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Ms. Codex 1879

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Robinson, Frederick Arthur, 1860-1945
Library catalogue
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
Ms. Codex 1879
1 volume
An oversize volume comprising the inventories of books, paintings, china, porcelain, and ceramic figures owned by Frederick Aruthur Robinson in England. He was an exporter of machinery to gold mines in South Africa and later became chairman to several mining operations. Robinson compiled the inventories of his private library and personal belongings from the years 1899 to 1912.
Cite as:
Library catalogue, Frederick Arthur Robinson, 1899-1912, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
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Born in Oxfordshire, England to Samuel Ebenezer and Elizabeth Robinson. As a young mechanical engineer Robinson worked for the firm of Howard, Farrer, and Co., exporters of machinery to South Africa. Robinson introduced the first rock drill, stamp-battery, and electric lights to gold mining endeavors in South Africa. He later became head of the London office. Robinson made many trips to South Africa and later became chairman of the Anglo-French Exploration Company and chariman of several other mining operations including tin, oil, and silver. Robinson married Kate Frances in 1887 and the couple had two children Frederick Percival born in 1887 and Marion Frances born in 1893. They lived in Camden Holt, Chislehurst, Kent and later in Surrey, England.

Scope and Contents

An oversize volume bound in vellum and stamped with the title, Robinson's name, and a gold border. The volume contains inventories of books, paintings, china, porcelain, and ceramic figures owned by Robinson. The catalog of books was handwritten on pre-printed, columned leaves with the headings shelf, number, title, author, and vols. There are two sections of the book inventory each with alphabetical tabs A to Z. The first section is divided by arranged by title and the second section arranged by author. The catalog lists books, periodicals, and personal writings, and photograph albums ranging in publication date from 1812 to 1912. They cover a myriad of subjects including adventure, Africa, china, electricity, engineering, furniture, gardening, literature, nature, poetry, pottery, reference, and sports. Notable authors in the catalog include William Harrison Ainsworth, Charles Dickens, Lord Lytton, Sir Walter Scott, Shakespeare, and Jules Verne. The remainder of the volume is dedicated to inventories of paintings and pictures listing the artist, title, acquisition, and notes. The items in the inventory include Spode china, denoting pattern; and china plates, figures, and vases. Robinson drew the stamp or mark of some porcelain pieces. Some items have been crossed out or marked as sold.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  December 2017

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Donna Brandolisio

Access Restrictions

This codex is available for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Custodial History note

Frederick Arthur Robinson bookplate dated 1899 on inside front cover.

Source of Acquisition

Sold by Forest Books (Grantham, England), 2017.

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Blank forms
  • Book catalogs
  • Codices (bound manuscripts)
  • Finding tabs
  • Inventories
  • Manuscripts, English--20th century
  • Personal belongings--England--20th century
  • Private libraries--England--London--20th century

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Collection Inventory


Library catalogue, 1899-1912.