William Arderne Shoults
The Rev. William Arderne Shoults (1839-1887) was a London-born scholar-clergyman and book collector. In 1888, Bishop Samuel Tarratt Nevill, first Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, persuaded Mrs Elizabeth Shoults to gift her husband’s library to New Zealand to form the nucleus of a library for Selwyn College, Dunedin. In 1965, the Shoults Collection was placed on permanent loan with the University of Otago Library by the Board of Selwyn College. The collection numbers about 4200 volumes, the majority being pre-1801 imprints. It is rich in history, theology, science and travel, and includes fine examples of Greek and Roman classics, as well as a cache of Middle Eastern books and manuscripts. Among the treasures are 28 incunabula (pre-1501 printed books), including a single volume of a commentary on the Bible by Nicholas de Lyra (1481). It is bound in a scarce Rood and Hunt blind-stamped binding reinforced with fragments of indulgences printed by William Caxton, England’s first printer. It is the oldest known English binding in New Zealand.
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