Named collections guide

We hold a number of collections which are named to indicate their ownership. These are listed below - please follow the links to find out more about each collection.

You may also be interested in exploring some of the particular subject strengths within our collections:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Attlee collection

Books related to India and Pakistan donated in the early 1960s by Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of post-Second World War Britain.


A growing collection that highlights books written by University of York academics.


Raymond Burton Yorkshire collection

This collection has more than 1800 items relevant to Yorkshire and provides valuable insight into the social history of the county.


Cooper Abbs collection

An 18th century family library, giving insight into the social history of a well to do North Eastern family.


Dyson collection

Just over 800 titles of 17th to 19th century English literature, with good coverage of British poetry. There are many first editions, and several of the books are beautifully bound.


Eliot collection

The collection contains 20th century English literature, with many first editions. Well represented authors are WB Yeats, Robert Graves, DH Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Seamus Heaney, Christopher Hill, and Paul Muldoon.

Geoffrey Elton collection

An impressive library of working source material and secondary literature, of interest to students of early modern and British political history.


Feinstein collection

The collection covers economics and economic history, with most items dating from 1900-1950. Notable highlights include a number of first editions including JM Keynes.


Garden History Society collection

A collection of material on the history of landscape, garden design, horticulture and conservation assembled and owned by the Gardens Trust (formerly the Garden History Society). 

General Pamphlet collection

A collection of bound pamphlets covering a variety of political and historical subjects from some of the twentieth century’s most influential figures.

Gibson collection

Over 100 books on the art and craft of stained glass, including examples of European stained glass windows and church architecture.

Glass Plate Negatives collection

A collection of glass plate negatives and lantern slides of architecture and antiquities.


Halifax Parish collection

The collection is the parish library for Halifax Church and contains around 240 titles, predominantly works of the Church fathers such as St Augustine and St Ambrose.

Heath collection

The collection is illustrative of British engraving from the 17th to the 19th centuries and includes a first edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson.

Barbara Hutton collection

This collection comprises 117 items and includes books and pamphlets on architecture in Britain.


Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies collection

This collection comprises of material on architecture, city planning, historic buildings, building conservation and other related subjects.


Kenneth Keele collection

A collection of books about Leonardo da Vinci with an emphasis on his scientific and anatomical studies.


Leftwich collection

This collection focuses on sociology, South African politics (including Apartheid), political development, African history and economic development.


Wilfrid Mellers collection

Around 1600 items relating to music, comprising books, scores and CDs, some by Mellers himself.

Milner-White collection

The collection contains about 740 volumes, mainly first editions of English detective fiction published in the first half of the 20th century. All the well known authors of the 'Golden Age of Crime' are represented.

Milnes Walker collection

200 early medical books, most associated with Wakefield in Yorkshire, covering a period of almost 450 years from 1538 to 1970.

Mirfield collection

A collection of over 2000 books, most printed before 1800. Predominantly theological but also holds interesting works on other subjects, including books from the abolitionist William Wilberforce.


Newton & Newbold collections

These two collections are key to the University's strength in stained glass, and include books (some very rare) and slides.


Petyt collection

A unique library collected in the 17th century by Yorkshire brothers, William and Silvester Petyt. The collection contains material written during the English Civil War and Commonwealth period.

Pickford collection

Rich in material relating to medieval and modern French literature, Arthurian romance, and the development of French and English languages.

Poetry Society collection

Around 11,000 volumes of both literary and critical works, especially poetry, published between 1709-2006.


Retreat collection

This intact specialist library on insanity has books dating from the 17th to the early 20th century, particularly relating to psychiatry and mental illness.


Sessions Book Trust Collection

Local history, Quakerism and the history of the book trade are the main strengths of this collection.

Slaithwaite Parish collection

This parish library from Slaithwaite has around 250 books mainly of 17th and 18th century theology, consisting of commentaries and expositions of scripture in Latin and English. There are also some manuscripts of local interest.

George Smith collection

The collection focuses on 18th and 19th century painting and engraving, and includes books, prints, banknotes, and stamps.


Wormald collection

This collection covers the fields of stained glass, palaeography, manuscript illumination and liturgical history.


York Art Gallery collection

This collection of over 3500 items has strengths in painting, sculpture and graphic arts, with British painting well represented.

York Medical Society collection

The collection of 2000 items from the York dispensatory and York county hospital medical library, includes notable books from the sixteenth century onwards.

‌‌York County Hospital. 
Image taken from: Credit: Wellcome Collection CC:BY

York County Hospital Medical Library collection

This collection includes over 500 titles that the York County Hospital used to support their purpose of promoting and diffusing medical knowledge.