Black and Hoare 2008

From Whiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Black, Alistair and Peter Hoare, eds. The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008.

“public” university libraries — for poor scholars to have access to the texts

“studies of the probate wills in Cambridge indicate that, simply among those whose died in residence between 1535 and 1598, 20,000 volumes were circulating among 200 members of the university; as against the 9,305 records (and correspondingly more volumes) circulating among 170 members of Oxford university who died, or fled abroad, between 1507 and 1579.” (52)

“The changes in the curriculum, particularly the increasing diversity of subjects on offer, meant that a limited reference library such as that held in some chained lectern collections was no longer all-sufficient as an educational tool.” (52)

books needed by new junior members were “usually in small format; they bought them, new or second-hand, and then sold them on. Booksellers abounded. Books, particularly the books of the reformers, were readily available in cheap editions costing pennies, and it is arguable that the booksellers, who ran a brisk second-hand trade, usurped many of what we would now see as the functions of the libraries.” (52-3)

move from lectern to stalls; “However, this next stage is not simply an evolutionary leap to solve the problems of the lectern libraries.8 It is a paradigm shift: the creation of a corporately owned collection aspiring, increasingly, to cover, if not yet the sum of human knowledge, then at least books in the traditional subjects beyond those essential to the syllabus, within a room which promoted study through its architectural form and its furniture, and which for the first time located all the corporate collection in one place, with strict rules governing loans.” (53)

new forms of security: fore-edge chains and grilles

“Although it is generally stated that books came to the colleges by donation, there is increasing evidence that from their foundations the colleges also acquired books by purchase, albeit most often through gifts of money, and also by default as books were left in college rooms or deposited and not redeemed in loan chests. Between the 1520s and 1540s colleges in both universities spent considerable sums on acquiring printed editions of key texts – large scholarly editions, rather than the small, portable texts used by undergraduates.” (54)

“In all, the colleges maintained the chained libraries in a relatively steady state until the 1540s. Then the books stopped arriving. There are few if any records for library purchases from any Oxford or Cambridge college until the 1570s. This thirty-year gap needs to be examined.” (54)

Merton College Library, Oxford — Henry Savile’s “revolutionary initiatives” from 1575 to 1589; another Merton conversion in 1624

Andrew Perne, Peterhouse — owned 3,000 volumes; bequest to Peterhouse caused the library to rethink shelving

Queen’s, accounts from 1448-1613: chained library had just over 400 volumes in 1613

shift away from distributed collections to one corporate location

“So we come to the concept of the virtual library. A college’s books belong to the college wherever they are stored, and the majority of those books were stored in the place where they were of most use, according to their function. The stall libraries indicate a change in this concept of virtual reality. College membership numbers were increasing, and it must have become correspondingly difficult to maintain the idea of a distributed, shared collection. The stall libraries created the space to store the college’s entire collection within a single location, and to allowthat collection to grow.” (59)

“The accounts of the Cambridge colleges show no evidence of payments for chains after the introduction of the stall system, with the exception of Trinity Hall, previously discussed, and King’s.” (60)

“By bringing together the books, and by implication the readers, into one location, the college changed the role of the library from a repository of undistributed books, a reference collection, or collection of the most desirable and learned books, into a way of providing the greatest number of books for the greatest number of scholars; for the individual colleges, by purchase and by donation, could soon exceed any collection put together by any but the richest or most bibliophile scholars, although many serious scholars might still have in their private collections a greater concentration of specialist texts than was likely to be found in a college library. The library room now became increasingly a replacement for, or an alternative to, the individual studies.” (62)

tracking the increase of non-book items in libraries, turning it into college’s “corporate cabinet of curiosities” (63)

manuscript collections largely considered part of the “cabinet of curiosities” — not included in library catalogues

“The Bodleian employed an old widow and her daughters to dust the books and sweep the floor regularly from the 1620s.” (64))

“Universities and colleges,” by Kristian Jensen

three types of owners: individual scholars, colleges, university libraries

“Nomoneywas spentonbooks in the university library of Cambridge from 1530 to 1573. The accounts survive, but only indicate expenditure on cleaning and maintenance of the building.8 The library was in practice abandoned in 1546–47.” (347)

made sense to replace older editions and texts with newer ones

growth of number of books a scholar could own

Duke Humfrey’s bequest in 15c were ~280 books; by 1570s and 1580s, even a junior scholar could afford to have a collection that large

“For the individual scholar, the international availability of small scholarly booksmeantthat itbecamepossible tobuildupa large collectionwhich catered to his private needs. At the level of a specific university, thecommercial viability of the Europe-wide export of small cheap books meant that a greater diversity of textswas in circulation, as bookswere available frommany different sources. In particular, for universities and colleges, like the English and Scottish ones, which were not associated with a successful book-producing centre, it also had the effect of obliterating or at least diminishing the importance of local textual traditions, replacing books for local use by the ones which could be imported from abroad. This meant that it became increasingly difficult to impose a specific local academic tradition; the fixed curriculum became ever more fictive.” (355)

libraries largely relied on donations and bequests

shift toward a fee system, with library overseeing its own buying

Thomas Bodley had agents abroad purchasing books

can’t chain smaller books — need librarians to care for and distribute/track books — professionalization — creation of catalogues

“In the mid-sixteenth century an individual scholar could own more books than most college libraries and could have collections which in practice obviated the need for a shared collection. For the intellectually ambitious, this was no longer possible by the early seventeenth century. Although individual scholars could also now expect to own even larger libraries, the balance had again shifted towards the shared collections.” (362)

College and university book collections and libraries, by Roger Lovatt

“It is a commonplace in the history of later medieval Europe that the previous intellectual leadership of the monasteries had tended to pass into the hands of the universities, and indeed that in some respects monastic intellectual life had become dependent on that of the universities. The change is symbolised in the foundation of monastic houses of study at the universities and in the way in which, under papal direction, the most talented monks of the day came to spend their most formative years at university. Many signs of this transition are apparent in the history of libraries.” (152)

Extending the frontiers: scholar collectors, by Julian Roberts

shift from collections to libraries: “The collectors will be perceived not only to have crossed the physical dimension of owning 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 volumes, but an intellectual dimension in which the possible interests or research needs of a single individual have been exceeded; posterity and a future scholarly community have been envisaged.” (292)

“by the middle of the sixteenth century it was possible for one man to accumulate more books than one man needed in the course of his own intellectual inquiry” (293)

“Essential, however, to the planned growth of the kind of libraries we are consideringwas the ability to buy older, second-hand books.” (295)