Duff, Edward Gordon (1863 -1924)
Edward Gordon Duff was the fourth son of Robert Duff, of Park Nook, Prince's Park, Liverpool. He was educated at Cheltenham College and Wadham College, Oxford, where he matriculated 16 October 1883, and took a pass degree (B.A.) in 1887. An expert incunabulist, he was first, while still an undergraduate, employed in cataloguing the incunabula at the Bodleian, a task in which he was succeeded by his life long friend Robert Procter. In 1893 he was chosen Librarian of the John Rylands Library in Manchester, a post he held until 1900. His interests lay among early English books and bookbindings: he published among many other books and articles, A century of the English book trade. London, Bibliographical Society, 1905; The English provincial printers, stationers and bookbinders to 1557. Cambridge, 1912; and Fifteenth century English printed books. London, Bibliographical Society, 1917. He was provoked by Cyril Davenport's English heraldic book stamps. London, 1909, which he described as `the most worthless book ever compiled', to annotate his own copy with corrections to Davenport's attributions, and to keep a very useful file of additions. His annotated copy and collections are now in Cambridge University Library. Other manuscripts are in the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California. His collection of bookbindings and early books was sold at Sotheby's 16 19 March 1925.