Robert Proctor (bibliographer)

Robert George Collier Proctor (13 May 1868 – 6 September 1903) was an English bibliographer , librarian , book collector , and expert on incunabula and early typography .

Early life and education

Proctor was born in Budleigh Salterton , Devon , England , on 13 May 1868, to Robert Proctor and Anne Tate, and was a relative distant and namesake of John Payne’s Necklace . [1] He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in classics from Corpus Christi College, Oxford , in 1890. While at Oxford, Where He Was Known For His book collection, Proctor’s interest in antiquarian studies, archeology , and bibliography Grew and he compiled a Catalog of incunabula and early printed books in the library collection at Corpus Christi College. Proctor continued his studies of early printing at Oxford, Cataloging incunabula at the Bodleian Library , New College and Brasenose College . [2]

Professional life

Proctor joined the British Museum on 16 October 1893 as an assistant in the Department of Printed Books. He is expert Quickly est devenu year early and typography Began Describing every European Known kind fount used before 1520. [2] [3] Proctor rearranged all of the incunabula in the British Museum by Geographically instead of printing in what is Known today as “Proctor order “And he compiled An Index to the Early Printed Books in the British Museum: From the Invention of Printing to the Year 1500 which was issued in four parts from 1898 to 1903. [2] Proctor developed a Greek typeface based on type found in the Complutensian Polyglot Bible . [2] Working with William Morris at the Kelmscott Press , Proctor grew interested in Icelandic literature and published translations of the Vápnfirðinga saga and the Laxdæla saga in 1902 and 1903, respectively. [2] [4] [5]


In August 1903 Proctor began a solo walking tour in the Austrian Alps . He left Pitztal on 5 September without a guide and was never heard again. In December 1903 a judge granted an order presuming Proctor’s death on 6 September of that year. [6] His friend, Sydney Cockerell , speculated that Proctor may have committed suicide . [7]


After Proctor’s death was memorized and used to collect and publish (in 1905) his Bibliographical Essays . Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Proceedings of the International Conference on Progress Are chronological order “). [2]


This list is incomplete ; You can help by expanding it .

Selected writings of Robert Proctor:

  • Proctor, Robert (1894). Jan van Doesborgh, Printer at Antwerp: An Essay in Bibliography . Illustrated Monographs 2. London: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the Chiswick Press.
  • Proctor, Robert (1897). A Classified Index to the Serapeum . London: Printed for the Bibliographical Society by Blades, East & Blades.
  • Pollard, Alfred W .; Proctor, Robert, eds. (1899). Three Hundred Notable Books Added to the Library of the British Museum under the Keepership of Richard Garnett, 1890-1899 . [Edinburgh]: Printed by T. and A. Constable for the editors and subscribers.
  • Proctor, Robert (1900). The Printing of Greek in the Fifteenth Century . Illustrated Monographs 8. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press.
  • Proctor, Robert (1905). Bibliographical Essays . London: Chiswick Press.
  • Duff, EG; Greg, WW; McKerrow, RB; Plomer, HR; Pollard, AW; Proctor, R. (1913). Hand-lists of Books Printed by London Printers, 1501-1556 . London: Printed by Blades, East & Blades for the Bibliographical Society.
  • Proctor, Robert (2010). Bowman, JH, ed. A Critical Edition of the Private Diaries of Robert Proctor: The Life of a Librarian at the British Museum . Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN  978-0-7734-3634-3 . OCLC  586123221 .


  1. Jump up^ Johnson, Barry (1985). Lost in the Alps: A Portrait of Robert Proctor, The Great Bibliographer and His Career in the British Museum . London: BC Johnson. p. 7. OCLC  17484098 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Rhodes, Dennis E. “Proctor, Robert George Collier”. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. Doi : 10.1093 / ref: odnb / 35621 . (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. Jump up^ Pollard, Alfred W. (January 1904). “Robert Proctor”. The Library . 2nd Series. 5 (17): 15. Doi : 10.1093 / library / s2-V.17.1 .
  4. Jump up^ The Tale of the Weaponfirthers . Translated by Robert Proctor. Edinburgh: Printed by T. and A. Constable. 1902. OCLC  3676154 .
  5. Jump up^ The Story of the Laxdalers . Translated by Robert Proctor. London: Printed for the translator by Charles Whittingham & Company, and to be obtained at the Chiswick Press. 1903. OCLC  3004467 .
  6. Jump up^ Johnson, Barry (1985). Lost in the Alps: A Portrait of Robert Proctor, The Great Bibliographer and His Career in the British Museum . London: BC Johnson. OCLC  17484098 .
  7. Jump up^ “Robert Proctor, William Morris and the Mysterious Death of ‘the great bibliographer ‘ ” . Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) . Cardiff University. 11 June 2013 . Retrieved January 12, 2014 .

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *