- Identifying Sloane’s books
The picture is confused, however, by the continuing use of the stamp on later acquisitions, and by the use of similar but re-cut stamps as late as 1829. As evidence for Sloane’s ownership the presence of the stamp alone is not conclusive, but highly indicative. Books with the stamp but no other definite evidence of Sloane ownership are probably Sloane’s. For further details of stamps, see P.R.Harris, ‘Identification of printed books acquired by the British Museum, 1753-1836’ in Libraries within the Library, ed. G. Mandelbrote and B. Taylor (British Library, forthcoming 2009)
Manuscript notes or inscriptions often indicate Sloane ownership. The book may have been sent to Sloane, bearing his name or address, or he may have written his name on the book. Quite commonly his books are inscribed “Bibliothecae Sloanianae”, often followed by his number. This note appears particularly on prestigious and attractive items. This is a definite form of identification.
- Sloane’s catalogues
Of the three catalogues, the first, Sloane Ms 3995, is a small volume which records Sloane’s purchases from 1685 to 1687, which has not been used as background for this catalogue. The principal catalogues of his printed books are firstly a manuscript catalogue, now in the BL Department of Manuscripts, Sloane Ms 3972C, with an index at Sloane Ms 3972D. Some leaves, mainly recording manuscripts, were removed and bound as Sloane Ms 3972B. Secondly, medical books in Latin are recorded not in the manuscript catalogue, but in an interleaved copy of a bibliography of medical literature, J.A. van der Linden, Lindenius renovatus, Nuremberg, 1686, BL 878.n.8 (Note: this book is fragile and must be consulted on microfilm). The fact that separate and very different catalogues were used means that it is extremely difficult to fully identify Sloane’s books completely from these sources.
The identification of Sloane‘s books has proceeded not from these catalogues but from examination of the books. However, these catalogues have been used on occasion to clarify Sloane numbers and may be referred to in the catalogue record.
- Bibliography: a selected list of works relating to Sloane’s library
Alston, R. C. The Arrangement of Books in the British Museum Library 1843-1973, Compiled from Manuscript and Print Sources, with Classifications for the Old Library and the New Library. London: Chadwyck-Healey in association with the British Library, 1986.
Birrell, T. A. The Library of John Morris: The Reconstruction of a Seventeenth-Century Collection. London: British Museum Publications Limited, 1976.
Brooks, Eric St John. Sir Hans Sloane: The Great Collector and His Circle. London: Batchworth Press, 1954.
Carley, James P., and Colin G. C. Tite, eds. Books and Collectors 1200-1700: Essays Presented to Andrew Watson. London: The British Library, 1997.
De Beer, Gavin Rylands. Sir Hans Sloane and the British Museum. London: Oxford University Press, 1953.
Esdaile, Arundell. The British Museum Library. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1946.
Finch, Jeremiah S. "Sir Hans Sloane's Printed Books." The Library 22.1 (1941): 67-72.
Griffiths, Antony, ed. Landmarks in Print Collecting: Connoisseurs and Donors at the British Museum since 1753. London: British Museum Press, 1996.
Harris, P. R. A History of the British Museum Library 1753-1973. London: The British Library, 1998.
Jones, Peter Murray. "A Preliminary Check-List of Sir Hans Sloane's Catalogues." British Library Journal 14.1 (1988): 38-51.
MacGregor, Arthur, ed. Sir Hans Sloane: Collector, Scientist, Antiquary. London: British Museum Press, 1994.
Nickson, M. A. E. "Hans Sloane, Book Collector and Cataloguer, 1682-1698." British Library Journal 14.1 (1988): 52-89.
---. "Sloane’s codes: the solution to a mystery." Factotum 7 (1979): 13-18.
Pearson, David. "Illustrations from the Wellcome Library: Joseph Fenton and His Books." Medical History 47 (2003): 239-248.
Wood, Lawrence. "Sir Hans Sloane’s books." Factotum 2 (1978): 15-18.
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