In its early years the IHR library was built up by actively seeking donations, and much of the collection was formed from bequests and gifts by individuals and organisations. The accessions records highlight the collaborative nature of library collection development; many donations were shared between the IHR and other libraries to build on existing collection strengths or through an agreed division of collection policy. The list below shows some of the major bequests and gifts as well as collections built up from named funds or from a particular individual’s library. The collections are not all housed together but in most cases have book plates indicating their provenance.
The library continues to receive gifts but has refined its collection policy; this and space constraints mean that the acceptance of entire libraries is no longer possible as it was in the earlier part of the IHR’s history. See options for supporting the collections.