The Library has run a book sponsorship programme since 2007, whereby members can sponsor the repair of one of our rare books or manuscripts. There are currently over 200 books awaiting repair. These include a two-volume set of manuscript law reports from the early seventeenth-century, a mid-sixteenth century book on disasters in Italy and Greece, which is bound with five other books on the Catholic Church and the English reformation, and a tiny, 10cm book of travel maxims published in 1631.
In each edition of the Middle Templar, we highlight some of the more urgent books that require repair. In 2023 we would be very appreciative if a member/s could sponsor the repair of the following two books, which have extensive and severe damage:
Henri de Heer, Spadacrene. Hoc est, fons spadanus, Liège, 1614. This small, 14cm book on the therapeutic use of mineral waters shows marginal numbering in Robert Ashley’s hand. The front binding is missing and there are paper repairs required to the textblock. It will cost approximately £400 to repair.
Arnoldus Clapmarius, De arcanis rerumpublicarum libri sex, Frankfurt, 1611. At some unknown point in the past this book has been damaged by water, and not treated correctly, resulting in mould damage, which has made the paper friable and even stuck together at certain points. Because of this it also requires rebinding. It is an early work on Roman Law, public law, and political science. It will cost approximately £900 to repair.
If you decide to sponsor these, or another rare book, we will send you before-and-after photos and place a commemorative bookplate in the book.
We also welcome smaller donations that go to the general sponsorship fund; once enough monies are raised, we select a book from the list of candidates to repair.
Further details can be found at www.middletemple.org.uk/library/library-collections/rare-books/rare-book-sponsorship-programme, or by contacting the Library at [email protected].
Renae has been working at Middle Temple since 2006 and was originally hired as the Rare Books Librarian. She is currently completing a PhD at Queen Mary University of London on the Library’s founder, Robert Ashley. Her part-time studies on this started five years ago and she is keen to be known as the expert on Robert Ashley’s astounding collection. She is originally from Montreal and completed her MLIS at McGill University. She is a keen gardener with an allotment in Crystal Palace where her battle against slugs, whitefly and foxes seems never ending.
Beth Flerlage is an assistant librarian. She is responsible for the development of the UK and Official Publications collections. She also contributes to the teaching program provided by the organisation to support members of the Bar.