Records of the Bibliographical Society of Lancashire

Scope and Content

Minute book and address book of the Bibliographical Society of Lancashire. The minute book is written in the hand of Henry Guppy, Honorary Secretary of the Society, and Librarian of the John Rylands Library from 1899 until 1948. The minutes are signed by John Philip Edmond, Edward Gordon Duff, Joseph Hall and Charles Hughes. Edward Gordon Duff was librarian to Mrs Rylands from 1893 until 1900. The Bibliographical Society of Lancashire was founded by Duff and probably ceased to exist some time after his resignation in 1900. It published a number of works on bibliographical subjects in the early 1900s.

The minute book contains: 

  • Minutes, folios 1-10;
  • Receipts and Expenditure, folios 11v-15;
  • Remaining leaves are mounted letters (15) and miscellaneous papers (13) relating to the Society.
The correspondents include [Sir] Walter Raleigh (President of the Society), Edward Gordon Duff (a Vice-President), Professor Oliver Elton and Professor T.F. Tout (Members of the Committee), and the book-collector George Dunn of Woolley Hall, Maidenhead.

With the Minute Book is an Address Book of Members (71 folios), almost entirely in the hand of Gordon Duff.

Access Information

The collection is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the John Rylands Library from an unknown source prior to July 1948.


Description compiled by Jo Humpleby, project archivist.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1937-1951 (English MS 1134).

Related Material

Liverpool University Library holds a copy of the rules of the Bibliographical Society of Lancashire, ?1902 (ref.: GB 0141 POV X98.2.27).

The JRUL holds a manuscript by Edward Gordon Duff entitled A catalogue of books printed on vellum in the John Rylands Library, Manchester (ref.: GB 133 Eng MS 1133). The archives of the John Rylands Library also contain material relating to Duff. The JRUL also holds the correspondence and papers of T.F. Tout, and Professor Oliver Elton's letters to the Manchester Guardian in the Manchester Guardian Archive.


The Bibliographical Society of Lancashire published a number of works. The following are recorded on COPAC:

  • William Caxton, Commemoracio Lamentacionis Siue Compassionis Beate Marie, facsimile of the unique copy held in the Library at the University of Ghent of the book printed at Westminster by William Caxton, with an introduction by E. Gordon Duff (Oxford: 1901).
  • E. Gordon Duff, English printing on vellum to the end of the year 1600 (Aberdeen: 1902);
  • Augustus DeMorgan, On the difficulty of correct description of books, with an introduction by Henry Guppy (Aberdeen: 1902);
  • John Philip Edmond, Suggestions for the description of books printed between 1501 and 1640, reprinted from The Library Association Record (1902).