The Gough Map
The oldest surviving road map of Great Britain, dating from around 1360. East is shown at the top.
Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species
The first edition of Darwin’s great work on evolution. Published in 1859, more than two decades after his voyage on The Beagle.
Pliny’s Natural History
A spectacular edition of Pliny, printed by Nicholas Jenson of Venice, for the Strozzis, a family of Florentine merchants and bankers.
Kenneth Grahame, letters to his son which form the basis of The Wind in the Willows
Letters written from Kenneth Grahame to his son in 1907, in which he recounts the adventures of Mr Toad. The letters would form the basis of The Wind in the Willows, published the following year.
Translation of a French devotional poem by an 11 year old Elizabeth I in her own hand
A translation of a French devotional poem by an 11-year-old Elizabeth I in her own hand. Tradition has it that Elizabeth also embroidered the binding.
Parthenia, or the Maydenhead of the first Musuicke that ever was printed for the Virginalls
A collection of music for the virginal, including works by Byrd, Bull and Gibbons. The earliest engraved music in England.
‘The Douce Ivory’
An ivory panel set into the upper cover of a manuscript Gospel lectionary. It shows the triumphant Christ trampling on a lion and serpent.
The Song of Roland
An Anglo-Norman manuscript copy of the earliest surviving masterpiece in French literature.
Ernest Shackleton, Aurora Australis
This book was written, illustrated and printed at the sign of ‘The Penguins’ in Antarctica. Shackleton devised it to pass the time during the long Antarctic winter.
Draft of a speech on the abolition of slavery by William Wilberforce
Written by Wilberforce in preparation for a speech. He has clearly set out the main issues in a series of headings and related notes.
The People's Choice
** Please be aware that it may not be possible to display some items, for various reasons: for example, they may be too fragile or too large for display; they may already have been promised for loan to exhibitions elsewhere; or they may be needed for current research.