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London, United Kingdom
Tue, Jul 10, 2018 1:00 PM UTC

The Rothamsted Collection, Day 1

The Lawes Agricultural Library has the enviable reputation as one of the finest collections of rare books on its subject in the world. G.E. Fussell’s standard agricultural reference work Old English Farming Books 1523-1793, cites both editions of the Rothamsted Library catalogue (1926 and 1940) and frequently refers to specific titles in the collection. Assembled largely over a period of two decades almost a century ago under the stewardship of Rothamsted director Sir John Russell, the 3000-plus printed books in the library cover the period from 1471-1840, encompassing the full range of subjects relating to farming, and in a wide variety of languages. Some of the books are unique; many are known in only a handful or fewer copies; many more are seldom available on the open market and appear infrequently at auction. The collection is also enriched by a small number of important medieval manuscripts. The Rothamsted name is and will remain an important feature in describing these books’ histories, but many of these rarities also have highly significant pre-Rothamsted provenance to distinguish them further.