Sir Francis Bacon Collection

About the Dalhousie Bacon Collection

The Dalhousie Sir Francis Bacon Collection consists essentially of the sixteenth and seventeenth-century works by Francis Bacon with 234 titles in 288 volumes. Within the collection are 151 seventeenth –century imprints. A number of related titles by his contemporaries, important critical works, and pre-1900 Bacon editions complement the core collections of works authored by Bacon. More than half of all known Bacon editions are present with sixteen from the first and only editions and over seventy first editions.

Collection highlights

Highlights include a unique copy of The Essays (1680); one of the two known copies of Three Speeches (1641) with a portrait of Bacon; the scarce 1642 edition of Certaine Considerations; all the multi-volume European editions of Bacon's Opera printed in the seventeenth century; and the large paper fifteen volume Dijon edition of 1800-1803. 


The collection is the strongest Sir Francis Bacon collection in Canada and among the three most significant in North America. 

Bibliographic access

The collection is fully catalogued and descriptions of individual titles accessible through the Dalhousie Libraries online catalogue.

Two published catalogues and a supplementary volume based on the Dalhousie Bacon Collection are also available:  A Short-title Catalogue of the Dalhousie Bacon Collection compiled by S. E. Sprott in 1978 and the definitive bibliography of  works by Francis Bacon compiled by Reginald W. Gibson entitled Francis Bacon: a bibliography of his works and Baconiana to the year 1750 and a supplementary volume by Gibson.

More from Vessels of Light: A Guide to Special Collections in the Killam Library, by Karen E. M. Smith.