Thousands of rare books to stay in Wales
5 March 2010
'News From Nowhere' or 'An Epoch of Rest' by William Morris.
A large collection of Welsh rare books is to remain in Wales, thanks to a joint initiative between a number of key Welsh institutions.
Cardiff University has worked in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff Council, and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) to secure the collection's future following fears that the books may be sold through public auction in London.
Following conservation work, the collection will become available to members of the public, and, in time, digitised versions of some of the most interesting works will also be accessible online.
Of enormous academic and historical significance, the collection includes 175 incunabula (the earliest printed books from around 1500), around 500 rare Bibles, a comprehensive range of Restoration and Quarto drama volumes, 19th and 20th century British private presses and a rare set of early Shakespeare works.
The University's Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, Professor Jonathan Osmond, said: "These books reflect all of the major stages in book production from the earliest printed works to modern fine bindings, and touch upon many of the cultural and literary trends in Europe from the sixteenth century onwards."
Director of University Libraries, Janet Peters, added: "These 14,000 titles will become a prime research resource for the humanities, and will enable Cardiff to retain this priceless cultural asset within the city where it was created."