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Bartholomew, Augustus Theodore, 1882-1933 (librarian)



  • Existence: 1882 - 1933


Augustus Theodore ('Theo') Bartholomew was born at Walthamstow on 26 August 1882, the son of Charles Augustus Bartholomew and his wife Alice. He was educated at Surbiton, at New College, Margate, and at the Nonconformist Grammar School, Bishop's Stortford. By 1898 he was contemplating a career with books, and his mother (now a widow living at Fowlmere, between Cambridge and Royston) began writing round to librarians, publishers and booksellers, and enlisting the help of friends and relatives, to find a suitable opening for her son. Theo worked for three months in the Norfolk and Norwich Library during 1899, and early in the following year was appointed a second-class Assistant at Cambridge University Library, where he was to spend the whole of his working life. In October 1901 he entered Peterhouse, graduating BA in 1904 and MA in 1908. He spent much of the ten years from 1903 in cataloguing the vast library bequeathed to the University Library by Lord Acton, and between 1910 and 1912 the collection of books and papers on Cambridge and Cambridgeshire bequeathed by John Willis Clark. He was promoted to Under Librarian in 1913. In addition to his work as a librarian, Bartholomew undertook a number of important bibliographical and editorial projects. In 1908 he published a bibliography of the works of Richard Bentley, 'and of all the literature called forth by his acts or his writings', with an introduction by J.W. Clark. He provided much of the bibliographical apparatus for the Cambridge History of English Literature, edited by Sir Adolphus Ward and A.R. Waller (respectively Master and Fellow of Peterhouse), giving up this work in 1915 because his health and eyesight were suffering, and he was devoting too much of his time at the University Library to the task. In 1926 he issued a bibliography of Ward, prefaced with a memoir by T.F. Tout. From 1915 he collaborated with Henry ('Enrico') Festing Jones on the latter's memoir of Samuel Butler, on the 'Shrewsbury' edition of Butler's works, and on a catalogue of the Butler collection at St. John's College. After Jones' death he published two volumes of selections from Butler's notebooks. Bartholomew had serious artistic interests, and was a strong supporter of Sydney Cockerell during Cockerell's campaign to turn the Fitzwilliam into a first-class national museum. He had a particular interest in book design (which may have been the origin of his friendship with S.C. Roberts, Secretary of the Cambridge University Press). Among literary figures he counted Rupert Brooke, Geoffrey Keynes and Siegfried Sassoon as close friends, and among musicians E.J. Dent and Boris Ord. He was also an avid playgoer in both Cambridge and London. Bartholomew died in March 1933, a few months short of his fifty-first birthday, and his executors presented his papers to the University Library.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Augustus Theodore Bartholomew: Journals and papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8786
Scope and Contents Comprises a series of diaries and private journals kept by Bartholomew between 1904 and 1925 giving a detailed record of his daily life, social engagements and friendships, aspects of his work at the University Library, progress of various literary projects, plays attended and important books that he read. The entries during the last dozen years covered by the journals show Bartholomew as increasingly preoccupied by real or imagined health problems, and subject to fits of depression and...
Dates: 1897-1933
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

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  • Subject: Bibliography X