The Durant Collection consists of 7,600 volumes originally presented to Wellesley College in 1875 by its founders Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fowle Durant. These books formed the nucleus of the general collection. In the 1950s, the age and value of the Durant Collection warranted its move to Special Collections. Essentially a gentleman's library of the nineteenth century, it is a remarkable record of Victorian taste, both English and American. The Durants were keen observers of their time, and their collection reflects their wide ranging interests in the social sciences, history, education, classical civilization, exploration, and travel.

Pictured: Henry Mayhew. London labour and the London poor. London, 1851.