Duff, E. Gordon (Edward Gordon), 1863-1924

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1863-02-16
Death 1924-09-28
Britons
English

Biographical notes:

Epithet: bibliographer

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000688.0x000096

Edward Gordon Duff (1863-1924) was born in Liverpool on 16 February 1863, the son of Robert Duff. He was educated at Cheltenham College and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A., 1887), before becoming the librarian of the John Rylands Library, Manchester, 1893-1900. He resigned in 1900 in order to devote his time to bibliographical work, and produced many works on printing and bookbinding. Duff was President of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, 1899-1900, and the Sandars Reader in Bibliography at Cambridge University in 1898-1899, 1903-1904 and 1910-1911. He died on 28 September 1924.

From the guide to the Edward Gordon Duff: The English Provincial Printers, Stationers, and Bookbinders to 1557, 1911, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

Edward Gordon Duff (1863-1924) was born in Liverpool on 16 February 1863, the son of Robert Duff. He was educated at Cheltenham College and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A., 1887), before becoming the Librarian of the John Rylands Library, Manchester, 1893-1900. He resigned in 1900 in order to devote his time to bibliographical work, and produced many works on printing and bookbinding. Duff was President of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, 1899-1900, and the Sandars Reader in Bibliography at Cambridge University in 1898-1899, 1903-1904 and 1910-1911. He died on 28 September 1924.

From the guide to the Edward Gordon Duff: Sixteenth-Century Printers and Stationers of London, 1904, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

Edward Gordon Duff (1863-1924) was an English bibliographer and book collector. He was recognized as a student of early English printing as well as an authority on early stamped bindings, and in 1893 he was named librarian of the newly established John Rylands Library. In the winter of 1899-1900, Duff and Robert Proctor founded the Type Facsimile Society. Duff wrote numerous books and articles, mostly on 15th and 16th century printing and bookbinding.

From the description of Papers of E. Gordon Duff, 1882-1924. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122551569

Edward Gordon Duff (1863-1924), librarian, bibliographer and historian.

From the guide to the Edward Gordon Duff: Letters to him, 1880-1909, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

Duff was an English bibliographer and for some years librarian of the John Rylands Library in Manchester. He is the author of, among numerous other works, a monograph on William Caxton published by the Caxton Club of Chicago.

From the description of Collection of clippings, articles, and proofs of articles / by and about Edward Gordon Duff, [ca. 1893-1924]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122577045

Edward Gordon Duff (1863-1924) was born in Liverpool on 16 February 1863, the son of Robert Duff. He was educated at Cheltenham College and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A., 1887), before becoming the librarian of the John Rylands Library, Manchester, 1893-1900. He resigned in 1900 in order to devote his time to bibliographical work, and produced many works on printing and bookbinding. Duff was president of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, 1899-1900, and the Sandars reader in bibliography at Cambridge University in 1898-1899, 1903-1904 and 1910-1911. He died on 28 September 1924.

From the guide to the Edward Gordon Duff: Sandars Lectures, 1899-1904, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

From the guide to the Edward Gordon Duff: Collation of Horae, c. 1890, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

Biography

Letters addressed to Edward Gordon Duff (1863-1924), English bibliographer and book-collector. Duff was born in Liverpool and educated at Cheltenham College and Wadham College, Oxford, where he received his B. A. in 1887. He showed an aptitude for bibliographical work before he was twenty, and while at Oxford developed a plan for describing sixteenth-century books, started to collect early English books, and entered into correspondence with Henry Bradshaw, J. E. Bailey, and William Blades. In 1887 he was at work on a pamphlet on early stamped bindings.

Duff soon became recognized as a student of early English printing as well as an authority on early stamped bindings, and in 1890 was invited by William H. J. Weale to draw up a catalogue of cuts, including printer's devices, alphabets, and border pieces appearing in books printed in England before 1530.

In 1893 Duff was named librarian of the newly established John Rylands Library. In this capacity he spent his time preparing the three volume catalogue of the Library, published in 1899, and answering questions sent in by scholars, librarians, and collectors about the John Rylands books and manuscripts. In 1900, however, Duff resigned his post at Manchester and spent the rest of his life doing independent bibliographical work. For a time he lived at Liverpool, but eventually settled at Oxford.

In the winter of 1899-1900 Duff and Robert Proctor founded the Type Facsimile Society. This was but one of the many projects that claimed his attention. From his pen came a steady flow of books and articles, mostly on the subjects of 15th and 16th century printing and bookbinding. Three times Duff was Sandars Reader in Bibliography at Cambridge University (1898-99, 1903-04, 1910-11). In 1905 The Bibliographical Society recognized his accomplishments by conferring honorary membership of the Society on him.

Duff's advice was frequently sought by collectors and librarians on such matters as a prospective purchase or the identification of some fragment of early printing. As a cataloguer-at-large Duff described the early English books in the Pepysian Library; the Pierpont Morgan English incunabula; and occasionally described a rarity for J. Pearson & Co. From the tone of the letters addressed to him, Duff appears to have been a most obliging and helpful friend and correspondent. In Who's Who his recreations were listed as: fishing, swimming, tattooing, and book-collecting. The year following his death his books were sold at Sotheby's in two portions: early stamped bindings, Mar. 16, 1925; general library, Mar. 17-19. Total of the sale was ¥8,100.

From the guide to the Edward Gordon Duff Papers, 1882-1924, bulk 1890-1914, (The Huntington Library)

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http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w61p0w6g
Ark ID:
w61p0w6g
SNAC ID:
50755625

Subjects:

  • Bookbinding
  • Printing
  • Printing--Early works to 1800
  • Bookbinders
  • Lectures
  • Bibliographers--Archives
  • Book collectors--Correspondence
  • Printers
  • Bookselling
  • Book industry
  • Bibliography (study of books)
  • Primers (Prayer-books)
  • Printing--History
  • Lectures (teaching method)

Occupations:

  • Librarians--20th century.--England
  • Bibliographers--20th century.--England

Places:

  • Maidstone, Kent (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Ely, Cambridgeshire (as recorded)
  • Whitley, Northumberland (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Westminster (London, England) (as recorded)
  • London (England) (as recorded)
  • London (England) (as recorded)