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Cambridge University Library


The Venn collection contains about 1100 books on logic, donated in 1888 by the logician John Venn (1834-1923). It covers the 16th-19th century, and various languages are represented. Venn was appointed lecturer in Moral Science in Gonville and Caius in 1862, and started collecting what was later to be considered the largest private collection of works upon logic ever brought together.

Among Venn's published works are The logic of chance written in 1866, Symbolic logic in 1881, and The principles of empirical logic in 1889. Venn was also interested in university history. Among his publications of the later part of the 19th century was The biographical history of Gonville and Caius College, published in 1897. During his latter years, he collaborated with his son in the preparation of the Alumni Cantabrigienses, the first two volumes of which (1922) he lived to see in print. It is now also available as an online database.

References and further reading:

  • Catalogue of a collection of books on logic presented to the Library by John Venn. Cambridge, 1889. (University Library Bulletin. Extra series.) Cam.d.11.4