Printed Special Collections


Senate House Library's printed special collections comprise printed books, pamphlets, periodicals and maps within 50 named collections and also within its general special collections sequences.

Bromhead Library

About 4000 items on the history of London from the 16th to the early 20th centuries, with some on the settlement of Australia.

Carlton Shorthand Collection

Approximately 18,000 books and periodicals covering the history of shorthand from the 16th to the 20th centuries in nearly 60 languages and dialects.

Cory Collection

About 60 literary and other works printed from the 17th to the 21st centuries collected by Yvonne Cory (1928-2008) and her daughter Dr Emma Jane Robinson.

Craig Collection

About 500 books on sexual customs and practices and literary erotica from the collection of Alec Craig (1897-1973), mostly from the 20th century.

Crofton Collection

296 English and French little books from the 18th and 19th centuries, covering literature, theology and travel.

De Morgan Library

Approximately 3,800 mathematical and related works printed between 1474 and 1871 from the library of Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871), many with his annotations.

Durning-Lawrence Library

About 5,000 15th-20th century volumes from the library of Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (1837-1914), by or in some way relating to Sir Francis Bacon or William Shakespeare.

Eggar Collection

About 250 20th-century books relating to the attribution of Shakespeare’s plays to Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

Eliot-Phelips Collection

About 3,500 Spanish imprints from the early 16th to the early 20th centuries, relating in particular to Madrid.

Elzevier Collection

About 1,150 books printed by members of the Elzevier family and by other 17th-century Dutch presses.

George Crabbe

Around 100 books, published between 1783 and 1977, by and about George Crabbe.

Gili Catalan Collection

Approximately 2,500 items of Catalan interest, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the late-twentieth century. Particular collection strengths are Catalan literature and literary criticism, and social, political and economic history of the region.

Goldsmiths’ Library of Economic Literature

About 70,000 items from the 15th to the 21st centuries covering all aspects of economics, including early English and French socialism, slavery and railway history, temperance and the condition of the people.

Granville-Barker Collection

About 940 editions of plays, supporting studies and works of criticism, mostly 20th-century, with an emphasis on Shakespeare and his period.

Graveley Parish Library

About 1,150 volumes of classics, theology, history, law, medicine, science and literature chiefly from the 17th and 18th centuries.


134 volumes and parts of volumes printed, or at one time thought to have been printed, in the fifteenth century.

John Burns Collection

About 5,000 political, social and economic works from the working library of the labour leader and politician John Elliott Burns (1858-1943), many with his annotations.

Lady Welby Library

About 2,500 19th- and early 20th-century books and pamphlets on theology, philosophy, economics, education, science and philology, acquired and annotated by Victoria, Lady Welby (1827-1912).

Littleton Collection

33 rare landmark volumes of music and musical treatises published between 1480 and about 1728.

Longley Collection

50 volumes of fiction, early children’s books, and books relating to the actress Ellen Lawless Ternan (1839-1914).

Malcolm Morley Collection

About 4,000 books and periodicals from the 19th and 20th centuries on theatre, including numerous editions of plays.

Manton Marble Collection

Cuttings, pamphlets and scrapbooks dealing with United States politics and economics, 1860-1910 (c.1000 items).

Pelling Collection

Henry Pelling’s collection of 800 pamphlets from the late 19th and 20th centuries about left-wing politics.

Playne Collection

Comprising some 530 books and pamphlets pertaining to the First World War, 1895-1938.

Porteus Library

Covering primarily theology and current affairs and mostly published between 1750 and 1809, supplemented by volumes of sermons owned by William Howley, Archbishop of Canterbury (1766-1848).

Prize Collection

82 volumes of English children’s fiction printed between 1865 to 1918, primarily with an evangelical bent.

Prothero Collection

1,100 pamphlets relating primarily to the social, economic and political history of England and Europe, 1880-1914.

Quick Memorial Library

About 2,000 textbooks, treatises, pamphlets and other works from the 16th to the 19th century relating to the history of education.

Richardson Collection

Approximately 5,000 20th-century works relating to socialism, Marxism and Trotskyist groups.

Ron Heisler Collection

About 50,000 19th- and 20th-century books, pamphlets and periodicals published by or relating to labour and radical political movements, and to political expression in art, drama and literature.

Sterling Library

About 7,000 first and fine editions of English literature printed from the 15th to the 20th centuries, and British private press books.

Tudor Church Music Collection

Approximately 20,000 photostats and transcripts of music manuscripts collected during the production of the Tudor Church Music series.

Vye Collection

Ca 180 mostly German volumes from the 18th century, focusing on devotional literature.

Walter de la Mare Library

About 700 titles owned by the poet Walter de la Mare (1873-1956), several with his annotations, and some 420 editions of his works and works about him.