Browning Library Collection

The rare Browning Library Collection consists primarily of books from the personal libraries of Robert and/or Elizabeth Barrett Browning or members of their immediate families, some of which bear important annotations written by the poets. The Armstrong Browning Library's holdings include over 800 of the 2,700 items recorded under The Browning Collections, Section A, The Brownings' Library, in The Brownings: A Research Guide. This database reports over 500 book titles and approximately 300 periodical issues or articles in the Browning Library Collection. BearCat, the Baylor University Libraries' Online Catalog, provides a list of books in the Browning Library Collection, which can be sorted by author, title, or year of publication. Click HERE to see the list.

Browning Library Copies Collection
Although the Armstrong Browning Library continues to add to the Browning Library Collection whenever possible, many of the books once owned by the Brownings or members of their immediate families are held by other institutions or by private collectors, and many are unlocated--perhaps lost forever. Therefore, in an effort to recreate the library owned by the Brownings, the ABL began the Browning Library Copies Collection. These are books which, based on the most complete information available, are the same editions as the volumes once owned and used by the Brownings. This growing collection currently consists of over 275 titles. BearCat, the Baylor University Libraries' Online Catalog, provides a list of books in the Browning Library Copies Collection, which can be sorted by author, title, or year of publication. Click HERE to see the list.

Examples of the remarkable holdings in the Browning Library Collection are:

  • Nathaniel Wanley's Wonders of the Little World, or A General and Complete History of Man (1667) which was inscribed to Robert Browning from his father in 1825 and contains the manuscript of "The Cardinal and the Dog" written in a margin

  • An eleven-volume set of classics housed in a leather case which Robert Browning carried when traveling, each volume inscribed by Browning

  • Robert Browning's copy of Paracelsus' Opera Omnia (1658), inscribed to him by his friend Joseph Milsand

  • The History and Lives of Twenty Kings of England [1615] with the signatures of five generations of Brownings

  • A 1758 edition of Epictetus' Manuale, Cebetis Thebani Tabula, Prodici Hercules, et Theophrasti Characteres Ethici inscribed by "E B Barrett" in 1831 and containing her annotations

  • Thomas Moore's Letters And Journals Of Lord Byron: With Notices Of His Life (1830), a gift to Elizabeth Barrett from Mrs. James (Julia) Martin, a friend from her girlhood, inscribed by Elizabeth in 1831 and containing a note by Robert Browning dated 1881