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Consisting of approximately 8000 items, the library of surgeon and bibliophile Sir Geoffrey Keynes was acquired in 1982. Books range from the 15th–20th century, and reflect a variety of disciplines. However, the collection displays a particular interest in early books relating to medicine and surgery, and also to several English authors for whose works Keynes compiled systematic bibliographies. These include Jane Austen, George Berkeley, William Blake, Timothy Bright, Sir Thomas Browne, John Donne, John Evelyn, William Harvey, William Hazlitt, Robert Hooke, Henry King, Martin Lister, John Ray, Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon.

Part of the collection is kept in the Keynes Room, which contains the original bookcases that were made for Keynes to house his collection. Please note that when the Keynes Room is in use there may be a delay before these books can be fetched.

References and further reading:

  • Keynes, G. Bibliotheca bibliographici. Privately printed, 1964. (Catalogue of 4,300 items in the collection. Omits reference books and recently printed books. Includes index of owners and donors, and short list of named binders.)
  • Keynes, G. The Gates of memory. Oxford, 1981
  • A list of books and manuscripts owned by Geoffrey Keynes in 1939 is available in the Manuscripts Department at classmark Add. 8541.