Lower Old Library
It’s likely that the vast majority of the materials you need will be found in our modern, “Working Library”. However, the College has collected books since its foundation, and these are housed in the “Old Library”, which is divided into two parts. The “Upper Old Library” houses books mainly from the 16th-18th centuries, plus some 19th-century special collections; while the Lower Old Library has materials from the 19th century to the present. The library team is working on a project to create records for previously unrecorded material in the Lower Old Library. These records are slowly becoming accessible on iDiscover.
The Lower Old Library is a staff only access location but members of Christ's College may still request books to be fetched for you by a member of staff.
If you are not a member of Christ's College you can still consult Lower Old Library materials by making an appointment with Library staff, Monday- Friday 9-4.15. Lower Old library material is only borrowable to Christ's College members.
The classmarks (numbering sequence to identify the particular book) for Lower Old Library books are made up of a series of 3 numbers (e.g 37.4.55) and the location will be shown on iDiscover as 'Lower Old Library'.
If you request these books, they will be fetched for you by a member of library staff. Either visit our office Monday- Friday 9-4.15 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. From there you are able to usually borrow them as you would with a Working library book.
Below are some of our previous Treasure of the Month displays taken from the Lower Old Library:
An Introduction to Geology and its Associate Sciences, Mineralogy, Fossil Botany and Palaeontology
G.F Richardson; new edition by Thomas Wright
London: H.G Bohn, 1855
Christ’s College Annexe, 15.5.225 IMAGE
This is a geology textbook with quite a history. Our volume is a new and revised version of George Fleming Richardson’s Geology for beginners, first published in London in 1842 and very popular in its day as an instructional textbook for the geological enthusiast. Richardson (1796-1848) worked as a sub-curator in the Mineralogy and Geology department of the British Museum, and was later a Fellow of the Geological Society. Geology for beginners was well received upon publication but was criticised as a piece of “scandalous piracy” by Gideon Mantell (1790-1852), Richardson’s own mentor and the author of Wonders of Geology, published in 1838.
Our copy is the new, revised and augmented version by Thomas Wright (1809-1864), a devotee of palaeontology. The volume is filled with detailed illustrations of fossils.
Edward A. Freeman (1823-92)
The Methods of Historical Study (London: Macmillan and Co, 1886)
Christ’s College Lower Old Library, 62.1.2 IMAGE
The book on display here is composed of eight lectures given by Freeman as Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford. The lectures had been read during Michaelmas Term in 1884, and were designed as an introductory series to the study of history in general and on the distinction of different periods of history, modern history in particular. Lecture III: The Nature of Historical Evidence is of particular interest in discussing how to define the field of history. Freeman defined it as ‘the science of man in his character as a political being’. He then offers an interesting discourse on the differences (and similarities) of science and knowledge.
Donated to Christ’s College Library by Henry Latimer Jackson (1851-1926), 1915.
Rev. J. Hinton Knowles (dates unknown)
Folk -Tales of Kashmir (London: Trubner & Co., Ludgate Hill, 1888)
Christ’s College Lower Old Library, 75.1.89 IMAGE
We are pleased to present this romantic tale from our Lower Old Library as this month’s treasure. This tale of a love shared by a prince and princess who have agreed to an arranged marriage describes the joy and loss that was connected to their love. This book contains a number of stories, mythical, legendary, and romantic, but each individual story throughout the book also has a moral and a teaching purpose. Like Aesop’s Fables or the stories of Jean de la Fontaine, the morals in this volume make the book timeless and relatable - a joy to read.
Robert H. Scott (1833-1916)
Weather Charts and Storm Warnings (London: Henry S. King & Co., 1876)
Christ’s College Lower Old Library, 5.3.60 IMAGE
Dipping into the Lower Old Library for this month’s treasure, we are pleased to present this charming tract on weather. Written by the director of the Meteorological Office, this book was intended to describe ‘Weather Knowledge’ rather than act as a textbook of meteorology. In fact, its stated purpose was to explain the weather charts that were being published in the newspapers of the day, specifically the use of the barometer. However, Mr. Scott notes that the science of the weather was quickly developing and consequently his book was only an account of the weather knowledge of the present.
Quinti Septimii Florentis Tertulliani Apologeticus =The apology of Tertullian, with English notes and a preface by Henry Annesley Woodham
Cambridge: Deightons, 1843, 37.10.13 IMAGE
Written by one of the earliest Christian apologists (the branch of Christian theology that defends Christianity against objections). In one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire, Carthage, Tertulliani’s rhetoric, Apologeticus, addressed the provincial governors of the Roman Empire during a time of Christian persecution. It opens with a request that “the truth, being forbidden to defend itself publicly, may reach the ears of the rulers by the hidden path of silent literature.”
In later centuries the Christians of Carthage conducted persecutions against the pagans in which they destroyed temples, sanctuaries and holy sites.
This Christ’s College Library copy also includes an interesting linguistic interpretation by Henry Annesley intended for the study of patristical and ecclesiastical Latinity.