The Crewe Collection

From West Horsley Place to Trinity Library | Work on the Crewe Collection

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 1830s 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includes major works of English and French literature, rare political pamphlets, trial transcripts and several unpublished literary manuscripts, as well as first editions inscribed by Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, and Tennyson.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 has not survived in any other Library.

Work is currently in progress on cataloguing the Collection, digitising the most precious items, publishing news and updates on our blog, and exhibiting books and objects in the Wren Library. Find all the latest news and useful links on the Work on the Crewe Collection page.

We have created three resources to help you find out more about the history of the collection:

Crewe Collection Timeline

If you wish to know more about the history of the Crewe Milnes family, and how the collection came together, have a look at the Crewe Collection Timeline. You can switch between 2d and 3d by using the button in the bottom left hand corner. Use the spanner button in the bottom right hand corner to search for a specific entry (for ex. “Roxburghe”) or to limit the display to individual categories (for ex. “Collection”).
Family Tree

Find out how the Crewe and Milnes families were related, and why Robert Milnes became heir of the Crewe estate, by looking at the Crewe Milnes Family Tree. Tip: look for Hungerford Crewe, 3rd Baron Crewe, who never married and had no direct heirs.
Map

Follow the Crewe Collection from its origins at Fryston Hall and Crewe Hall, passing through London and West Horsley, all the way to Trinity College Library, with our Map. For a full history of the move to Trinity, see also the From West Horsley Place to Trinity Library page.

Watch Trinity Librarian, Dr Nicolas Bell, talk about the discovery of the “blue suitcase” at West Horsley, with an overview of the Collection’s highlights, and advice on how scholars can access it: