The Ricklefs collection is a unique collection of early modern literature. It was donated to the library by the Academic Director Ulfert Ricklefs in 2009. The collection includes about 1,400 books with more than 2,200 titles from the 16th to the 20th century, focusing on the Early Modern Period.
Most of the works are very rare, illustrated books with copper plates or woodcuts by leading artists of their period. The collection includes the most famous Bibles in Pictures of the 16th to the 18th century, the important illustration cycles of Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the major works of European fables of Aesop and Phaedrus, Jean de La Fontaine and John Gay. Further highlights of the collection are works of European Dance of Death, of emblematics and of 19th century English cartoons, which Dr. Ricklefs collected during his time in Edinburgh. Outstanding works of botany, zoology and geography are also part of the collection.