Title page of book donated by Fowler Family. Note signature of John Winthrop, Jr.

Fowler Family Donates Rare Book to HLFM

Four members of the Fowler family—Angela W. Fowler, Lucius L. Fowler, H. Winthrop Fowler and Cecily F. Grand—have donated a rare 397 year old library catalogue to the Museum. The Catalogus Universalis Librorum in Bibliotheca Bodleiana . . . (JAMES, Thomas), was printed in Oxford, England, in 1620 for the Bodleian Library by John Litchfield & Jacob Short, University Printers. It is a first edition.

The Bodleian Library, one of the oldest in Europe, has operated for more than four centuries as the main research library for Oxford University. This volume was the second Bodleian Library catalogue ever published and the first library catalogue in which books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. The donated copy belonged to John Winthrop, Jr. (1606-1676), first colonial governor of Connecticut and first European owner of Fishers Island. His signature, “John Winthrop 1631” is on the title page.

The Fowlers and the Museum are in agreement that should this volume ever be deaccessioned any funds generated by a sale would then be used to help fulfill the Museum’s mission. The Board of Trustees thanks the Fowler family for this very generous and thoughtful donation.