Digitalisation of rare books

ICAEW has been collecting early works on accountancy for over 100 years and has one of the finest collections in the world, spanning the 15th century to the early 20th century. You can access four of the most important books, which are freely available to members of the Academia & Education Community, here:

Our digital library uses award winning interactive tool “Turning the Pages”, developed by the British Library which allows its users to view some of the rarest books in digitalised form.

The collection includes a copy of the earliest known book about double-entry bookkeeping, “Summa de arithmetica” by Luca Pacioli (1494), the book was written in Italian rather than Latin as it was designed to be used by Italian merchants.

The rarest book in ICAEW’s collection of rare books is “The maner and fourme how to kepe a perfecte reconying” by James Peele (1553). ICAEW holds the only complete copy of this book in the world!

Another book ICAEW have in the collection of rare books is “Divina proportione” by Luca Pacioli, printed in 1509. This book includes illustrations from Leonardo da Vinci.

Our digital library has been viewed in universities across the world and amassed more than 38,000 views. Should you wish to learn more, then please contact:

Access to the collection

The ICAEW collection of Historical Accounting Literature is held at Chartered Accountants’ Hall and you can see a full list of the titles held through our online catalogue of rare books.

 Image: The maner and fourme how to kepe a perfecte reconying, James Peele (1553)