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Corble collection

  • You can consult this collection in: Tabularium.


Shortly after the fire of 1940, Archibald Corble Harrison (1883-1944) donated his collection to the university. As a fencer and a bibliophile, he collected numerous books and manuscripts on swordsmanship. The collection contains around 1,900 copies, dating from the 15th to the 20th century, mainly from France, England, South America, Italy and Germany. Notable are the personal details, such as letters addressed to Corble, photographs of fencers, notes and comments, which are an integral part of the collection. Corble, as well as the previous owners, such as Cyril Matthey, Alfred Hutton, JR Garcia Donnell, Frederick Pollock and Jacopo Gelli, opted for new personal bindings and / or added ex-libri to their copies.

This collection is valuable because of its variety of interest to many researchers. The Corble collection does certainly not deal solely with swordsmanship. It has a lot more to offer. Amongst others one discovers for example duel agreements written by different fencing masters, books about self-defense and about the handling, manufacturing and evolution of stabbing weapons and firearms. The collection also contains prints on the legal and religious aspects of dueling, such as pamphlets on legal matters, legislation concerning dueling and religious pamphlets opposed to it. Theatre works, war songs and novels then underline a lighter and more playful aspect of the collection. Many works are also equipped with numerous engravings, etchings and lithographs, so that the history of fencing and dueling really comes alive.

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  • Library users are expected to observe copyright laws.
  • Consulting fragile documents.
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