The Library of Jonathan D. Borden

Founded in 1987, now with over 3,000 intriguing volumes from 1820 through 2012, the Library of Jonathan D. Borden is a unique private library based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada open to members only. Three of its most peculiar treasures include a facsimile manuscript of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis signed by the author’s grandson from 2000, an English travelogue from 1820, and a complete set of the Ninth Edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica from 1875-1889.

Jonathan D. Borden has been Librarian of the collection since its inception, which has included every volume given to and purchased by him in the years since. Daring to be different, all books are catalogued using the Jefferson Classification Scheme, which dates to 1789–a precursor to the modern standard which is Library of Congress Classification.

The collection is scattered among three locations–North, South, and West–all within the Atlantic Canadian province of Nova Scotia, with North serving as the head branch and nearby satellite branch South, both in Halifax; the West branch is located outside of the city. This website contains all three of the Library’s catalogues, though presently, only that for its North location is complete and online.

Major collecting areas include Christian spirituality and English literature. Authors such as Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron are among the Library’s best-represented. Other notable fields gathered by the Library include local history and the arts. Feel free to browse the catalogues and discuss membership should perusing a title suit you. All three branches are open by appointment only.