The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland, Vol. 1: To 1640

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Oates, CUL. Oates, Cambridge University Library, a history : vol. Oxford Bibliographical Society. The Oxford dictionary of national biography Oxford, Oxford Historical Society. Parkes and Watson,. Parkes and A. Medieval scribes. Ker London,. The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Patrologia cursus completus, series latina.

Fehrenbach and E. Leedham-Green eds. Tudor and early Stuart book-lists Binghampton, NY, and. Marlborough, — 5 ; Tempe, Arizona, —. Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Proctor, Index. Proctor, An index to the early printed books in the British. Museum from the invention of printing to the year MD, with notes. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Robinson, Dated. Robinson, Catalogue of dated and datable. MSS in Cambridge. Woodbridge, Rolls Series. Madan et al. Bodleian Library at Oxford , 7 vols. Oxford, — ; repr. Sharpe, Latin writers. A handlist of the Latin writers of Great Britain and Ireland before.

A short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland and. Pollard and G. Second edition,. Jackson and F. Pantzer, with a chronological index by. Philip R. Rider , 3 vols. Streeter, The chained library: a survey of four centuries in. A survey of illuminated manuscripts in the British Isles , ed. Alexander London , i. Alexander ed. Temple ed. Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, — ; iii.

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Morgan ed. Sandler ed.


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Scott ed. Tanner, Bibliotheca Britannica-Hibernica London Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society. Trinity College, Dublin. Thomson, Cat. Thomson, Catalogue of the manuscripts of. Lincoln Cathedral Chapter Library Woodbridge, Thomson, A descriptive catalogue of the.

Thorndike, and P. Kibre, A catalogue of incipits of.

Useful knowledge and agreeable entertainment

The National Archives. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Watson, Dated. Watson, Catalogue of dated and datable manuscripts. MSS in the BL. Watson, Dated MSS. Willis and Clark. Willis, The architectural history of the University of Cambridge ,. Clark, 4 vols.

Wing, Short-title catalogue of books printed in England,. New York,. Wormald and. Wormald and C. Wright, The English. Wright, English. The most obvious difference is physical. From the early middle ages until the sixteenth century, the books owned by religious and academic communities as well as those of individuals did not comprise a single physically discrete collection within a designated room, but were housed in chests and cupboards in various locations.

The modern conception of a library as an organised and comprehensive repository of written knowledge became fully articulated only during the sev- enteenth century. In the early middle ages, these were almost exclusively ecclesiastical: the requirements of the monastic life, the performance of the liturgy, and the delivery of pastoral care. Learned monks and clergy of the earlier middle ages knew the word bib- liotheca from the references to the great public libraries of the ancient world in late antique and early Christian texts.

Occasionally they used this word in their own writings, especially to refer to the more impressive collections of books formed in their own time, despite the obvious differences in physical arrangement and function from the bibliothecae of antiquity. Little-used volumes might be removed from the principal collections and stored elsewhere or disposed of; books might be sent to dependent cells, or, as happened increasingly from the fourteenth century, to the universities for the use of student monks and canons, where they became vulnerable to more permanent alienation.

An early medieval religious community, for whom all the books including those for the liturgy served a single end, may have thought of their books collectively as a single entity — a library, despite their physically disparate organisation, and the rarity of the use of the words bibliotheca or libraria. A distinction between the books intended for study and those used for the liturgy or archival purposes, with the consequent narrow- ing of the meaning of libraria to refer to the former, is apparent in religious institutions only by the fourteenth century.

In the early modern period private collections were, obviously, more readily assembled, 5 largely because printed books were more cheaply acquired than many manuscripts, and outlets for them, that is, booksellers, started to prolif- erate, 6 as did contacts with the continental mainland, the source of the vast majority of scholarly, belle-lettriste and, indeed, until the Reformation, liturgi- cal books.

Not only was there little or no institutional attempt to acquire books, but existing stocks were neglected to the extent that many such libraries fell largely or entirely into disuse. In the medieval period, and among early modern collectors of manuscripts for whom the notion of stemmata was but poorly grasped, it was evident that the older a manuscript was, the closer it must be to the original source. How could a book printed on paper compare in value with a manuscript, usually on parchment?

We know, now, that paper was used for serious texts, but the perception of the time was that vellum was for eternity, it was the medium for muniments, for. But how long, forsooth, will printing last, which is dependent on paper? For if in its paper volume it lasts for two hundred years that is a long time. Consequently, in the second and third quarters of the sixteenth century, private libraries outstripped those of institutions. Few institutional libraries could compare with those of John Dee in 1 0 or Andrew Perne in , 1 1 or even, to go back a generation, with such relatively obscure owners as John Bateman, Master of Arts and a founding fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, who died in possessed of some books.

Its impact was gradual rather than dramatic. Relatively few of their products found their way into libraries even late in our period, and they continued to be vastly outnumbered by imported texts throughout it. The attempts of H. Bennett 1 4 and Louis B. Wright 1 5 to base their analyses of the reading of Englishmen on the productions of the English presses now appear whimsical.

Trithemius, De laude scriptorum , ch. McKitterick, Print, manuscript and the search for order, 0 — Cambridge, , 20 and related works cited in his n. Roberts and A. The editors p. His library is discussed in E. Leedham-Green and D.

The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society

McKitterick in Carley and Tite, Books and collectors , — Cambridge, — Davison ed. Indeed, with the exception of Cotton, most major collectors of manuscripts from the mid-sixteenth century were also the owners of substantial collections of printed books. Antiquarian and contem- porary interests lived side by side just as did works in manuscript and print. In only a tiny handful of cases does a substantial proportion of any medieval library, whether religious or academic, still remain together, either in the same institution or elsewhere, having been transferred en bloc.

The partial remains of the vast majority are scattered between different national collections, university or college libraries. A substantial number of these books contain no evidence of their former owners. The same is true of all but a few of the major sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century private collections of manuscripts and printed books. Efforts to identify and describe the scattered remains began just over a century ago, on both a large scale such as the manuscript catalogues and editions of medieval booklists and catalogues produced by M.

James , and, at a more local level T.

Professor Richard Gameson

Williams, for example, compiled evidence for medieval libraries in Somerset. Roberts, below, chapter McKitterick, Print, manuscript and the search for order. Philip and P. Clark, The care of books Cambridge, ; B. Streeter, The chained library: a survey of four centuries in the evolution of the English library New York, Its second edition and Supplement nearly doubled the number of entries, by incorpor- ating those manuscripts that have remained in situ in cathedrals and colleges.

A complementary project was also envisaged — editions of medieval booklists and library catalogues, including new editions of the lists printed by eighteenth- century antiquaries, such as Hearne, and by James and others from the s. This, however, began to be realised as the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues only from , and is now nearing completion. These will contribute substantially to our understanding of the book collections of the later middle ages, and of the religious life and learning of those who used them.

Among institutional libraries the catalogue of the Bodleian has been reproduced in facsimile, 2 4 and the holdings of other repositories have also been made known, ranging from the Cathedral libraries catalogue CLC to the holdings of Shropshire parochial libraries.

Interest in the holdings of early modern institutional libraries has a relatively long history. A catalogue of the Harsnett Library in Colchester, bequeathed to the borough by Samuel Harsnett, archbishop of York at his death in , was published as long ago as , complete with notes on provenance, 2 6 and we have also seen more or less detailed studies of Cambridge University Library, the Bodleian, and Trinity College, Dublin.

The recording of private libraries has a slightly more recent history, and this concentrated originally on the reconstruction usually of the substan- tial holdings of major collectors, or of persons otherwise well known to fame. Private libraries in Renaissance England PLRE has devoted most of its volumes to doing the same for the equivalent Oxford court records, currently covering the years to This they can do only roughly — statistically the data are to be used only with caution, with due allowance. Goodwin ed. It is a matter for rejoicing that this library has now been transferred to the local university, where it is undergoing detailed study under the eagle eye of James Raven.

Jayne and F. Johnson eds. Watson ed. Birrell ed. Selwyn ed. Kiessling ed. Indeed, until the only surveys of the his- tory of English libraries in the medieval and early modern periods were those in general histories of libraries, and most importantly, for the medieval period, the contribution of Karl Christ to the Handbuch der Bibliothekswissenschaft. Close attention to the physical characteristics of books and to their use reveals a richer and more complex picture of how books were conceived and used, collectively as well as singly. In the course of our period, for example, the reading classes expanded well beyond the clerisy and the professions: the best-known example is Shakespeare, a grammar-school boy, whose breadth of reading has prompted several to insist that he must have attended a university, notwithstanding the fact that the reading pabulum of university men, so far as we can trace it, consisted of.

Milkau ed. Leyh, 4 vols. Christ, The handbook of medieval library history , rev. Kern, tr. Otto Metuchen, NJ, Other gaps must also be acknowledged: the casualties of unavoidable con-. Most serious. This volume of the Cambridge history of libraries should therefore be. Shared access to books among the clergy is dis-. The private libraries of women are also notably lacking: apart from the. We await a full account of the library of Mildred.

Jones and E.

Library Lives of Women | SpringerLink

Rees eds. Barnard and M. Stone ed. See below, ff. In this volume, we have also tried to trace the evolution of the perception. Throughout our period, where. Nevertheless, other, less practical factors, ranging from inertia to the wishes. In all but a few of the major reli-.

Most collections grew comparatively. Thus, once a particular store had. More dramatic change, when. The physical evidence is particularly exiguous. Still less remains of their furnishings. The fullest treatments remain the pioneering studies: J. Streeter, The chained library: a survey in the evolution of the English library London, Moreover, such documents are rarely a. In addition, the precise meaning.

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The term most commonly found from the twelfth century onwards is. In other records, however, the mention of a communis armarium claustri. The term libraria or librarium also lacked a single, precise usage. In the. A booklist of from. Rochester Cathedral Priory, for example, records the main collection of the. Z 14 , nos. The medieval library. Book-stores and their location. Reliable evidence for the nature of book storage before the twelfth century is. Little relevant physical evidence survives, and only one.

Edmundi were then. My areas of interest include royalist authors, printers, publishers, and clergymen of the civil wars and interregnum. Catalogue of an exhibition curated by Jason McElligott. ISBN: Hunting Stolen Books Dublin, Tales from The Other Side. Imagining Japan, April, An exhibition catalogue compiled with Declan M.

Downey of UCD. National University of Ireland Travelling Studentship for New Releases. Description The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland describes the development of libraries in Great Britain and Ireland over some years, and their role as a part of the social, intellectual and cultural history. In addition to obvious links with the history of books and literature, the volumes include consideration of education, technology, social philosophy, architecture and the arts, as they have affected libraries.

The significant international dimension, which has affected British and Irish libraries from the Middle Ages to the present, receives due attention. Other themes considered in each volume include the housing, storage and maintenance of books and other material; the individuals responsible for their care and those who used them; developments in provision, organization and cataloguing; and the principles and attitudes - of librarians and users - which such developments reflect.

Other books in this series. Add to basket. Table of contents 1. The Expansion of Book Collections 2. Ancients and moderns: cross-currents in early modern intellectual life Joseph M. Levine; 3. Libraries, books and learning, from Bacon to the Enlightenment Paul A. Nelles; 4. Opportunities for building collections and libraries R. Julian Roberts; 5. Libraries for school education and personal devotion Ian Green; 6.

Libraries for the parish: individual donors and charitable societies W. Jacob; 7. Endowed libraries for towns Michael Powell; 8. Libraries in university towns Charles Benson; 9. Ecclesiastical libraries: libraries for the higher clergy Sheila Hingley;