Bee Collection

Our collection of printed materials on bees and apiculture brings together the Cotton Collection and the books from the H. Malcolm Fraser Collection, supplemented by books and periodicals from the University Library's general collections.

The Cotton Collection comprises 221 volumes, uniformly bound, of predominantly English works, but with some French and German, published from 1609 to the 1870s. William Charles Cotton (1813-1879) was the vicar of Frodsham, Cheshire. His collection was bequeathed to the Parish of Frodsham, which retains ownership. It was deposited in the library of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1932, and transferred to Reading in 1987.

The H. Malcolm Fraser books include 30 pre-1851 works but are mainly 20th century. Many of the books include letters, receipts or related articles. The University Special Collections also hold the papers of H. Malcolm Fraser. His collections were given to the University Library in 1970-71.

More information

  • The Malcolm Fraser items and later additions appear on Enterprise
  • A handlist (PDF) to the Cotton Collection books is available, and a copy is also shelved at Special Collections Reference 636.1016
  • The library of the Museum of English Rural Life, which is catalogued on Enterprise also contains books on bees and beekeeping.
natural history printed books (pre-1850), printed books (post-1850) Y bee collection

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