CollectionsYour library (1,231)
TagsAncient Philosophy (317), Medieval Philosophy (104), Books about Books (90), Renaissance Philosophy (86), Neoplatonism (85), Stoicism (83), Hellenistic Philosophy (81), Loeb Classical Library (80), Ancient Commentators on Aristotle (77), Classics (74) — see all tags
MediaNot set (53), Book (1,178), Paper Book (1,106)
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About meI am an academic philosopher by profession.
About my libraryMy library is a mixture of an academic working library and a collector's library. The heart of my collection is focused on the history of philosophy, weighted towards ancient philosophy as this is my main area of work. This means I also have strong interests in classics.
Beyond my philosophical work I'm especially interested in the transmission of texts from antiquity, including medieval manuscripts, early printing, the history of libraries, and various other book-related topics. I am a member of The Bibliographical Society (http://www.bibsoc.org.uk/) and an avid reader of The Book Collector (http://www.thebookcollector.co.uk/). I recently published a piece in The Book Collector about my collecting, under the title 'Collecting Stoicism' (https://www.academia.edu/8642978/Collecting_Stoicism).
Bringing these two interests together, the highpoint of my collection focuses on early printed editions of ancient philosophical texts, the older the better. The oldest is currently 1545 (http://www.librarything.com/work/12095556/book/81348076). I also collect single leaves from incunabula, the oldest of which is from 1478 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25441650@N02/4505300799). You can find further images of my older books and leaves at http://www.flickr.com/photos/25441650@N02/
My collecting began gently when I was an undergraduate student in the early 1990s and I first realized that I could buy durable old hardback copies for less than the price of new ephemeral paperbacks (I started with the old Everyman's Library). In 1996 I made a first attempt to catalogue my books and found that I had around 500. That increased by an average of 100 a year (i.e. 2 a week) until I had around 1000 in 2001, when I finished my graduate studies. A decade later and the total was over 3000, not including my wife's books or other non-academic books in the house. (In other words I bought 4 books per week, week in week out, for 10 years.) It remained at that level for a few years, as although I continued to add at a pace I also had occasional clear outs and got rid of things I thought I no longer wanted, usually due to worrying about lack of space. I have almost always regretted this! I have resolved not to do this any more. The total now is close to 4000. I've kept up the catalogue started in 1996 and it is now a 200 page book which I get printed (by lulu) from time to time.
GroupsAncient and Medieval Manuscripts, Antiquarian Books, Books on Books, Everyman's Library, Lingua Latina, Oxonians, Stoicism
Favorite authorsAristotle, Marcus Aurelius, Cicero, Epictetus, Pierre Hadot, Justus Lipsius, Friedrich Nietzsche, Francesco Petrarca, Seneca, Benedictus de Spinoza (Shared favorites)
Favorite bookstoresBlackwell's Oxford, George Bayntun, Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, Maggs Bros. Ltd., Oxford University Press Bookshop, St Philip's Books, The Classics Bookshop
Favorite librariesBodleian Library, Dr Williams's Library, Institute of Classical Studies Library / Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, Senate House Library, University of London, Warburg Institute Library, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, Wolfson College Library, Oxford University
Account typepublic, lifetime
Member sinceDec 29, 2011