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Learned Benefaction: Science, Civility and Donations of Books and Instruments to the Bodleian Library before 1605

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Chapter Summary

In 1598 the physician, engraver, and Fellow of New College, Richard Haydocke, dedicated his translation of Lomazzo's Trattato dell'arte de la pittura the first treatise on the pictorial arts published in English to Sir Thomas Bodley. The comparative neglect of the early Bodleian by historians of science derives largely from the university's reputation in its early years for scientific conservatism. The Register records, in chronological order, the names of donors and their gifts, whether cash to buy books, books themselves, or other items, such as mathematical instruments. George Carey, second Baron Hunsdon and patron of Shakespeare's theatrical troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, gave a small but choice collection of scientific books, some thirty titles in all, as part of his 224-title donation to the Bodleian in 1600. The first donation of instruments to the Bodleian Library came in 1601, from Thomas Bodley's brother, Sir Josias Bodley.

Keywords: Baron Hunsdon; Bodleian Library; George Carey; scientific books



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