The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
This volume is the first detailed survey of libraries in Britain and Ireland up to the Civil War. It traces the transition from collections of books without a fixed local habitation to the library, chiefly of printed books, much as we know it today. It examines changing patterns in the formation of book collections in the earlier medieval period, traces the combined impact of the activities of the mendicant orders and the scholarship of the universities in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and the adoption of the library room and the growth of private book collections in the fourteenth and fifteenth. The volume then focuses upon the dispersal of the monastic libraries in the mid-sixteenth centuries, the creation of new types of library, and finally, the steps whereby the collections amassed by antiquaries came to form the bases of the national and institutional libraries of Britain and Ireland.