MARTIN, ROBERT W. Davenport Library catalog and records, ca. 1914-1961
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Robert Walsingham Martin: Davenport Library Catalog and Records


Martin, Robert Walsingham, 1871-1961.

Catalog and other records of the Davenport Library.

Physical Description: 
3 looseleaf notebooks (2 boxes)

Organization and Arrangement: 
Organized into two series: I. A-Z list by author/title. II. Shelf list by location.

Historical/Biographical Note: 
A native New Yorker, Robert Walsingham Martin started his career as a newspaper man before joining the banking firm of William A. Reed and Company, where he worked until his retirement and in which he became a partner. Martin was a member of the Grolier Club, a New York City bibliophile society, from 1930 until his death in 1961. He started book and manuscript collecting in a serious way in the 1920s, naming his library after his residence in New Rochelle, New York. At the time of his death, Martin’s library contained over 50 illuminated manuscripts, including an eleventh century Bible text, breviaries and Books of Hours. The collection includes, among many other items, copies of the second, third and fourth Shakespeare folios and Elizabethan classics, early Aldine imprints, and contemporary tracts by and about Martin Luther. In his later years of collecting, Martin developed an enthusiasm for fine bindings, and these too are represented in the collection. His Davenport Library was sold at auction by Park-Bernet Galleries of New York City on 12 November 1963. The introduction to that catalog states: “Considered as a unit, the Martin collection represents what is probably the most outstanding library to be dispersed at auction in this country since the sale of the books of the late Lucius Wilmerding in 1950-1951.” (Wilmerding himself was a member of the Grolier Club from 1919 until his death in 1949.)

Scope and Contents: 
Catalog of the Davenport Library with table of contents; ledger books recording purchase prices, 1914-1941; appraisal list. Also a folder of miscellaneous material relating to transactions with dealers Jerome and Philip Brooks. Some letters discuss incunables offered to or purchased by Martin. Also a 23 page Checklist of the Davenport Library and a preliminary version (?) of same. Collection includes 3 loose-leaf books (6 x 9”) with pages secured by posts. One loose-leaf is an A-Z author list, the second another A-Z list but not a duplicated of the first. The third is a shelf-list arranged by location.

General Note: 
Title devised by cataloger.

Finding Aid: 
Unpublished catalog of the library, available in repository; title level control.

Publications (based on collection): 
Park-Bernet Galleries, Inc. The Library of the late Robert Walsingham Martin [Catalog of the sale held 12 November 1963]

Access points:

Brooks, Jerome, bookseller of New York City. Correspondence.
Brooks, Philip, bookseller of New York City. Correspondence.

Book collectors. New York (State). New Rochelle. 20th century.
Book collecting. New York (State). New Rochelle. 20th century.
Private libraries. New York (State). New Rochelle. 20th century. Catalogs.

Loose-leaf notebooks.
Library catalogues. New York (State). New Rochelle. 20th century.

Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Book collectors. New York (State). 20th century.

Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.
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