King's College London
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Shakespeare in the archives at King's

Skeat and Furnivall Library

photograph of a large reading room with bookshelves enclosed behind glass doors, two tables with several readers, in the foreground a male student in coat and tie reads a newspaper; above on the wall a portrait of Alexander PopeSkeat/Furnivall library, 1968

In 1910 the library of Frederick Furnivall came to King’s, probably due to his connection with Israel Gollancz, head of the Department of English.

Gollancz, too, was an important scholar of early English Literature and Shakespeare, and was Furnivall’s successor as Director of the Early English Text Society.

Furnivall had previously donated material relating to the Society to King’s; subsequently much more was given by his son, amounting to some 3000 volumes.

After the death of Walter William Skeat in 1912, Gollancz, who had been a student of Skeat’s at Cambridge, arranged for his personal library to come to King’s.

The Skeat and Furnivall library was the English departmental library from 1913 until 1971. Today, these collections can be consulted in the Maughan Library, the Foyle Special Collections Library and King’s Archives.  

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