Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Australian material in the Bromhead Library

Staff in the Historic Collections department of Senate House Library have recently completed online cataloguing of the Bromhead Library.

The Bromhead Library was donated in 1964 by the executors of the estate of Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Claude Bromhead (1876-1963), one of the co-founders of Gaumont Cinemas. The Bromhead Library is a collection of books, broadsides, directories, pamphlets, newsbooks, prints, proclamations, maps and manuscripts primarily on the history of London, published from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. The collection also contains material on Australia, including books and maps.

The collection contains Australian material dating from 1787-1954 and covers topics including travel writing, history, convicts and settlers, exploration and gold. The earliest item in the collection was published in 1787 and is:

The History of New Holland, : from its first discovery in 1616, to the present time. With a particular account of its produce and inhabitants; and a description of Botany Bay: also, a list of the naval, marine, military, and civil establishment. To which is prefixed, an introductory Discourse on banishment, by the Right Honourable William Eden. Illustrated with a map of New Holland, a chart of Botany Bay, and a general chart from England to Botany Bay.

The book was printed in London for John Stockdale in 1787 and is variously attributed to George Barrington or to William Eden, and consists of 254 pages as well as plates and coloured maps. From Bormhead's Library, the book includes the armorial bookplate of "Will. Lacon Childe of Kinlet. Esqr.", a previous owner.

Another early item of interest is:

Reid, Thomas, Two voyages to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land : with a description of the present condition of that interesting colony : including facts and observations relative to the state and management of convicts of both sexes : also reflections on seduction and its general consequences, printed in London for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster-Row, in 1822.

Material from the Bromhead collection can be found using a keyword search of "Bromhead and Australia" (or "Bromhead and New South Wales", etc) and needs to be booked for use in advance with one working days notice, and consulted in the Library's Historic Collections Reading Room.

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