Francis John Henry Jenkinson: Cambridge University Library Diaries

Scope and Content

The diaries contain occasional notes of Library business, including notes of books that were offered for sale, bought, presented, recommended for the Library, missing, or mutilated; autographs in books; requests for, and receipt of, loans; complaints; engagements; binding practice; visitors; copyright claims; and library rearrangement. The diaries were continued in other hands during the absence or illness of Jenkinson.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first home of Cambridge University Library was at the buildings now known as the 'Old Schools', developed during the fifteenth century. In its early years the Library was under the superintendence of the University Chaplain; the first librarian was appointed in 1577, and the first regulations for the Library's administration were drawn up five years later. Until the bequest of Tobias Rustat in 1666, the Library had no income for purchasing books, relying instead on gifts and bequests. The Library was granted the right to claim a copy of every work published in the United Kingdom by the Licensing Acts of 1662-1679 and 1685-1695, and by the Copyright Act of 1709 and successive Acts, although this privilege was not fully exploited until the nineteenth century. The Library moved to the present building, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, in 1934.

Francis John Henry Jenkinson (1853-1923) was Cambridge University Librarian, 1890-1923.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Rare Books Department, Cambridge University Library, 1989.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library also holds loose letters and papers removed from the diaries, MS.Add.8809.