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Senate House Library, University of London
   
About the Library Senate House Library, University of London holdings of pre-1700 ESTC items eligible for the CURL retroconversion project comprise c. 4300 titles (a figure derived from a sampling survey of the main card catalogue). Items to be included in the project include early material from some of the best-known Senate House Library special collections. Also included in the Senate House Library’s contribution to the project are the early English mathematical and arithmetical books from the library of Augustus De Morgan and the many early editions of the works of Francis Bacon and the Elizabethan and Jacobean plays (mostly in quartos) from the collection of Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence. The project also provides a welcome opportunity to identify pre-1700 ESTC items that are still dispersed in the general closed stack collections.
Collection Highlights Collection 1: The Sterling Library This collection of early editions of classics of English literature includes two items printed by William Caxton (The cronycles of Englonde. Westminster, 1480; and Jacobus de Cessolis, The game and playe of the chess. Second edition printed in Westminster, c.1483). Among the more well-known items are a “First Folio” of Shakespeare, and first editions of works by Donne, Dryden, Hakluyt, Herrick, Milton, Newton, Spenser.

Collection 2: The Harry Price Library Based on the library of Harry Price, publicist of psychical research, the collection is particularly rich in materials for the cultural history of attitudes to the occult from the beginning of printing to the 20th century. There are a number of scarce pre-1700 English works on legerdemain, witchcraft and prognostication, including the first edition of Hocus pocus junior. The anatomie of legerdemain…. (London, 1634).

Collection 3: The Carlton Shorthand Collection The Carlton Collection is among the most comprehensive shorthand collections in the world. The major early English shorthand systems (such as Bright, Willis, Shelton, Metcalfe and Rich) are well-represented, some in editions or issues not recorded elsewhere. One of the more unusual items is the tiny engraved plate with the shorthand system of Bathsua Reginald Makin (described above).
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