Relatively small, general collection of monographs etc from the surviving personal library of the 18th century philosopher and economic theorist, Adam Smith (1723-90). The majority of titles relate principally to Greek and Latin classics and date mostly from the 18th century. The collection does, however, include a number of early works from the 16th and 17th centuries, of which can be found some particularly fine bindings. Notable items include a 1546 edition of the Marsilius Ficinus translation of Plato and four folio volumes of Aristotle's complete works, c 1728. The collection also includes a few additional items of more recent date (19th century) acquired by Smith's descendants.
The Adam Smith Library is signicant as a collection of books reflecting the personal tastes and interests of a highly respected economist and philosopher. A figure of historical proportions, Adam Smith helped to shape modern thought and opinion through his various writings. Brief manuscript annotations by Smith can be found throughout. His collection is also significant for reflecting the interests and pre-occupations of 18th century intellectual society, with particular strengths lying in the Classical arena.
Approx. 223 volumes
Full listing available on Special Collections Book Collections web page.
Previous listings: Two handlists are available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room. One is a MS alphabetical author list (1887) and the other, a typescript ledger shelflist, (c 1916). An additional comment on the contents of the collection held at Queen's is provided by Professor R.D.C. Black in "Adam Smith's Library. A Note on the Volumes at Queen's University Belfast," published in the History of Economic Thought Newletter, No. 3, November 1969. Please contact Special Collection for a copy of this article.
Related collection outside Northern Ireland:
The Library of Adam Smith, University of Tokyo: