridge, the earliest institutional library catalogue in the Grolier Club library.  

Gift of Lucius Wilmerding.

Nuremberg Library

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Saubert, Johann. 

Historia bibliothecae Reip. Noribergensis …. —Nuremberg: W. Endter, 1643.

This early history of the Nuremberg Library by Johann Saubert (1592–1646) includes, as an appendix comprising nearly half of its 214 pages, a census of the library’s books printed before 1500. As such, it represents not only the first catalogue of incunabula, but the first time books printed during the early decades of printing were set apart in a special class. 

Bequest of Mrs. William Loring Andrews, 1931.

Bodleian Library

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Hyde, Thomas.

Catalogus impressorum librorum bibliothecae Bodleianae …. — Oxford: E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1674.

In 1674 Thomas Hyde (1636–1703), Bodleian librarian and later professor of Hebrew and Arabic at Oxford, prepared this new catalogue of the printed books in the library. The flyleaf bears the early ownership inscription and extensive annotations of Sir George Fleming (1667–1747), later Bishop of Carlisle. Using the printed Bodleian catalogue as a foundation, Fleming created a manuscript inventory of the library he assembled while an Oxford student. The volume is thus doubly valuable: a printed record of the Bodleian Library as it existed in 1674, plus a superimposed manuscript record of its influence on a contemporary English book collector. 

Purchased from the Harper Fund.

Bibliothèque de Sainte-Geneviève

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Du Molinet, Claude.

Le cabinet de la bibliothèque de Sainte-Geneviève. — Paris: A. Dezallier, 1692.

The twelve-year tenure of Claude du Molinet (1620–1687) as librarian of the Bibliothèque de Sainte-Geneviève is marked by his addition of a cabinet of curiosities to the library’s 20,000 volumes. This description of the collection is profusely illustrated with remarkable copper plates by German engraver Franz Ertinger (1640–ca. 1710), including seven double-page plates at the beginning showing interior views of the library and its exhibition rooms.

Purchased from the Harper Fund.

Yale College Library

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Clap, Thomas.

A catalogue of the library of Yale-College in New-Haven. — N. London, [Conn.]: T. Green, 1743.

This catalogue, the first issued by the Yale College library, is also the earliest catalogue of an American institutional library in the Grolier Club. The catalogue comprises 1,100 short author entries, and headings include languages, mathematics, philosophy, anatomy and “chirurgery,” voyages and travels, morality, and divinity. Compiler Thomas Clap (1703–1767), served as fifth rector and first president of Yale.  

Gift of Donald Oresman, 2002.

Libraries in the Levant

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Curzon, Robert.

Notes of some of the original libraries in the Levant where manuscripts still exist … [manuscript], ca. 1837.

Traveller and bibliophile Robert Curzon (1810–1872) first visited monastic libraries in Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece and Albania in 1833–1834, hoping to acquire ancient texts for his own personal collection.  Curzon’s affability and charm gained him access to several obscure monasteries, and he returned to England with armfuls of Greek manuscripts.  Curzon was introduced to the eccentric collector Sir Thomas Phillipps in December 1836, and sometime in 1837 Curzon gave Phillipps this short autograph account of his travels. 

Gift of Jean Mermin Horblit in honor of her husband, Harrison Horblit, 1995.

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Curzon, Robert. 

Visits to monasteries in the Levant. — London: John Murray, 1849.

Curzon recorded his remarkable experiences in Greece and the Near East in the highly popular Visits to monasteries in the Levant, which went through several editions over the next thirty years. 

Gift of C. Ewing in memory of A. N. L. Munby.

Institutional Libraries