Welbeck Abbey - House Library

The 6th Duke of Portland added many items to the collection here at Welbeck, but perhaps most notable was his interest in books. There are currently 1342 books and pamphlets catalogued by the curatorial team, which we know belonged to the bibliophile Duke. This impressive collection was housed in two main locations. The Titchfield Library was fitted out with stacks and contained a large manuscript archive and printed books on various topics such as local history, military history, art and architecture. Except for a few notable documents, most of the archive was deposited at various publicly accessible locations, such as the University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special Collections archive. There were also, regrettably, large sales of printed books from the Titchfield Library in the 1950s. 


The House Library, Welbeck Abbey


The other principal location was the House Library which contained a large quantity of illustrated books on science, geography and nature. 383 of these books are still shelved in this room. Until the 1820s, books were generally sold as loose sheets with no covers, and this meant that the person buying them could have them bound to their taste. The bindings the 6th Duke chose are often highly decorative, with gold tooling, and were picked to compliment the colour scheme of the House Library – green, gold and red.