Quick Memorial Library

The collection

Over 950 books and 90 bound volumes of pamphlets about most aspects of education: its theory, practice, history, and the methodology of individual subjects. The Library contains works from the mid-sixteenth to the end of the nineteenth centuries, including many early school textbooks; works, often in contemporary editions, of most of the major educational thinkers from the Renaissance to the mid-nineteenth century; biographies; histories of schools and encyclopaedias of education. There is also material on the education of the poor and missionary education activities. The ephemeral nature of school textbooks renders certain once common books rare or even unique.


The collector

Primarily the Reverend Robert Hebert Quick (1831-1891), schoolmaster and writer on education (see ODNB; Robert Hebert Quick, Life and Remains of R.H. Quick, ed. by F. Storr (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1899)). The library includes a number of volumes from the library of nineteenth-century schoolmaster William Henry Widgery, other collections formerly belonging to the Education Guild, and some later additions.



Given to the University in 1929 by the Education Guild, formerly the Teachers’ Guild of Great Britain & Ireland, to whom Quick’s widow had donated it in 1900.



Books printed in the English language or in English-speaking countries before the year 1701, books printed after the year 1830, and all pamphlets have been catalogued online. For an overview of these, do a mixed classmark search on [Q.M.L.]. Other books are catalogued online on the Card Catalogue. A printed catalogue of the collection (see “Select publications”, below) and a typescript list of pamphlets, arranged by author, are available from Special Collections staff.

Books printed after the year 1830 and pamphlets are held off-site and this material requires 48 hours (excluding weekends) to be fetched.


Related archives

2 letters from officers of the Teachers’ Guild to Mrs [Harriet] Quick about her husband’s library and its transfer to the Guild (1896-1900) (AL163).


Select publications

Dormer, D. E., ‘The Quick Memorial Library and other Books on Education in the University of London Library’, University of London Institute of Education Bulletin, 25 (autumn 1957), pp. 1-3.
Teachers’ Guild of Great Britain and Ireland, Catalogue of the Library, together with the Rules and Regulations, 3rd issue (London, 1900)