Esmond de Beer
Although Esmond de Beer (1895-1990) spent much of his life in London, he retained a strong fondness for Dunedin, his birth-place. While in London he undertook two major editorial research projects: The Diary of John Evelyn (1955) and The Correspondence of John Locke (1976-89). His collecting areas included works by Evelyn and Locke, and expanded to 17th century English history, politics and philosophy, 18th century poetry, European architecture (particularly Roman antiquities and baroque Rome), travel and guidebooks, and the history of horticulture. Foreign language works in Italian, French and German also feature in his collection, including a number of incunables (pre-1501 printings). Not only did de Beer gift his book collection to the University of Otago, but he also provide an endowment that enabled future purchases. Importantly, his sisters Dora and Mary were active participants in this generous action.
Gary Blackman, “Esmond de Beer,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed December 4, 2023, https://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/11250.