With around 54,000 titles, it is the second largest institutional gift collection at King’s, after the library collection of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) which it complements in terms of subject scope and depth.
Canning House maintained its library for over 60 years from its foundation (as the Hispanic and Luso Brazilian Council) in 1943, and the resulting collection is one of the most important in the UK for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.
The breadth of subject coverage is extensive: from the physical sciences to law and geography, from folklore and anthropology to the social sciences, from contemporary art to sport and pastimes, the Canning House collection touches on almost every aspect of the civilisation and culture of all of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries of the world.
It is particularly strong in the areas of history, international relations and, especially, literature. Many of its holdings are hard to find in other UK library collections, some are unique in this country. Around 1,000 titles so far have been designated as material to be kept in the Foyle Special Collections Library at King’s, including extensive holdings of the work of the writers RB Cunninghame Graham and WH Hudson.