Alfred W. Pollard

Alfred William Pollard (14 August 1859 – March 8, 1944) was an English bibliographer , widely credited for bringing a higher level of scholarly rigor to the study of Shakespearean texts.

Pollard was educated at King’s College School in London and St John’s College at the University of Oxford . He joined the staff of the British Museum in 1883, as assistant in the Department of Printed Books; He was promoted to Assistant Keeper in 1909, and Keeper in 1919. In the latter year, Pollard was appointed Professor of English Bibliography at the University of London . He was Honorary Secretary of the Bibliographical Society from 1893 to 1934 and edited in the Society’s journal The Library for Thirty Years (1903-34). He received the Society’s Gold Medal in 1929. [1]

Pollard wrote widely on a range of subjects in English literature throughout his career, and collaborated with various scholars in specialized studies; He edited Thomas Malory ‘s The Dead of Arthur , and a collection of Fifteenth Century Poetry and Prose. With Gilbert Richard Redgrave , he edited the STC , or A short-title catalog of printed books in England, Scotland, and Ireland and of English books printed abroad, 1475-1640 (1926). [2] He was a longtime friend of the poet AE Housman , and a close colleague of the prominent Shakespeare scholars Edmund Kerchever Chambers and RB McKerrow .

Selected works by Alfred W. Pollard

  • Shakespeare Folios and Quartos: A Study in the Bibliography of Shakespeare’s Plays , 1909.
  • Records of the English Bible: The Documents Relating to the Translation and Publication of the Bible in English, 1525-1611 , London, Oxford University Press, 1911.
  • A New Shakespeare Quarto: Richard II , 1916.
  • Shakespeare’s Fight with the Pirates and the Problems of the Transmission of His Text , 1917.
  • The Foundations of Shakespeare’s Text , 1923.
  • Shakespeare’s Hand in the Play of Sir Thomas More (with WW Greg , Edward Maunde Thompson , John Dover Wilson and RW Chambers ), 1923.
  • Early Illustrated Books: A History of the Decoration and Illustration of Books in the 15th and 16th Centuries , 1927.
  • English Miracle Plays, Moralities and Interludes; Specimens of the Pre-Elizabethan Drama , Oxford, the Clarendon Press, 1927.
  • The Trained Printer and the Amateur, and the Pleasure of Small Books , 1929.
  • A Census of Shakespeare ‘s Plays in Quarto (with Henrietta C. Bartlett), 1939.


  1. Jump up^ Gold Medallists of the Bibliographical Society ArchivedOctober 11, 2008 at theWayback Machine.
  2. Jump up^ Early English books, 1475-1640: Pollard & Redgrave Collection
  • Woudhuysen, Henry R. AEH, AWP: A Classical Friendship. Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Foundling Press and Bernard Quaritch, 2006.
  • Murphy, Gwendoen, and Henry Thomas. A Select Bibliography of the Writings of Alfred W. Pollard. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1938.
  • New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors

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