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University College London Library
   
About the Library The College, which was the first non?sectarian college of higher education in England, was founded in 1826?8 as the University of London. In 1836 it was renamed University College, and a new University of London was set up as a joint examining body. The library dates from 1829, but in the 19th cent grew slowly and depended mainly on benefactions; in the 20th cent it grew rapidly through an elaborate system of subject libraries with a central administration and catalogue, assisted by some important libraries deposited by learned societies.
Collection Highlights Collection 1: The Halifax Tracts and Lansdowne Tracts were deposited in the Library of University College London in 1918 by the School of Oriental Studies in exchange for oriental collections; they were acquired by the School from the library of the London Institution (founded in 1805). The Halifax Tracts (3,582 items originally in 145 volumes) were bought by the London Institution as lot 1748 at Sotheby’s sale of the library of George Montague Dunk second Earl of Halifax (1716-71) on 21st November 1806. They cover the period 1559-1749 including many originally collected by Walter Yonge, M.P. (1581?-1649) and the Royalist supporter Fabian Philipps (1601-90), mostly relating to the Civil War.

Collection 2: The Lansdowne Tracts (2,024 items in 247 volumes) were bought by the London Institution as lot 1051 at Sotheby’s sale of the Bibliotheca Lansdowniana Pt. II on 5th May 1806. They cover the years 1679-1776 and have a double link with the College. William Petty, 1st Marquis of Lansdowne (1737-1805), was a friend of Jeremy Bentham and Etienne Dumont, Bentham’s friend and translator, had added many items to these tracts whilst he was employed as tutor to Lord Lansdowne’s sons. They deal with France and Belgium, as well as economics, politics, law, history and theology 1589-1780. The Belgian collection had originally been begun by Gilbert Affleck, MP for Cambridge, in the early 18th century. These two tract collections have been combined.
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