St John's College U.2

Shelf list of St John's College Library, Cambridge, with notes of some later donations. English and Latin, 1634-38.


This shelf list reflects the contents of the Old Library in 1634-5, and records a few subsequent donations. The opening page bears the title 'Catalogus librorum Academiae Johannensis 1634' and records the number of books as 'Nos numerus sumus 2771'. The name of William Rogers appears several times ('Guilielmus Rogers Bibliothecarius') as does the name 'Rich. Dunelmensis'. William Rogers received his BA in 1632-3 and became a fellow of the college in 1635. The college rentals for 1634 record that two shillings and four pence were 'given to Sr Rogers for transcribing a copy of the library bookes'. Rogers appears to have served as library keeper c.1634-8. In 1626, St John's had received around a thousand printed books from the library of William Crashawe as a gift from Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton. This, and the completion of a new library in 1628 (now the Old Library in Third Court), no doubt prompted the compilation of this catalogue. See also U.3.


  • Fos 1v-2r record the gift of various books in 1638 from Mr Bodurda ('part of Mr Platt's legacie'), the master, Dr Holdesworth, and Mr Coates ('ye gift of Mr Johnson'). These entries relate to William Platt (matric. 1609, d. 1637), William Beale (master 1633-44), Richard Holdsworth (BA 1610, fellow 1613, d. 1649), and John Johnson (BA 1622-3, fellow 1623, d. 1636).
  • Fo. 3r appears to record borrowing of books among the fellowship. Names are listed with a note of the titles or descriptions of the books borrowed. Some of these have been crossed through (presumably when the books were returned).
  • Fo. 4v records the number of books on the south side of the Old Library in 1634: 'Libri sunt ab hoc latere meridionali bibliothecae sunt 1197 Nouemb: 13 1634 accessit huic lateri numerus lib: 44.'
  • Fos 4v-21v give a shelf list of the books shelved on the south side of the Old Library in classes B, C, D, E, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, and S. The compiler gives the letter of the class (classis), the number of the shelf (forulus), and the number of volumes on that shelf (numerus), and then briefly lists the books, giving author, title, number of volumes, and format. Many shelves are empty.
  • Fo. 21v records the number of books shelved on the north side of the Old Library in 1634-5: 'Libri qui sunt ab hoc latere septentrionali bibliothecae sunt 1512 Nouemb: 13 1634. Accessit huic lateri numerus lib: 62 Junii 15o 1635.'
  • Fos 22r-44r give a shelf list of the books shelved on the north side of the Old Library in classes C, E, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, and T. The information is presented in the same way as for the south side. The books in class R are noted as being of 'Mr Holdesworth gift'. Richard Holdsworth (1590-1649) gave £50 to purchase books c.1637.
  • Fo. 45r gives a note of the number of manuscripts given by Thomas Wriothesley, earl of Southampton viz 85 in folio and 77 in quarto and octavo. The manuscripts arrived in 1635.
  • Fos 45v-46r record the number of books 'qui in pluteis reponuntur' (21) and the number of manuscripts 'qui in cista inferiore conduntur' (162 i.e. the Southampton manuscripts). This is followed by a short list of printed and manuscript items.
  • Fo. 46v records manuscripts 'in cista superiore' (eleven Arabic books), items given by the master, one item received from Mr Thurston, and five items from Mr Gent. These entries relate to William Beale (master 1633-44), Joseph Thurston (BA 1615-16, fellow 1617) and John Gent (BA 1625-6).
  • Fo. 47r gives a list of theology books on the north side of the Old Library in class L, on shelves 5 and 6.
  • Fo. 47v 'Februar: 26 1635 numerus omnium lib: 3329. A latere meridionali 1493 septentrion: 1653. In cista superiore 21 inferiore 162.'
  • Fo. 48r-v gives a list of 'Mr Lightfoots bookes', arranged by format and including a list headed 'To be changed'. These were bequeathed by Edward Lightfoot (BA 1584, d. 1635).
  • Fos 49r-51r give a shelf list of books shelved on the north side of the Old Library on particular shelves in classes Q, R, O, and P.
  • Fos 53r-54r give a list of books in folio, quarto and octavo. Neither the location nor the provenance of these books is specified.
  • Fo. 54r-v gives a list of twelve manuscripts 'reperiuntur in cista inferiore', and books received in 1638 from the master, Mr Bodurda and Thomas Bendish. These items relate to William Beale (master 1633-44), William Bodurda? (fellow 1616-44), and Sir Thomas Bendish (matric. 1624).
  • Fos 67r-70v give a shelf list of medical books shelved on the south side of the Old Library in classes S and T. These were bequeathed by John Collins (BA 1596, fellow 1613) in 1634.
  • Fo. 75r bears the opening lines of a draft letter.
  • Fo. 75v lists 'Bookes taken out of ye Library to be changed 10 in fol.', and has some calculations.
  • The pastedown inside the back cover bears notes, pen trials and calculations.
Manuscript extra information

200 x 150mm. 75 folios. Paper. Written in a single? hand of varying neatness. Binding: brown sheepskin over pulp boards; gold- and blind-tooled fillet borders and gilt central ornament on both covers; edges sprinkled red; rebacked and repaired by George Bolton, Lent 1981.

Formerly H.29 (this class mark appears crossed through on the front pastedown). College bookplate of 1710 pasted inside upper board.