The collection comprises around 60 volumes from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. The majority are works of English prose, poetry and drama, by writers such as Joseph Addison, Richard Glover and Samuel Richardson.
The collection also covers works of theology, moral guidance, logic, natural history, juvenile literature, and translations from classical authors. In addition to texts in English, the collection contains a few works in French and Italian. Most volumes are in contemporary bindings and several are illustrated. Of particular note is a volume of five rare eighteenth-century plays by Ambrose Philips, John Banks, Aaron Hill, Richard Steele and George Farquhar.
The collection is based on a selection of the books of Yvonne Cory, née Hales (1928-2008). Cory began collecting books while studying English at Somerville College, Oxford. She worked in publishing before marriage, and subsequently developed her collection with a view to recreating a library of the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ in the family home in the Cathedral Close in Salisbury. Cory’s daughter Dr Emma Jane Robinson (University of London Librarian 1994-2003) inherited much of the older material and added items from her own collection and those from other members of the family. Robinson donated the books to the University of London in 2013.
Items from the collection
Isaac Barrow, A Brief Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer and the Decalogue (1681)
Florence Warden, A Terrible Family ()