Cambridge University Library

J.C.T. Oates, A brief history of the collection

The twentieth century

Additions to the collection, 1916-1923

The sum total of the incunables given by Charrington is almost 200. Other gifts of more than ordinary interest received during Jenkinson's last years must not, however, be forgotten. A.G.W. Murray's collection of typographical fragments, presented after his death in 1919 by his brother D.W. Murray, included a leaf of the 1459 Psalter and copies of a Wynkyn de Worde indulgence (ULC 4135) (illustration 37.1, right).1 In 1916 the Warden and Fellows of Merton College, Oxford, gave an indulgence printed by Conrad Braem (ULC 3795)—one of seven copies taken from a binding in the college library; and in the same year Charles Fairfax Murray gave a number of books and fragments, all with special points of interest, literary or typographical. They included Cieco's Descrizione del gran torneamento di M. Giovanni Bentivoglio printed at Bologna, three works by Leone Battista Alberti from the press of the Florentine printer of Mesue, and the Pembroke copy of Jenson's '1461' Decor puellarum. During the next two years he gave in addition the William Morris-Huth copy of Johann Zainer's Latin edition of Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus, two leaves of headings printed for the guidance of rubricators of the 36-line Bible (ULC 17), and a number of editions of Mirabilia Romae, Modus confitendi, and kindred texts.

Jenkinson's death in 1923 brought to the Library such early printed books as he had retained in 1908, when he had given all the books in his own collection which were wanting in the Library. Others he had passed on since, notably, in 1918, the rare Perottus printed by Rudolf Loeffs and Hermann de Nassau at Louvain,2 and, in 1922, a book of Hours, on vellum and illuminated, by Pierre Le Rouge (ULC 3011) (illustration 37.2, right). The fifty incunables which remained were thus almost all duplicates. They were all retained in the Library, but a number of duplicates from the general bulk of Jenkinson's bequest were sold and with this 'Jenkinson Fund' a score of incunables were bought in 1934 and 1935.


Footnotes to this section

1. Several copies of this indulgence were extracted by P. M. Barnard from the binding of a Bible which he bought in 1913 and sold to the Library in the same year (ULC 2029). Mr Bamard also presented a copy of the indulgence, in 1914.
2. The pietas of this gift is evident—Bradshaw had failed to obtain the Vergauwen copy (supposedly unique) thirty-four years before, when it was bought in at a price far in excess of Bradshaw's commission (Vergauwen Sale I, lot 915).

Indulgence for the benefit of the confraternity of St. James of Compostella printed by Wynken de Worde (1498), from the library of A.G.W. Murray. Inc.Broadsides.0[3552].

Illustration 37.1. Indulgence for the benefit of the confraternity of St. James of Compostella printed by Wynken de Worde (1498), from the library of A.G.W. Murray. Inc.Broadsides.0[3552]



A book of hours which came to the Library in 1922 (Paris: Peirre le Rouge, 1491). Inc.5.D.1.19[2530], sig. c7r.

Illustration 37.2. A book of hours which came to the Library in 1922 (Paris: Peirre le Rouge, 1491). Inc.5.D.1.19[2530], sig. c7r.