Overstone exhibition

Overstone booksAn exhibition held at the University Library in 2008

As a celebration of the completion of the cataloguing of the Overstone Library onto the online catalogue Unicorn last year, a new exhibition in the entrance hall of the University Library focuses on some of the highlights from this important collection.

The Overstone Library, which is held at the Special Collections Service, is a handsome example of a 19th century gentleman’s private library, showing Overstone’s concern for good copies and the best editions, well printed and well bound. There are about 8,000 volumes on economics, travel, history, philosophy, literature and the classics. Many seminal writings of the period are included.

The foundation collection of the University Library, the core of the Overstone Library was collected by John Ramsay McCulloch (1789-1864), the political economist, from at least as early as 1821, when he purchased pamphlets from the library of Rogers Ruding. On McCulloch's death his library was bought by his friend and collaborator Samuel Jones Loyd, Baron Overstone (1796-1883), the banker. He added to it, and it remained at his seat Overstone Park, Northamptonshire, until his daughter, Lady Wantage, bequeathed it to the University College Reading in 1920.

The exhibition showcases a selection of fine volumes from the collection, including illustrated books on travel and antiquities, examples of fine printing and binding, and early editions of important works.

Luigi Mayer Views in Egypt, 1801 (PDF) from the Overstone Library was our featured item in June 2006.

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