The Crewe Collection consists of over 7,500 books bequeathed by Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, 1915-2014. Her father, Robert Crewe-Milnes, and grandfather, Richard Monckton Milnes, both studied at Trinity before embarking on important political careers. Between the 1830’s and the early twentieth century they amassed what Trinity’s Librarian, Dr Nicolas Bell, describes as ‘an extraordinary library and one of the most important private collections in Britain.’
The collection includes major works of English and French literature, rare political pamphlets, trial transcripts and several unpublished literary manuscripts, as well as first editions inscribed by Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, and Tennyson. Over half of the collection is works in French, reflecting Monckton Milnes’ particular interest in the French Revolution. He collected song sheets, pamphlets, and other printed material, much of which is has not survived in any other Library.
Work is currently in progress on cataloguing the collection and a list of books catalogued so far can be found here.
A few select items of special interest have also been digitised and are listed below.
- Aeronautica, a volume of cuttings and illustrations
- Athena, an Owlet from the Parthenon, written for Florence Nightingale
- Kaladlit Assilialiait, woodcuts drawn and engraved by Greenlanders
- La nature et diversité des poissons, a handcoloured book by Pierre Belon printed in 1555
- The execution of Courvoisier, a volume of cuttings and ephemera
- The Rossiad, by Lord Alfred Douglas (1916)
- Wilton Garden, engravings by Isaac de Caus