Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 15:49 UK
Hurd Library is to be catalogued
The Hurd Library
Bishop Richard Hurd never married so he left the library to his successors

The Hurd Library at Hartlebury Castle is to have its unique collection of more than 4,000 items digitally catalogued for the first time.

The work will be processed by two University of Worcester PhD students and, when completed, will be available for the public to search.

This working library was formed by the 18th century scholarly bishop, Richard Hurd.

No other such collection has survived in the Anglican communion.

The library was built in 1782/3 by the 98th Bishop of Worcester (Richard Hurd) for his very fine collection of books.

It has been preserved ever since, and many consider it one of the most beautiful library rooms in the country.


The partnership between the library and the University was sanctioned by the Church Commissioners, with the blessing of The Right Reverend Dr John Inge, who is the 113th Bishop of Worcester, and custodian of the collection.

Bishop John said: "I am delighted about this creative partnership and I am sure that my predecessor would approve.

"It will be of great benefit both to the University of Worcester and to the Hurd Library."

Substantial resource

Dr Andreas Mueller, Co-Director of the Early Modern Research Group at the University of Worcester, said:

"This is an extremely important collection of 18th century literature, and we feel very privileged to have been allowed to create this partnership with the Hurd Library.

"It is a substantial resource that, until now, has been largely untapped.

"Only a small number of scholars have previously used the library."

The library contains 43 books from Alexander Pope's library, 97 from William Warburton's and 103 gifts from George III, often with the royal arms on the binding.

There are also works by Hurd himself, many of them unpublished, which, it is hoped, will also be digitised in the future.

Dr Mueller said: "The cataloguing is key at the moment.

"We then hope that this partnership will help to promote the library and its importance both nationally and internationally."

Christine Penney, librarian at the Hurd Library, said: "The partnership with the University of Worcester is an excellent development for the Hurd Library.

"The research by scholars and students which will now be possible is certain to make this internationally important collection far more widely known."

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