Annals of the Bodleian Library (Hardcover)
This fascinating book describes the history of Oxford University's great academic library, from the foundation of Cobham's Library in 1367, Richard de Bury's library at Durham College, Duke Humphrey's Library, Sir Thomas Bodley's bequest and on to the late nineteenth century. Macray's scholarly work abounds with fascinating detail and draws not only on the Bodleian's official archives but also many diaries and gossipy anecdotes. It comes as something of a shock to discover that one of Bodley's friends accused him of being 'so drunk with applause and vanitie of his librarie' that he disregarded the needs of his own family and servants. As late as 1712, Bodley's relations were appealing to the Vice Chancellor for relief from the direst poverty. Among the strange gifts received by the Bodleian was a half-burned Russian translation of the Pickwick Papers found at Sebastopol when the battery was stormed in 1855.