Senate House Library, University of London
Christopher Pressler, Dr Karen Attar
- Rare items include Shakespeare’s First Folio and Byron’s unfinished, unpublished draft for the end of Don Juan
- Features commentaries on key items from the collection written by expert contributors
With over quarter of a million printed items in its special collections, not to mention archives and manuscripts, Senate House Library is among the largest university repositories for early printed books in the United Kingdom. Strengths cover areas as diverse as English literature, magic and mathematical history; and the Goldsmiths’ Library of Economic Literature is internationally renowned. Individual gems range from medieval manuscripts to books printed by William Caxton, Shakespeare’s First Folio and a presentation copy of Das Kapital. The 60 rare items featured here include a unique 14th-century eye-witness account of the Hundred Years War, manuscript drawings by Walter Crane and Byron’s unfinished, unpublished draft for the end of Don Juan. A handwritten letter from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a roll depicting the funeral of Anne of Cleves in 1557, the sole extant copy of a shorthand manual from 1673 and annotations by Thomas Carlyle join the roll call of treasures.
Christopher Pressler is Director of Senate House Library, University of London. Dr Karen Attar is Rare Books Librarian at Senate House Library.