Abstract Shakespearean holdings at Senate House Library, University of London, shot into international prominence when in 2013 the then library director, Christopher Pressler, attempted to sell a set of the first four Shakespeare folios given to the University as part of a named special collection, to be kept together in perpetuity. By this time Shakespeare had long been described as a particular strength of the University Library, largely on the basis of its eleven seventeenth-century Shakespeare folios. Yet the Library had begun with negligible literary holdings. When it opened as the University of London Library in 1877, it did so merely with the nine-volume Cambridge edition of 1863–66, a volume of Shakespeare’s poetry, and two translations of Hamlet. The current article discusses the background of those Folios, in particular the First Folio formerly owned by Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (noted in literature from 1821 onwards) and the set of Shakespeare folios from the library of Sir Louis Sterling. It looks at their earlier provenance and use in detail not provided by the censuses of First Folios, and explores their context within the collections of the Baconian Durning-Lawrence and the high-spot collector Sterling. The article further suggests the background which could have made an institution with no literary pretensions want the works of England’s prominent playwright as means of enhancing national significance. It discusses the Library’s treatment and appreciation of the Durning-Lawrence and Sterling collections and traces their influence on further acquisitions, especially under the guiding hand of University Librarian John Henry Pyle Pafford. And it shows the relationship between educational value and prestige in wanting to own antiquarian works pertaining to Shakespeare—the latter an element which no surrogate, printed or digital, can replace. In 1964 The librarian J. H. P. Pafford claimed for the Shakespearean holdings at the University of London Library (now Senate House Library, University of London): ‘the Shakespeare material in the University Library must, after the ‘Copyright’ Libraries and the Birmingham Public Library, be one of the finest if not the finest in the country’.1 Nationally significant holdings gained international prominence almost fifty years later in 2013 with a proposal to sell a set of the first four Shakespeare folios. Newspaper headlines reached from London to Canada and New Zealand, and the Bibliographical Society mounted a petition which in three days attracted 2,732 signatories worldwide, and which was at least partly responsible for the revocation of the sale.2 But although the University of London, from its foundation in 1836, pioneered the study of the English language and literature as a degree subject, its holdings in the subject were initially unimpressive.3 The only kind of literature mentioned in the earliest description of collections at the University Library, in a directory published in 1908, was classical,4 and four years later the Registrar of the University Extension Board wrote: ‘I believe that in some respects the Literature section of the Library is somewhat weak’.5 What brought about the transformation over the next half-century? This paper traces the evolution of antiquarian Shakespearean holdings at the Library and especially the tale of its Folios, including the earlier provenance and use of particular volumes pertaining to England's most iconic writer. The Beginnings The University of London received its first books in 1838, with gifts that included ‘185 volumes. Presented by Nathaniel Vye, Esq.’ (a medical practitioner in Ilfracombe, who died in 1840).6 The donation-driven intake probably included Shakespeare of sorts, in a scarce octavo edition of Hamlet, Prinz von Dännemark: ein Trauerspiel in 6 Aufzügen (Hamburg: J. M. Michaelsen und Theatral-Direcktion, 1777), which was actor-producer Friedrich Ludwig Schröder's prose adaptation of Hamlet, originally acted in Hamburg in 1776.7 Whilst rebinding with modern endpapers has resulted in the loss of any provenance attribution, the book's language, format, country of issue and date of publication tally with the main part of Vye's gift, and the nature of the work, if taken to be eighteenth-century German literature, with the donation's main subsidiary subject.8 The form of the institutional ownership stamp therein, used from 1838 onwards but discontinued by 1871, shows this Hamlet to have been an early acquisition. Whatever its provenance, the Schröder Hamlet was unusual. Holdings by 1875, as crystallized by the University Library's first catalogue, included just four Shakespearean titles.9 Two of the others were a Welsh translation of Hamlet from 1865, lost after its classification in the early twentieth century, and a volume of the Shakespearean poetry (1793) within Robert Anderson's Complete Edition of the Poets of Great Britain, which entered the University in 1871 as part of the founding collection of the mathematician and mathematical historian Augustus De Morgan. The only academic text was William George Clark, John Glover and William Aldis Wright?s recent nine-volume edition of the Works of William Shakespeare (1863–66), collated from earlier versions with notes and line numbering. This was joined after Harriet Grote's death in 1878 by Samuel Johnson's influential eight-volume edition from 1765 and Johnson and Steevens's edition of the spurious plays and poems from 1778, from the library of the classical historian and vice-chancellor of the university, George Grote.10 Grote had bequeathed his books to the university in 1871 subject to a life interest by his wife, and Harriet's withholding of the Shakespeare as a general cultural text after most of Grote's books entered the university in 1871 reveals that this scholarly edition was a text to be read for private pleasure, which in its new context would acquire an academic function. Shakespearean holdings were thus considerably fewer than those held by the most relevant comparator, University College London, which included alongside Clark, Glover and Wright eleven collected editions of the plays and forty-one editions of groups of plays or single plays or poems (including spurious plays) in various eighteenth- and nineteenth-century editions as well as critical works.11 Whilst Shakespeare had been a regular feature of the University of London curriculum since 1860, the central university existed purely as an examining body, and students were by no means the main constituency, such that no obligation existed to broaden holdings practically.12 None the less, there was a sense that the Shakespeare holdings were capable of improvement. By 1897, the final year of acquisitions represented in the university's next printed catalogue, holdings had increased to eighteen, mainly through newly published single editions of plays and through facsimile editions, which bore little relationship with the curriculum.13 Thereafter, quarterly accessions lists show modest and sporadic acquisitions, mainly of editions of single plays (eighty-six between 1906 and 1920): most intriguingly and distinctively, a scarce Portuguese translation of Hamlet from 1879, acquired in the first quarter of 1908.14 The earlier accessions lists have a heading ‘Literature’, which is where the few books about Shakespeare appear; editions of plays are mostly under ‘Textbooks’, or ‘Education: Textbooks’. In a movement towards utilitarian acquisition, they are standard academic purchases or donations, and are newly published edited editions of the plays, several of them in series such as the New Variorum Edition, The Century Shakespeare, The Oxford Plain Text Shakespeare, the University Tutorial Series (the publisher of which was an assiduous donor), Israel Gollancz's Shakespeare Classics series, and The Elizabethan Series; some are by the University Presses of Cambridge and Oxford. Somehow, when the Teachers’ Guild celebrated the tercentenary of Shakespeare's death in May 1916, the University Library was able to bring together an exhibition from its books and explain them to Members for the purpose.15 The tercentenary with its spate of celebrations and publications marks a turning point. As Shakespeare's position as ‘the greatest Englishman’ was widely and publicly reinforced,16 owning Shakespeare became a status symbol, bestowing significance upon the holding institution—particularly pertinent for the University of London Library, in view of recent attacks on the relevance of its very existence in a Royal Commission report of 1913.17 A definite desire to enhance Shakespeare holdings became clear with the disposition of the library of the London Institution, of which most of the non-oriental contents were divided between the libraries of King's and University Colleges and the University of London Library after the Institution's closure in Finsbury Circus in 1912. It was agreed in meetings of 7 May and 2 July 1917 that King's College London should have first choice of the Institution's Shakespeare holdings (apart from its seventeenth-century folios) and that University College London should have first choice of the rest of its English literature; the University of London Library was to have second choice of both sections.18 In the absence of an up-to-date catalogue of the London Institution, it is difficult to gauge how much Shakespeareana was available for anyone; probably not much.19 But through the disposition, the University of London Library acquired James O. Halliwell's lavish and collectible sixteen-volume edition of Shakespeare's works (1853–65), printed in just 150 signed and numbered copies, and its first antiquarian Shakespearean criticism, by Joseph Ritson, William Henry Ireland, and Edmond Malone.20 Five of the seventy-six ‘items of special interest and value’ from the London Institution listed in the Library Committee annual report of 1925, are of literary interest. Three of these are Shakespeare-related, the two Irelands and the Halliwell, which was specifically noted as a limited edition.21 From July 1920 onwards, the printed lists of selective classified accessions, chiefly of modern purchased works, regularly have a sub-heading ‘Shakespeare’ under English Literature. Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, his Folios, and his Library's Impact Such acquisitions did not suffice to make the Library strong in English literature, about which Reginald Arthur Rye remained silent in the much-expanded third edition of his Students' Guide to the Libraries of London.22 The change came in a splendid twist of irony in 1929, when Edith Jane, Lady Durning-Lawrence, bequeathed to the University of London the library of her prominently Baconian husband, Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (1837–1914): an example of how donations do not always build upon a library's strengths, although the Shakespeare tercentenary had prepared the ground for a new receptiveness. Durning-Lawrence had purchased his books with the aim of proving that Francis Bacon headed a great literary and scientific society, whence emanated all Elizabethan and Jacobean literature.23 Since a major thrust in ‘proving’ Bacon's supremacy was to demonstrate that Bacon was ‘Shakespeare’, Durning-Lawrence's library could hardly avoid being Shakespearean too. Shakespeareana, as defined by Durning-Lawrence, fell into three categories: items by Shakespeare; items about Shakespeare, but not about the authorship controversy; and (as ‘Baconiana’) extensive items about the Bacon-Shakespeare authorship controversy. To these may be added works categorized by Durning-Lawrence merely as ‘early printed books’, sources for Shakespeare's plays. It is these, together with the early editions of Shakespeare, which made a significant difference to the University Library, books which would have embellished any library, and which the University of London would never have been in a position to purchase, such as Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives (1595); Seneca his Tenne Tragedies (1581); the works of Erasmus; editions of Chaucer from 1598 and 1602; The Chronicle of Fabian (1559); A Mirour for Magistrates (1610); James I's Daemonologie (1597); Timothie Bright's A Treatise of Melancholie (1586); and many others. Some are in editions that post-date Shakespeare, such as John Lyly's Euphues the Anatomie of Wit (1632); Boccaccio's Decameron in an English translation of 1620; and Thomas Kyd's Spanish Tragedy (1633).24 The editions of Shakespeare are not extensive. There are all sixteen plays edited by Horace Howard Furness for his New Variorum editions of Shakespeare; photographic facsimiles of the folios and quartos; two nineteenth-century editions probably acquired for the illustrations for which they are famous, Charles Knight's eight-volume Pictorial Edition of the Works of Shakspere (1839–43) and Howard Staunton's The Plays of Shakespeare, illustrated by John Gilbert (1858–60);25 also William George Clark and William Aldis Wright's one-volume Globe edition of 1867, of the plays without textual apparatus, formerly owned by Edith and swept up into her husband's library; an edition published by Peter Wynne in 1807; and Johnson and Steevens's ten-volume edition from 1773. More significant was Nicholas Rowe's revised octavo edition of 1709, and most important of all were the first four folios. Extant invoices for the Durning-Lawrence Library, dating from 2 December 1890 onwards, show that his early purchases were devoted largely to editions of works unambiguously penned by Francis Bacon. Yet from the outset Durning-Lawrence purchased books about the authorship controversy: the very second invoice, from 16 December 1890, includes W. F. C. Wigston's Bacon, Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians (1888) and a book listed as the ‘New Story of Shakespeare’, presumably New Exegesis of Shakespeare (1859). Invoices for editions of Shakespeare begin with that for Rowe's Shakespeare, bought from J. W. Jarvis & Son on Charing Cross Road on 25 May 1893.26 Durning-Lawrence bought the Second, Third and Fourth Folios from Henry Sotheran between 16 May 1894 and 21 July 1896.27 His Second and Third Folios do not betray their provenance. His Fourth came from the Library of Frederick William Cosens (1819–1889), who, in addition to being one of London's largest importers of sherry (on the history of which he published a short book), collected Spanish and Portuguese literature and rare editions of Shakespeare. Cosens corresponded with Shakespeare scholars, had copies made of Gondomar's papers relating to his two English embassies in hopes of finding allusions to Shakespeare or dramatic literature, translated one of Count Lucanor's stories on account of its similarity to the plot of The Taming of the Shrew, and printed a translation of Fernando de Rojas's Celestina, founded on the same story as Romeo and Juliet.28 His library (which in addition to the Fourth Folio included the Second and Third Folios, six early quartos, and the 1640 Poems) was sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge 11–24 November 1890.29 Sotheran purchased the Fourth Folio for thirteen pounds, together with a rare 1663 copy of the Third Folio for twenty-seven pounds.30 Durning-Lawrence's First Folio is the best known, partly through the various censuses of this title.31 It came from the library of Sir Peter Thompson (1698–1770), high sheriff for Surrey in 1745 and Member of Parliament for St Albans, 1747–54, who in 1763 retired to Poole in Dorset, where, as John Nicholls recorded, ‘he had built a handsome house, and, at a great expence, formed a capital collection of books, manuscripts, fossils, and other literary curiosities’.32 Upon Thompson's death, his nephew, another Peter Thompson, a Captain of the company of Grenadiers in the Surrey militia, inherited the books, to which he allowed access but in which he himself lacked interest.33 On 29 April 1815 and the four following working days Thompson's wide-ranging library, with special treasures including Tunstall's De Arte Supputandi (Pynson, 1522) and the St Albans chronicle, was sold by the auctioneer R. H. Evans in 988 lots, which realised £1291 4s 6d. ‘Shakspeare's Plays, First Edition’ was among the ten printed books advertised on the title of the sale catalogue; described merely as ‘first edition, very rare’, the book was sold as lot 936 on the fifth day of the sale to Longman for £41, the highest recorded price for the auction except for £47 5s realised for Thomas Harriot's (much rarer) A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1590).34 Whether or not the auctioneers were aware of it, the epithet ‘very rare’ was under the circumstances reasonable. Six years later this particular copy entered scholarly consciousness when James Boswell noted in the appendix to the 1821 Boswell-Malone edition of Shakespeare's works: ‘In a copy now or very lately in the hands of Messrs Longman and Co, in Othello, p. 333, col. 1, top line, the words ‘and Hell gnaw his bones,’ are substituted for the first line of Roderigo's speech, ‘I have heard thus much,’ &c.’.35 ‘Thomas Frognall Dibdin reiterated this ‘remarkable variation’ three years later in the census of Shakespeare folios in his Library Companion, a manuscript copy of which Durning-Lawrence kept on the same shelf as the Folios in his library.36 Lee noted the reading in his census as one of just four copies in this state: a number increased to nine by twenty-first-century research.37 From Longman, whether directly or via an unidentified intermediate owner, the folio entered the possession of the Lewisham civil engineer William Hartree (1813–1859), ultimately a partner of Messrs John Penn & Son of Greenwich, who, like Sir Peter Thompson, ‘was much devoted to literary pursuits, and had, at an expense of nearly £10,000, collected a fine and well selected Library’,38 mainly in the final decade of his life,39 of books from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, mostly in English, on travel, history, art and illustrated works, and some natural history as well as all kinds of literature.40 Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge sold his library upon his widow's death on 10 November 1890 and the seven following days in 2,588 lots which realised £8,255 10s 6d. ‘Shakespeare and Shakespeariana, comprising copies of the first ‘four folios’ and Halliwell-Phillipps’ edition of the works’, featured in the sale's title, the only editions to be thus highlighted specifically.41 The First Folio, described again as ‘EXCESSIVELY RARE’, was sold to Sotheran for the unusually modest price of £115 (fifteen pounds more than Hartree had paid for it).42 As there is no record of a subsequent sale, it seems reasonable to assume that it entered Durning-Lawrence's Library before his retention of invoices from December 1890. Why he did not purchase the Second Folio, which Sotheran bought from the same sale for £29, one can only speculate. Durning-Lawrence used the Folios. His booklet The Shakespeare Myth (1912), arguing for Baconian authorship of Shakespeare's plays, claimed that ‘A careful examination of the First Folio of ‘Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies,’ 1623, which are generally known as ‘The Plays of Shakespeare,’ will prove that Bacon signed the plays in very many ways’.43 His argument hinged on the pages numbered 53, which had some allusion to bacon, ‘hang’d hog’, or other types of pig, and hence to Sir Francis Bacon, with some reference to the numbers 43 and 36.44 In the same piece he commented on two pages numbered 53 and both including the word ‘S Albans’ as an allusion to Bacon in the Third Folio, and to the mispagination of page 55 as page 53 in Rowe's edition (without an explanation of what is on that page).45 That Durning-Lawrence based his argument on his own copies is a reasonable assumption.46 Durning-Lawrence was particularly proud of his Second Folio and its version of John Milton's ‘Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet W. Shakespeare’, the fourth line of which reads, ‘Under a starre-ypointed Pyramid’ (a variant of ‘Under a starre-ypointing Pyramid’). In his Key to Milton's Epitaph on Shakespeare Durning-Lawrence argued that ‘star-ypointed pyramid’ referred to a pyramid with a star on its apex, or a beacon (pronounced ‘bacon’) and hence indicated Baconian authorship of the plays; copies of the Second Folio containing this page had, he believed, been issued ‘only to those to whom Bacon's secrets had been entrusted’.47 The University of London regarded the highlights of Durning-Lawrence's ‘Baconian’ library as clearly Shakespearean. Of the seven specific titles named in the initial, brief description of the collection in Library Committee minutes of 1929, the first four are the Shakespeare folios.48 A more detailed description of two and two-thirds printed foolscap pages in the annual report for 1931, the year in which the collection arrived at the university, comprises a list of titles, sometimes with elucidation.49 Once again the folios, although not given absolute supremacy, are close to the top of the list: In addition to many other first editions and bibliographical treasures and an extensive collection of works on the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy, it contains a number of books printed before 1500, making a notable addition to the collection of incunabula already in the University Library; a fine set of the first four folio editions of Shakespeare's Works, the first with a rare irregular reading in ‘Othello’ known only in three other copies ….50 Most of the description is devoted to an enumeration of original and early editions of other Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Caroline authors. The Library's clear Shakespearean interest is apparent from the glosses explaining the Shakespearean relevance of fifteen of the titles (sources, allusions, attribution or adaptation), such as: ‘Henry Chettle's The Tragedy of Hoffman, 1631, in which the resemblance to ‘Hamlet, is striking; A Pleasant Comedie of Faire Em, 1631, attributed to Shakespeare, Robert Greene, Thomas Lodge and Robert Wilson respectively … Spenser's Colin Clouts come home againe, 1595, with an allusion to Shakespeare under the name of ‘Actæon’’. A sixteenth allusion is implied in the description of Charles Aleyn's Historie of that Wise and Fortunate Prince Henrie VII (1638), as ‘valuable for its description of Richard III and Bosworth Field’. Several other titles are listed which have similarly been linked to Shakespeare but for which the report does not make the connection explicit, such as the works of Samuel Daniel, Thomas Moffett's Silkewormes and their Flies (1599), James I's Daemonologie (1597), and Christopher Marlowe's Edward II (1612).51 For a single gift to transform an institution's holdings is nothing new, but the quantity of items in the incoming collection is in such instances usually a very high proportion of the whole.52 With the Library's holdings at the end of 1929 estimated to have stood at around 253,500,53 an influx of 5,750 items, a mere 2.3 per cent of total holdings, was enough to influence the nature of the University Library and its acquisition policy. A report in 1930 by Lewis Butler, Chairman of the Library Committee, stated: Some of the collections already in the possession of the University Library indicate lines of development […] the recent bequest by Lady Durning-Lawrence will give the University a unique collection of books in Elizabethan and Jacobean Literature which must be enlarged as opportunity offers.54 Six years later, the Library Committee was still opportunistically reinforcing the point.55 The presence of the nucleus of a Shakespearean collection also influenced the nature of description of other collections. When the deposit of the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature began in 1936, second in the list of significant titles highlighted in that year's annual report was Reginald Scot's Discouerie of Witchcraft (1584), with its significance glossed entirely in terms of its Shakespearean connections: Frequent use was made by Shakespeare of Scot's work, and Douce in his Illustrations of Shakespeare cites it in his notes on The Tempest, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Love's Labour's Lost, Macbeth, King Henry IV, Part I, King Henry VI, Part I, and Hamlet.56 The University looked after its Folios. In 1937 and 1938 the University Library relocated from the Imperial Institute at South Kensington to Bloomsbury, mainly in pantechnicon vans. The official diary of the move reads for the second day, 14 September 1937: At 9 am the loading of the packed cases and the dismantled shelving on to the vans was commenced at the Stronghold in Chancery Lane and the first van-load arrived at the University building at 10 am. At the same time the folio Shakespeares were brought in a taxi by two members of the Library Staff.57 Public interest in the First Folio emerges in the emphasis of press coverage of the move, concerning which an article in the Daily Telegraph has a subheading: ‘First Folio Shakespeare’, above the paragraph: ‘In addition to the Goldsmith's [sic] Library, another 50,000 works of various kinds will also be moved in the first stage of the change over. Among these are many works of great value, including a first folio Shakespeare’.58 Wartime precautions were noted: ‘the rarest books, including the first four folios of Shakespeare, were packed in metal boxes’; the boxes were battered in an air raid on 16 November 1940, but the contents were undamaged.59 The Sterling Shakespeare An enormous boost in Shakespeare holdings came with the acquisition of the Sterling Library. Sir Louis Sterling (1879–1958) was the managing director of the phonograph company EMI, an industrialist and a philanthropist who had emigrated from America in 1903. An avid ‘high spot’ book collector, he accrued about 4,500 first and fine editions of English literature from the medieval period onwards, which he wanted to give to London in gratitude since London had been good to him.60 Shakespeare featured in different facets within his collection, with books acquired between March 1929 and May 1945.61 Among his illustrated and extra-illustrated books was Venus and Adonis, one of nine books in the collection illustrated by the American artist Rockwell Kent (1882–1971), with whom Sterling, as shown by a presentation copy of Kent's Salamina, was loosely connected. Through his section on private-press books the University acquired its first private-press editions of Shakespeare: the Cranach Presse's much-praised Hamlet; all seven Shakespeare titles issued by the Doves Press;62Venus and Adonis, printed on Japanese vellum, from Harrison of Paris; the Poems as part of a complete set of books from the Kelmscott Press; and the entire works printed for the Nonesuch Press and George Macy's edition for the Limited Editions Club, intended to be ‘the most beautiful Shakespeare of modern times’ and ‘the most ambitious plan to illustrate Shakespeare in history’.63 But it is the early printed books which are the most significant. Holinshed's Chronicles (1577), that rich source for Shakespeare's history plays which is surprisingly absent from Durning-Lawrence's library, is present in Sterling's, as are some other source-texts: North's translation of Plutarch's Lives from 1579 (complementing Durning-Lawrence's 1595 edition); early editions of Chaucer, preceding those owned by Durning-Lawrence; Arthur Golding's translation of Ovid (1567); and Seneca his Tenne Tragedies (1581); and the 1597 editions of John Lyly's Eupheues, the Anatomy of Wit and Euphues and his England. The stellar items were a set of the first four folios; additional copies of the Second, Third and Fourth Folios, previously acquired; and quartos of Pericles (1609), King Lear (1619) and Othello (1630). Sterling acquired his first copies of the Third and Fourth Folios in March 1929 and of the Second Folio in December 1929. This copy of the Second Folio (STC 22274a) is the only Shakespeare title in the Library with a known seventeenth-century owner, bearing the inscriptions on the front flyleaf of Ferdinando Marsham of Kent (1610–1681), the younger brother of the antiquary Sir John Marsham, graduate of St John's College, Oxford, and Esquire of the Body to Charles I and Charles II.64 The printed catalogue of the Sterling Library describes Sterling's set of the first four folios: The first, second, third and fourth folio editions uniformly bound in panelled dark blue morocco, gilt, blind-tooled, red leather label on spine, gilt and marbled edges, marbled end-papers, by Hayday. This set belonged to Francis Calley Gray of Boston Mass., who acquired it c. 1836. It was therefore one of the earliest sets to be bought by an American collector. It was inherited by his nephew, William Gray in 1856, and bought in 1879 by Miss Mary Edgcumbe Blatchford of Cambridge, Mass., being sold again at Sotheby's on 5 March 1935, on the instructions of the Massachusetts General Hospital. With the book-plates of William Gray and Miss Blatchford, and inscribed on the fly-leaf ‘F.C. Gray’ (absent in the Third Folio), and ‘Mary Edgcumbe Blatchford 1879.65 As Wheatley and West tell us, the folios had been selling as a set from about 1824, when Thomas Thorpe and William Pickering each advertised a set, for £100 and £95 respectively.66 Albeit unrecorded by Wheatley or West, the Sterling set may have been sold contemporaneously with these. Dibdin in his Library Companion, the preface of which is dated 2 August 1824, describes a third set whose binding matches that of the Sterling set: this article [another first folio sold by Messrs Arch, i.e. John & Arthur Arch of 61, Cornhill] is preceded by the four first folios (one of those just described forming that of 1623) ‘complete, and uniformly bound in russia, gilt leaves,’ which have recently been sold for 84l. What a triumphantly trading article is a first folio Shakespeare! His description of the First Folio—blue morocco, 12⅜ inches, the verses from the second edition—also tallies with the Sterling copy.67 Once in America, Sterling's First Folio was possibly put to academic use. The notion that Francis Calley Gray acquired his set of Folios in about 1836, cited above, stems from Justin Winsor's statement in 1876 that the copy: ‘belonged to his [sc. William Gray's] uncle, the late Francis C. Gray, and is thought to have been in his possession forty years ago’ (p. 88), a year repeated by Lee.68 A tentative terminus ad quem, it does not preclude the possibility of the books’ having been in his collection earlier. Marjorie Cohn, Gray's biographer, states that he purchased books both for Harvard and for himself on a visit to England in 1830, and if, as seems feasible, he bought the folios then, the first set of Shakespeare folios crossed the Atlantic earlier than has previously been bruited.69 In 1836 O. W. B. Peabody produced (anonymously) an American edition of the works of Shakespeare which, whilst following Samuel Weller Singer's 1826 London edition as the base text, compares readings with the First Folio, and Cohn suggests that Peabody could have used Gray's copy for the purpose.70 Luther Farnham published a description of Gray's library in 1855, by which time it was thought to contain almost four thousand volumes, with its strengths in English and French, and the Shakespeare folios were the first items to be enumerated in a brief list of his rare and valuable books.71 That Gray was prepared for his library and his possession of Shakespeare folios to be publicly known (and hence, presumably, used by others) lends credibility to Cohn's theory, although it is also possible that Peabody used a First Folio belonging in 1836 to the Boston banker Samuel Parker (b. 1773),72 or the 1807 facsimile of the First Folio.73 The folios re-entered English consciousness on 11 February 1935, when an article in The Times declared their sale on 5 March by Sotheby's, ideally as a set, but singly if the reserve were not to be reached.74 The reason for their sale in England, as explained in the Times Literary Supplement of 21 February 1935, was the sense that the market was wider there than in the United States.75 The writer adds: ‘the sentimentalist will hope that these four folios will stay’. The folios, lots 349–52, were advertised prominently in capital letters on the title of the catalogue as ‘a very desirable set’.76 On 6 March The Times again reported: ‘It is a rare event for a set of the first four Folio editions of Shakespeare's Plays to be offered in one lot in the sale room, and there was consequently a good gathering at Sotheby's rooms yesterday’. Professional buyers, however, displayed little enthusiasm, probably because the chief volume in the set, the copy of the First Folio, measuring only 12½ × 8 inches, lacked both the title and leaf of verses, and had six leaves supplied from a slightly smaller copy. The bidding opened with an offer of £500 from Mr W. H. Robinson, of Pall Mall, who, finding little opposition apart from the ‘book’, secured the set for £3,100.77 Robinson had presumably been bidding on behalf of Sterling, who bought the set from him later that month for £3,500.78 The Second Folio (STC 22274) shows some indication of early reading, the table of contents having been paginated in brown ink. As noted in the sale description, the folio contains the first setting of the ‘effigies’ leaf, with the line in Milton's poem so beloved by Durning-Lawrence, ‘Under a starre-ypointed Pyramid?’ (Marsham's copy has ‘starre-ypointing’). Acquisition of the Sterling Library Sterling offered the University his collection in 1944: a gift which, unlike and because of the Durning-Lawrence bequest, would build upon an existing strength.79 The initial description of his library in Library Committee minutes named the Shakespeare folios and quartos among the particularly alluring items.80 The University subsequently demurred about accepting such a large collection, hesitant about the space required and querying the appropriateness of the gift when copies of the books were already in the British Museum. The librarian, J. H. P. Pafford—himself a Shakespeare scholar—accordingly drafted an energetic memorandum to the University Court about the collection's academic and educational value, stating:81 The acquisition of the Collection would greatly strengthen the value of the Library to research workers in most fields of English studies: it would add to its already strong Shakespeare and Elizabethan section and greatly increase its value to the specialist in 17th to 20th century studies. And this would be by the provision of material which is precisely that which the University cannot afford to buy and precisely that which it is so difficult for the scholar to obtain. The ‘literature’ of English literature can, for the most part be bought or borrowed without great expense or difficulty. But it would be impossible for the University to obtain most of the books in the Collection, by any means. He elaborated (pre-empting with his reference to facsimiles arguments that might be expected to arise half a century later with the surge of digital surrogates): The value of the early editions is everlasting. […] If a university Library does not buy the important early editions it is simply because it cannot afford to do so, not because it does not want them. It must depend on the rare benefactor. The early editions of Shakespeare are an obvious example of the value of early texts. Much editorial work and textual study of Shakespeare is carried on in the University and this work is always likely to be active. For it the original First Folio and the quartos are of vital importance: no facsimiles can take their place. We already have one Folio (with some imperfections and variant readings): this is extensively used but a second would be of great value. Decisions on punctuation, broken letters, etc. can often be settled by a comparison of two copies. We have no Shakespeare quarto but there are three in the Collection.82 Sir Louis Sterling had established that the university could select what it wanted from his Library and leave the rest, but that what it took, it must retain in perpetuity.83 Ultimately the university took his entire collection with that proviso. Previous descriptions of Sterling's books had invariably named the Shakespeare folios and quartos as particularly noteworthy items, and the university continued the pattern.84 They are prominent in the brief descriptions of the collection in Senate and Court minutes; in the longer description in the University Library's annual report in 1957; and as the only items mentioned in reference to the Sterling Library in The Libraries of London.85 Particularly noteworthy is the speech delivered by Sir Norman Birkett, Chairman of the University Court, upon the occasion of the opening of the Sterling Library by the Chancellor of the University, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, on 30 October 1956: From Chaucer down to the present day, practically not a great name is missing. There they are in all their splendour: Chaucer himself, in a wonderful early edition; the Shakespeare folios, a complete set—May I interpolate a word upon this interesting fact? We lose many of our national treasures to the United States of America and, whilst I have a great and abiding affection for many people of the United States of America, I think that I would prefer that many of our treasures stayed here. But what Sir Louis Sterling has done is not merely to stop some of them going, but he has been across there and brought some of them back; and the Shakespeare folios, the complete set of Shakespeare folios, is a perfect illustration.86 After Sterling The bibliographical interest Pafford showed in his draft memorandum urging the acceptance of the Sterling Library was genuine, re-emerging in 1958 in his examination of Sterling's Pavier quarto of King Lear. As early as its sale in June 1846 from the library of William Holgate, of the General Post Office, it had been noted of Sterling's copy of the 1619 quarto of King Lear: ‘imprint repaired’.87 When the volume was sold, alongside nineteen other quartos, from the library of J. T. Adams of Smithfield, Sheffield, the description was elaborated as: ‘the date and one word of the imprint defective and restored in facsimile’, a description carried over into Bartlett and Pollard's census of Shakespeare quartos (without personal verification) and thence into the printed catalogue of the Sterling Library.88 Pafford queried the description of the imperfection with booksellers Lionel & Philip Robinson, from whom Sterling had bought the copy in June 1937 following the Harris sale the previous April: Now when I was looking at the copy the other day I tried to see which word of the imprint was in facsimile but to my surprise I could detect no facsimile anywhere on the title page, either of a word of the imprint or of the date. The chain lines on the paper seem to be perfectly regular and the title page to be intact. Other members of my staff have checked this (including Miss Canney who compiled the Sterling Catalogue) and they all agree. The copy corresponds otherwise with the description in Bartlett and Pollard, but not in those quite important points.89 At the same time, bibliographical concern need not have prevented Pafford from participating in triumphalism at the sheer quantity of Shakespeare folios that came following the Sterling acquisition. It marked the major turning-point in the University of London Library's significance for Shakespeare studies. Whilst several other libraries have two or more First Folios,90 only eight libraries internationally have more than eleven copies of the four folios, according to an overview undertaken in 1990.91 That Pafford thought numerically is suggested by his wooing of the Francis Bacon Society, whose library was deposited on temporary loan on 8 March 1950 and accepted on permanent loan in 1956. Alongside works on the Bacon-Shakespeare authorship controversy and editions of the works and of single plays of Shakespeare, mostly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and most notable for the inclusion of a few school textbook editions, was a Shakespeare Fourth Folio given to the Society by William Parker Brewis during the War, about which the Librarian and the Society had corresponded concerning its valuation.92 The volume lacked the portrait. Pafford went to some trouble to perfect it, approaching Birmingham Public Libraries and Shakespeare's Birthplace for a spare copy of the portrait and, when they could not oblige, asking Methuen for a facsimile from their production.93 Ultimately he had the portrait from the Durning-Lawrence copy photographed and bound in and the Bacon Society Fourth Folio rebacked, at the University Library's expense.94 Relationships between the Library and the Society soured when in 1979 the Society, in an attempt to shore up its finances, removed the Folio, with nine other titles, for sale for £850 by Maggs. Individual gifts and a string of purchases throughout the 1940s (mainly the later 1940s) and the 1950s, into 1961, supplemented the gifts of major collections. It is these, especially the systematic purchases, that account for the presence in Senate House Library of all the main academic eighteenth- and nineteenth-century editions of the collected works of Shakespeare, and some minor ones: Pope, Theobald (the first and second editions), Hanmer (1744 and 1747 editions), Warburton, Capell, Johnson and Steevens, Rann, Malone, Chalmers, Ayscough, Bowdler, and, as one of the earliest purchases made with funding to augment the Sterling Library, the first printing of Rowe's 1709 edition, to supplement the second issue bought by Durning- Lawrence.95 A little early criticism was purchased concurrently, with titles such as William Richardson's Essays on Some of Shakespeare's Dramatic Characters (from 1784, 1789, 1797 and 1798) and James Plumptre's pamphlet Observations on Hamlet (1796). The prices paid could be considerably higher than the Library's standard outlay of under a pound each for books at the time, most obviously £8 8s od for Theobald's Shakespeare Restored (1726) from Peter Murray Hill in 1945; eight pounds from Ridgill Trout for Hanmer's 1771 edition in 1953; and nine pounds for his 1744 edition from Maggs in November 1954. Obvious as this is, given the nature of prices for antiquarian as opposed to modern material, it indicates the importance placed by an indigent library on having the works. The criterion for purchasing was academic research value, as implied by newly acquired ‘items of special interest’ listed in the annual report for 1948: Shakespeare: The so-called 1st, 2nd and 3rd variorum editions (Reed 1803 and 1813 and Boswell-Malone 1821) and the 4th edition of Dyce (1880–81) have been added during the year and it is believed that the Library now has a complete set of the English editions of Shakespeare likely to be required for normal research.96 Material outside the academic mainstream entered the Library as opportunity offered: for example, the earliest Dutch translation of a selection of plays, William Shakespear's tooneelspelen (5 vols, 1778–82), purchased in 1961 from Marks for four pounds;97 several cheap editions of single plays as acted at the Theatres Royal, published by J. Wenman between 1777 and 1779 and donated by the Shakespeare Memorial Library in 1951;98 Charles Heath's artistic representation of Shakespeare's female characters, Shakspeare Gallery ([1836–37]), among a large number of Shakespeare items from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, bought for a few shillings each from Thorpe in 1941;99 and the sixth edition of William Poole's lively Hamlet Travestie: with Burlesque Annotations (1817), bought for a shilling as part of a large purchase from the Shakespeare Memorial Library in 1951. Beyond the limited field of English-language collected editions, antiquarian purchasing was not comprehensive. Financial restrictions rendered that impossible, as a Library Committee report of 1951 for the quinquennium 1952–57 complained: ‘During the year about 1,500 books approved for purchase could not be bought owing to lack of funds. Hundreds of other books seen in second-hand catalogues should have been bought, but were not, for the same reason’, and: ‘The Library was unable to purchase many second-hand books, and catalogues from second-hand booksellers were usually scanned only for a few books urgently needed’.100 Over the following years the lament became a leitmotif.101 Perhaps as regards Shakespeare it did not matter, as the strengths had already been established. References to strong Shakespeare holdings begin with a relatively sober statement in the 1948 annual report: ‘additions have been made to all the main special collections—especially to the Goldsmiths’ Library and to the extensive Shakespearian collection of which the nucleus came with the Durning-Lawrence Library. The Shakespearian collection in the Library is now very good’, a sentiment repeated in subsequent annual reports.102 Publicly, the Library listed Shakespeare among the significant subjects within ‘Special Collections’ in its 1957 Users’ Guide.103 The highest praise was reached with J. H. P. Pafford's description of the Shakespeare holdings as among the finest in the country, as cited in the introduction to this article. Whilst the Library here asseverated its own worth, oblique external support, if, perhaps, more for the standard academic editions than the antiquarian holdings, comes from a Report of the Board of Studies in English from 1947: ‘In English Literature the Library appears to be well-stocked with texts and critical works’—a triumphant reversal of earlier criticism (see introduction).104 The Sterling Library did not mark the end of Shakespearean-related gifts, although later acquisitions were bound to be anticlimactic and arrived unremarked within general notification of the collections to which they belonged: 253 twentieth-century books on Shakespeare and the authorship controversy from the estate of the pianist, composer and musical scholar Katharine Eggar (1874–1961), together with notes for a monograph she had been planning to write supporting the Oxford theory, given in 1962 and reported without elucidation or evaluation in the annual report for 1961–62;105 four scarce Shakespeare titles printed in shorthand in the late nineteenth-century, part of the Carlton Shorthand Collection of an estimated 18,000 titles (given from 1957 onwards). In 1966 the actor-manager and stage director Malcolm Morley's (1890–1966) collection of mainly nineteenth- and twentieth-century items pertaining to English and American theatre and drama entered the Library. The annual report for the year ended 31 July 1966 declared it to be ‘an important addition to the already strong collections on the drama and the theatre already in the Library’, with no further detail about its content.106 Until now, editions of Shakespeare had mainly been early, academic, or fine; the Morley collection added a new facet by including the poor man's Shakespeare in the form of all thirty-seven plays printed in the series Dicks Standard Plays: plays in paper wrappers published weekly and sold for a penny each, each one 32 pages, with the text in two columns of 72 lines each, the body of each letter measuring one millimetre.107 The retirement in 1967 of J. H. P. Pafford, who was known both for his interest in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature and for his aggrandisement of the University of London Library, marked the end of Shakespearean collection-building, in antiquarian terms.108 His legacy may be seen in a coda of an internal transfer in 2011, when Andrew Hussey, Dean of the University of London Institute in Paris, offered Senate House Library a collection of mainly twentieth-century imprints pertaining to drama which had belonged to the playwright, actor and theatre director Harley Granville- Barker (1877–1946): we feel the Granville Barker Collection would receive the care it deserves in Senate House's Historic and Special Collections, among other important Shakespearean collections. We therefore are entrusting Senate House with over 800 items comprising the Granville Barker Collection in order to further its intellectual and research potential.109 These include six illustrated plays of Shakespeare printed in limited editions by Ernest Benn in his series ‘The Players’ Shakespeare’, with introductions by Granville-Barker. There are also Granville-Barker's copies of plays in the Arden Shakespeare series, eleven of which show signs of close reading. Endpapers and sometimes the title and half-title are covered with pencilled notes, while most pages contain annotations, ranging from caesurae within lines to comments connected with scansion, staging or with characterization.110 These plays are eleven of the twelve (only Hamlet remains pristine) about which he wrote in Prefaces to Shakespeare, often used as guides to productions.111 They may be regarded as the rough notes of ‘the man most responsible for the shift away from the literary-historical approach to Shakespearian criticism to the theatrical approach that has begun to flower in recent years’, his widely acclaimed works seen as being of great theatrical value as well as critical importance.112 Most libraries in Britain with spectacular special collections pertaining to Shakespeare have acquired them from a single source, often a Shakespearean editor; and the world's most renowned Shakespearean collection is (albeit with many subsequent accruals) based firmly on the collection of one man, Henry Clay Folger.113 The Shakespearean strength at the University of London is unusual for its multiplicity of sources, including a Baconian, and the duration of the development. Behind the major collectors are the guiding figures of Reginald Arthur Rye and J. H. P. Pafford, welding the books into a new unit. Whilst budgetary pressures ended the golden era of acquisition, it is perhaps no coincidence that the end was marked also by Pafford's retirement. But by then, too, the combined academic and prestige value had been attained, value which could be enhanced only by as extreme an occurrence as a gift of early quartos. This article has traced the background of certain copies of culturally significant books in the contexts of their collections, the ways in which they have been treasured and used, and their impact on the institution in which they ended, examining in particular the Shakespeare Folios there in more detail than has been undertaken before. In 2013 the Bibliographical Society, the nation, and the world showed their appreciation of these books as cultural assets undiminished by widespread access to digital surrogates of other copies. Let us all guard, and prove ourselves worthy of, our treasures. London I should like to thank an anonymous reader for The Library and Dr Amy Morris for their insightful remarks on previous versions of this article. The article is based on a lecture delivered to the Bibliographical Society in December 2015. It is dedicated to Jackie Marfleet and Nick Barratt of Senate House Library, University of London. Footnotes 1 J. H. P. Pafford, ‘The University of London Library’, in The Libraries of London, ed. by Raymond Irwin and Ronald Staveley, 2nd edn (London: Library Association, 1964), pp. 140–56 (p. 152). 2 Covered in ‘News & Comment’, The Book Collector, 62 (2013), 569–71; H. R. Woudhuysen, ‘Lessons for Librarians of London's Folio Fiasco’, Standpoint, Nov. 2013, available online at: http://standpointmag.co.uk/critique-november-13-lessons-for-librarians-of-londons-folio-fiasco-h-r-woudhuysen-libraries-senate-house (accessed 23 Sept. 2016). For the petition, see Bibliographical Society, ‘Senate House Library, University of London: reconsider the proposed sale of its first four Shakespeare folios’, https://www.change.org/p/senate-house-library-university-of-london-reconsider-the-proposed-sale-of-its-first-four-shakespeare-folios (accessed 23 Sept. 2016). 3 F. M. L. Thompson, ‘The Humanities’, in The University o/London and the World of Learning, 1836–1986, ed. by F. M. L. Thompson (London: Hambledon Press, 1990), pp. 57–79 (pp.62–63). 4 Reginald Arthur Rye, The Libraries of London: A Guide for Students (London: University of London, 1908), p. 24. 5 University of London (henceforth UoL) Archive, UL1/1/1: Library Committee Minutes, 1902–13, letter from Mr Lea to Reginald Arthur Rye, 27 April 1912, about the University's Diploma in Literature. See also the Fourth Report of the Royal Commission Sub-Committee of Academic Council about the University Library generally (1914): ‘Apart from the special Goldsmiths’ Library, it cannot claim to be a research Library of even respectable efficiency in any single department’; UoL Archive, UL1/1/2: Library Committee Minutes, 1913–22, 6 May 1914, p. 4. 6 See K. E. Attar, ‘“The Establishment of a First-Class University Library”: The Beginnings of the University of London Library’, History of Universities, 28 (2014), 44–65 (p. 46). 7 COPAC records only one other copy of this edition, in the British Library (http://copac.jisc.ac.uk). The Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog yields six copies in Germany (http://kvk.bibliothek.kit.edu). The play is based on a version by Franz Heufeld with thirteen individual characters (reduced from Shakespeare's twenty-one) and differs in certain respects from Shakespeare's plot, in deference to Schröder's patrons’ desire for the decorum of domestic drama, most strikingly by Hamlet's survival at the end. For a relatively recent discussion, see Simon Williams, Shakespeare on the German Stage, 1: 1586–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 75–78. 8 K. E. Attar, ‘The Earliest Books at the University of London (1838): 185 Volumes Presented by Nathaniel Vye, Esq.’, Library & Information History, 32 (2016), 100–11. 9Catalogue of the Library of the University of London, Including the Libraries of George Grote and Augustus De Morgan (London: Taylor and Francis, 1876), p. 656. 10 UoL archive, UL/5/9/1, University of London, Accessions to the Library 1876–1886 (London: HMSO, 1886). This also includes two editions of single works, (1877) and a photo-lithographed copy of the Sonnets. 11Catalogue of Books in the General Library and in the South Library of University College, London, 3 vols (London: Taylor and Francis, 1879), iii, 240–41. 12 See Attar, ‘Establishment’. For Shakespearean plays studied between 1860 and 1897 (n. 14), see University of London calendars, UoL Archive, UoL/UP/1/17/17–53. 13 University of London, Hand-Catalogue of the Library Brought down to the End of 1897 (London: HMSO, ), p. 290. Of the newly published acquisitions (The Merry Wives of Windsor; A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Merchant of Venice; Twelfth Night), only Twelfth Night was examined by the university: other plays examined between 1886 and 1897, as recorded in university calendars, were King John, Henry VIII, Hamlet, Henry V, As You Like It, Richard II, and The Winter's Tale. 14 William Shakespeare, Hamlet: tragedia em cinco actos, trans. by Bulhão Pato (Lisbon: academia real das sciencias, 1879); see UoL archive, UL9/3/1, Library accessions 1906–1920. 15 UoL Archive, UL1/1/2, annual report for 1916. 16A Book of Homage to Shakespeare, ed. by Israel Gollancz (Oxford: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1916), p. xxxvii; for a discussion of this work and tercentenary celebrations more widely, see the introduction by Gordon McMullan to the reissue (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). 17 UoL Archive, UL1/1/2, ‘Report of the Library Committee on the Report of Royal Commission on University Education in London so far as the University Library is Affected’. 18 UoL Archive, UL1/1/2. The London Institution's Second Folio went to the British Museum and its First, Third and Fourth Folios to London's Guildhall: see London Metropolitan Archives, COL/LBD/GHL/01/005, London Institution and Elzevir. For its First Folio, see Anthony James West, The Shakespeare First Folio: The History of the Book, 2 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001–3), 11: A New Worldwide Census of First Folios (2003), no. 19. 19 See A Catalogue of the Library of the London Institution: Systematically Classed, 4 vols ([London: n.p.], 1835–52). This lists seven editions of works by Shakespeare (four of which are the early Folios) and nineteen items of ‘Authors Relating to Shakespeare’ (vol. 1 (1835), pp. 636–38), with a further nine items acquired by 1843 (vol. 3, p. 396) and four more by 1852 (vol. 4, pp. 371–72). Acquisitions continued after this date. King's College London lists eight items from the London Institution, printed between 1838 and 1878, none of which is in the London Institution printed catalogues. 20 Joseph Ritson, Remarks, Critical and Illustrative, on the Text and Notes of the Last Edition of Shakspeare (London: J. Johnson, 1783), bound with his supplementary The Quip Modest (London: J. Johnson, 1788); William Henry Ireland, Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakspeare, in two editions (both London: Egerton et al., 1796); Edmond Malone, A Letter to the Rev. Richard Farmer … Relative to the Edition of Shakspeare, Published in MDCCXC, and Some Late Criticisms on that Work (London: G. G. J. and J. Robinson et al., 1792). 21 UoL Archive, UL1/1/3: Library Committee Minutes, 1922–28 22 Reginald Arthur Rye, The Students’ Guide to the Libraries of London, with an Account of the Most Important Archives and Other Aids to Study, 3rd edn (London: University of London Press, 1927), pp. 185–94. A similar description of the Library, its history, and main collections appears in its annual report for i926 (UoL Archive, UL1/1/3). 23 For a general discussion of the Durning-Lawrence library, see K. E. Attar, ‘Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence: A Baconian and his Books’, The Library, vii, 5 (2004), 294–315. 24 For discussion of Shakespearean sources or supposed sources, see Stuart Gillespie, Shakespeare's Books: A Dictionary of Shakespeare Sources (London: Athlone, 2001; repr. Arden Shakespeare, 2015), and Kenneth Muir, The Sources of Shakespeare's Plays (London: Methuen, 1977). That Durning- Lawrence was buying such books specifically as Shakespearean sources is clear from the presence of certain later editions, notably of Plutarch's Lives: Shakespeare's Plutarch: Being a Selection from the Lives in North's Plutarch which Illustrate Shakespeare's Plays, ed. by Walter W. Skeat (London: Macmillan, 1892), and Four Chapters of North's Plutarch … as Sources to Shakespeare's Tragedies Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra and partly to Hamlet and Timon of Athens, ed. by F. A. Leo (London: Trübner, 1878). 25 Discussed by Peter Whitfield, Illustrating Shakespeare (London: British Library, 2013), pp. 82–83 (Knight) and 87–88 (Gilbert). See also Stuart Sillars, The Illustrated Shakespeare, 1709–1875 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 254–72 (Knight) and 305–23 (Gilbert). 26 UoL, Durning-Lawrence Archive, DLL/1/7, Receipts and invoices for book purchases, 1890–95. 27 The Second Folio for £22 (of which £2 was commission) on 16 May 1894, the Fourth Folio on 13 June 1894 for £22 10s, and the Third on 21 July 1896 for £60 (see UoL, Durning-Lawrence Archive, DLL/1/7 and DLL/1/8, Receipts and invoices for book purchases, 1896–1907). 28 ‘Mr. F. W. Cosens’, The Athenaeum, 14 December 1889. A briefer version of his obituary is to be found in The Times, 14 December 1889, p. 6. 29 The Fourth Folio is described in the sale catalogue as having the portrait restored and several leaves at the end being mended in the margins, but ‘else good sound copy’, Catalogue of the Valuable and Extensive Library of Printed Books, Engravings & Drawings of Frederick William Cosens, Deceased ([London: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 1890), lot 4045 (day 10). 30 For a description of the sale, including reference to all of Cosens's Shakespeare folios, see ‘The Cosens Library’, The Times, 24 November 1890, p. 13. This report states incorrectly that the Fourth Folio fetched £14. 31 Sidney Lee, Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: A Supplement to the Reproduction in Facsimile of the First Folio Edition (1623) from the Chatsworth Copy in the Possession of the Duke of Devonshire, K.G. Containing a Census of Extant Copies with some Account of their History and Condition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1902), no. 81; West, The Shakespeare First Folio, 11, no. 23; The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue, ed. by Eric Rasmussen and Anthony James West (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), no. 23. 32 John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, 9 vols (London: J. Nichols, 1812–16), V, 511. 33 ‘I am grieved to add that the collection of Sir Peter Thompson in a great measure perished from want of suitable care’; Mark Noble, ‘The Lives of the Society of Antiquaries in London’ (unpublished volume, 1818), p. 248. 34 A Catalogue of the Library of Sir Peter Thompson, Knt F.R.S. and F.S.A. ([London: R. H. Evans, 1815]). 35 William Shakespeare, The Plays and Poems of William Shakspeare, ed. by Edmond Malone and James Boswell, 21 vols (London, F. C. and J. Rivington et al., 1821), xxi, 450. 36 T. F. Dibdin, The Library Companion, or, The Young Man's Guide and the Old Man's Comfort in the Choice of a Library (London: Harding, Triphook and Lepard, 1824), p. 815. Dibdin further described the copy as being: ‘of middling height, but not a good title; although the opposite verses were genuine’. For the locations of Durning-Lawrence's books, see UoL, Durning-Lawrence archive, DLL/1/11, ‘An Inventory of the Library at No 13 Carlton House Terrace SW, The Property of the Late Sir Edwin Durning Lawrence, Bart’ (1914) and DLL/1/12, ‘The Library—Valuation—For Fire Insurance Purposes’ (1929). The manuscript copy of Dibdin's census is in UoL MS306, a notebook containing information about early editions of Shakespeare, collected from various sources. 37 The others are Rasmussen and West, nos 7 (Durham University Library), 54 (Huntington Library), 73, 89, 105, 127 (Folger Shakespeare Library), 197 (Württembergische Landesbibliothek), and 198 (Biblioteca Universitaria, Padua). For a discussion of the variant itself, see J. K. Walton, The Quarto Copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare (Dublin: Dublin University Press, 1971), pp.215–27. 38 ‘Obituary, William Hartree, 1813–1859’, Minutes of the Proceedings [of the Institution of Civil Engineers], 19, issue 1860 (1 January 1860), 174–76 (p. 174). 39 ‘The Hartree Library’, The Times, 21 July 1890, pp.3–4 (p. 3). 40 For further information about Hartree, see Charlotte Froese Fischer, Douglas Rayner Hartree: His Life in Science and Computing (Singapore and London: World Scientific, 2003), pp. 1–3. This mentions his ‘valuable and extensive’ library (p. 2) including limited editions and old books; the only particular volumes to which it refers are a compilation of Rubens engravings. 41Catalogue of the Valuable & Extensive Library of William Hartree, Esq., of Lewisham (London: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 1890). Unsurprisingly, The Times's report of the sale highlighted all four Folios, together with Halliwell-Phillipp's edition, Johnson and Steevens's edition of 1803, and Boydell's collection of prints to illustrate Shakespeare (‘The Hartree Library’, pp. 3–4). 42 The average price of a First Folio was £324 in the 1880s and £354 in the 1890s; see West, vol. 1: Account of the First Folio Based on its Sales and Prices, 1623–2000 (2001), p. 36. The prices Hartree had paid are recorded in ‘The Hartree Library’, p. 4. 43 Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, The Shakespeare Myth (London: Gay & Hancock, 1912), p. 18. 44 Durning-Lawrence, pp. 19–24. 45 Durning-Lawrence, p. 24. 46 For further discussion both of Durning-Lawrence and of wider use of the First Folio for Baconian, and other authorship, purposes, see Emma Smith, Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 217–35. 47 Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Key to Milton's Epitaph on Shakespeare ([London]: J. C. Connolly ‘Dulwich Post’, 1914), p. 6. For a bibliographical discussion of the variant, see William B. Todd, ‘The Issues and States of the Second Folio and Milton's Epitaph on Shakespeare’, Studies in Bibliography, 5 (1952–53), 81–108. 48 UoL Archive, UL1/1/4, Library Committee minutes 92, 7 November 1929; the folios are the first of six titles listed in the annual report for 1929. 49 UoL Archive, UL1/1/4. 50 Repeated in an article in The Observer, 13 March 1932 (UoL Archive, UL11/1: Scrapbook of press cuttings); also with slight verbal variation in ‘Notes and News’, The Library Association Record, iii, 2 (1932), 177–82 (pp. 178–79). 51 See Muir, The Sources of Shakespeare's Plays; Gillespie, Shakespeare's Books. 52 A salient example is the library of John Moore, bishop of Ely, given by King George I to Cambridge University Library, which trebled existing holdings. See David McKitterick, Cambridge University Library: A History. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, pt. I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), p. 152. Within the University of London, the receipt of the Goldsmiths’ Library of Economic Literature in 1903 had doubled the University of London Library's holdings: see Karen Attar, ‘Senate House Library: The First Hundred Years’, in Senate House Library, University of London, ed. by Christopher Pressler and Karen Attar (London: Scala, 2012), pp. x–xxi (p. xiii). 53 UoL Archive, UL1/1/5: Report of the Library Committee for 1929. 54 UoL Archive, UL1/1/5: Report by the Chairman. The draft of this report is yet more pointed: ‘When the Durning-Lawrence Library becomes part of the University Library its possession will indicate certain lines of further development in the direction of literature, especially that of our own country. The fact of the acquisition of these special libraries legitimately imparts a bias to the entire Library’. 55 UoL Archive, UL1/1/5, Library Committee minute 259 from 18 May 1936: ‘Similarly, the Durning-Lawrence Library requires augmentation, and a sufficient grant is necessary for the purchase of books in Elizabethan and Jacobean literature and other subjects represented in the original collection’. 56 UoL Archive, UL1/1/5. 57 UoL Archive, UL3/2. The precaution was required by the Library's insurance company: see UoL Archive, UL1/1/5: Library Committee minute 411, 15 November 1937. 58 UL11/1: ‘Transfer Begins of 300,000 Books’, Daily Telegraph, 5 October 1937. 59 UoL Archive, UL1/1/6, Reginald A. Rye, ‘University of London Library: War-Time Activities’, 30 November 1939. 60The Sterling Library: A Catalogue of the Printed Books and Literary Manuscripts Collected by Sir Louis Sterling and presented by him to the University of London (privately printed, 1954), p. viii. For descriptions of Sterling's library, see ‘Private Libraries, XV: Sir Louis Sterling’, Times Literary Supplement, 4 February 1939, p. 80; ‘The Sterling Library Catalogue’, Times Literary Supplement, 13 August 1954, p. 520; and Julia Walworth, ‘Sir Louis Sterling and his Library’, Jewish Historical Studies, 40 (2005), 159–75. 61 UoL, Sterling archive, LS/1/2/6: Alphabetical list of Sterling Library, R–S. 62 Described respectively in Lindsay Norman, ‘From Stage to Page’, in The Book a Work of a Work of Art: The Cranach Press of Count Harry Kessler, ed. by John Dieter Brinks (Laubach: Triton, 2005), pp. 126–44; Marianne Tidcombe, The Doves Press (London: British Library, 2002). 63 Whitfield, Illustrating Shakespeare, p. 146. 64 See especially Robert Marsham-Townshend, Register of the Marshams of Kent down to the End of the Year 1902 (London: Mithcell Hughes and Clarke, 1903) and, for Marsham's account of his duties as Esquire of the Body, Ann Ward Radcliffe, Gaston de Blondeville, or, The Court of Henry III, 4 vols (London: H. Colburn, 1826), iii, 68–71. 65The Sterling Library, pp. 234–5. For a general biography of Francis Calley Gray (1790–1856), a Harvard man who collected art, curated shells for two natural history museums, wrote poetry, and served as private secretary to President John Quincy Adams, see Marjorie B. Cohn, Francis Calley Gray and Art Collecting for America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Art Museums, 1986). Mary Edgcumbe Blatchford was one of the two Americans who in 1901–2 most helped Sidney Lee to gather information about first folios in America for his census (West, no. 22). 66 West, I, 38; Henry B. Wheatley, Prices of Books: An Inquiry into the Changes in the Price of Books which have Occurred in England at Different Periods (London: G. Allen, 1898), p. 224. 67 Dibdin, Library Companion, pp. 814–15. 68 Justin Winsor, A Bibliography of the Original Quartos and Folios of Shakespeare with Particular Reference to Copies in America (Boston: Osgood, 1876), p.88. I should like to thank Deborah Leslie and her staff at the Folger Shakespeare Library for making this available to me. 69 Cohn, Francis Calley Gray, p. 102. Cf. n. 65 above. 70The Dramatic Works of William Shakspeare, [ed. by O.W.B. Peabody], 7 vols (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, 1836), 1, 6*. 71 Luther Farnham, A Glance at Private Libraries (Boston: Crocker and Brewster, 1855), pp. 27–28. 72 West, no. 159. Parker is not mentioned in Farnham, A Glance at Private Libraries. 73 See Andrew Murphy, Shakespeare in Print: A History and Chronology of Shakespeare Publishing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 150. 74 ‘The Sale Room: Shakespeare Folios’, The Times, 11 February 1935, p. 7. 75Times Literary Supplement, 21 February 1935, p. 112. 76Catalogue of Valuable Printed Books, Illuminated and Other Manuscripts, Autograph Letters and Historical Documents, &c .… which will be Sold … 4th and 5th of March, 1935 ([London: Sotheby, 1935]). 77 ‘The Sale Room: Shakespeare Folios’, The Times, 6 March 1935, p. 11. 78 UoL, Sterling archive, LS/1/2/6. 79 UoL archive, CT1/1/11 (Court minutes, 1944–45): Court minutes 168–69, December 1944. See also Walworth, ‘Sir Louis Sterling’, p. 173. 80 UoL archive, UL1/1/7: Library committee minutes 108–9, 7 May 1945; see also UoL archive, ST2/2/61 (Senate minutes, 1944–45), min. 1697, 21 February 1945, with a much briefer and somewhat erroneous description of the library which also mentions ‘Shakespearean quartos and folios’. 81 William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, ed. by J. H. P. Pafford (London: Methuen, 1963). Correspondence pertaining to this edition is present in the UoL, MS780. 82 UoL archive, UL4/18/66/1: J. H. P. Pafford, ‘The Sir Louis Sterling Library: Memorandum on the subject of its acceptance for the University Library’, 10 February 1954. The final version of the memorandum summarizes the scholarly value of the collection and does not mention Shakespeare specifically, thus giving more weight to the value of the Sterling Library for exhibition purposes, the credit it would bring to the University, and the expectation that it ‘may well attract interest and support which may not be restricted to gifts for the Library’. 83 UoL archive, UL4/18/66/1, letter from Louis Sterling to J. H. P. Pafford, Goldsmiths’ Librarian, 6 December 1955. See also ST2/2/61, Senate minute 1697, 21 February 1945: ‘The only conditions attached to the bequest are that the library shall be permanently housed in the University Library’; condition also noted in Court Minute 262, 7 February 1945 (UoL archive, CT1/1/11). 84 See n. 60. 85 UoL archive, ST2/2/61; CT1/1/11; UL1/1/10; the Shakespeare folios and quartos are the first items named in paragraph 16, ‘The Sterling Library’; Pafford, p. 152. The folios are the first items mentioned specifically in the description of the Sterling Library in A Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, ed. by Moelwyn I. Williams (London: Library Association, 1985), p. 360; 2nd edn by Barry Bloomfield (London: Library Association, 1997), p. 404. They are the only titles mentioned specifically in the much briefer entry in the 3rd edn by Karen Attar (London: Facet Publishing, 2016), p. 239. 86 UoL, Sterling papers, LS/3/3: Record of the opening of the Sterling Library by the Chancellor of the University … Tuesday 30 October 1956, p. 4. 87Catalogue of the Valuable Library of the Late William Holgate Esq. ([London]: Leigh, Sotheby, 1846), lot 824. 88Catalogue of the Very Choice and Valuable Library, Principally of Important Books in English and French Literature, and of Fine Illuminated Manuscripts, the Property of J. T. Adams, Esq. (Deed.) of Smithfield, Sheffield ([London]: Sotheby, 1931), lot 232; H. C. Bartlett and A. W. Pollard, A Census of Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto, 1594–1709 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1939), p. 50 (no. 537); The Sterling Library, p. 234 (I.750). That Henrietta Bartlett had not seen the copy is clear from a letter she wrote to Sir Louis Sterling, 24 February 1939: ‘I […] enclose a slip giving all the provenance I have for your Lear; I think that is right though I should have liked to see it myself’ (UoL, Sterling archive, LS/7/2). 89 UoL archive, UL/4/18/66/1, letter from J. H. P. Pafford to Lionel & Philip Robinson Ltd, 30 July 1958. Philip Robinson, perhaps unaware of the age of the repair, replied on 1 August 1958: ‘Since the reorganisation of my firm I do not have our records by me, but my recollection is that this item was repaired as stated and I would not be surprised it was almost miraculously well done!’ (ibid.). 90 In the United Kingdom, there are, for example, five First Folios at the British Library, three each at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon and the National Art Library and two each at the Bodleian Library, the National Library of Scotland and at Trinity College, Cambridge (West, nos 4–5, 8–9, 13–17, 24–26, 31–32, 37–39). 91 Harold M. Otnes, The Shakespeare Folio Handbook and Census, Bibliographies and Indexes in World Literature, 25 (New York: Greenwood, 1990), p. 68. According to Otnes, Princeton is in eleventh place, on the basis of its holding of eleven Folios, but Otnes places the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge eighth and ninth respectively because it rolls together the University Library and the various, independent College libraries of each; if the rest of the computation is accurate, Senate House Library would be in equal ninth place with Princeton. 92 UoL, Bacon Society collection file: correspondence between Valentine Smith, secretary of the Society, and J. H. P. Pafford, 20 March to 2 May 1951. 93 UoL, Bacon Society collection file: letters from J. H. P. Pafford, 21 July to 21 August 1952. 94 UoL, Bacon Society collection file: letter from J. H. P. Pafford, 23 December 1952. 95 UoL archive, UL1/1/11: University of London Library annual report, 1961, para. 15. The report comments that the Rowe: ‘fills a gap in the Library's very large Shakespeare collection’. For other purchases, see University of London accession registers, especially: UoL archive, UL5/1/12–45, accessions, 1940–64. Classified lists of accessions are less reliable because deliberately selective, concentrating on modern material, but see UoL archive, UL9/3/10, accessions list 1948–49, as a marked exception. 96 UoL archive, 1/1/8, Report of the Library Committee for 1948, p. . 97 UoL archive, UL5/1/40, accession no. 204270. Discussed in Robert H. Leek, Shakesphere in Nederland: Kroniek van vier eeuwen (Zutphen: De Walburg, 1988), pp. 31–33. 98 UoL archive, UL5/1/24, accession nos. 115961–115968; the donation also included Pope and Sewell's nine-volume edition of 1728 and Johnson's twelve-volume edition of 1771. 99 UoL archive, UL5/1/12, accession nos. 56986–57036 (with some breaks in the sequence). 100 UoL archive, UL1/1/9, Quinquennium 1952–57, Report of Library Committee (15 February 1951), p. 3: Application for a non-recurrent grant, 18 October 1951. 101 For example, ‘We are constantly having to refrain from ordering desirable works from secondhand dealers’ catalogues’ (Memorandum, Library Committee, Library finance, 17 March 1959, UoL archive, UL1/1/10) ; ‘Recent increases in the book fund have kept pace with contemporary increases in the price of new books, but bear little relation to trends in the secondhand market’ (Library committee annual report for the year ending 31 July 1965, UoL archive, UL1/1/12). The complaint is repeated in 1967, 1971, and 1974. 102 UoL archive, UL/1/1/8, Report of the Library Committee for 1948, p. ; ‘The Library may make a special attempt to develop certain branches of any subject in which it is particularly strong, e.g. Shakespeare’, UoL archive, UL/1/1/8, Report of Library Committee on University Library Policy, p. 3. Although the accessions lists do not usually comment on holdings, an atypical note on the list of accessions for 1959–60 states under the heading ‘Shakespeare’: ‘The Library possesses a very large collection of books relating to Shakespeare’ (UoL archive, UL9/3/21, p. 24). 103 UoL archive, UL1/1/10. 104 UoL archive, UL1/1/8. 105 UoL archive, UL1/1/11. The Library also holds typescripts by Robert Ridgill Trout (MS862) pertaining to the Oxford theory, the receipt of which is not recorded by the Library Committee. 106 UoL archive, UL1/1/12. 107List of Dicks' Standard Plays and Free Acting Drama (London: J. Dicks, ). The collection also holds fifteen of Shakespeare's plays, one adaptation and one burlesque in Samuel French's acting editions. 108 See especially George Kane, ‘Obituary: John Pafford’, The independent, 26 March 1996, available online. 109 SHL, Granville-Barker collection file; undated letter. 110 For example, the crossing out of scene locations in Cymbeline and of text in Macbeth (IV, 1, 1–47); a note on Coriolanus, ‘It is very important that the Tribunes should be old and reckless both’, and, at the top of III,I, ‘This vitiated obstinacy is very much part of the character—and the play’. The most extensively annotated play is Coriolanus, annotated on 211 of the 222 pages of (95 per cent). 111 Dennis Kennedy, Granville Barker and the Dream of Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), p. 156. For the Prefaces, see Harley Granville-Barker, Prefaces to Shakespeare, 5 vols (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1927–47); repr. in 2 vols (London: Batsford, 1958). Of Granville-Barker's other Arden Shakespeares, sixteen remain unmarked and another six are only very lightly annotated. 112 Kennedy, Granville Barker, p. 153. The quotation continues: ‘As such, he was one of the most important influences on modern Shakespearian study; certainly he was the only major figure of the century to have successfully spanned the active and the contemplative side of the subject’. Also, ‘Barker's influence on the modern understanding and performance of Shakespeare's plays has been crucial and pervasive. The way the plays are staged and many of the ways they are considered ultimately derive from his practice and instruction, although some of the lessons he taught have still to be fully learned’ (Christine Dymkowski, Harley Granville Barker: A Preface to Modern Shakespeare (Washington: Folger Shakespeare Library and London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1986), p. 199). C. B. Purdom, Granville-Barker's first full-length biographer, describes the Prefaces as being: ‘of immense theatrical as well as critical importance’ and ‘contributions to the study of Shakespeare of unique value, the outcome of a lifetime of study and experience by an artist of the theatre of great insight and craftsmanship’ (Harley Granville Barker: Man of the Theatre, Dramatist and Scholar (London: Rockliff, 1955), p. 218). 113 For example, the Malone collection in the Bodleian Libray (see L. W. Hanson, ‘The Shakespeare Collection in the Bodleian Library, Oxford’, Shakespeare Survey, 4 (1951), 78–96); the Capell collection at Trinity College, Cambridge (see W. W. Greg, Catalogue of the Books Presented by Edward Capell to the Library of Trinity College in Cambridge (Cambridge: Trinity College, 1903); the Shakespeare Library at the Library of Birmingham (see Birmingham Public Libraries, A Shakespeare Bibliography: the Catalogue of the Birmingham Shakespeare Library, Birmingham Public Libraries, 7 vols (London: Mansell, 1971)); the Halliwell-Phillipps Shakespeare Collection at Edinburgh University Library. For an overview of libraries naming Shakespeare holdings, see Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, 3rd edn. For the Folger Shakespeare Library, founded by Henry Clay Folger, see Stephen H. Grant, Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2014). © The Author 2018; all rights reserved This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
The Library – Oxford University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud