Munby Centenary Fund

Munby in the Library

In June 2013 King’s College held a conference to mark the centenary of the birth of A.N.L. (Tim) Munby. Tim was Librarian at King’s from 1947 to 1974, and occupied many other College offices besides.

The conference was highly successful, with a distinguished panel of speakers from the world of bibliography and the history of books, and 120 registered participants. There were exhibitions at King’s and the University Library, a tour of the Fitzwilliam Founder’s Library, and a dinner with entertainments.

Tim Munby pioneered the historical study of British book collecting and the use of sale catalogues to trace the history of taste in books.  His work brought sale catalogues into the academic domain as important literary and historical documents worthy of study. 

As a follow-up to the conference, and as a permanent tribute to Tim Munby, King’s College inaugurated a fund in his name.  Donations to the fund support projects initiated by Munby, or related closely to his interests and achievements.

The initial objective is to complete the online cataloguing of all of the books in the collection of John Maynard Keynes and generous donations have already made it possible to hire Dr Iman Javadi to begin carrying out this work.  Tim Munby began his career at King’s as the first cataloguer of Keynes’s great collection.

The Fund’s next objective will be to support the Modern Archives, created by Tim.  Beginning with the nucleus of papers of the poet Rupert Brooke (this year is the centenary of his death in 1915), Tim encouraged donations of the archives of important literary figures of the twentieth century. The collections include papers of T.S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, and key members of the Bloomsbury group. Donations will enable us to continue to acquire important items relating to the collections and to catalogue and conserve them.

A summary of the Fund’s progress to date will shortly be available from this page, but in the meantime we would like to acknowledge the generous contributions made by our inaugural donors. A separate page contains details about how to donate to the Munby Centenary Fund. Enquiries may also be made to Peter Jones (pmj10@cam.ac.uk ), Fellow and Librarian, King’s College.

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