Station Six: Library Treasures

The 'Bibliotheca Bisseaena': Georgius Draudius, Biblotheca classica and Bibliotheca exotica (1625)
Split into four volumes and interleaved as the 'Bibliotheca Bissaeana', by Philip stubbs, dated by him 1687

(1625 & 1687)


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 The 'Bibliotheca Bissaeana

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The final book on display is the earliest surviving catalogue for Wadham library. This is the expanded 1625 edition of the Lutheran pastor Georg Draut's bibliographical guides, the Bibliotheca classica, and the Bibliotheca exotica. The fortunes of this four-volume tool will be unraveled in detail below, but here we may note that it was initially purchased by the college from funds donated to the library in 1625 by Mary Dymock, and for six decades it will have been consulted simply as the excellent subject bibliography it was. But in the late 1680s, it was given new life by being disassembled, interleaved with blank sheets, and rebound in four volumes. The librarian then entered into the margins the shelf-marks of such books listed as the college owned; and on the interleaves any books not appearing in Draud but present in Wadham - perforce everything published after 1624, the cut-off of the printed work - were added by hand. This second life commenced in 1687, when the whole stock of the college was checked against these four interleaved volumes. The catalogue does not seem to have been added to much after this initial burst of concentrated labour, but there are occasional entries showing that it was still in use in the second decade of the eighteenth century, and potentially beyond. The manuscript title-pages bear as a uniform heading throughout the legend 'Bibliotheca Bissæana', an indication that, at least in its more formal moods, the college named its library after its principal benefactor, Philip Bisse. The catalogue is signed 'P. S.', and we can be fairly confident that this was Philip Stubbs, a recent B.A. of the college, who was in time to donate several of his own manuscripts to the library.