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Manuscripts in Wren Class O
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Manuscripts in Wren Class O

  • O.
  • Fondo
  • 18th–20th c.

Class O is the repository of the Gale collection of manuscripts, donated to the library in 1738 by Roger Gale, the son of Dr Thomas Gale. This collection was described in 1902 by M. R. James in the preface to volume III of his catalogue of Western manuscripts in Trinity College Library which may be viewed online at A searchable version of the James catalogue may be found online at

The manuscripts listed in this catalogue were placed in Class O in the Wren Library on shelves not otherwise occupied by the Gale collection. They consist of a mix of single items and small archival entities, with materials which form a part of larger collections housed elsewhere. It should be noted that there are gaps in the numbering scheme of items on the shelves, and that the cataloguing of these materials is a work in progress.

Trinity College Library, Cambridge

Correspondence of Dawson Turner

General note

The volumes in this collection were made up and bound in a uniform style during Turner’s lifetime. Since the contents of the first volume include a transcript of an obituary of September 1833 (No. 116a), this must have taken place some time after that date. Each volume has a printed title-leaf and a table of contents, and some have collections of seal impressions mounted behind a hinged panel inside the front cover. The printed titles all begin, ‘LETTERS | CHIEFLY | ON LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC SUBJECTS, | ADDRESSED TO | DAWSON TURNER, | DURING THE YEAR’, the relevant year or period being printed below, with the following epigram: ‘Quemnam ego thesaurum amicorum epistolis permutare vellem? Epistolae sunt amicorum absentium colloquia; nec absentes modo per has adsunt, sed et mortui resuscitantur. Longo tamen post tempore legentibus afferunt amari lugubrisque multum, quamvis dulcedine non sine mira: per coemeterium amicorum bustis repletum, sed et violas rosasque ubique redolens, incedere videmur. AUCT. ANON.’ (Later volumes have ‘SCRIPT. INCERT.’ in place of ‘AUCT. ANON.’)

Inside the front cover of each volume is a printed bookplate bearing the following text: ‘BIBLIOTHECAE | COLL. SANCT. ET INDIV. TRIN. CANTAB. | DONAVIT | ELEANORA JOANNA JACOBSON, | DAWSONI TURNER FILIA, | ET | GULIELMI EPISCOPI CESTRENSIS VIDUA. | A.D. 1890.’

Note on the present volume

On the spine is stamped ‘CORRESPONDENCE | JAN.-DEC. | 1790-1801’. There are two title-leaves, one for the years 1790-9 and one for the years 1800-1, and two corresponding tables of contents. Turner has marked many of the letters with the date of his reply, and added pencil dates at the head of most of the letters which are either undated or dated at the end.

Turner, Dawson (1775-1858), banker, botanist, and antiquary

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