The collection comprises over 250 books, over half of them pre-1851 and many other pre-1901, plus a collection of papers and pamphlets, concerning geology, palaeontology and echinoderms, with an emphasis on continental works.
There are first and early editions of many classics in the field, including:
- Rondelet Libri de piscibus marinis, Lyons, 1554
- Gesner De rerum fosilium, Zürich, 1565
- Agricola De re metallica, Basle, 1621
There are also works by T. Burnet, J.T. Klein, Linnaeus, Lluyd, Murchison and J. Phillips. There are 12 Wing, 14 ESTC, two 16th century, four 17th century and 31 18th century continental works.
The collection was created by Professor Herbert Leader Hawkins (1887-1968), Professor of Geology at the University of Reading from 1920 to 1952. It passed to the Library in 1969 under the provisions of his will.
The Library also holds the papers of Professor Hawkins.
- Around half the books are fully catalogued and appear on Enterprise
P. Allen, 'Herbert Leader Hawkins 1887-1968', Biographical memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society, 16 (1970), p315-29