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Leicester Special Collections

The Hatton Collection

Hatton Collection


Donated by Thomas Hatton

This collection contains over 2000 volumes of English topographical works and antiquarian volumes. It was donated along with the opening of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College – the first incarnation of the University of Leicester.

The strength of Mr. Hatton 's collection lies in the Countysets. Every shire of England and Wales is well represented. It also extends to the Isle of Man and the Channel isles, and the bordercountiesof Scotland.     

Shortly after receiving Hatton's gift, the College produced a booklet describing the Collection, which was used to encourage others to donate books to the Library. This collection helped the University to form the Department of English Local History in 1948.


Thomas Hatton


Born in Manchester and came to Leicester at the age of 15. He worked as a junior clerk in a corset factory in Market Harborough. Several years later, he moved to Leicester and set up his own bootmanufacturing business. Thomas Hatton had been a book-collector from an early age. When his interests moved from topographical to Dickensian material, Hatton agreed to donate his local history books to the College.

The Hatton Collection