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Roxburghe Club Collection

300 items (dispersed).

The Roxburghe Club is the oldest society of bibliophiles in the world, founded in June 1812 on the eve of the sale of the Duke of Roxburghe’s celebrated library.

The John Rylands Library holds the copy of the 1471 Valdarfer edition of Boccaccio, which fetched the then record price of £2,260 at the Roxburghe sale.1 Each member of the Club is expected to produce a book at his or her own expense for presentation to the other members. The Library holds a complete set of the publications of the Club, many of the volumes being the personal copies of members.

Worthy of special notice is Lord Spencer’s own copy, uniquely printed on vellum and handsomely illuminated, of The First Three Books of Ovid De Tristibus, translated into English by Thomas Churchyarde (1816). This was the third publication of the Club, and the first to be presented to its members by the President, Lord Spencer.  

Many Roxburghe publications have made significant contributions to bibliographical studies, as well as being examples of fine printing and typography in their own right.

1The Marquess of Blandford saw off competition from his cousin Lord Spencer to secure the Boccaccio in 1812, but Spencer ultimately triumphed, paying a mere £918, 15s for it when Blandford was forced to sell seven years later.

Finding aids

Recorded in .


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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