Originally published in 1964 this volume continues the studies of the history of libraries and incorporates material included in The Origins of the English Library with some additional material. It was published at a time when there was a marked revival of interest in the historical background of libraries and reading. The book examines the social and intellectual background against which libraries have prospered and the roots in both classical and medieval periods from which they came. This book will be of interest to historians, librarians and educationalists.
Table of Contents
1. The Written Word 2. The Golden Chain 3. Circumstantial Evidence 4. Hellas 5. The Roman Public Libraries 6. Classical Bibliography 7. Cassiodorus Senator 8. The Religious Life and Learning 9. S. Robert of Lincoln and the Oxford Greyfriars 10. Richard de Bury 11. Evidences of Literacy 12. The Approach to a National Library in England 13. Parish Libraries 14. The Study and the Sofa.
Raymond Irwin directed the University College London School of Library, Archive and Information Studies from 1945 until 1969.
‘…an absorbing account that rightly deals in detail with bookmaking as well as libraries, and with readers as well as librarians and bibliographers….vast mass of fascinating detail charmingly presented by this learned and ably written study.’ Times Educational Supplement
‘…wide-ranging, stimulating…’ H. D. Ziman, The Daily Telegraph
‘…as readable as it is scholarly…’ School Librarian.