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Brockbank Cricket Collection

1,200 items.

This important collection of cricket books was bequeathed to the Library by Dr William Brockbank (1900–84), a Manchester physician.

Representative rather than comprehensive in nature, it nevertheless includes many rare individual items as well as runs of early statistical works, e.g. a virtually complete set of Wisden, including some facsimile editions, and a fine series of ‘Britchers’, or rather Samuel Britcher’s A Complete List of All the Grand Matches of Cricket, 1793–1804/5.

The importance of ‘Britchers’ for studying the early development of cricket cannot be overstated.

Also held are early classics of the game in many editions, e.g. Nyren’s The Young Cricketers Tutor, and early tour books such as Frederick Lillywhite’s The English Cricketers Trip to Canada and the United States, 1860.

A recent acquisition is a rare copy of C.F. Pardon’s The Australians in England: a complete record of the cricket tour of 1882; this was the tour in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time and established the legend of the Ashes.

Finding aids

Recorded in .

See also

  • John P. Tuck, 'Some Sources for the History of Popular Culture in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 71, no. 2 (1989), pp. 164-7.
  • John P. Tuck, The Game of Cricket: an Exhibition of Books Based on the Brockbank Cricket Collection (Manchester, 1986).


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library