Harleian Library

Harleian Library

(här`lēən, härlē`–), manuscript collection of more than 7,000 volumes and more than 14,000 original legal documents, formed by Robert Harley, 1st earl of Oxford, and his son Edward, 2d earl of Oxford. In 1753 it was purchased for £10,000 by the British government and with the collections of Sir Robert Bruce CottonCotton, Sir Robert Bruce,
1571–1631, English antiquarian. The Cottonian collection of books, manuscripts, coins, and antiquities became a part of the British Museum when it was founded in 1753.
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 and Sir Hans Sloane formed the basis of the British Museum library.
References in periodicals archive ?
10) A principal purpose of these trips was to copy or procure manuscripts for the Harleian library, on behalf of the second Earl of Oxford.
During the ownership of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford, Wimpole became a centre of Tory opposition, and James Gibbs was called in to extend the house, including accommodation for the vast Harleian Library.
His intervention was crucial in reaching the required objective, but many MPs had their own agenda, so that, by the time the British Museum Act received Royal Assent on June 7th, 1753, a newly constituted board of trustees was also saddled with the care of three major libraries--that of Sir Robert Cotton, left to the nation in 1700, the Harleian Library, comprising the manuscript collections of the Earls of Oxford, and the Old Royal Library.