Acquisition appeal

Good Boy's Soliloquy

Acquisition appeal

Help us secure new rare books and printed materials 

Donate now


Help us secure new rare printed books and materials

As the featured Library for this year's New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, we've been given the exclusive opportunity to acquire a number of exceptionally rare printed books and materials that shine a light on Britain’s rich cultural and literary heritage. We'll need to raise c. £85,000 ($108,650) by 7 April 2024 to secure them. The race is on!

With your support, we can:

Giving from the US?  

If you're a US tax payer, you can make a tax-deductible gift to the American Trust for the British Library (ATBL), a registered 501(c)(3) organisation, who have set up a dedicated campaign page to help you support this vital work.

  • become the only UK institution to hold a copy of Graham Greene's After Two Years, one of only six surviving copies of his poems celebrating the love affair that inspired one of his bestselling novels
  • acquire an extraordinary example of a bookbinding by Scottish artist Jessie M. King, whose craftsmanship we don’t currently hold an example of at the Library
  • expand our collection of historic children’s books with The Good Boy’s Soliloquy, a wonderfully witty early 19th-century book that gives a fascinating insight into social history.

As the UK's national library, our mission is to share our inspiring collection of over 170 million items with people of all ages, from all communities. As a charity, donations are vital in helping us do this. 

By giving today, you'll be helping us secure these extraordinary items for students, researchers and book lovers across the world.

Donate now 


We're so pleased to be the featured library for ABAA Connect at this year's New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, produced by Sanford L. Smith + Associates. Thank you so much to our partners, the American Trust for the British Library and the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, for making this exciting campaign possible.

Explore the items

Below are just some of the highlights you'll be helping us secure. If you would like to direct your gift to a particular item or want to learn more about the full list of items we hope to acquire through this appeal, please get in touch with Rachael Garnett at

If we do exceed our target before you donate, your gift will still play a vital role in supporting our future acquisitions. 

'After Two Years' by Graham Greene, 1949

Handpicked by Greene from the effusion of poetry he wrote about his affair with Catherine Walston, this booklet of poems celebrates a relationship which is of great literary importance to the world. As few as six copies survive, with none housed in any UK institutions. It would strengthen our collection of Greene's works, including his travel diaries and an annotated draft of his final novel.

'The Story of Rosalynde' bound by Jessie M. King, 1902

This beautiful work is one of just 30 copies and is an example of the extraordinary bindings crafted by Scottish book artist Jessie M. King. Printed on Japanese vellum with intricate ink and watercolour designs, this stunning work depicts Cedric Chivers' 'Story of Rosalynde' - later adapted by Shakespeare into 'As You Like It' - and would be the first of her bindings to enter our collection. 

'The Good Boy's Soliloquy', 1811 

This little volume is incredibly rare, with only two other known copies in public institutions, and would add to our wonderful collection of historic children's books. It includes over a dozen engraved images of a 'good boy' misbehaving by feeding scraps to the family pet and drawing on the walls, accompanied by witty couplets that contrast with the more moralistic works common in the 19th century.