The Bradshaw Collection
Henry Bradshaw (1831–1886) became University Librarian at Cambridge in 1867, and under his charge the Library greatly expanded its holdings of early printed books. Bradshaw collected in this field himself, often passing his purchases to the Library, but his largest donation came in 1870, when he gave the library of Irish books started by his father, who was born in County Down. Bradshaw continued to buy Irish books for the remainder of his life, and a second collection reached the library on his death.
A copy of the charter of the Royal Hospital of King Charles II at Kilmainham, Dublin, printed by G. Faulkner in 1760, in a red morocco presentation binding featuring the arms of the Hospital. Hib.8.760.1.
The Acton Library
The Liberal historian Lord Acton (1834–1902) was Regius Professor of Modern History in Cambridge. His collection of some sixty thousand books, many of them published on the Continent, is a superlative resource for the study of early-modern European political and ecclesiastical history. Purchased during Acton’s lifetime by the philanthropic steelmaker Andrew Carnegie, who allowed the historian to keep possession of them, the books passed in 1902 to John Morley, who presented them to the University Library.
An engraving of seals found on documents in Melk Abbey, Austria, from Philibert Hueber, Austria ex archivis Mellicensibus illustrata, Leipzig, 1722. Acton.a.34.229.