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Ward Collection, Special Collections, Hartley Library: Home


For general enquiries about the Ward Collection contact:

Jenny Ruthven

email: or tel. 023 80593335 

Search Room Bookings:

email: or tel. 023 80592721

Special Collections, Hartley Library, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ

Special Collections Home Page

Printed Special Collections

A-Z List of Collections

Related Collections

Archive Collections

  • MS 61 Wellington Papers  
  • MS 227 Papers relating to Spain and the Peninsular War
  • MS 234 Manuscript and printed ephemera for the Peninsular War and the Liberal Triennium in Spain, 1804-23
  • MS 271 Records of the Commissariat in the Peninsular
  • MS 277 Spanish Papers relating to the Peninsular War
  • MS 300 Peninsular War Papers of S.P.G. Ward

Related E-Book Collections

Access to some collections is restricted to members of the University.

Ward Collection

The focus of the Ward Collection is the Peninsular War (1808-1814). There are contemporary publications such as the Narrative of the Principal Events of the Campaigns of 1809, 1810 & 1811 by William Stothert (1812) as well as histories of the war and memoirs of prominent figures which were published at a later date, e.g. those of Field-Marshal Viscount Combermere and Sir William Napier.

The collection includes descriptions of battles and sieges, in some cases accompanied by detailed maps and plans such as  J. Belmas Journaux des siéges faits ou soutenus par les Français dans la Péninsule, de 1807 à 1814 (1836-1837). Recent additions to the collection include contemporary Spanish pamphlets.

Secondary sources on the Peninsular War can also be found in the Ward Collection.

Extent: 280 books ranging in date from the early 19th century to the late 20th century.

Location and Access


The Ward Collection is part of Special Collections on level 4 of the Hartley Library and items are fetched for use in the Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room.


The Search Room is now open Tuesday-Thursday 1000-1600. All visits are by prior appointment and all visitors will be required to book their visit and to order their material at least 3 working days in advance. You can either book a standard booking for 1 day, for which there is a limit of 10 items or for bookings of 2 or more concurrent days then the limit is 20 items per day.

Bookings are made by emailing providing details of name, University ID number (members of the University of Southampton only), permanent residential address and contact details, date of visit and list of items to be consulted.

If you do not have a University I.D. Card, you will need to show photographic I.D. and a form of I.D. which includes your permanent residential address when you enter the Hartley Library and also when you arrive at the Search Room.


Catalogues / Library Resources Search

  • WebCat includes records for all Ward Collection books. On the Advanced Searches Screen you can limit a search by date, language and collection.
  • DelphiS enables you to search across WebCat and the Library's electronic databases and is especially useful for subject searches. You will need a University login to access full-text resources.

See Ward Collection for a complete list of titles.

Collection History

Stephen George Peregrine Ward (1917-2008), who served in the Western Command during the Second World War, was a military historian and author of Wellington's Headquarters: a Study of the Administrative Problems in the Peninsula, 1809-1814 (Oxford, 1857). He also contributed numerous articles on the subject to Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research.

In 1946 he acquired many books on the Peninsular War from the library of Sir Charles Oman (1860-1946), the author of A History of the Peninsular War, 7v. (1902-1930) and presented these, together with his own collection of books and notes to the University Library.

Rare Books on the Peninsular War subsequently acquired by the Library are added to the Ward Collection.

The Complete Drill Serjeant 2nd ed. (1798)

coloured engraving of soldiers

Rare Books Ward Coll. 136

Reprographics Service

Bound volumes cannot be photocopied but you can request photographic or microfilm copies, subject to the age and condition of the item.

See Reprographics Service for a list of the types of copy available and charges.


Richard Ford Diorama of the Campaigns of Wellington (1852)

book cover

Rare Books Ward Coll. 3