In 1617. William Hakewill commissioned a traveling library to give as a gift to a friend. The Jacobean miniature mobile library consisted of fifty gold-tooled vellum-bound miniature books contained in a wooden case that resembled a large folio.
Inside there were three shelves for the books. The interior cover had an illuminated table of contents. The diverse subject matter covered history, poetry, theology and philosophy and included works by Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, Horace and Julius Caesar.
The mobile library was the perfect gift for readers on the go, and must of been a success for over the next five years Hakewill had three others made for friends.
The rare miniature travelling library is part of the Brotherton Collection of rare manuscripts, photographs and books housed at Leeds University.The three other known copies live at the British Library, the Huntington Library and the Toledo Museum of Art Ohio.