Roxburghe Club Collection


Roxburghe Club Collection


A collection of over 250 publications of the Roxburghe Club published from 1814 onwards. The Club, the oldest society of bibliophiles in the world, was founded in 1812 during the sale at auction of the magnificent library of the 4th Duke of Roxburghe, William Bellenden-Ker (1728-1805), which took place over 46 days between May and July 1812. The auction included the sale of a first edition of Boccaccio's 'Decameron', printed by Valdarfer of Venice in 1471, and sold to the Marquis of Blandford for £2,260, the highest price ever given for a book at that time. That evening, a group of 18 book collectors met at the St Albans Tavern, St Albans Street for a dinner presided over by the 2nd Earl Spencer, a meeting which is now regarded as the informal origin of the Roxburghe Club. The Club has always had a small and exclusive membership, since 1839 the number of members at any one time has been limited to 40, drawn from collectors with distinguished collections or eminent scholars in the field of bibliography. Each member is expected to sponsor the publication of a volume for presentation to the other members. The Club also publishes volumes which are made generally available for sale. The first of over 300 publications came out in 1814, making the Roxburghe Club a prototype for future text publication societies and clubs which appeared from the 19th century onwards.


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


The books have been acquired through purchase and donation by the Library since the 1930s.


'The Publications of the Roxburghe Club, 1814-1962: an essay with a bibliographical table', N Barker, Cambridge, 1964.

Online resources

Website of the Roxburghe Club




Roxburghe Club

English history and literature