We’re pleased to announce that the full holdings of the University of Leicester Library have been added to Copac.
David Wilson Library at night. Image copyright: University of Leicester.
Copac previously included the records for Leicester’s Special Collections and the holdings of the Mathematical Association Library. However this has now been expanded to include Leicester’s complete holdings.
The University of Leicester Library is housed in the David Wilson building. The Library contains over a million items and includes 1500 user spaces of all types, 350 PCs, 14 Group study rooms and a Special Collections Suite constructed to BS5454 standard, as well as several specialist study rooms and wireless network throughout. The building won the 2008 RIBA East Midlands Award for Architecture. It was designed by Associated Architects, and was formally opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2007.
Leicester’s Special Collections include primary materials relating to Leicester authors, such as Sue Townsend and Joe Orton, extensive medieval manuscripts, and 19th century periodicals. One highlight is the Robjohns Collection, which contains most of the university’s medieval manuscripts and the library’s oldest book, a 12th century commentary on the Psalms by Gilbert de la Porée (Gilbertus Porretanus), Bishop of Tours (d. 1154).
The Special Collections also include the English Local History collection, which contains materials relating to English local topography, social and political history. The collection began with the Hatton collection (a special collection) which was donated in 1920-21 to coincide with the opening of the University (then the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College). It was donated by Thomas Hatton, a local boot manufacturer, and includes his topographical library and major county histories.
The Mathematical Association (MA) was formed in 1871 as the Association for the Improvement of Geometrical Teaching. The MA is now the leading UK association for mathematical education at all levels from primary school to university, including postgraduate work. The MA library started on a very small scale in the 19th century and now comprises nearly 11000 text books, popular mathematics and higher mathematics books, and around 700 runs of mathematical periodicals from many different countries. The library also includes an exceptional collection of 300 largely mathematical manuscript exercise books from the 18th and 19th centuries: the John Hersee Collection. The MA library as a whole is a unique resource for the history of mathematics and its teaching, learning and popularisation in the UK from the 16th to the 21st centuries.
Since the mid-1950s, the collection has been accommodated in the University of Leicester Library, where the Special Collections include around 850 of the MA’s older (pre-1850) and rarer books and mathematical serials. The oldest book in the collection is a 1533 edition in Greek of Euclid’s Elements.
To browse or limit your search to Leicester’s holdings, select the Main Search tab in Copac and choose ‘Leicester University’ from the list of libraries. Once you have done so you will be given the option to limit your search further, to the holdings of either the main library, or those of the Mathematical Association.