A pleasure of special collections work is purchasing for the collections. Recent acquisitions include two books for the Sterling Library: first editions of Jane West’s The Mother (1809) and Christina Rossetti’s Commonplace and Other Short Stories (1870). Both complement other works by the respective authors in the Sterling Library, and in Senate House Library more widely. As a bonus, both books incorporate something of their history. The Mother at an early stage belonged to Maria Frances Montgomery of Convoy (County Donegal, Ireland). Maria presumably liked West’s didactic style; at any rate, her bookplate is also to be found in a copy of John Bennett’s courtesy book Letters to a Young Lady (not held at Senate House Library). The Rossetti title formerly belonged to a well-known bookseller and bibliographer, Graham Pollard (1903-1976), several of whose books are held in our Palaeography and Book Studies collections and who is further connected with the University of London by being the son of the first director of the Institute of Historical Research.