The Kohler Collection

Introduction and Background

The Kohler Collection of English Poetry at the University of California--Davis consists of over 14,000 volumes published in Great Britain and Ireland between 1789 and 1918. The collection includes known and unknown poets, private and commercially published volumes of well known and, as yet, little known titles. While the title of the collection derives from its provenance, it should be noted that the collection includes works of Irish as well as British poets.

The volumes were gathered by the English bookseller C. C. Kohler and cataloged by Michele Kohler. In 1983, then University Librarian Bernard Kreissman purchased the collection, building on library collection strengths in British literature and history.

The first acquisition consisted of 1401 volumes. Many of these were extremely rare. Of the first 140 texts listed, Kreissman noted, eleven authors were not recorded at all in the National Union Catalog. Twenty-nine of the titles were not recorded there. Eighteen titles were held by only one U.S. library, and twenty-six more by only two U. S.libraries. No library was shown as holding more than 52 of the first 140 titles.

Access to Kohler Texts

At this point, the entire Kohler collection has been catalogued and microfilmed with records appearing in both OCLC and RLIN, and within the University of California campus system on Melvyl.

To find Kohler texts, one can search Melvyl as usual, and modify the search using the Corporate Author Index. For example: to find the works of Felicia Hemans in the Kohler Collection, one would search as follows:

             find pa felicia hemans and ca Kohler.

Microfilm copies of works in the collection are available for institutional purchase and through interlibrary loan. For further information about ILL, please see the UCD Library Home Page.

The Kohler Collection serves as the main source for the British Women Romantic Poets Project, encoding texts by women poets writing between 1789 and 1832. The following link will tell you more.

UC--Davis British Women Romantic Poets Project