Mapping Asia homepage Mapping Asia splash logo
Project background Search collections Search newspapers Language skills External links Contributors login
Back to results pageQuick collection searchBrowse collection recordsAdvanced collection search


Collection Details

Cobham held at Cambridge University Library, Royal Commonwealth Society collections [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

The Cobham collection contains over 1000 books and pamphlets on or relating to Cyprus, primarily to its history and languages. About a third of the books are in Greek (Romaic), and others are in Greek (Hellenic), Latin, Turkish, Armenian and numerous modern European languages. It also has a considerable number of religious works dealing with the Greek and Latin churches and including the lives of Cypriot saints and Offices or Service books. It includes the first book printed in Cyprus in 1778. In addition, it contains collections of photographs of antiquities and historic buildings, over 30 maps and 18 etchings and a collection of poetry devoted to special occasions on the island.

History and development

The collection was the personal library of Claude Delaval Cobham, CMG, MA, BCL, MRAS (1842-1915), Commissioner of the District of Larnaca from 1879-1907. It was presented to the Royal Colonial Institute in 1913.


It contains rare sixteenth century volumes on the history and archaeology of Cyprus, including the 1534 edition of Isolario of Benedetto Bordone, an edition of Noe's Viaggio, published at Bassano c.1540, Van Ghestele's Voyage, published in Ghent, 1572, Poracchi's famous work on the Islands of the World, published in Venice 1590, the first edition of George Sandy's Relation of a Journey, 1615, Thevet's Cosmographia Orientis, 1617, the Rouen edition of Paul Lucas's Voyage, 1724, Martinengo's very scarce Relatione di tutto il successo di Famagosta, 1572, Bizari's Cyprium Bellum, 1573, Bishop Lusignano's Description de toute l'Isle de Chypre, 1580 and his Chorograffia, printed at Bologna in 1573, Foglietta's Istoria, 1598, Pietro della Valle's (Il Pellegrino's) Viaggi, published at Rome in 1650-63. It also includes obscure locally published items unobtainable elsewhere.

General arrangement and access regulations

The Cobham collection is arranged into the following groups: books, pamphlets, periodicals, oversize items and photographs. The collection has been microfilmed and researchers are requested to refer to the microfilm copies.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Near & Middle East and North Africa.



Languages of material

Armenian, Greek, Modern (1453-), Turkish.


Archaeology, History, Literature, Religion.

Names relevant to the collection:

Cobham, Claude, Delaval, 1842-1915

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Archival materials (includes non-published & mixed material), Books, Maps (includes all types of cartographic material), Serials, Visual materials (includes photographs, prints, drawings, videos & films).

Total size of collection

Over 1000 books, pamphlets and periodicals, collections of photographs, maps and sketches.

Collection Management Information

The collection is not being actively developed.

Content date range

0 to 0 AD

Interlibrary loan procedure

Researchers are asked to refer to the microfilm copies of items in this collection.

Collection Catalogue Information


A description of the Cobham Collection is given in the following internal publication, a photocopy of which may be obtained from the Librarian: Royal Empire Society. Library Notes with List of Accessions. New Series, no. 12, December 1957, pages 1-2.

Back to results pageQuick collection searchBrowse collection recordsAdvanced collection search