Lloyd Collection


Lloyd Collection


The collection of books on mountaineering, mainly relating to the Alps, formed by Robert Wylie Lloyd (1868-1958), a former Vice-President of the Alpine Club, whose interests also included entomology and the collecting of objèts d'art (his book-plate incorporates a beetle and a climber's ice-axe). It was his passion for entomology that drove Lloyd to climb, initially in Norway, and then in the Alps, to collect specimens. Lloyd was a very successful, self-made businessman, who was born in Lancashire but brought up by his Scottish mother in London after his parents separated. He was keen climber and Alpinist until his late 60s when a thrombosis led to the amputation of his left leg. The collection contains around 2,000 printed items, books and journals, mostly in English (but including around 300 in French, 100 in German, and 20 in Italian), while a number of the earlier works are in Latin. The earliest volume in the collection is 'Aegidii Tschudi ... de prisca ac uera Alpina Rhaetia, cum caetero Alpinarum gentium tractu ... descripti' (Basel, 1538), a Latin translation by Sebastian Muenster of the work by Swiss historian Aegidius Tschudi (1505-1572) on the Alps. One of the strengths of the collection is the multiple versions of one book as Lloyd liked to collect revisions and new editions. Books in the collection published before the middle of the 18th century deal with the history, topography and antiquities of Switzerland, while the works from the second half of the century concentrate on the natural history of the country, chiefly geology and physical geography, especially glaciers. However, the majority of the books are of the 19th and the 20th century. The contemporary narratives of the first ascents of Mont Blanc are complemented by the numerous 19th-century accounts of subsequent ascents and of climbing expeditions throughout the Alps. The collection also includes guidebooks to Switzerland, a number of fine colour plate books of the Alps, literary works, runs of Alpine journals and year-books.


The books have been catalogued individually and have the shelfmark 'Lloyd.'.


The collection was bequeathed to the Library in 1958 after Robert Wylie Lloyd's death.

Related collections

Ten manuscripts also came with the collection, which include illustrated journals of Alpine tours, as well as personal correspondence. The manuscripts are held at MSS.6337-6346. They are described and indexed in volume 4 of the Library's Catalogue of manuscripts.

To complement his books, Lloyd also collected Swiss prints, which he bequeathed, along with a collection of pre-1885 English watercolours, to the British Museum where they are available in the Department of Prints & Drawings.


'Mountaineering: Catalogue of the Graham Brown and Lloyd Collections', Edinburgh, 1994 (catalogue of the printed books in the two collections plus microfiche updates of the Graham Brown collection).

'Shelf Catalogue of the Lloyd Collection of Alpine Books', Boston, 1964.





French history, language and literature


Natural history