In 2002 the IHR Library was the grateful recipient of Professor David Douglas’s collection of Anglo-Norman and French books, donated by his daughter Ann Douglas.
However it wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that library staff were in a position to catalogue the collection, integrating it into the IHR’s existing collections and making it easily available to researchers as a result.
This important gift of some 600 books considerably augments the existing holdings of the library on medieval Normandy. It is a superb collection of works relating to Norman topography and history, including many editions of cartularies and various historical rarities.
Besides general histories of the region such as the Gesta Normannorum ducum, there is great depth in local history. Many items relate to specific towns, or churches, such as the Cartulaire de l’abbaye de Saint-Calais (1888).
Many of the books date from the 19th century but some were printed as long ago as the 17th century, such as François Farin’s Histoire de la ville de Roven, which dates from 1668.
Alison Gage, Bibliographic Services Librarian, was responsible for cataloguing the collection. She particularly enjoyed the opportunity to develop her experience of working on antiquarian material, assisted by colleagues from Special collections in Senate House Library.
The David Douglas books can be found amongst the main collections. The majority of them are located in the French Provincial History area on the second floor of the IHR, and can be identified by a book plate in the front of each volume. They can be searched for on our online catalogue.