Support for the College Libraries
The Ward and the Perne Libraries are an invaluable teaching resource. The College updates the holdings in the Ward (undergraduate) Library from the endowment as part of our core costs, but there are additional developments which would be highly desirable but are less clearly aligned to our core purpose. Recent donations have, for example, enabled us to catalogue materials and books held in our modern archive to make them more accessible to scholars. Thanks to the generosity of Petreans we have also embarked on an ambitious program of digitisation in collaboration with the University Library - starting with the Equatorie and the Whittle papers. Other materials will be added as we have the funds. The College seeks to maintain a representative collection of works by or about Petreans, buying retrospectively as appropriate. Recent purchases, for instance, have included manuscripts and books connected with Thomas Gray. There are books that have never been in the collections but ought to be there, given our existing strengths. For example, we were originally given less than a third of the books that once belonged to Andrew Perne and we are keen to buy the rest if they ever become available.
Donations to the libraries help to maintain the importance and relevance of the collections. The Ward Library is one of the finest undergraduate libraries in Cambridge. The Perne Library is also one of the College’s treasures and we are keen to continue the programme of restoration and augmentation of the collection. Donations have also enabled us to repair and restore books and to purchase books to augment the collection, including a recent appeal to buy some of Professor Kenney’s collection of antiquarian books for the Perne.