History of libraries – fascinating

Originally uploaded by tsheko


After a brief hiatus, due predominantly to brain fag, having almost exhausted all things Web 2.0 (or is that, exhausted myself?) I decided to offer a morsel of general interest, to whit, a fascinating site detailing the early history of libraries. Have a look, too, at Survivor: History of the Library from History magazine.

Notice my reversion to bombastic and antiquated expression when I have nothing to say.

Wait, I do. I was musing, while reading about the history of libraries, about the recording and collecting of knowledge; how it seems to be a fundamental human need, and I imagined being a librarian in the earliest times: shelving clay tablets; rolling up papyrus scrolls…

The Great Library of Alexandria would have been something to see, founded about 300 BC. Interesting the ways the library set about reaching its goal of half a million scrolls for its collection. Not sure how some of their acquisition methods would go over these days – apparently they confiscated any book not already in the library from visitors arriving in Alexandria. Can you imagine how that behaviour would change the image of librarians. We would be outlaws, people would be afraid of us!


Filed under General

3 responses to “History of libraries – fascinating

  1. leslie

    Pet topic of mine, as my thesis was ‘Scriptorum to Javascript: Illuminating the history of the public library’ (don’t I think I was clever with the title: ) love all the medieval stuff…

  2. tsheko

    That’s so clever. Love it. What were the most interesting things you learned about libraries?

  3. leslie

    Loved the chained libraries…but probably the most interesting thing I learnt was that in an era when information was considered ‘power’ and we think of women as being excluded from education, some scribes in the scriptorums were women (nuns) and also much of the illuminated work commissioned through the monks was for women…

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