Provenance Evidence in the Fellows’ Library

As part of my year as a graduate library trainee, I have been encouraged to work on a project which will benefit Jesus College’s libraries. I opted to look at the provenance — or ownership history — of some of the books in the Fellows’ Library. I focused on books owned by the five main seventeenth-century book donors: Griffith Powell, Francis Mansell, Edward Herbert, Sir Leoline Jenkins and Jonathan Edwards.

By looking through existing publications, the library’s catalogues and related archival documents, together with examining a selection of the books themselves, I created short biographies of the benefactors. These are modelled on David Pearson’s list of English Book Owners in the Seventeenth Century, which incorporates information about the book owners’ careers, the nature of their collections and the ways in which they marked their books. Drafts of these are available below in PDF format.

Griffith Powell Biography

Francis Mansell Biography

Edward Herbert Biography

Leoline Jenkins Biography

Jonathan Edwards Biography

The slides from my presentation at the Bodleian Libraries Trainee Showcase are also available to view below.

[Update, August 2014: Photographs of the provenance evidence are now available: see ‘Book marks‘.]

Emma Jones (Graduate Library Trainee, 2013-14)

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