Reserve Rare Books Collection
A diverse collection of rare books, mostly published before 1900, collected to support University teaching and research. Much of the collection is searchable via the catalogue. Subject areas
particularly well represented include early published works on agriculture, gardening, mathematics, and English literature of the 1890s.
The collection dates from the foundation of the University Extension College, Reading, in 1892. Early donations included over 400 volumes of books from the 1600-1800s from Edward Cobb of Banbury (1806-1899) in 1918-19; 448 volumes, chiefly classics from the 1700-1800s, from E.R. Dodds and A. Sterne in 1923-24; and several hundred early English books and pamphlets from Sir Charles Firth in the late 1920s and ‘30s.
- Read Featured Item articles on items from this collection: on our collection of Poll Books, the poetry of Bernard Spancer, Tasso’s La Gierusalemme liberta (1590), and Wilde’s Salome (1894).