Several years ago, we discovered that a commercial bookseller had acquired a huge collection of education related books that had originally formed part of the book collection at the Board of Education/Ministry of Education and successor organisations (the collection ranges from late 1800’s to approx 1980’s, but the majority is between 1900 and 1970). We believed that there would potentially be really useful, rare and important items among this collection which would fill some gaps in our collection, and that we had a responsibility in our position to attempt to save this material for the research community. After some years of hard bargaining by the Head of Library Services, Stephen Pickles and with support from the senior management of the Institute of Education, we managed to raise the funds to purchase this collection last year.
We have now sorted it, and checked it against our catalogue and indeed have found some fantastic books and journals to add to our collections. There are too many things to mention here, but for example there are several issues of the Journal of the Women’s Education Union dating from the 1870s and the London Technical Education Gazette, volume 1 of which was published in 1894. And it is always surprising how modern the contents of a book such as ‘Mrs Hoare’s Hints on Early Education’ (published 1820) can be given that this little tome is almost 200 years old. My personal favourite title has to be ‘Kippers and Roses’ by W. Margrie (1930) a semi-fictional account of the career of a South London teacher. There are many many more fascinating items among the collection, which will be catalogued and added to the library in due course and thus become available to researchers worldwide.
There is a great deal of work to be done in terms of cataloguing and in some cases preservation and so we have decided to hold a book sale of the remaining 5000 items which are mainly duplicates or out of scope.
The Book Sale will be held on the following days:
Tuesday 5th July 10 – 4
Monday 11th July 10 – 4
Friday 15th July 10 – 4
You are welcome to come and see what there is (and please buy some books of course!) at the Library and Archive Store in the basement of the London Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald Street, WC1N 3QS. Directions here , or ask in the Library for details.