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Barlow Dante Collection

The Dante Collection owes its origin to the bequest in 1876 by Henry Clark Barlow of his Italian library containing his important Dante collection. At the same time he endowed the Barlow Memorial Lecture on Dante. The collection was supplemented by editions from the Morris Library (1869), the Mocatta Library(1906), and the Whitley Stokes Collection (1910). A printed catalogue was issued in 1910. Some later editions also came from the Rotton Library in 1926, from Sir Herbert Thompson in 1921, and from the valuable library of Huxley St. John Brooks, whose books were purchased by the Library on his death in 1949.

The collection, now numbering a little under 3,000 volumes, includes thirty-six editions of the Divina Commedia printed before 1600, notably three incunabula; that printed by Wendelin de Spira of Venice in 1477, the 1491 edition of Petrus de Plasiis of Cremona and the first illustrated edition printed by Nicholas di Lorenzo in Florence, 1481. There are also two copies of the first Aldine edition of 1502 together with five later Aldine editions.