The Rare Book Collection at Sherborne School contains approximately 900 volumes published between the 15th and 20th centuries, although the nucleus of the collection is the School’s 17th-century library.  Of the 400 volumes listed in a library catalogue dated 1695 the majority still remain in the collection.  The subject areas covered include theology, history, travel, topography and maps, natural science, philosophy, ecclesiastical history, bibles and prayer books.

The collection also includes the Antwerp Polyglot Bible (1569/72), a set of late sixteenth-century vocal works by Orlando di Lasso, Gastoldi and others, first editions of John Gerard’s Herbal (1597) and Dr Johnson’s Dictionary (1755), and one item of incunabula, St Thomas Aquinas, Opus Aureum (1493).

Guides to the Rare Book Collection:
Encyclopedias & Lexicography
English Literature
French Literature
Hebrew Lexicons
Hebrew History
History: English History, European History, Historical Works, Local History
Late 16th-century Vocal Works (pdf)
Latin & Greek authors
Natural Science & Philosophy
Theology & Ecclesiastical History (pdf)
Travel, Topography & Cartography

Further information:
Peter Currie, ‘Reflections on a bookseller’s bill of 1687’, Antiquarian Book Monthly Review (June 1987)
Robert Clavell’s bill, 28 June 1687
Isaac Cleave’s bills, 17 February 1690 & 2 July 1691
An inventory of Sherborne School library, c.1695 (pdf)
Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 3rd edition (Facet Publishing, 2016)

For further information about the Sherborne School Archives please contact the School Archivist.

Return to the School Archives homepage.