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Cooke Library: Home

Personal library of William Cooke.

About the Collection

The collection consists of 2500 items and represents Cooke's extensive interest in travel, biography and history of America, Latin America, and Spain. The collection is predominantly a 19th century one (c.1000 items) with c.100 items from the 17th and 18th centuries. There are a number of 18th century literary society publications and Spanish novels as well as fine printed editions including Golden Cockerel Press and Argonaut Press.

The collection prefix before the call number is: Cooke.

The collection is closed.

Biographical History

William Cooke (1865-1955) had a large solicitor’s practice in Cork and continued in practice until 1953.  He never graduated at any university but read widely and became specially interested in the history and literature of Spain.  He travelled in Spain and acquired a good knowledge of the language, at a time when very few people spoke or read it.  In 1911 one Cork student wished to present Spanish as a subject for First Arts and Sir Bertram Windle offered the position to Cooke. Cooke lectured in Spanish in UCC from 1911-1935. In 1925 he was awarded the honorary degree of M.A. by the N.U.I.  He was succeeded by the late Dr. Joseph Healy.

In Cooke’s will he asked that his books to be kept together “as I want to have some memorial in a College where for many years I spent many happy hours.

Collection Highlights

Title page to Don Quixote

The edition was printed by Nonesuch Press in England. The printer was This edition of Don Quixote has 21 illustrations by E McKnight Kauffer. The edition is a reprint of the 7th edition published 1743 of Peter Motteux's translation of Don Quixote.  The book is a limited edition of 1475 copies of which 575 were for sale in the US. This is number 615.

More Information

For biographical information about William Cooke including his obituary see: Author. "Title." UCC Record 31 (1956): 13.