DISCOVERY [Catalogue of Books of the "Discovery", 1901], CHARLES ROYDS' ANNOTATED COPY, 1901
Lot 37
DISCOVERY [Catalogue of Books of the "Discovery", 1901], CHARLES ROYDS' ANNOTATED COPY, 1901
£3,000 - 4,000
US$ 5,000 - 6,700
Lot Details
[Catalogue of Books of the "Discovery", 1901], CHARLES ROYDS' ANNOTATED COPY, 34 pages, extensively marked up by Royds in blue crayon and pencil, and with a loosely inserted sheet of notepaper, headed with 'Discovery Antarctic Expedition 1901' emblem and annotated in pencil with lists of numbers, some soiling, wanting printed wrappers, preserved in cloth solander box, upper cover labelled "Catalogue of Books of the 'Discovery' 1901. Lt. Royds' Copy", 8vo (221 x 150mm.), [Privately Printed, by William Clowes and Sons, 1901]


  • CHARLES ROYDS' HEAVILY ANNOTATED COPY OF THE VERY RARE 'DISCOVERY LIBRARY' CATALOGUE. It is not known how many copies of the catalogue were printed, but presumably there was at least one for each member listed (11), but probably no more than about twenty. Only two copies are recorded on WorldCat (National Maritime Museum and National Library of Scotland), and three others have surfaced at auction in the last 15 years.

    Page [1] is headed 'National Antarctic Expedition Library. List of Cabins and of Pressmarks', with a key for each of the 11 cabins, including those of Scott and Royds, along with the 'Mess Deck' and 'Ward Room'. The catalogue is then divided into sections titled 'Biographical', 'Essays and Philosophical', 'Historical', 'Travel', 'Fiction', 'Poetical', 'Magazines', 'Reference', 'Scientific' and 'Expeditions'. The books in Scott's cabin mostly comprise travel and maritime titles, including works by Nansen and other Arctic explorers – the mess deck and wardoom, the latter with its tall shelving, housed the largest number of books.

    In his copy, Royds has used blue crayon to score through most of the titles in all but the 'Scientific' and 'Expeditions' sections; some of these titles also have an 'R' added alongside (perhaps for 'Royds' or 'returned'), and others have a pencilled tick next to them (including some in the Scientific section). A few additional titles have been added in pencil. Royds was Meteorologist on board Discovery, and he participated in the distribution of the library amongst the officers when the ship was returning from Antarctica in 1904. The scored items may simply constitute books located, or those distributed, and it is not clear if or how the loosely inserted sheet of figures relates to the books.

    Provenance: Charles Royds and thence by descent until 2003; exhibited Books on Ice: British and American Literature of Polar Exploration, Grolier Club, 2006, curated by David and Deirdre Stam.
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