Topographical collections, correspondence and papers of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart. (1792-1872)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Phillipps-Robinson a. 1-48, b. 1-218, c. 1-726, d. 1-326, e. 1-509, f. 1-83, g. 1-6; Rubbings Phillipps-Robinson 1-933
  • Dates of Creation
      16th-20th century
  • Language of Material
      English, Latin, Old French (842-ca.1400), French, Ancient Greek (to 1453), German, and Spanish or Castilian.
  • Physical Description
      2849 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

Phillipps's papers consist of:  

  • Topographical manuscripts
  • Phillipps family correspondence and papers

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart. (1792-1872) was a collector of manuscripts and printed books. The late A.N.L. Munby, whose Phillipps studies (5 vols., Cambridge, 1951-60) describes Phillipps's life and the acquisition and dispersal of his manuscripts, called his library 'the greatest collection of manuscripts ever put together by one man'. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see

Acquisition Information

The collection was given to the Library by Lionel and Philip Robinson in 1958.


Collection level description created by Emily Tarrant, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue is available in the Library.

Alternative Form Available

For conservation reasons, microfilms of the majority of Phillipps's correspondence, on open access in the Modern Papers and John Johnson Reading Room, are to be consulted in place of the original papers.

Geographical Names