Books you can adopt
The Cherwell (Oxford, 1920-)
Oxford's independent student newspaper, first published in 1920. 3,000 copies are distributed on Friday mornings around Oxford's colleges, the Oxford Union and some local cafes. The Union holds the most complete and easily accessible collection of the Cherwell, acting as its unofficial archive.
Punch, or, The London Charivari (London, 1841-2002)
The iconic magazine of humour and satire was an institution of 19th and 20th century Britain. Punch is responsible for the use of the term "cartoon" as it is used today for humorous illustrations.
Advice, by Hillaire Belloc (London, 1960)
The famous poet, author and ex-president of the Oxford Union (1895) gavethis advice on wine, food, and other matters to one of his closest friends as a wedding present.
Fifty caricatures, by Max Beerbhom (London, 1913)
Beerbhom's fifth published collection of caricatures includes caricatures of George Bernard Shaw, the sculptor Rodin, Lloyd George, Thomas Hardy, and politicians of the time.
Sketches, by Boz (London, 1890)
Published by Charles Dickens under the pseudonym 'Boz' at the very start of his career. The short sketches, part journalistic observation, part fiction, are centered on London life and people.
With 40 illustrations by George Cruikshank.
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, by J.M. Barrie (London, 1907)
The adventures of Peter Pan with his fairy friends in Kensington Garden. It is a republication, for children, of chapters of "The little white bird", a novel Barrie wrote for adults. The story is illustrated by the famous Arthur Rackham.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, by Jessie L. Weston, designs by M.M. Crawford (London, 1909)
The trials of Sir gawain retold in modern prose. One of the best known of the Arthurian legends. Sir Gawain features in two of the Union Library's Pre-Raphaelite murals.
The marriage of heaven and hell, by William Blake (publication date unknowm, 19th century)
19th century hand-coloured facsimile edition of one of Blake's most famous poetic works, expressing his revolutionary religious and social beliefs and displaying his distinctive illustrative style.
The romance of the forest, by Mrs Radcliffe (London, 1904)
First published in 1791 this Gothic romantic novel by a pioneer of the genre was still hugely popular 200 years later.
South with Scott, by Captain Edward Evans (London, 1921)
The account of Scott's 1910-1913 Antarctic expedition by the sole survivor. Evans accompanied Scott to within 150 miles of the South Pole before illness forced him to turn back.
Grimm's fairy tales (London, around 1853)
A volume comprising 193 of the Brothers Grimm's Children stories and household tales, illustrated by the English painter Edward Henry Wehnert.
Bird life and bird lore, by R. Bosworth Smith (London, 1905)
Reginald Bosworth Smith was President of the Union in 1862. As well as his love of classics and teaching, he had a lifelong passion for birds. Bird life and bird lore is a series of articles about his personal observations of birds together with references to birds in literature, and bird related folklore from around the world.
The fireside book of favourite American songs, selected by Margaret Bradford Boni (New York, 1952)
A collection of piano and voice arrangements of popular American folk songs retracing the story of American life from before 1776 to the end of the 19th century. The songs are arranged for the piano by Norman Lloyd and illustrated by Aurelius Battaglia.
Uncle Tom's cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe (London, 1887)
The story of Uncle Tom, an African-American slave who endures terrible hardships without ever losing his religious devotion and who eventually sacrifices himself to allow others to escape. It is today considered to have contributed to the spread of many stereotypes about Black people. At the time of its publication however, it was vilified by defenders of pro-slavery views. Uncle Tom's cabin was one of the bestselling books of the 19th century.