The St Barnabas Collection was given to the Flinders University Library in 1986 by the Rev'd. John Gaden, Warden of St Barnabas' Theological College, Belair. Many of the volumes were published before 1800, and the earliest book in the collection is a selection of the works of Lactantius, a 2nd century AD theologian and rhetorician, published in 1532. Also notable is a 1533 edition of the Works of Gregory the Great, which features pieces cut from a contemporary manuscript as endpapers. There are nearly 1300 titles in the collection. The collection is held in Special Collections, Level 3, Central Library, and is subject to the usual conditions of access for Special Collections material.
A significant portion of the collection came from the library of the Rt. Rev'd Augustus Short, first bishop of Adelaide (1847 - 1881). In 1881, the year of his retirement, he donated many of his books to two libraries, and others were added later by his family. One of these was the library of the new St Barnabas' College, established in 1881 in North Adelaide, and the other was the Theological and Ecclesiastical Library of the Diocese of Adelaide, in Leigh Street, which was set up for use of the clergy.
The books can be found by searching within the St Barnabas Collection in FindIt@Flinders:
The Theological and Ecclesiastical Library, Leigh Street, Adelaide
Within this group are several identifiable sub-groups. The first is an incomplete, numbered sequence bearing the stamp of the library. The stamp is an ink one, with the sequence number of the book superimposed by hand.
The second, again an incomplete numbered sequence, consists of donations from the Associates of Dr. Bray to the Clerical Lending Library (assumed to be the same as the Theological and Ecclesiastical Library) in 1847 and again in 1872.
The third group in the collection contains the bookplate of Brasenose College, Oxford. The means by which these came to be included in the Theological and Ecclesiastical Library is unclear, but they are assumed, because of their classification, to belong to it. All but one of them also bear the bookplate of Francis Yarborough.
The fourth group of books are identified as having belonged to the Theological and Ecclesiastical Library, but being of miscellaneous provenance. Some have an embossed stamp, (c.f. the possibly earlier ink stamp), while others are not stamped, but are assumed to be part of this collection by their system of classification. They are not in numbered sequence.
Fifth in the collection is a number of books previously owned by Thomas Vowler Short, cousin of Augustus Short and his tutor at Christ Church, Oxford, and later Bishop of Sodor & Man 1841 - 1846, and St. Asaph 1846 - 1870.
The last segment of this collection consists of those books given by Augustus Short to the Theological and Ecclesiastical Library, mostly in 1881. These bear his bookplate and the embossed stamp of the library.
The St Barnabas Library, North Adelaide
The books from this collection include volumes given to the St Barnabas Library by Augustus Short, having his bookplate or in some cases the St Barnabas' College bookplate with his signature. Other books were originally owned by this library, with various provenance, by St Barnabas' College either in its early years at North Adelaide (1881 - 1950) or later when it re-opened at Belair in 1965. They appear to have been donated from various sources.
Identification and arrangement
The books are arranged in Dewey number order, and provenance has been identified by bookplates, signatures and classification systems.
A file in the Special Collections Librarian's office contains samples of bookplates, signatures, etc. from the St Barnabas Collection.