Cassidy Collection


Cassidy Collection


A collection of around 5,000 volumes that formed part of the collections from St Benedict's Abbey, Fort Augustus (see St Benedict's Abbey (Fort Augustus) Collection), deposited in the Library in 1992. The Cassidy Collection was collected from the 1830s to the 1860s by an Irish Franciscan, the Rev Thomas Cassidy (died 1873). His book label and/or signature serve to identify books belonging to the collection. The dominant theme of the collection is English Catholic books from the penal period from the reign of Elizabeth I of England onwards, when a series of laws were passed to prevent the practising of the Catholic faith in England. The collection in particular has examples of works printed at secret presses or abroad. Many of these books were apparently purchased by Cassidy from book stalls on the quays at Dublin. There are nine incunabula and many rare books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. After Cassidy's death the books were brought to St Benedict's Abbey in 1885.


A collection-level record for the collection is in the Library catalogue and a few individual items in the collection are also in the catalogue; it has been assigned the shelfmark 'Cassidy.'.


The Cassidy books were not the property of the Trustees of St Benedict's Abbey but had been placed there for safe keeping. On the dissolution of St Benedict's Abbey in the 1990s the Cassidy books were transferred into the custodianship of the English Benedictine Congregation Trust and are now on deposit in the National Library as a separate collection.




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