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Title: The Care of Books
Author: Clark, John Willis, 1833-1910
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Care of Books" ***

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  London: C. J. CLAY AND SONS,


  Leipzig: F. A. BROCKHAUS.
  Bombay: E. SEYMOUR HALE.

[_All Rights reserved._]


  An Essay on the
  Development of Libraries and
  their Fittings, from the earliest times to
  the end of the Eighteenth Century



  Registrary of the University
  and formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge

  at the University Press





When engaged in editing and completing _The Architectural History of the
University and Colleges of Cambridge_, I devoted much time and attention
to the essay called _The Library_. The subject was entirely new; and the
more I looked into it, the more convinced did I become that it would well
repay fuller investigation than was then possible. For instance, I felt
certain that the Customs affecting monastic libraries would, if one could
only discover them, throw considerable light on collegiate statutes
relating to the same subject.

The _Architectural History_ having been published, I had leisure to study
libraries from my new point of view; and, while thus engaged, I
fortunately met with the admirable paper by Dom Gasquet which he modestly
calls _Some Notes on Medieval Monastic Libraries_. This brief essay--it
occupies only 20 pages--opened my eyes to the possibilities that lay
before me, and I gladly place on record here the debt I owe to the
historian to whom I have dedicated this book.

When I had the honour of delivering the Rede Lecture before the University
of Cambridge in June 1894, I attempted a reconstruction of the monastic
library, shewing its relationship, through its fittings, to the
collegiate libraries of Oxford and Cambridge; and I was also able,
following the example set by Dom Gasquet in the above-mentioned essay, to
indicate the value of illuminated manuscripts as illustrating the life of
a medieval student or scribe. In my lectures as Sandars Reader in
Bibliography, delivered before the University of Cambridge in 1900, I
developed the subject still further, extending the scope of my enquiries
so as to include the libraries of Greece and Rome.

In writing my present book I have availed myself freely of the three works
above mentioned. At the same time I have incorporated much fresh material;
and I am glad to take this opportunity of stating, that, with the single
exception of the Escõrial, I have personally examined and measured every
building which I have had occasion to describe; and many of the
illustrations are from my own sketches.

I call my book an _Essay_, because I wish to indicate that it is only an
attempt to deal, in a summary fashion, with an extremely wide and
interesting subject--a subject, too, which might easily be subdivided into
separate heads each capable of more elaborate treatment. For instance,
with regard to libraries in Religious Houses, I hope to see a book
written, dealing not merely with the way in which the books were cared
for, but with the subjects most generally studied, as indicated to us by
the catalogues which have survived.

A research such as I have had to undertake has naturally involved the
co-operation of numerous librarians and others both in England and on the
Continent. From all these officials I have experienced unfailing courtesy
and kindness, and I beg them to accept this collective expression of my
gratitude. To some, however, I am under such particular obligations, that
I wish to mention them by name.

In the first place I have to thank my friends Dr Jackson of Trinity
College, Dr Sandys of S. John's College, Dr James of King's College, and
F. J. H. Jenkinson, M.A., University Librarian, for their kind help in
reading proofs and making suggestions. Dr Sandys devoted much time to the
revision of the first chapter. As my work deals largely with monastic
institutions it is almost needless to say that I have consulted and
received efficient help from my old friend W. H. St John Hope, M.A.,
Assistant Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries.

My researches in Rome were made easy to me by the unfailing kindness and
ready help accorded on every occasion by Father C. J. Ehrle, S.J., Prefect
of the Vatican Library. My best thanks are also due to Signor Rodolfo
Lanciani, to Professor Petersen of the German Archeological Institute,
Rome, and to Signor Guido Biagi of the Biblioteca Laurenziana, Florence.
At Milan Monsignor Ceriani of the Ambrosian Library was so kind as to have
the library photographed for my use.

The courteous officials who administer the great libraries of Paris with
so much ability, have assisted me in all my researches. I wish specially
to thank in this place M. Léopold Delisle and M. Léon Dorez of the
Bibliothèque Nationale; M. A. Franklin of the Bibliothèque Mazarine; M. H.
Martin of the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal; and M. A. Peraté,
Sous-Conservateur du Château de Versailles.

I have also to thank Señor Ricardo Velasquez for his beautiful elevation
of the bookcases in the Escõrial Library; Father J. van den Gheyn, S.J.,
of the Royal Library, Brussels, for his trouble in shewing me, and
allowing me to have photographed, several MSS. from the library under his
charge; my friends Mr T. G. Jackson, R.A., Architect, for lending me his
section of Bishop Cobham's library at Oxford; E. W. B. Nicholson, M.A.,
Librarian, and Falconer Madan, M.A., Sub-Librarian, in the Bodleian
Library, for information respecting the building and its contents; Mr F.
E. Bickley of the British Museum for much help in finding and examining
MSS.; and Lionel Cust, M.A., Director of the National Portrait Gallery,
for general direction and encouragement.

Messrs Macmillan have allowed me to use three illustrations which appear
in the first chapter; Mr Murray has given the same permission for the
woodcut of the carrells at Gloucester; and Messrs Blades for the
representation of James Leaver's book-press.

Lastly I wish to thank the staff of the University Press for using their
best efforts to produce the work rapidly and well, and for many acts of
personal kindness to myself.

                                                     JOHN WILLIS CLARK.

      _September 23rd, 1901._



  Introduction. Assyrian Record-Rooms. Libraries in Greece, Alexandria,
  Pergamon, Rome. Their size, use, contents, and fittings. Armaria or
  presses. The Vatican Library of Sixtus V. a type of an ancient
  Roman library                                                           1


  Christian libraries connected with churches. Use of the apse. Monastic
  communities. S. Pachomius. S. Benedict and his successors. Each
  House had a library. Annual audit of books. Loan on security. Modes
  of protection. Curses. Prayers for donors. Endowment of libraries.
  Use of the cloister. Development of Cistercian book-room. Common
  press. Carrells                                                        61


  Increase of monastic collections. S. Riquier, Bobbio, Durham, Canterbury.
  Books kept in other places than the cloister. Expedients for housing
  them at Durham, Citeaux, and elsewhere. Separate libraries built in
  fifteenth century at Durham, S. Albans, Citeaux, Clairvaux, etc.
  Gradual extension of library at S. Germain des Près. Libraries
  attached to Cathedrals. Lincoln, Salisbury, Wells, Noyon, Rouen,
  etc.                                                                  101


  The fittings of monastic libraries and of collegiate libraries probably
  identical. Analysis of some library-statutes. Monastic influence at
  the Universities. Number of books owned by Colleges. The collegiate
  library. Bishop Cobham's library at Oxford. Library at
  Queens' College, Cambridge. At Zutphen. The lectern-system.
  Chaining of books. Further examples and illustrations                 131


  Recapitulation. Invention of the stall-system. Library of Corpus Christi
  College, Oxford, taken as a type. System of chaining in Hereford
  Cathedral. Libraries of Merton College, Oxford, and Clare College,
  Cambridge. The stall-system copied at Westminster Abbey, Wells,
  and Durham Cathedrals. This system possibly monastic. Libraries
  at Canterbury, Dover Priory, Clairvaux                                171


  The lectern-system in Italy. Libraries at Cesena, at the Convent of
  S. Mark, Florence, and at Monte Oliveto. Vatican Library of Sixtus IV.
  Ducal Library at Urbino. Medicean Library, Florence. System of
  chaining there used. Characteristics of medieval libraries            199


  Contrast between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Suppression of
  the Monasteries. Commissioners of Edward VI. Subsequent changes in
  library fittings. S. John's College, and University Library, Cambridge.
  Queen's College, Oxford. Libraries attached to churches and schools.
  Chaining in recent times. Chains taken off                            245


  The wall-system. This began on the Continent. Library of the Escõrial.
  Ambrosian Library at Milan. Library of Cardinal Mazarin. Bodleian
  Library at Oxford. Works and influence of Wren. French conventual
  libraries of the seventeenth century                                  267


  Private libraries. Abbat Simon and his book-chest. Library of Charles V.
  of France. Illustrations of this library from illuminated manuscripts.
  Book-lectern used in private houses. Book-desks revolving round a
  central screw. Desks attached to chairs. Wall-cupboards. A scholar's
  room in the fifteenth century. Study of the Duke of Urbino. Library
  of Margaret of Austria. Library of Montaigne. Conclusion              291


  FIG.                                                                 PAGE

  1. Plan of the Record-Rooms in the Palace of Assur-bani-pal, King of
     Nineveh                                                              2

  2. Plan of the temple and precinct of Athena, Pergamon; with that of the
     Library and adjacent buildings                                       9

  3. Plan of the Porticus Octaviæ, Rome. From _Formæ Urbis Romæ
     Antiguæ_, Berlin, 1896                                              13

  4. Plan of the Forum of Trajan; after Nibby. From Middleton's
     _Remains of Ancient Rome_                                           15

  5. Plan of the Stoa of Hadrian, at Athens. From Miss Harrison's
     _Mythology and Monuments of Ancient Athens_                         17

  6. Elevation of a single compartment of the wall of the Library
     discovered in Rome, 1883. From notes and measurements made by
     Signor Lanciani and Prof. Middleton                                 23

  7. Plan of the Record-House of Vespasian, with the adjoining
     structures. From Middleton's _Remains of Ancient Rome_              26

  8. Part of the internal wall of the Record-House of Vespasian. Reduced
     from a sketch taken in the 16th century by Pirro Ligorio. From
     _Commissione Archeologica Comunale di Roma_                         26

  9. A reader with a roll: from a fresco at Pompeii                      28

  10. Book-box or capsa                                                  30

  11. A Roman taking down a roll from its place in a Library             35

  12. Desk to support a roll while it is being read                      36

  13. A Roman reading a roll in front of a press (_armarium_).
      From a photograph of a sarcophagus in the garden of the Villa
      Balestra, Rome _To face_                                           38

  14. Press containing the four Gospels. From a mosaic above the tomb of
      the Empress Galla Placidia at Ravenna                              39

  15. Ezra writing the Law. Frontispiece to the _Codex Amiatinus_.
      In the background is a press with open doors. The picture was
      probably drawn in the middle of the sixth century A.D.

  16. Great Hall of the Vatican Library, looking west
      _To face_                                                          47

  17. A single press in the Vatican Library, open. From a photograph
      _To face_                                                          48

  18. Rough ground-plan of the Great Hall of the Vatican Library,
      to illustrate the account of the decoration _To face_              60

  19. Press in the cloister at the Cistercian Abbey of Fossa Nuova       83

  20. Ground-plan and elevation of the book-recesses in the cloister of
      Worcester Cathedral                                                84

  21. Ground-plan of part of the Abbey of Fossa Nuova. To shew the
      book-room and book-press, and their relations to adjoining
      structures: partly from Enlart's _Origines Françaises de
      l'Architecture Gothique en Italie_, partly from my own
      measurements                                                       85

  22. Ground-plan of part of Kirkstall Abbey, Yorkshire                  86

  23. Ground-plan of part of Furness Abbey. From Mr W. H. St J. Hope's
      plan                                                               88

  24. Arches in south wall of Church at Beaulieu Abbey, Hampshire, once
      possibly used as book-presses                  _To face_           89

  25. The cloister, Westminster Abbey. From Mr Micklethwaite's plan of
      the buildings                                                      91

  26. Part of the ancient press in Bayeux Cathedral, called _Le
      Chartrier de Bayeux_. From a photograph       _To face_            94

  27. Press in the church at Obazine, Central France. From a photograph
      _To face_                                                          95

  28. Ground-plan of one of the windows in the cloister of Durham
      Cathedral                                                          96

  29. Range of carrells in the south cloister at Gloucester Cathedral.
      From Mr Murray's _Handbook to the Western Cathedrals_              97

  30. A single carrell, Gloucester Cathedral     _To face_               98

  31. Library at Durham, built by Prior Wessyngton about 1446           107

  32. Library of the Grey Friars House, London, commonly called Christ's
      Hospital. From Trollope's _History of Christ's Hospital_
      _To face_                                                         109

  33. Bird's-eye view of part of the Monastery of Citeaux. From a drawing
      dated 1718                                                        110

  34. Ground-plan of part of the Monastery of Citeaux. From a plan dated
      1718                                                              111

  35. Ground-plan of the Library at Citeaux                             111

  36. Part of the Abbey of S. Germain des Près, Paris. From a print dated
      1687; reproduced in _Les Anciennes Bibliothèques de Paris_, par
      Alf. Franklin, Vol. I. p. 126                                     115

  37. Part of the Abbey of S. Germain des Près, Paris. From a print in
      _Histoire de l'Abbaye Royale de Saint Germain des Prez_, par Dom
      Jacques Bouillart, fol. Paris, 1724, lettered "l'Abbaye ... telle
      qu'elle est présentement"                                         116

  38. Plan of the Old Library, Lincoln Cathedral                        119

  39. Interior of the Old Library, Lincoln Cathedral _To face_          118

  40. Plan of the Cloister, etc., Lincoln Cathedral                     120

  41. Exterior of the Library at Salisbury Cathedral, looking north-east
      _To face_                                                         122

  42. Plan of the Library in Wells Cathedral                            122

  43. Plan of the Library at Lichfield Cathedral. From _History and
      Antiquities of Staffordshire_, by Stebbing Shaw, fol. Lond.
      1798, Vol. II. P. 244                                             123

  44. Chapter-Library at Noyon, France             _To face_            124

  45. A single pillar of the cloister beneath the Chapter-Library
      at Noyon.                                                         125

  46. Plan of the Library at the south-east angle of the south transept
      of the Cathedral at Troyes                                        126

  47. Interior of the _Cour des Libraires_, Rouen, shewing the
      gate of entrance from the street, and the Library    _To face_    130

  48. Pembroke College, Cambridge, reduced from Loggan's print, taken
      about 1688                                                        149

  49. Long Section of Old Congregation House and Library, Oxford, looking
      south. From _The Church of S. Mary the Virgin, Oxford_, by
      T. G. Jackson, Architect                                          150

  50. Ground-plan of the Library at Queens' College, Cambridge          152

  51. Elevation of book-desk in Library of Queens' College, Cambridge   152

  52. Ground-plan of the Library at Zutphen                             154

  53. General view of the north side of the Library attached to the
      church of S. Walburga at Zutphen                   _To face_      155

  54. Desk and reader on the south side of the Library at Zutphen. From
      a photograph                                                      155

  55. Elevations of (A) one of the bookcases in the Library at Zutphen;
      (B) one of those in the Library at Queens' College, Cambridge     156

  56. End of iron bar: Zutphen                                          156

  57. End of one of the desks on the north side of the Library:
      Zutphen.                                                          157

  58. Piece of chain, shewing the ring attached to the bar, the swivel,
      and one of the links, actual size: Guildford                      158

  59. Piece of the iron bar, with chain: Zutphen                        159

  60. Chained book, from a Dominican House at Bamberg, South Germany    159

  61. Single desk in the Old Library: Lincoln Cathedral                 161

  62. Elevations of (A) one of the bookcases in the Library at Zutphen;
      (B) one of those in the Library at Queens' College, Cambridge;
      (C) one of those in the Library of Lincoln Cathedral              163

  63. Interior of a Library. From a MS. of a French translation of the
      first book of the _Consolation of Philosophy_ by Boethius,
      written in Flanders towards the end of the fifteenth century      164

  64. Library of the College de Navarre, Paris, now destroyed
      _To face_                                                         165

  65. General view of the Library at Trinity Hall, Cambridge
      _To face_                                                         169

  66. Elevation of a book-desk and seat in the Library of Trinity Hall,
      Cambridge                                                         168

  67. Lock at end of book-desk: Trinity Hall                            169

  68. A French Library of 1480. From MS. 164 in the Fitzwilliam Museum,
      Cambridge                                        _To face_        169

  69. The interior of the Library of the University of Leyden. From a
      print by Jan Cornelis Woudanus, dated 1610       _To follow_      170

  70. Bookcases and seat in the Library at Corpus Christi College,
      Oxford. From a photograph taken in 1894          _To face_        173

  71. Elevation of one bookcase in the Library of Corpus Christi College,
      Oxford                                                            173

  72. Bookcase in the Chapter Library, Hereford Cathedral. From a sketch
      taken in 1876                                                     175

  73. Part of a bookcase in the Chapter Library, Hereford    _To face_  175

  74. Part of a single volume, shewing the clasp, the ring for the chain,
      and the mode of attaching it: Hereford                            175

  75. A single volume, standing on the shelf, with the chain attached to
      the iron bar: Hereford                                            176

  76. Iron bar and socket, closed to prevent removal of the bar:
      Hereford                                                          176

  77. Iron bar, with part of the iron plate or hasp which is secured by
      the lock and keeps the bar in place: Hereford                     177

  78. Piece of chain, shewing the swivel: Hereford                      178

  79. Hook to hold up the desk: Bodleian Library, Oxford                179

  80. Exterior of the Library at Merton College, Oxford, as seen from
      'Mob Quadrangle.' From a photograph by H. W. Taunt, 1899
      _To face_                                                         179

  81. Ground-plan of the Library at Merton College, Oxford              180

  82. Interior of the West Library at Merton College, Oxford. From a
      photograph by H. W. Taunt, 1899                  _To face_        181

  83. Bookcase in the West Library of Merton College, Oxford. From a
      photograph by H. W. Taunt, 1899                  _To face_        181

  84. Elevation of a bookcase and seat in the West Library at Merton
      College, Oxford. Measured and drawn by T. D. Atkinson, Architect  182

  85. Stall-end in the Library of Clare College, Cambridge              187

  86. Ring for attachment of chain, Wells                               189

  87. Bookcases in the Library of Durham Cathedral. From a photograph
      _To face_                                                         189

  88. Conjectural plan of the Library over the Prior's Chapel at Christ
      Church, Canterbury                                                191

  89. Sketch of the probable appearance of a bookcase, and a reader's
      seat, in the Library at Christ Church, Canterbury                 193

  90, 91. Ground-plan and section of Library at Cesena                  200

  92. General view of the Library at Cesena. From a photograph
      _To face_                                                         201

  93. Bookcases at west end of south side of Library, Cesena            201

  94. Part of a bookcase, at Cesena to shew the system of chaining      202

  95. Piece of a chain, Cesena                                          203

  96. Chained book at Ghent                                             204

  97. Ground-plan of part of the Vatican Palace, shewing the building of
      Nicholas V., as arranged for library purposes by Sixtus IV., and
      its relation to the surrounding structures. From Letarouilly, _Le
      Vatican_, fol. Paris, 1882, as reproduced by M. Fabre             210

  98. Ground-plan of the rooms in the Vatican Palace fitted up for
      library-purpose by Sixtus IV                  _To follow_         208

  99. Interior of the Library of Sixtus IV., as shewn in a fresco in the
      Ospedale di Santo Spirito, Rome. From a photograph taken by
      Danesi                                          _To face_         225

  100. The library-settles (_spalliere_) once used in the Vatican
       Library of Sixtus IV., and now in the Appartamento Borgia. From a
       photograph                                     _To face_         228

  101. Bookcases in the Medicean Library, Florence                      235

  102. Copy, slightly reduced, of a sketch by Michelangelo for one of the
       bookcases in the Medicean Library, Florence                      236

  103. Elevation of desks at Cesena                                     237

  104. Elevation of desks in the Medicean Library: Florence             237

  105. A book in the Medicean Library, to shew attachment of chain      238

  106. Piece of chain in the Medicean Library, of the actual size       238

  107. Diagram to explain the ironwork at the Medicean Library          239

  108. Outline of bolt forming part of ironwork                         239

  109. West oriel of the Library at S. John's College, Cambridge        249

  110. Bookcases in the Library of S. John's College, Cambridge         250

  111. Bookcases in the Library of Peterhouse, Cambridge                252

  112. Bookcases in the south room of the University Library, Cambridge.
       _To face_                                                        253

  113. Bookcase in the old Library of King's College, Cambridge, made
       with the bequest of Nicholas Hobart, 1659                        255

  114. Ground-plan of Library, Grantham, Lincolnshire                   257

  115. Ring and link of chain: Wimborne Minster                         261

  116. Bookpress in the school at Bolton, Lancashire. From
       _Bibliographical Miscellanies_ by William Blades
       _To face_                                                        264

  117. General view of the Library of the Escõrial, looking north
       _To face_                                                        269

  118. Bookcases in the Library of the Escõrial on an enlarged scale    268

  119. Elevation of a bookcase, and section of a desk, in the Library
       of the Escõrial                                                  270

  120. Ground-plan of the Ambrosian Library at Milan                    271

  121. Interior of the Ambrosian Library at Milan. From a photograph
       taken in 1899                                 _To face_          271

  122. Bookcases, in the Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris. From a photograph
       by Dujardin, 1898                             _To face_          273

  123. Elevation of a bookcase and section of a desk in the Bibliothèque
       Mazarine, Paris                                                  274

  124. A portion of the bookcases set up in the eastern wing of the
       Bodleian Library, Oxford, built 1610-1612. From Loggan's _Oxonia
       Illustrata_, 1675                                                275

  125. Entrance to Wren's Library at Lincoln Cathedral, with part of
       the bookcase which lines the north wall      _To face_           277

  126. Part of Wren's elevation of the east side of the Library of
       Trinity College, Cambridge, with a section of the north range
       of Nevile's Court, shewing the door to the Library from the
       first floor                                                      278

  127. Elevation of one bay on the east side of the Library of Trinity
       College, Cambridge, drawn to scale from the existing building    279

  128. Interior of the north-east corner of the Library of Trinity
       College, Cambridge, shewing the bookcases, table, desk and
       stools, as designed by Sir Christopher Wren                      281

  129. Ground-plan of Library and adjacent parts of S. Paul's Cathedral,
       London. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren                         283

  130. Sir Christopher Wren's Library at S. Paul's Cathedral, London,
       looking north-east                            _To face_          282

  131. Bookcase in the north room of the University Library, Cambridge,
       designed by James Essex, 1731-1734                               286

  132. Interior of the Library of the Jesuits at Rheims, now the
       _Lingerie de l'Hôpital General_           _To face_              287

  133. Ground-plan of the Library of the Jesuits at Rheims              288

  134. Simon, Abbat of S. Albans (1167-1183), seated at his book-chest.
       From MSS. Cotton                                                 293

  135. Two men in a library. From a MS. of _Les cas des malheureux
       nobles hommes et femmes_ in the British Museum                   295

  136. A Carmelite in his study. From a MS. of Le Miroir Historial in
       the British Museum                             _To face_         296

  137. Three musicians in a Library. From a MS. of a French translation
       of _Valerius Maximus_, in the British Museum                     297

  138. A bibliomaniac at his desk. From the _Ship of Fools_             298

  139. S. John writing his Gospel. From a MS. _Hours_ in the
       Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge                                    303

  140. S. Jerome writing. From an oil painting by Benedetto Bonfigli,
       in the Church of S. Peter at Perugia         _To face_           304

  141. Circular book-desk. From a MS. of _Fais et Gestes du Roi
       Alexandre_, in the British Museum                                304

  142. S. Luke writing his Gospel. From the Dunois _Horæ_, a MS. in
       the possession of H. Y. Thompson, Esq.                           305

  143. A lady seated in her chair reading. From a MS. written in France,
       early in the fifteenth century                                   306

  144. Screw-desk. From a fifteenth century MS. in the Bibliothèque de
       l'Arsenal, Paris                                                 307

  145. Hexagonal desk, with central spike, probably for a candle. From a
       French MS. of _Le Miroir Historial_                              307

  146. A lecturer addressing an audience. From a MS. of _Livre des cas
       des malheureux nobles hommes et femmes_, written in France at
       end of fifteenth century                      _To face_          308

  147. S. Mark writing his Gospel. From a MS. _Hours_ written in
       France in the fifteenth century                                  309

  148. The author of _The Chronicles of Hainault_ in his study
       (1446) _To face_                                                 309

  149. S. Jerome in his study. From _Les Miracles de Nostre Dame_,
       written at the Hague in 1456                   _To face_         310

  150. A writer with his desk and table. From a MS. of _Le Livre des
       Propriétès des Choses_ in the British Museum  _To face_          309

  151. S. Luke writing his Gospel. MSS. Douce, Bodl. Lib. Oxf.,
       No. 381                                                          311

  152. S. Augustine at his desk. From a painting by Fra Filippo Lippi at
       Florence                                                         312

  153. S. Jerome reading. From an oil painting by Catena, in the National
       Gallery, London                               _To face_          313

  154. A writer at work. From a French translation of Valerius Maximus,
       written and illuminated in Flanders in 1479, for King Edward IV.
       _To face_                                                        313

  155. A scholar's room in the fifteenth century. From a MS. in the Royal
       Library at Brussels                           _To face_          314

  156. Dean Boys in his Library, 1622                                   317




I propose, in the following Essay, to trace the methods adopted by man in
different ages and countries to preserve, to use, and to make accessible
to others, those objects, of whatever material, on which he has recorded
his thoughts. In this investigation I shall include the position, the
size, and the arrangement, of the rooms in which these treasures were
deposited, with the progressive development of fittings, catalogues, and
other appliances, whether defensive, or to facilitate use. But, though I
shall have to trace out these matters in some detail, I shall try to
eschew mere antiquarianism, and to impart human interest, so far as
possible, to a research which might otherwise exhaust the patience of my
readers. Bibliography, it must be understood, will be wholly excluded.
From my special point of view books are simply things to be taken care of:
even their external features concern me only so far as they modify the
methods adopted for arrangement and preservation. I must dismiss the
subject-matter of the volumes which filled the libraries of former days
with a brevity of which I deeply regret the necessity. I shall point out
the pains taken to sort the books under various comprehensive heads; but I
shall not enumerate the authors which fall under this or that division.

The earliest repositories of books were connected with temples or palaces,
either because priests under all civilisations have been _par excellence_
the learned class, while despots have patronised art and literature; or
because such a position was thought to offer greater security.

[Illustration: Fig. 1. Plan of the Record-Rooms in the Palace of
Assur-bani-pal, King of Nineveh.]

I will begin with Assyria, where the record-rooms, or we might almost say
the library, in the palace of Assur-bani-pal, King of Nineveh, were
discovered by Mr Layard in 1850 at Kouyunjik, on the Tigris, opposite
Mosul. The plan (fig. 1), taken from Mr Layard's work[1], will shew,
better than a long description, the position of these rooms, and their
relation to the rest of the building--which is believed to date from about
700 B.C. The long passage (No. XLIX) is one of the entrances to the
palace. Passing thence along the narrower passage (No. XLII) the explorers
soon reached a doorway (E), which led them into a large hall (No. XXIX),
whence a second doorway (F) brought them into a chamber (No. XXXVIII). On
the north side of this room were two doorways (G. G), each "formed by two
colossal bas-reliefs of Dagon, the fish-god." "The first doorway," says Mr
Layard, "guarded by the fish-gods, led into two small chambers opening
into each other, and once panelled with bas-reliefs, the greater part of
which had been destroyed. I shall call these chambers 'the chambers of
records,' for, like 'the house of the rolls' or records, which Darius
ordered to be searched for the decree of Cyrus concerning the building of
the Temple of Jerusalem[2], they appear to have contained the decrees of
the Assyrian kings, as well as the archives of the empire."

Mr Layard was led to this conclusion by finding, in these rooms, enormous
quantities of inscribed tablets and cylinders of baked clay. "To a height
of a foot or more from the floor they were entirely filled with them; some
entire, but the greater part broken into many fragments, probably by the
falling in of the upper part of the building.... These documents appear to
be of various kinds. Many are historical records of wars, and distant
expeditions undertaken by the Assyrians; some seem to be royal decrees,
and are stamped with the name of a king, the son of Esarhaddon; others
again ... contain lists of the gods, and probably a register of offerings
made in their temples[3]."

So far Mr Layard. Subsequent researches have shewn that these two small
rooms--they were 27 feet and 23 feet long respectively, with a uniform
breadth of 20 feet--contained the literature as well as the official
documents of Assyria. The tablets have been sorted under the following
heads: History; Law; Science; Magic; Dogma; Legends: and it has been shewn
(1) that there was a special functionary to take charge of them; (2) that
they were arranged in series, with special precautions for keeping the
tablets forming a particular series in their proper sequence; (3) that
there was a general catalogue, and probably a class-catalogue as well[4].

Excavations in other parts of Assyria have added valuable information to
Layard's first discovery. Dr Wallis Budge, of the British Museum, whom I
have to thank for much kind assistance, tells me that "Kouyunjik is hardly
a good example of a Mesopotamian library, for it is certain that the
tablets were thrown about out of their proper places when the city was
captured by the Medes about B.C. 609. The tablets were kept on shelves....
When I was digging at Derr some years ago we found the what I call 'Record
Chamber,' and we saw the tablets lying _in situ_ on slate shelves. There
were, however, not many literary tablets there, for the chamber was meant
to hold the commercial documents relating to the local temple...." Dr
Budge concludes his letter with this very important sentence: "We have no
definite proof of what I am going to say now, but I believe that the
bilingual[5] lists, which Assur-bani-pal had drawn up for his library at
Nineveh, were intended 'for the use of students.'"

To this suggestion I would add the following. Does not the position of
these two rooms, easily accessible from the entrance to the palace, shew
that their contents might be consulted by persons who were denied
admission to the more private apartments? And further, does not the
presence of the god Dagon at the entrance indicate that the library was
under the protection of the deity as well as of the sovereign?

As a pendant to these Assyrian discoveries I may mention the vague rumour
echoed by Athenæus of extensive libraries collected in the sixth century
before our era by Polycrates[6], tyrant of Samos, and Peisistratus,
tyrant of Athens, the latter collection, according to Aulus Gellius[7],
having been accessible to all who cared to use it. It must be admitted
that these stories are of doubtful authenticity; and further, that we have
no details of the way in which books were cared for in Greece during the
golden age of her literature. This dearth of information is the more
tantalizing as it is obvious that private libraries must have existed in a
city so cultivated as Athens; and we do, in fact, find a few notices which
tell us that such was the case. Xenophon[8], for instance, speaks of the
number of volumes in the possession of Euthydemus, a follower of Socrates;
and Athenæus records, in the passage to which I have already alluded, the
names of several book-collectors, among whom are Euripides and Aristotle.

An allusion to the poet's bibliographical tastes has been detected in the
scene of _The Frogs_ of Aristophanes, where Æschylus and Euripides are
weighing verses against each other in the presence of Dionysus. Æschylus

  [Greek: kai mêket' emoige kat' epos, all' es ton stathmon
  autos ta paidi', hê gynê, kêphisophôn,
  embas kathêsthô syllabôn ta biblia,
  egô de dy' epê tôn emôn erô monon.]

  Come, no more single lines--let him bring all,
  His wife, his children, his Cephisophon,
  His books and everything, himself to boot--
  I'll counterpoise them with a couple of lines[9].

With regard to Aristotle Strabo has preserved a tradition that he "was the
first who made a collection of books, and taught the kings of Egypt how to
arrange a library[10]"--words which may be taken to mean that Aristotle
was the first to work out the arrangement of books on a definite system
which was afterwards adopted by the Ptolemies at Alexandria.

These notices are extremely disappointing. They merely serve to shew that
collections of books did exist in Greece; but they give us no indication
of either their extent or their arrangement. It was left to the Emperor
Hadrian to build the first public library at Athens, to which, as it was
naturally constructed on a Roman design, I shall return after I have
described those from which it was in all probability imitated.

But, if what may be termed Greece in Europe declines to give us
information, that other Greece which extended itself to Asia Minor and to
Egypt--Greater Greece it would be called in modern times--supplies us with
a type of library-organisation which has been of far-reaching influence.

After the death of Alexander the Great (B.C. 323) a Greek dynasty, that of
the Ptolemies, established itself at Alexandria, and another Greek dynasty
at Pergamon. Both were distinguished--like Italian despots of the
Renaissance--for the splendour and the culture of their courts, and they
rivalled one another in the extent and richness of their libraries; but,
if we are to believe Strabo, the library at Pergamon was not begun until
the reign of Eumenes II. (B.C. 197-159), or 126 years after that at

The libraries at Alexandria (for there were two)--though far more
celebrated and more extensive than the library at Pergamon--need not, from
my point of view, detain us for more than a moment, for we are told very
little about their position, and nothing about their arrangement. The site
of the earliest, the foundation of which is ascribed to Ptolemy the Second
(B.C. 285-247), must undoubtedly be sought for within the circuit of the
royal palace, which was in the fashionable quarter of the city called
Brucheion. This palace was a vast enceinte, not a separate building, and,
as Strabo, who visited Alexandria 24 B.C., says,

    Within the precincts of the palace is the Museum. It has
    a colonnade, a lecture-room, and a vast establishment
    where the men of letters who share the use of the Museum
    take their meals together. This College has a common
    revenue; and is managed by a priest who is over the
    Museum, an officer formerly appointed by the kings of
    Egypt, but, at the present time, by the Emperor[12].

That the older of the two libraries must have been in some way connected
with these buildings seems to me certain from two considerations. First, a
ruler who took so keen an interest in books as Ptolemy, would assuredly
have kept his treasures under his own eye; and, secondly, he would hardly
have placed them at a distance from the spot where the learned men of
Alexandria held their meetings[13].

At some period subsequent to the foundation of Ptolemy's first library, a
second, called the daughter of the first[14], was established in connexion
with the Temple of Serapis, a magnificent structure in the quarter
Rhacôtis, adorned so lavishly with colonnades, statuary, and other
architectural enrichments, that the historian Ammianus Marcellinus
declares that nothing in the world could equal it, except the Roman

This brief notice of the libraries of Alexandria shews that the earlier of
the two, besides being in a building dedicated to the Muses, was also
connected in all probability with a palace, and the second with a temple.
If we now turn to Pergamon, we shall find the library associated with the
temple and [Greek: temenos] of Athena.

The founder selected for the site of his city a lofty and precipitous
hill, about a thousand feet above the sea-level. The rocky plateau which
forms the summit is divided into three gigantic steps or terraces. On the
highest, which occupies the northern end of the hill, the royal palace is
believed to have been built. On the next terrace, to the south, was the
temple of Athena; and on the third, the altar of Zeus. External to those
three groups of buildings, partly on the edge of the hill, partly on its
sides, were the rest of the public buildings. The lower slopes were
probably occupied in ancient times, as at present, by the houses of the

These magnificent structures, which won for Pergamon the distinction of
being "by far the noblest city in Asia minor[16]," were in the main due to
Eumenes the Second, who, during his reign of nearly forty years (B.C.
197-159), was enabled, by the wise policy of supporting the Romans, to
transform his petty state into a powerful monarchy. The construction of a
library is especially referred to him by Strabo[17], and from the
statement of Vitruvius that it was built for the delight of the world at
large (_in communem delectationem_), we may infer that it was intended to
be public[18]. That he was an energetic book-collector, under whose
direction a large staff of scribes was perpetually at work, may be
gathered from the well-known story that his bibliographical rival at
Alexandria, exasperated by his activity and success, conceived the
ingenious device of crippling his endeavours by forbidding the exportation
of papyrus. Eumenes, however, says the chronicler, was equal to the
occasion, and defeated the scheme by inventing parchment[19]. It is
probable that Eumenes not only began but completed the library, for in
less than a quarter of a century after his death (B.C. 133) the last of
his descendants bequeathed the city and state of Pergamon to the Romans.
It is improbable that they would do much to increase the library, though
they evidently took care of it, for ninety years later, when Mark Antony
is said to have given it to Cleopatra, the number of works in it amounted
to two hundred thousand[20].

[Illustration: Fig. 2. Plan of the temple and precinct of Athena,
Pergamon; with that of the Library and adjacent buildings.]

The site of the acropolis of Pergamon was thoroughly explored between 1878
and 1886 at the expense of the German Government; and in the course of
their researches the archeologists employed discovered certain rooms which
they believe to have been originally appropriated to the library. I have
had the accompanying ground-plan (fig. 2) reduced from one of their
plates, and have condensed my description of the locality from that given
in their work[21]. I have also derived much valuable information from a
paper published by Alexander Conze in 1884[22].

Of the temple of Athena only the foundations remain, but its extent and
position can be readily ascertained. The enclosure, paved with slabs of
marble, was entered at the south-east corner. It was open to the west and
to the south, where the ground falls away precipitously, but on the east
and north it was bounded by a cloister in two floors. The pillars of this
cloister were Doric on the ground-floor, Ionic above. The height of those
in the lower range, measured from base to top of capital, was about 16
feet, of those in the upper range about 9 feet.

This enclosure had a mean length of about 240 feet, with a mean breadth of
162 feet[23]. The north cloister was 37 feet broad, and was divided down
the centre by a row of columns. The east cloister was of about half this
width, and was undivided.

On the north side of the north cloister, the German explorers found four
rooms, which they believe to have been assigned to library purposes. The
platform of rock on which these chambers stood was nearly 20 feet above
the level of the floor of the enclosure, and they could only be entered
from the upper cloister. Of these rooms the easternmost is the largest,
being 42 feet long, by 49 feet broad. Westward of it are three others,
somewhat narrower, having a uniform width of 39 feet. The easternmost of
these three rooms is also the smallest, being only 23 feet long; while the
two next have a uniform length of about 33 feet.

At the south-west corner of this building, but on a lower level, and not
accessible from it, other rooms were found, the use of which is uncertain.

We will now return to the eastern room. The foundations of a narrow
platform or bench extended along the eastern, northern, and western sides,
and in the centre of the northern side there was a mass of stone-work
which had evidently formed the base for a statue (fig. 2, A). The
discovery of a torso of a statue of Athena[24] in this very room indicated
what statue had occupied this commanding position, and also what had
probably been the use of the room.

This theory was confirmed by the discovery in the north wall of two rows
of holes in the stone-work, one above the other, which had evidently been
made for the reception of brackets, or battens, or other supports for
shelves[25], or some piece of furniture. The lower of these two rows was
carried along the east wall as well as along the north wall. Further,
stones were found bearing the names of Herodotus, Alcæus, Timotheus of
Miletus, and Homer, evidently the designations of portrait-busts or
portrait-medallions; and also, two titles of comedies.

Lastly, the very position of these rooms in connexion with the colonnade
indicates their use. It will be observed that the colonnade on the north
side of the area is twice as wide as that on the east side--a peculiarity
which is sufficient of itself to prove that it must have been intended for
some other purpose than as a mere covered way. But, if it be remembered
that libraries in the ancient world were usually connected with colonnades
(as was probably the case at the Serapeum at Alexandria, and was certainly
the case at Rome, as I shall proceed to shew) a reason is found for this
dignified construction, and a strong confirmation is afforded for the
theory that the rooms beyond it once contained the famous library.

When the Romans had taken possession of Pergamon, those who had charge of
the city would become familiar with the library; and it seems to me almost
certain that, when the necessity for establishing a public library at Rome
had been recognised, the splendid structure at Pergamon would be turned to
as a model. But, if I mistake not, Roman architecture had received an
influence from Pergamon long before this event occurred. What this was I
will mention presently.

No public library was established in Rome until the reign of Augustus.
Julius Cæsar had intended to build one on the largest possible scale, and
had gone so far as to commission Varro to collect books for it[26]; but it
was reserved for C. Asinius Pollio, general, lawyer, orator, poet, the
friend of Virgil and Horace, to devote to this purpose the spoils he had
obtained in his Illyrian campaign, B.C. 39. In the striking words of Pliny
"he was the first to make men's talents public property (_ingenia hominum
rem publicam fecit_)" The same writer tells us that he also introduced the
fashion of decorating libraries with busts of departed authors, and that
Varro was the only living writer whose portrait was admitted[27]. Pollio
is further credited, by Suetonius, with having built an _atrium
libertatis_[28], in which Isidore, a writer of the seventh century,
probably quoting a lost work of Suetonius, places the library, with the
additional information, that the collection contained Greek as well as
Latin books[29].

The work of Pollio is recorded among the acts of generosity which Augustus
suggested to others. But before long the emperor turned his own attention
to libraries, and enriched his capital with two splendid structures which
may be taken as types of Roman libraries,--the library of Apollo on the
Palatine Hill, and that in the Campus Martius called after Octavia, sister
to the emperor. I will take the latter first.

The _Porticus Octaviæ_, or, as it was sometimes called, the _Opera
Octaviæ_, must have been one of the most magnificent structures in Rome
(fig. 3). It stood in the Campus Martius, near the Theatre of Marcellus,
between the Capitoline Hill and the Tiber. A double colonnade surrounded
an area which measured 443 feet by 377 feet, with _Jani_, or four-faced
archways, at the four corners, and on the side next the Tiber a double
hexastyle porch, which, with a few fragments of the colonnade, still
exists in a fairly good state of preservation[30]. Within this space were
two temples, one of Jupiter, the other of Juno, a _curia_ or hall, in
which the Senate frequently met, a _schola_ or "Conversation Hall[31],"
and two libraries, the one of Greek, the other of Latin books. The area
and buildings were crowded with masterpieces in bronze and marble.

[Illustration: Fig. 3. Plan of the Porticus Octaviæ, Rome. From _Formæ
Urbis Romæ Antiqua_, Berlin, 1896.]

This structure was originally built by Quintus Metellus, about 146
B.C.[32]. One of the temples was due to his own liberality, the other had
been erected by Domitius Lepidus, B.C. 179. Now twenty years before,
Metellus had fought in a successful campaign against Perseus king of
Macedonia, in which the Romans had been assisted by Eumenes II.: and in
B.C. 148, as Prætor, he received Macedonia as his province. Is it not
possible that on one or other of these occasions he may have visited
Pergamon, and, when designing his buildings in Rome, have copied what he
had seen there? Again, in B.C. 157, Crates of Mallus, a distinguished
grammarian, was sent from Pergamon as ambassador to Rome, and, being laid
up there by an accident, gave lectures on grammar, in the course of which
he could hardly have failed to mention the new library[33].

The buildings of Metellus were altered, if not entirely rebuilt, by
Augustus, B.C. 33, out of the proceeds of his victorious campaign against
the Dalmatians; with the additional structures above enumerated. The
_schola_ is believed to have stood behind the temples, and the libraries
behind the _schola_, with the _curia_ between them[34]. Thus the
colonnades, which Metellus had restricted to the two temples, came at last
to serve the double purpose for which they were originally intended in
connexion with a library as well as with a temple.

The temple and area of Apollo on the Palatine Hill, which Augustus began
B.C. 36 and dedicated B.C. 28, exhibit an arrangement precisely similar to
that of the Porticus Octaviæ. The size was nearly the same[35], and the
structures included in the area were intended to serve the same purposes.
The temple stood in the middle of a large open peristyle, connected with
which were two libraries, one for Greek, the other for Latin books; and
between them, used perhaps as a reading-room or vestibule, was a hall in
which Augustus occasionally convened the Senate. It contained a colossal
statue of Apollo, made of gilt bronze; and on its walls were
portrait-reliefs of celebrated writers, in the form of medallions, in the
same material[36].

Of the other public libraries of Rome--of which there are said to have
been in all twenty-six--I need mention only three as possessing some
peculiarity to which I shall have to draw attention. Of these the first
was established by Tiberius in his palace, at no great distance from the
library of Apollo; the second and third by Vespasian and Trajan in their
Fora, connected in the one with the temple of Peace, and in the other with
the temple dedicated in honour of Trajan himself.

[Illustration: Fig. 4. Plan of the Forum of Trajan; after Nibby.]

Of the first two of these libraries we have no information; but in the
case of the third we are more fortunate. The Forum of Trajan (fig. 4) was
excavated by order of Napoleon I., and the extent of its buildings, with
their relation to one another, is therefore known with approximate
accuracy. The Greek and Latin libraries stood to the right and left of the
small court between the _Basilica Ulpia_ and the _Templum Divi Trajani_,
the centre of which was marked by the existing Column. They were entered
from this court, each through a portico of five inter-columniations. The
rooms, measured internally, were about 60 feet long, by 45 feet broad.

At this point I must mention, parenthetically, the library built by
Hadrian at Athens. Pausanias records it in the following passage:

    Hadrian also built for the Athenians a temple of Hera
    and Panhellenian Zeus, and a sanctuary common to all the
    gods. But most splendid of all are one hundred columns;
    walls and colonnades alike are made of Phrygian marble.
    Here, too, is a building adorned with a gilded roof and
    alabaster and also with statues and paintings: books are
    stored in it. There is also a gymnasium named after
    Hadrian; it too has one hundred columns from the
    quarries of Libya[37].

A building called the Stoa of Hadrian, a ground-plan of which (fig. 5) I
borrow from Miss Harrison's _Mythology and Monuments of Ancient Athens_,
has been identified with part at least of that which Pausanias describes
in the above passage. A lofty wall, built of large square blocks of
Pentelic marble, faced on the west side by a row of Corinthian columns,
enclosed a quadrangular court, measuring 328 feet from east to west, by
250 feet from north to south. This court, entered through a sort of
propylæa on the west side (N), was surrounded by a cloister or colonnade
27 feet wide, and containing 100 columns. None of those columns are
standing, but their number can be accurately calculated from the marks of
the bases still to be seen on the eastern side of the quadrangle.

Within this area are the remains of a building of uncertain use, and at
present only partially excavated.

On the east side a row of five chambers, of which that in the centre was
the largest, opened off from the colonnade[38].

[Illustration: Fig. 5. Plan of the Stoa of Hadrian, at Athens.

  AE, KI. Pier-arcade of the medieval church of the Panagia.
  B. North-east angle of this church, of Roman work.
  B, C, D, F. Portions of the Roman building which preceded the church.
  L, M. Reservoirs.
  N. Propylæa through which the court was entered.


If the ground plan of this structure (fig. 5) be compared with that of the
precinct of Athena and library at Pergamon (fig. 2), a striking similarity
between them will at once be recognised; and, whatever may have been the
destination of the building within the cloistered area, there can, I
think, be little doubt that the library was contained in the five rooms
beyond its limits to the east. They must have been entered from the
cloister, much as those at Pergamon were. It is possible that Hadrian may
himself have visited Pergamon, for Trajan had built an imperial residence
there; but, even if he did not do this, he would accept the type from the
great libraries built at Rome by Augustus. It should be mentioned that S.
Jerome specially commemorates this library among Hadrian's works at
Athens, and says that it was of remarkable construction (_miri

From this brief digression I return to the public libraries of Rome. In
the first place those built by Augustus had a regular organisation. There
appears to have been a general director called _Procurator Bibliothecarum
Augusti_[40]; and subordinate officers for each division: that is to say,
one for the Greek books, one for the Latin books. These facts are derived
from inscriptions found in _Columbaria_. Secondly, it may be concluded
that they were used not merely for reading and reference, but as
meeting-places for literary men.

The Palatine libraries evidently contained a large collection of old and
new books; and I think it is quite certain that new books, as soon as
published, were placed there, unless there was some special reason to the
contrary. Otherwise there would be no point in the lines in which Ovid
makes his book--sent from Pontus after his banishment--deplore its
exclusion. The book is supposed to climb from the Forum to the temple of

  Signa peregrinis ubi sunt alterna columnis
    Belides et stricto barbarus ense pater
  Quæque viri docto veteres coepere novique
    Pectore lecturis inspicienda patent.
  Quærebam fratres exceptis scilicet illis
    Quos suus optaret non genuisse parens;
  Quærentem frustra custos e sedibus illis
    Præpositus sancto iussit abire loco[41].

    Where, set between each pair of columns from some
    foreign quarry, are statues of the Danaids, and their
    barbarous father with drawn sword; and where whatever
    the minds of men of old or men of to-day have imagined,
    is laid open for a reader's use. I sought my brethren,
    save those of course whom their father would fain have
    never begotten; and, while I was seeking for them in
    vain, he who was set over the room bade me leave that
    holy ground.

The second couplet can only mean that old books and new books were alike
to be found there. The general nature of the collection, and its extent,
may be further gathered from the advice which Horace gives to his friend

  Quid mihi Celsus agit? monitus multumque monendus
  Privatas ut quærat opes, et tangere vitet
  Scripta Palatinus quæcunque recepit Apollo[42].

    What is my friend Celsus about? he who has been
    reminded, and must still be reminded again and again,
    that he should draw upon his own resources, and be
    careful to avoid the multifarious writings which
    Palatine Apollo has taken under his charge.

A man might say now-a-days, "Trust to your own wits, and don't go so often
to the library of the British Museum."

Aulus Gellius, who lived A.D. 117-180, speaks of "sitting with a party of
friends in the library of the palace of Tiberius, when a book happened to
be taken down with the title M. Catonis Nepotis," and they began asking
one another who this M. Cato Nepos might be[43]. This library contained
also public records[44].

The same writer tells a story of a grammatical difficulty which was to be
settled by reference to a book _in templo Pacis_, in the forum of
Vespasian; and again, when a particular book was wanted, "we hunted for it
diligently," he says, "and, when we had found it in the temple of Peace,
we read it[45]."

The library in the forum of Trajan, often called _Bibliotheca Ulpia_, was
apparently the Public Record Office of Rome. Aulus Gellius mentions that
some decrees of former prætors had fallen in his way there when he was
looking for something else, and that he had been allowed to read them[46];
and a statement of Vopiscus is still more conclusive as to the nature of
its contents. It tells us, moreover, something about the arrangement. In
his life of the Emperor Tacitus (Sept. A.D. 275--Apr. 276) Vopiscus says:

    And lest anybody should think that I have given too
    hasty a credence to a Greek or Latin author, the Ulpian
    Library has in its sixth press (_armarium_) an ivory
    volume (_librum elephantinum_) in which the following
    decree of the Senate, signed by Tacitus with his own
    hand, is recorded, etc.[47]

Again, in his life of the Emperor Aurelian, the same writer records how
his friend Junius Tiberianus, prefect of the city, had urged him to
undertake the task, and had assured him that: "even the linen-books
(_libri lintei_) shall be brought out of the Ulpian library for your

Books could occasionally be borrowed from a public library, but whether
from one of those in the city of Rome, I cannot say. The scene of the
story which proves this is laid by Aulus Gellius at Tibur (Tivoli), where
the library was in the temple of Hercules--another instance of the care of
a library being entrusted to a temple. Aulus Gellius and some friends of
his were assembled in a rich man's villa there at the hottest season of
the year. They were drinking melted snow, a proceeding against which one
of the party, a peripatetic philosopher, vehemently protested, urging
against the practice the authority of numerous physicians and of Aristotle
himself. But none the less the party went on drinking snow-water.
Whereupon "he fetched a treatise by Aristotle out of the library of Tibur,
which was then very conveniently accommodated in the temple of Hercules,
and brought it to us, saying----[49]." But I need not finish the
quotation, as it has no bearing on my special subject.

It is probable that numerous collections of books had been got together by
individuals in Rome, before it occurred to Augustus and his friends to
erect public libraries. One such library, that belonging to the rich and
luxurious Lucullus, has been noticed as follows by Plutarch[50]:

    His procedure in regard to books was interesting and
    remarkable. He collected fine copies in large numbers;
    and if he was splendid in their acquisition, he was more
    so in their use. His libraries were accessible to all,
    and the adjoining colonnades and reading-rooms were
    freely open to Greeks, who, gladly escaping from the
    routine of business, resorted thither for familiar
    converse, as to a shelter presided over by the Muses.

The Romans were not slow in following the example set by Lucullus; and a
library presently became indispensable in every house, whether the owner
cared for reading or not. This fashionable craze is denounced by Seneca
(writing about A.D. 49) in a vehement outburst of indignation, which
contains so many valuable facts about library arrangement, that I will
give a free translation of it.

    Outlay upon studies, best of all outlays, is reasonable
    so long only as it is kept within certain limits. What
    is the use of books and libraries innumerable, if scarce
    in a lifetime the master reads the titles? A student is
    burdened by a crowd of authors, not instructed; and it
    is far better to devote yourself to a few, than to lose
    your way among a multitude.

    Forty thousand books were burnt at Alexandria. I leave
    others to praise this splendid monument of royal
    opulence, as for example Livy, who regards it as "a
    noble work of royal taste and royal thoughtfulness." It
    was not taste, it was not thoughtfulness, it was learned
    extravagance--nay not even learned, for they had bought
    their books for the sake of show, not for the sake of
    learning--just as with many who are ignorant even of the
    lowest branches of learning books are not instruments of
    study, but ornaments of dining-rooms. Procure then as
    many books as will suffice for use; but not a single one
    for show. You will reply: "Outlay on such objects is
    preferable to extravagance on plate or paintings."
    Excess in all directions is bad. Why should you excuse a
    man who wishes to possess book-presses inlaid with
    _arbor-vitæ_ wood or ivory: who gathers together masses
    of authors either unknown or discredited; who yawns
    among his thousands of books; and who derives his chief
    delight from their edges and their tickets?

    You will find then in the libraries of the most arrant
    idlers all that orators or historians have
    written--book-cases built up as high as the ceiling.
    Nowadays a library takes rank with a bathroom as a
    necessary ornament of a house. I could forgive such
    ideas, if they were due to extravagant desire for
    learning. As it is, these productions of men whose
    genius we revere, paid for at a high price, with their
    portraits ranged in line above them, are got together to
    adorn and beautify a wall[51].

A library was discovered in Rome by Signor Lanciani in 1883 while
excavating a house of the 4th century on the Esquiline in the modern Via
dello Statuto. I will narrate the discovery in his own words.

    I was struck, one afternoon, with the appearance of a
    rather spacious hall [it was about 23 feet long by 15
    feet broad], the walls of which were plain and
    unornamented up to a certain height, but beautifully
    decorated above in stucco-work. The decoration consisted
    of fluted pilasters, five feet apart from centre to
    centre, enclosing a plain square surface, in the middle
    of which there were medallions, also in stucco-work, two
    feet in diameter. As always happens in these cases, the
    frame was the only well-preserved portion of the
    medallions. Of the images surrounded by the frames, of
    the medallions themselves, absolutely nothing was left
    _in situ_, except a few fragments piled up at the foot
    of the wall, which, however, could be identified as
    having been representations of human faces. My hope
    that, at last, after fifteen years of excavations, I had
    succeeded in discovering a library, was confirmed beyond
    any doubt by a legend, written, or rather painted, in
    bright red colour on one of the frames. There was but
    one name POLONIVS THYAN ..., but this name told more
    plainly the purpose of the apartment than if I had
    discovered there the actual bookshelves and their

When I had the pleasure of meeting Signor Lanciani in Rome in April, 1898,
he most kindly gave me his own sketch of the pilasters and medallion,
taken at the moment of discovery. I am therefore able to reproduce exactly
(fig. 6) one compartment of the wall of the library above described. The
height of the blank wall below the stucco-work, against which the
furniture containing the books stood, has been laid down as about 3 feet 6
inches, on the authority of Professor Middleton[53]. The remains of the
medallion are still to be seen in the Museo del Orto Botanico, Rome. The
person commemorated is obviously Apollonius Tyaneus, a Pythagorean
philosopher and wonderworker, said to have been born about four years
before the Christian era.

[Illustration: Fig. 6. Elevation of a single compartment of the wall of
the Library discovered in Rome, 1883.

From notes and measurements made by Signor Lanciani and Prof. Middleton.]

A similar room was discovered at Herculaneum in 1754. A full account of
the discovery was drawn up at once by Signor Paderni, keeper of the
Herculaneum Museum, and addressed to Thomas Hollis, Esq., by whom it was
submitted to the Royal Society. I will extract, from this and subsequent
letters, the passages that bear upon my subject.

                                   _Naples, 27 April, 1754._

    ... The place where they are digging, at present, is
    under _Il Bosco di Sant' Agostino_.... All the buildings
    discover'd in this site are noble; ... in one there has
    been found an entire library, compos'd of volumes of the
    Egyptian Papyrus, of which there have been taken out
    about 250....[54]

                   _To the same._

                                         _18 October, 1754._

    ... As yet we have only entered into one room, the floor
    of which is formed of mosaic work, not unelegant. It
    appears to have been a library, adorned with presses,
    inlaid with different sorts of wood, disposed in rows;
    at the top of which were cornices, as in our own times.

    I was buried in this spot more than twelve days, to
    carry off the volumes found there; many of which were so
    perished, that it was impossible to remove them. Those
    which I took away amounted to the number of three
    hundred and thirty-seven, all of them at present
    uncapable of being opened. These are all written in
    Greek characters. While I was busy in this work I
    observed a large bundle, which, from the size, I
    imagined must contain more than a single volume. I tried
    with the utmost care to get it out, but could not, from
    the damp and weight of it. However I perceived that it
    consisted of about 18 volumes, each of which was in
    length a palm and three Neapolitan inches, being the
    largest hitherto discovered. They were wrapped about
    with the bark of a tree and covered at each end with a
    piece of wood. All these were written in Latin, as
    appears by a few words which broke off from them. I was
    in hopes to have got something out of them, but they are
    in a worse condition than the Greek[55]....

                   _From Sir J. Gray, Bart._

                                         _29 October, 1754._

    ... They have lately met with more rolls of Papyri of
    different lengths and sizes, some with the _Umbilicus_
    remaining in them: the greater part are Greek in small
    capitals.... The Epicurean Philosophy is the subject of
    another fragment.

    A small bust of Epicurus, with his name in Greek
    characters, was found in the same room, and was possibly
    the ornament of that part of the library where the
    writings in favour of his principles were kept; and it
    may also be supposed that some other heads of
    philosophers found in the same room were placed with the
    same taste and propriety[56].

Between 1758 and 1763, the place was visited by Winckelmann, who wrote
long letters in Italian, describing what he saw, to Consigliere Bianconi,
Physician to the King of Saxony. One of these, dated 1762, gives the
following account of the library:

    Ii luogo in cui per la prima volta caddero sott' occhio,
    fu una piccola stanza nella villa d'Ercolano di cui
    parlammo sopra, la cui lunghezza due uomini colle
    braccia distese potevano misurare. Tutto all' intorno
    del muro vi erano degli scaffali quali si vedono
    ordinariamente negli archivi ad altezza d' uomo, e nel
    mezzo della stanza v' era un altro scaffale simile o
    tavola per tenervi scritture, e tale da potervi girare
    intorno. Il legno di questa tavola era ridotto a
    carboni, e cadde, come è facile ad imaginarselo, tutta
    in pezzi quando si toccò. Alcuni di questi rotoli di
    papiri si trovarono involti insieme con carta più
    grossolana, di quella qualità che gli antichi chiamavano
    _emporetica_, e questi probabilmente formavano le parti
    ed i libri d' un' opera intiera[57]....

    The place in which they [the rolls] were first seen was
    a small room in the villa at Herculaneum of which we
    spoke above, the length of which could be covered by two
    men with their arms extended. All round the wall there
    were book-cases such as are commonly seen in
    record-rooms, of a man's height, and in the middle of
    the room there was another similar book-case or table to
    hold writings, of such a size that one could go round
    it. The wood of this table was reduced to charcoal, and,
    as may easily be imagined, fell all to pieces when it
    was touched. Some of these papyrus rolls were found
    fastened together with paper of coarser texture, of that
    quality which the ancients called _emporetica_, and
    these probably formed the parts and books of an entire

The information which these observers have given us amounts to this: the
room was about 12 feet long, with a floor of mosaic. Against the walls
stood presses, of a man's height, inlaid with different sorts of wood,
disposed in rows, with cornices at the top; and there was also a table, or
press, in the centre of the room. Most of the rolls were separate, but a
bundle of eighteen was found "wrapped about with the bark of a tree, and
covered at each end with a piece of wood." A room so small as this could
hardly have been intended for study. It must rather have been the place
where the books were put away after they had been read elsewhere.

Before I quit this part of my subject, I should like to mention one other
building, as its arrangements throw light on the question of fitting up
libraries and record-offices. I allude to the structure built by
Vespasian, A.D. 78, to contain the documents relating to his restoration of
the city of Rome. It stood at the south-west corner of the Forum of Peace,
and what now exists of it is known as the Church of SS. Cosma e Damiano.

The general arrangement and relation to adjoining structures will be
understood from the plan (fig. 7). The room was about 125 feet long by 65
feet broad, with two entrances, one on the north-west, from the _Forum
Pacis_, through a hexastyle portico (fig. 7. 2), the other on the
north-east, through a square-headed doorway of travertine which still
exists (_ibid._ 1) together with a considerable portion of a massive wall
of Vespasian's time. After a restoration by Caracalla the building came to
be called _Templum Sacræ Urbis_. It was first consecrated as a church by
pope Felix IV. (526-530), but he did little more than connect it with the
_Heroon Romuli_ (_ibid._ 5), and build the apse (_ibid._ 4).

[Illustration: Fig. 7. Plan of the Record-House of Vespasian, with the
adjoining structures.]

[Illustration: Fig. 8. Part of the internal wall of the Record-House of

Reduced from a sketch taken in the 16th century by Pirro Ligorio.]

The whole building was mercilessly mutilated by pope Urban VIII. in 1632;
but fortunately a drawing of the interior had been made by Pirro Ligorio
in the second half of the sixteenth century, when the original treatment
of the walls was practically intact. I give a reduced copy of a small
portion of this drawing (fig. 8). As Lanciani says:

    The walls were divided into three horizontal bands by
    finely cut cornices. The upper band was occupied by the
    windows; the lower was simply lined with marble slabs
    covered by the bookcases ... which contained the ...
    records ...; the middle one was incrusted with
    tarsia-work of the rarest kinds of marble with panels
    representing panoplies, the wolf with the infant
    founders of Rome, and other allegorical scenes[58].

I explained at the beginning of this chapter that my subject is the care
of books, not books themselves; but, at the point which we have now
reached in regard to Roman libraries, it is necessary to make a few
remarks about their contents. It must be remembered, in the first place,
that those who fitted them up had to deal with rolls (_volumina_),
probably of papyrus, but possibly of parchment; and that a book, as we
understand the word, the Latin equivalent for which was _codex_, did not
come into general use until long after the Christian era. Some points
about these rolls require notice.

The length and the width of the roll depended on the taste or convenience
of the writer[59]. The contents were written in columns, the lines of
which ran parallel to the long dimension[60], and the reader, holding the
roll in both hands, rolled up the part he had finished with his left hand,
and unrolled the unread portion with his right. This way of dealing with
the roll is well shewn in the accompanying illustration (fig. 9) reduced
from a fresco at Pompeii[61]. In most examples the two halves of the roll
are turned inwards, as for instance in the well-known statue of
Demosthenes in the Vatican[62]. The end of the roll was fastened to a
stick (usually referred to as _umbilicus_ or _umbilici_). It is obvious
that this word ought properly to denote the ends of the stick only, but it
was constantly applied to the whole stick, and not to a part of it, as for
instance in the following lines:

    ... deus nam me vetat
  Inceptos olim promissum carmen iambos
    Ad umbilicum adducere[63].

    ... for heaven forbids me to cover the scroll down to
    the stick with the iambic lines I had begun a song
    promised long ago to the world.

[Illustration: Fig. 9. A reader with a roll: from a fresco at Pompeii.]

These sticks were sometimes painted or gilt, and furnished with projecting
knobs (_cornua_) similarly decorated, intended to serve both as an
ornament, and as a contrivance to keep the ends of the roll even, while it
was being rolled up. The sides of the long dimension of the roll
(_frontes_) were carefully cut, so as to be perfectly symmetrical, and
afterwards smoothed with pumice-stone and coloured. A ticket (_index_ or
_titulus_, in Greek [Greek: sillubos] or [Greek: sittubos]), made of a
piece of papyrus or parchment, was fastened to the edge of the roll in
such a way that it hung out over one or other of the ends. As Ovid says:

  Cetera turba palam titulos ostendet apertos
    Et sua detecta nomina fronte geret[64].

    The others will flaunt their titles openly, and carry
    their names on an uncovered edge.

The roll was kept closed by strings or straps (_lora_), usually of some
bright colour[65]; and if it was specially precious, an envelope which the
Greeks called a jacket ([Greek: diphthera][66]), made of parchment or some
other substance, was provided. Says Martial:

  Perfer Atestinæ nondum vulgata Sabinæ
    Carmina, purpurea sed modo culta toga[67].

    Convey to Sabina at Ateste these verses. They have not
    yet been published, and have been but lately dressed in
    a purple garment.

Martial has combined in a single epigram most of the ornaments with which
rolls could be decorated. This I will quote next, premising that the oil
of cedar, or _arbor-vitæ_, mentioned in the second line not only imparted
an agreeable yellow colour, but was held to be an antiseptic[68].

  Faustini fugis in sinum? sapisti.
  Cedro nunc licet ambules perunctus
  Et frontis gemino decens honore
  Pictis luxurieris umbilicis,
  Et te purpura delicata velet,
  Et cocco rubeat superbus index[69].

His book had selected the bibliomaniac Faustinus as a patron. Now, says
the poet, you shall be anointed with oil of cedar; you shall revel in the
decoration of both your sets of edges; your sticks shall be painted; your
covering shall be purple, and your ticket scarlet.

When a number of rolls had to be carried from one place to another, they
were put into a box (_scrinium_ or _capsa_). This receptacle was
cylindrical in shape, not unlike a modern hat-box[70]. It was carried by a
flexible handle, attached to a ring on each side; and the lid was held
down by what looks very like a modern lock. The eighteen rolls, found in a
bundle at Herculaneum, had doubtless been kept in a similar receptacle.

My illustration (fig. 10) is from a fresco at Herculaneum. It will be
noticed that each roll is furnished with a ticket (_titulus_). At the feet
of the statue of Demosthenes already referred to, and of that of
Sophocles, are _capsæ_, both of which show the flexible handles.

[Illustration: Fig. 10. Book-box or capsa.]

I will next collect the information available respecting the fittings used
in Roman libraries. I admit that it is scattered and imperfect; but
legitimate deductions may, I think, be arrived at from it, which will give
us tolerably certain ideas of the appearance of one of those collections.

The words used to designate such fittings are: _nidus_; _forulus_, or more
usually _foruli_; _loculamenta_; _pluteus_; _pegmata_.

_Nidus_ needs no explanation. It can only mean a pigeon-hole. Martial uses
it of a bookseller, at whose shop his own poems may be bought.

  De primo dabit alterove _nido_
  Rasum pumice purpuraque cultum
  Denaris tibi quinque Martialem[71].

    Out of his first or second pigeon-hole, polished with
    pumice stone, and smart with a purple covering, for five
    denarii he will give you Martial.

In a subsequent epigram the word occurs with reference to a private
library, to which the poet is sending a copy of his works.

  Ruris bibliotheca delicati,
  Vicinam videt unde lector urbem,
  Inter carmina sanctiora si quis
  Lascivæ fuerit locus Thaliæ,
  Hos _nido_ licet inseras vel imo
  Septem quos tibi misimus libellos[72].

    O library of that well-appointed villa whence a reader
    can see the City near at hand--if among more serious
    poems there be any room for the wanton Muse of Comedy,
    you may place these seven little books I send you even
    in your lowest pigeon-hole.

_Forulus_ or _foruli_ occurs in the following passages. Suetonius, after
describing the building of the temple of the Palatine Apollo by Augustus,
adds, "he placed the Sibylline books in two gilt receptacles (_forulis_)
under the base of the statue of Palatine Apollo"[73]; and Juvenal,
enumerating the gifts that a rich man is sure to receive if burnt out of
house and home, says,

  Hic libros dabit, et _forulos_, mediamque Minervam[74].

The word is of uncertain derivation, but _forus_, of which it is clearly
the diminutive, is used by Virgil for the cells of bees:

  Complebuntque _foros_ et floribus horrea texent[75].

The above-quoted passage of Juvenal may therefore be rendered: "Another
will give books, and cells to put them in, and a statue of Minerva for the
middle of the room."

The word _loculamentum_ is explained in a passage of Columella, in which
he gives directions for the making of dovecotes:

    Let small stakes be placed close together, with planks
    laid across them to carry cells (_loculamenta_) for the
    birds to build their nests in, or sets of pigeon-holes
    made of earthenware[76].

In a second passage he uses the same word for a beehive[77]; Vegetius, a
writer on veterinary surgery, uses it for the socket of a horse's
tooth[78]; and Vitruvius, in a more general way, for a case to contain a
small piece of machinery[79]. Generally, the word may be taken to signify
a long narrow box, open at one end, and, like _nidus_ and _forulus_, may
be translated "pigeon-hole." Seneca, again, applies the word to books in
the passage I have already translated, and in a singularly instructive
manner. "You will find," he says, "in the libraries of the most arrant
idlers all that orators or historians have written--bookcases
(_loculamenta_) built up as high as the ceiling[80]."

_Pegmata_, for the word generally occurs in the plural, are, as the name
implies, things fixed together, usually planks of wood framed into a
platform, and used in theatres to carry pieces of scenery or performers up
and down. As applied to books "shelves" are probably meant: an
interpretation borne out by the _Digest_, in which it is stated that
"window-frames and _pegmata_ are included in the purchase of a house[81]."
They were therefore what we should call "fixtures."

A _pluteus_ was a machine used by infantry for protection in the field:
and hence the word is applied to any fence, or boarding to form the limit
or edge of anything, as a table or a bed. _Plutei_ were not attached so
closely to the walls as _pegmata_, for in the _Digest_ they are classed
with nets to keep out birds, mats, awnings, and the like, and are not to
be regarded as part and parcel of a house[82]. Juvenal uses the word for
a shelf in his second Satire, where he is denouncing pretenders to

  Indocti primum, quamquam plena omnia gypso
  Chrysippi invenias, nam perfectissimus horum est
  Si quis Aristotelem similem vel Pittacon emit
  Et iubet archetypos pluteum servare Cleanthas[83].

    In the first place they are dunces, though you find
    their houses full of plaster figures of Chrysippus: for
    a man of this sort is not fully equipped until he buys a
    likeness of Aristotle or Pittacus, and bids a shelf take
    care of original portraits of Cleanthes.

This investigation has shewn that three of the words applied to the
preservation of books, namely, _nidus_, _forulus_, and _loculamentum_, may
be rendered by the English "pigeon-hole"; and that _pegma_ and _pluteus_
mean contrivances of wood which may be rendered by the English "shelving."
It is quite clear that _pegmata_ could be run up with great rapidity, from
a very graphic account in Cicero's letters of the rearrangement of his
library. He begins by writing to his friend Atticus as follows:

    I wish you would send me any two fellows out of your
    library, for Tyrannio to make use of as pasters, and
    assistants in other matters. Remind them to bring some
    vellum with them to make those titles (_indices_) which
    you Greeks, I believe, call [Greek: silluboi]. You are
    not to do this if it is inconvenient to you[84]....

In the next letter he says:

    Your men have made my library gay with their
    carpentry-work and their titles (_constructione et
    sillybis_). I wish you would commend them[85].

When all is completed he writes:

    Now that Tyrannio has arranged my books, a new spirit
    has been infused into my house. In this matter the help
    of your men Dionysius and Menophilus has been
    invaluable. Nothing could look neater than those shelves
    of yours (_illa tua pegmata_), since they smartened up
    my books with their titles[86].

No other words than those I have been discussing are, so far as I know,
applied by the best writers to the storage of books; and, after a careful
study of the passages in which they occur, I conclude that, so long as
rolls only had to be accommodated, private libraries in Rome were fitted
with rows of shelves standing against the walls (_plutei_), or fixed to
them (_pegmata_). The space between these horizontal shelves was
subdivided by vertical divisions into pigeon-holes (_nidi_, _foruli_,
_loculamenta_), and it may be conjectured that the width of these
pigeon-holes would vary in accordance with the number of rolls included in
a single work. That such receptacles were the common furniture of a
library is proved, I think, by such evidence as the epigram of Martial
quoted above, in which he tells his friend that if he will accept his
poems, he may "put them even in the lowest pigeon-hole (_nido vel imo_),"
as we should say, "on the bottom shelf"; and by the language of Seneca
when he sneers at the "pigeon-holes (_loculamenta_) carried up to the

The height of the woodwork varied, of course, with individual taste. In
the library on the Esquiline the height was only three feet six inches; at
Herculaneum about six feet.

I can find no hint of any doors, or curtains, in front of the
pigeon-holes. That the ends of the rolls (_frontes_) were visible, is, I
think, quite clear from what Cicero says of his own library after the
construction of his shelves (_pegmata_); and the various devices for
making rolls attractive seem to me to prove that they were intended to be

A representation of rolls arranged on the system which I have attempted to
describe, occurs on a piece of sculpture (fig. 11) found at Neumagen near
Trèves in the seventeenth century, among the ruins of a fortified camp
attributed to Constantine the Great[87]. Two divisions, full of rolls, are
shewn, from which a man, presumably the librarian, is selecting one. The
ends of the rolls are furnished with tickets.

[Illustration: Fig. 11. A Roman taking down a roll from its place in a

The system of pigeon-holes terminated, in all probability, in a cornice.
The explorers of Herculaneum depose to the discovery of such an ornament

The wall-space above the book-cases was decorated with the likenesses of
celebrated authors--either philosophers, if the owner of the library
wished to bring into prominence his adhesion to one of the fashionable
systems--or authors, dead and living, or personal friends. This obvious
form of decoration was, in all probability, used at Pergamon[88]; Pollio,
as we have seen, introduced it into Rome: and Pliny, who calls it a
novelty (_novitium inventum_), deposes to its general adoption[89]. We are
not told how these portraits were commonly treated--whether they were
busts standing clear of the wall on the book-cases; or bracketed against
the wall; or forming part of its decoration, in plaster-work or distemper.
A suitable inscription accompanied them. Martial has preserved for us a
charming specimen of one of these complimentary stanzas--for such they
undoubtedly would be in the case of a contemporary--to be placed beneath
his own portrait in a friend's library:

  Hoc tibi sub nostra breve carmen imagine vivat
    Quam non obscuris iungis, Avite, viris:
  _Ille ego sum nulli nugarum laude secundus,
    Quem non miraris, sed puto, lector, amas.
  Maiores maiora sonent: mihi parva locuto
    Sufficit in vestras sæpe redire manus_[90].

  Placed, with my betters, on your study-wall
  Let these few lines, Avitus, me recall:
  _To foremost rank in trifles I was raised;
  I think men loved me, though they never praised.
  Let greater poets greater themes profess:
  My modest lines seek but the hand's caress
  That tells me, reader, of thy tenderness._

The beautiful alto-relievo in the Lateran Museum, Rome, representing an
actor selecting a mask, contains a contrivance for reading a roll (fig.
12) which may have been usual in libraries and elsewhere, though I have
not met with another instance of it. A vertical support attached to the
table on which two masks and a MS. are lying, carries a desk with a rim
along its lower edge and one of its sides. The roll is partially opened,
the closed portion lying towards the left side of the desk, next the rim.
The roll may be supposed to contain the actor's part[91].

It is much to be regretted that we have no definite information as to the
way in which the great public libraries built by Augustus were fitted up;
but I see no reason for supposing that their fittings differed from those
of private libraries.

[Illustration: Fig. 12. Desk to support a roll while it is being read.]

When books (_codices_), of a shape similar to that with which modern
librarians have to deal, had to be accommodated as well as rolls, it is
manifest that rectangular spaces not more than a few inches wide would be
singularly inconvenient. They were therefore discarded in favour of a
press (_armarium_), a piece of furniture which would hold rolls
(_volumina_) as well as books (_codices_), and was in fact, as I shall
shew, used for both purposes. The word (_armarium_) occurs commonly in
Cicero, and other writers of the best period, for a piece of furniture in
which valuables of all kinds, and household gear, were stowed away; and
Vitruvius[92] uses it for a book-case. A critic, he says, "produced from
certain presses an infinite number of rolls." In later Latin writers--that
is from the middle of the first century A.D.--no other word, speaking
generally, occurs.

The jurist Ulpian, who died A.D. 228, in a discussion as to what is
comprised under the term _liber_, decides in favour of including all rolls
(_volumina_) of whatever material, and then considers the question whether
_codices_ come under the same category or not--thereby shewing that in his
day both forms of books were in use. Again, when a library (_bibliotheca_)
has been bequeathed, it is questioned whether the bequest includes merely
the press or presses (_armarium vel armaria_), or the books as well[93].

The Ulpian Library, or rather Libraries, in Trajan's Forum, built about
114 A.D.[94], were fitted up with presses, as we learn from the passage in
Vopiscus which I have already quoted; and when the ruins of the section of
that library which stood next to the Quirinal Hill were excavated by the
French, a very interesting trace of one of these presses was discovered.
Nibby, the Roman antiquary, thus describes it:

    Beyond the above-mentioned bases [of the columns in the
    portico] some remains of the inside of the room became
    visible on the right. They consisted of a piece of
    curtain-wall, admirably constructed of brick, part of
    the side-wall, with a rectangular niche of large size in
    the form of a press (_in foggia di armadio_). One
    ascended to this by three steps, with a landing-place in
    front of them, on which it was possible to stand with
    ease. On the sides of this niche there still exist
    traces of the hinges, on which the panels and the
    wickets, probably of bronze, rested[95].

It seems to me that we have here an early instance, perhaps the earliest,
of those presses in the thickness of the wall which were so common
afterwards in the monasteries and in private libraries also. A similar
press, on a smaller scale, is described by the younger Pliny: "My
bedroom," he says, "has a press let into the wall which does duty as a
library, and holds books not merely to be read, but read over and over

It must not, however, be supposed that cupboards were always, or even
usually, sunk into the wall in Roman times. They were detached pieces of
furniture, not unlike the wardrobes in which ladies hang their dresses at
the present day, except that they were fitted with a certain number of
horizontal shelves, and were used for various purposes according to the
requirements of their owners. For instance, there is a sarcophagus in the
Museo Nazionale at Rome, on which is represented a shoemaker at work. In
front of him is a cupboard, exactly like those I am about to describe, on
the top of which several pairs of shoes are set out.

I can, however, produce three representations of such presses being used
by the Romans to contain books.

The first occurs on a marble sarcophagus (fig. 13), now in the garden of
the Villa Balestra, Rome, where I had the good fortune to find it in
1898[97]; and Professor Petersen, of the German Archaeological School, was
so kind as to have it photographed for me. He assigns the work to about
200 A.D.

[Illustration: Fig. 13. A Roman reading a roll in front of a press

From a photograph of a sarcophagus in the garden of the Villa Balestra.

In the central portion, 21 in. high, by 15½ in. wide, is a seated figure,
reading a roll. In front of him is a cupboard, the doors of which are
open. It is fitted with two shelves, on the uppermost of which are eight
rolls, the ends of which are turned to the spectator. On the next shelf is
something which looks like a dish or shallow cup. The lower part of the
press is solid. Perhaps a second cupboard is intended. Above, it is
finished off with a cornice, on which rests a very puzzling object. There
are a few faint lines on the marble, which Professor Petersen believes are
intended to represent surgical instruments, and so to indicate the
profession of the seated figure[98]. There is a Greek inscription on the
sarcophagus, but it merely warns posterity not to disturb the bones of the

The second representation (fig. 14) is from the tomb of Galla Placidia, at
Ravenna. It occurs in a mosaic on the wall of the chapel in which she was
buried, A.D. 449[100]; and was presumably executed before that date. The
press closely resembles the one on the Roman sarcophagus, but it is
evidently intended to indicate a taller piece of furniture, and it
terminates in a pediment. There are two shelves, on which lie the four
Gospels, each as a separate _codex_, indicated by the name of the
Evangelist above it. This press rests upon a stout frame, the legs of
which are kept in position by a cross-piece nearly as thick as themselves.

[Illustration: Fig. 14. Press containing the four Gospels.

From a mosaic above the tomb of the Empress Galla Placidia at Ravenna.]

The third representation of an _armarium_ (fig. 15) occurs in the
manuscript of the Vulgate now in the Laurentian Library at Florence, known
as the _Codex Amiatinus_, from the Cistercian convent of Monte Amiata in
Tuscany, where it was preserved for several centuries[101]. The thorough
investigation to which this manuscript has lately been subjected shews
that it was written in England, at Wearmouth or Jarrow, but possibly by an
Italian scribe, before A.D. 716, in which year it was taken to Rome, as a
present to the Pope. The first quaternion, however, on one of the leaves
of which the above representation occurs, is probably older; and it may
have belonged to a certain _Codex grandior_ mentioned by Cassiodorus, and
possibly written under his direction[102].

The picture (fig. 15), which appears as the frontispiece to this work,
shews Ezra writing the law. On the margin of the vellum, in a hand which
is considered to be later than that of the MS., are the words:


Behind him is a press (_armarium_) with open doors. The lower portion,
below these doors, is filled in with panels which are either inlaid or
painted, so that the frame on which it is supported is not visible, as in
the Ravenna example. The bottom of the press proper is used as a shelf, on
which lie a volume and two objects, one of which probably represents a
case for pens, while the other is certainly an inkhorn. Above this are
four shelves, on each of which lie two volumes. These volumes have their
titles written on their backs, but they are difficult to make out, and my
artist has not cared to risk mistakes by attempting to reproduce them. The
words, beginning at the left hand corner of the top-shelf, are:

  OCT.[103] LIB.     REG.
  HIST. LIB.       PSALM. LIB.
  SALOMON.         PROPH.

The frame-work of the press above the doors is ornamented in the same
style as the panels below, and the whole is surmounted by a low pyramid,
on the side of which facing the spectator is a cross, beneath which are
two peacocks drinking from a water-trough.

I regret that I could not place this remarkable drawing before my readers
in the rich colouring of the original. The press is of a reddish brown:
the books are bound in crimson. Ezra is clad in green, with a crimson
robe. The background is gold. The border is blue, between an inner and
outer band of silver. The outermost band of all is vermilion.

I formerly thought that this book-press might represent those in use in
England at the beginning of the eighth century; but, if the above
attribution to Cassiodorus be accurate, it must be accounted another
Italian example. It bears a general similarity to the Ravenna book-press,
as might be expected, when it is remembered that Cassiodorus held office
under Theodoric and his successors, and resided at Ravenna till he was
nearly seventy years old.

The foundation of Christianity did not alter what I may call the Roman
conception of a library in any essential particular. The philosophers and
authors of Greece and Rome may have occasionally found themselves in
company with, or even supplanted by, the doctors of the Church; but in
other respects, for the first seven centuries, at least, of our era, the
learned furnished their libraries according to the old fashion, though
with an ever increasing luxury of material. Boethius, whose _Consolation
of Philosophy_ was written A.D. 525, makes Philosophy speak of the "walls
of a library adorned with ivory and glass[104]"; and Isidore, Bishop of
Seville A.D. 600-636, records that "the best architects object to gilded
ceilings in libraries, and to any other marble than _cipollino_ for the
floor, because the glitter of gold is hurtful to the eyes, while the green
of _cipollino_ is restful to them[105]."

A few examples of such libraries may be cited; but, before doing so, I
must mention the Record-Office (_Archivum_), erected by Pope Damasus
(366-384). It was connected with the Basilica of S. Lawrence, which
Damasus built in the Campus Martius, near the theatre of Pompey. On the
front of the Basilica, over the main entrance, was an inscription, which
ended with the three following lines:


    I confess that I have wished to build a new abode for
    Archives; and to add columns on the right and left to
    preserve the name of Damasus for ever.

These enigmatical verses contain all that we know, or are ever likely to
know, respecting this building, which is called _chartarium ecclesiæ
Romanæ_ by S. Jerome[106], and unquestionably held the official documents
of the Latin Church until they were removed to the Lateran in the seventh
century. The whole building, or group of buildings, was destroyed in 1486
by Cardinal Raphael Riario, the dissolute nephew of Sixtus IV., to make
room for his new palace, now called Palazzo della Cancelleria, and the
church was rebuilt on a new site. The connexion with Pope Damasus is
maintained by the name, S. Lorenzo in Damaso. No plan of the old
buildings, or contemporary record of their arrangement, appears to exist.
My only reason for drawing attention to a structure which has no real
connexion with my subject is that the illustrious De Rossi considers that
in the second line of the above quotation the word column signifies
colonnades; and that Damasus took as his model one of the great pagan
libraries of Rome which, in its turn, had been derived from the typical
library at Pergamon[107]. According to this view he began by building, in
the centre of the area selected, a basilica, or hall of basilican type,
dedicated to S. Lawrence; and then added, on the north and south sides, a
colonnade or loggia from which the rooms occupied by the records would be
readily accessible. This opinion is also held by Signor Lanciani, who
follows De Rossi without hesitation. I am unwilling to accept a theory
which seems to me to have no facts to support it; and find it safer to
believe that the line in question refers either to the aisles of the
basilica, or to such a portico in front of it as may be seen at San
Clemente and other early churches.

A letter to Eucherius, Bishop of Lyons in A.D. 441, from a correspondent
named Rusticus, gives a charming picture of a library which he had visited
in his young days, say about A.D. 400:

    I am reminded of what I read years ago, hastily, as a
    boy does, in the library of a man who was learned in
    secular literature. There were there portraits of
    Orators and also of Poets worked in mosaic, or in wax of
    different colours, or in plaster, and under each the
    master of the house had placed inscriptions noting their
    characteristics; but, when he came to a poet of
    acknowledged merit, as for instance, Virgil, he began as

  Virgilium vatem melius sua carmina laudant;
  In freta dum fluvii current, dum montibus umbræ
  Lustrabunt convexa, polus dum sidera pascet,
  Semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebunt.

  Virgil's own lines most fitly Virgil praise:
  As long as rivers run into the deep,
  As long as shadows o'er the hillside sweep,
  As long as stars in heaven's fair pastures graze,
  So long shall live your honour, name, and praise.[108]

Agapetus, who was chosen Pope in 535, and lived for barely a year, had
intended, in conjunction with Cassiodorus, to found a college for teachers
of Christian doctrine. He selected for this purpose a house on the Cælian
Hill, afterwards occupied by S. Gregory, and by him turned into a
monastery. Agapetus had made some progress with the scheme, so far as the
library attached to the house was concerned, for the author of the
Einsiedlen MS., who visited Rome in the ninth century, saw the following
inscription "in the library of S. Gregory"--i.e. in the library attached
to the Church of San Gregorio Magno.


  Here sits in long array a reverend troop
  Teaching the mystic truths of law divine:
  'Mid these by right takes Agapetus place
  Who built to guard his books this fair abode.
  All toil alike, all equal grace enjoy--
  Their words are different, but their faith the same.

These lines undoubtedly imply that there was on the walls a long series of
portraits of the Fathers of the Church, including that of Agapetus
himself, who had won his right to a place among them by building a
sumptuous home for their works[109].

The design of Agapetus, interrupted by death, was carried forward by his
friend Cassiodorus, at a place in South Italy called Vivarium, near his
own native town Squillace. Shortly after his final retirement from court,
A.D. 538, Cassiodorus established there a brotherhood, which, for a time at
least, must have been a formidable rival to that of S. Benedict. A library
held a prominent place in his conception of what was needed for their
common life. He says little about its size or composition, but much
rhetoric is expended on the contrivances by which its usefulness and
attractiveness were to be increased. A staff of bookbinders was to clothe
the manuscripts in decorous attire; self-supplying lamps were to light
nocturnal workers; sundials by day, and water-clocks by night, enabled
them to regulate their hours. Here also was a _scriptorium_, and it
appears probable that between the exertions of Cassiodorus and his friend
Eugippius, South Italy was well supplied with manuscripts[110].

These attempts to snatch from oblivion libraries which, though probably
according to our ideas insignificant, were centres of culture in the
darkest of dark ages, will be illustrated by the fuller information that
has come down to us respecting the library of Isidore, Bishop of Seville
600-636. The "verses composed by himself for his own presses," to quote
the oldest manuscript containing them[111], have been preserved, with the
names of the writers under whose portraits they were inscribed.

There were fourteen presses, arranged as follows:

  I.       Origen.
  II.      Hilary.
  III.     Ambrose.
  IV.      Augustine.
  V.       Jerome.
  VI.      Chrysostom.
  VII.     Cyprian.
  VIII.    Prudentius.
  IX.      Avitus, Juvencus, Sedulius.
  X.       Eusebius, Orosius.
  XI.      Gregory.
  XII.     Leander.
  XIII.    Theodosius, Paulus, Gaius.
  XIV.     Cosmas, Damian, Hippocrates, Galen.

These writers are probably those whom Isidore specially admired, or had
some particular reason for commemorating. The first seven are obvious
types of theologians, and the presses over which they presided were
doubtless filled not merely with their own works, but with bibles,
commentaries, and works on Divinity in general. Eusebius and Orosius are
types of ecclesiastical historians; Theodosius, Paulus, and Gaius, of
jurists; Cosmas, Damian, etc. of physicians. But the Christian poets
Prudentius to Sedulius could hardly have needed two presses to contain
their works; nor Gregory the Great the whole of one. Lastly, Leander,
Isidore's elder brother, could only owe his place in the series to
fraternal affection. I conjecture that these portraits were simply
commemorative; and that the presses beneath them contained the books on
subjects not suggested by the rest of the portraits, as for example,
secular literature, in which Isidore was a proficient.

The sets of verses[112] begin with three elegiac couplets headed _Titulus
Bibliothece_, probably placed over the door of entrance.

  Sunt hic plura sacra, sunt hic mundalia plura:
    Ex his si qua placent carmina, tolle, lege.
  Prata vides, plena spinis, et copia florum;
    Si non vis spinas sumere, sume rosas.
  Hic geminæ radiant veneranda volumina legis;
    Condita sunt pariter hic nova cum veteri.

  Here sacred books with worldly books combine;
  If poets please you, read them; they are thine.
  My meads are full of thorns, but flowers are there;
  If thorns displease, let roses be your share.
  Here both the Laws in tomes revered behold;
  Here what is new is stored, and what is old.

The authors selected are disposed of either in a single couplet, or in
several couplets, according to the writer's taste. I will quote the lines
on S. Augustine:

  Mentitur qui [te] totum legisse fatetur:
    An quis cuneta tua lector habere potest?
  Namque voluminibus mille, Augustine, refulges,
    Testantur libri, quod loquor ipse, tui.
  Quamvis multorum placeat prudentia libris,
    Si Augustinus adest, sufficit ipse tibi.

  They lie who to have read thee through profess;
  Could any reader all thy works possess?
  A thousand scrolls thy ample gifts display;
  Thy own books prove, Augustine, what I say.
  Though other writers charm with varied lore,
  Who hath Augustine need have nothing more.

The series concludes with some lines "To an Intruder (_ad
Interventorem_)," the last couplet of which is too good to be omitted:

  Non patitur quenquam coram se scriba loquentem;
    Non est hic quod agas, garrule, perge foras.

  A writer and a talker can't agree:
  Hence, idle chatterer; 'tis no place for thee.

[Illustration: Fig. 16. Great Hall of the Vatican Library, looking west.]

With these three examples I conclude the section of my work which deals
with what may be called the pagan conception of a library in the fulness
of its later development. Unfortunately, no enthusiast of those distant
times has handed down to us a complete description of his library, and we
are obliged to take a detail from one account, and a detail from another,
and so piece the picture together for ourselves. What I may call "the
pigeon-hole system," suitable for rolls only, was replaced by presses
which could contain rolls if required, and certainly did (as shewn (fig.
13) on the sarcophagus of the Villa Balestra), but which were specially
designed for _codices_. These presses were sometimes plain, sometimes
richly ornamented, according to the taste or the means of the owner. With
the same limitations the floor, the walls, and possibly the roof also were
decorated. Further, it was evidently intended that the room selected for
books should be used for no other purpose; and, as the books were hidden
from view in their presses, the library-note, if I may be allowed the
expression, was struck by numerous inscriptions, and by portraits in
various materials, representing either authors whose works were on the
shelves, or men distinguished in other ways, or friends and relations of
the owner of the house.

The Roman conception of a library was realised by Pope Sixtus V., in
1587[113], when the present Vatican Library was commenced from the design
of the architect Fontana. I am not aware that there is any contemporary
record to prove that either the Pope or his advisers contemplated this
direct imitation; but it is evident, from the most cursory inspection of
the large room (fig. 16), that the main features of a Roman library are
before us[114]; and perhaps, having regard to the tendency of the
Renaissance, especially in Italy, it would be unreasonable to expect a
different design in such a place, and at such a period.

This noble hall--probably the most splendid apartment ever assigned to
library-purposes--spans the Cortile del Belvedere from east to west, and
is entered at each end from the galleries connecting the Belvedere with
the Vatican palace. It is 184 feet long, and 57 feet wide, divided into
two by six piers, on which rest simple quadripartite vaults. The north and
south walls are each pierced with seven large windows. No books are
visible. They are contained in plain wooden presses 7 feet high and 2 feet
deep, set round the piers, and against the walls between the windows. The
arrangement of these presses will be understood from the general view
(fig. 16), and from the view of a single press open (fig. 17).

In the decoration, with which every portion of the walls and vaults is
covered, Roman methods are reproduced, but with a difference. The great
writers of antiquity are conspicuous by their absence; but the
development of the human race is commemorated by the presence of those
to whom the invention of letters is traditionally ascribed; the walls
are covered with frescoes representing the foundation of the great
libraries which instructed the world, and the assemblies of the Councils
which established the Church; the vaults record the benefits conferred
on Rome by Sixtus V., in a series of historical views, one above each
window; and over these again are stately figures, each embodying some
sacred abstraction--"Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues,
powers"--with angels swinging censers, and graceful nymphs, and laughing
satyrs--a strange combination of paganism and Christianity--amid wreaths
of flowers, and arabesques twining round the groups and over every
vacant space, partly framing, partly hiding, the heraldic devices which
commemorate Sixtus and his family:--a web of lovely forms and brilliant
colours, combined in an intricate and yet orderly confusion.

It may be questioned whether such a room as this was ever intended for
study. The marble floor, the gorgeous decoration, the absence of all
appliances for work in the shape of desks, tables, chairs, suggest a place
for show rather than for use. The great libraries of the Augustan age, on
the other hand, seem, so far as we can judge, to have been used as
meeting-places and reading-rooms for learned and unlearned alike. In
general arrangement and appearance, however, the Vatican Library must
closely resemble its imperial predecessors.

[Illustration: Fig. 17. A single press in the Vatican Library, open.

From a photograph.]


[1] _Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon_, 2 vols., 8vo. Lond.
1853. Vol. II., p. 343.

[2] Ezra, vi. I.

[3] Mr Layard gives a view of the interior of one of these rooms (p. 345)
after it had been cleared of rubbish.

[4] _La Bibliothèque du Palais de Ninive_, par M. Joachim Menant. 8vo.
Paris, 1880, p. 32.

[5] The two languages are the ancient Sumerian and the more modern

[6] Athenæus, Book 1., Chap. 4.

[7] _Noct. Att._ Book VII., Chap. 17. Libros Athenis disciplinarum
liberalium publice ad legendum præbendos primus posuisse dicitur
Pisistratus tyrannus.

[8] Xenophon, _Memorabilia_, Book IV., Chap. 2.

[9] Aristoph. _Ranæ_, 1407-1410, translated by J. H. Frere. The passage
has been quoted by Castellani, _Biblioteche nell' Antichità_, 8vo.,
Bologna, 1884, pp. 7, 8, and many others.

[10] Strabo, ed. Kramer, Berlin, 8vo., 1852, Book XIII., Chap. I, § 54.
[Greek: prôtos hôn hismen synagagôn biblia, kai didaxas tous en Aigyptô
basileas bibliothêkês syntaxin.]

[11] Book XIII., Chap. 4, § 2.

[12] Book XVII., Chap. 1, § 8. [Greek: tôn de basileiôn meros esti kai to
Mouseion, echon peripatôn kai exedran kai oikon megan, en ps to sussition
tôn metechontôn tou Mouseion philologôn andrôn esti de tê sunodô tautê kai
chrêmata koina kai iereus o epi tô Monseiô, tetagmenos tote men upo tôn
Basileôn nun d upo Kaisaros.]

[13] One of the anonymous lives of Apollonius Rhodius states that he
presided over the Museum Libraries ([Greek: tôn bibliothêkôn ton

[14] Epiphanius, De Pond. et Mens., Chap. 12. [Greek: eti de usteron kai
etera egeneto bibliothêkê en tô Serateiô, mikrotera tes prôtês, êtis
thugatêr ônomasthê autês.]

[15] Ammianus Marcellinus, Book XXII., Chap. 16, § 12. Atriis columnariis
amplissimis et spirantibus signorum figmentis ita est exornatum, ut post
Capitolium quo se venerabilis Roma in æternum attollit, nihil orbis
terrarum ambitiosius cernat. See also Aphthonius, _Progymn._ C. XII. ed.
Walz, _Rhetores Græci_, i. 106.

[16] Pliny, _Hist. Nat._, Book V., Chap. 30. Longeque clarissimum Asiæ

[17] Strabo, Book XIII., Chap. 4, § 2. After recounting the successful
policy of Eumenes II. towards the Romans, he proceeds: [Greek: kateskenase
de ontos tên polin, kai to Nikêphorion alsei katephuteuse, kai anathêmata
kai bibliothêkas kai tên epi tosonde katoikian tou Pergamon tên nun ousan
ekeinos prosephilokalêse].

[18] _De Architectura_, Book VII., Præfatio. The passage is quoted in the
next note.

[19] Pliny, _Hist. Nat._, Book XIII., Chap. 11. Mox æmulatione circa
bibliothecas regum Ptolemæi et Eumenis, supprimente chartas Ptolemæo, idem
Varro membranas Pergami tradidit repertas. Vitruvius, on the other hand
(_ut supra_) makes Ptolemy found the library at Alexandria as a rival to
that at Pergamon. Reges Attalici magnis philologiæ dulcedinibus inducti
cum egregiam bibliothecam Pergami ad communem delectationem instituissent,
tune item Ptolemæus, infinito zelo cupiditatisque incitatus studio, non
minoribus industriis ad eundem modum contenderat Alexandriæ comparare.

[20] Plutarch, _Antonius_, Chap. 57. To a list of accusations against
Antony for his subservience to Cleopatra, is added the fact: [Greek:
charisasthai men autê tas ek Pergámon bibliothêkas, en ais eikosi muriades
biblôn aplôn êsan].

[21] _Altertümer von Pergamon_, Fol., Berlin, 1885, Band 11. Das Heiligtum
der Athena Polias Nikephoros, von Richard Bohn. The ground-plan (fig. 2)
is reduced from Plate III. in that volume.

[22] _Die Pergamenische Bibliothek._ Sitzungsberichte der Königl. Preuss.
Akad. der Wiss. zu Berlin, 1884, II. 1259-1270.

[23] In my first lecture as Sandars Reader at Cambridge in the Lent Term,
1900, I pointed out that this enclosure was of about the same size as
Nevile's Court at Trinity College, if to the central area there we add the
width of one of the cloisters; and that the temple of Athena was of
exactly the same width as the Hall, but about 15 feet shorter. Nevile's
Court is 230 feet long from the inside of the pillars supporting the
Library to the wall of the Hall; and it has a mean breadth of 137 feet. If
the width of the cloister, 20 feet, be added to this, we get 157 feet in
lieu of the 162 feet at Pergamon.

[24] Now in the Royal Museum, Berlin.

[25] Similar sockets have been discovered in the walls of the chambers
connected with the Stoa of King Attalus at Athens. These chambers are
thought to have been shops, and the sockets to have supported shelves on
which wares were exposed for sale. Conze, ut supra, p. 1260; Adler, _Die
Stoa des Königs Attalos zu Athen_, Berlin, 1874; Murray's _Handbook for
Greece_, ed. 1884, 1. p. 255.

[26] Suetonius, _Cæsar_, Chap. 44.

[27] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, Book VII., Chap. 30; Book XXXV., Chap. 2.

[28] Suetonius, _Augustus_, Chap. 29.

[29] Isidore, _Origines_, Book VI., Chap. 5.

[30] Lanciani, _Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome_, ed. 1897, p. 471.
Middleton, Ancient Rome, 1892, II. 204, 205.

[31] Nibby, _Roma Antica_, p. 601. [Augusto] vi aggiunse un luogo per
conversare chiamato _Schola_.

[32] Vell. Pat., Book 1., Chap. II. Hic est Metellus Macedonicus qui
porticus quæ fuere circumdatæ duabus ædibus sine inscriptione positis, quæ
nunc Octaviæ porticibus ambiuntur, fecerat.

[33] Suet. _De Illustr. Gramm._ c. 2.

[34] Middleton, _Ancient Rome_, 1892, II. 205.

[35] I have taken these dimensions from Middleton's Plan of the Palatine
Hill (_ut supra_, p. 156), but until the site has been excavated they must
be more or less conjectural.

[36] Middleton, _Ibid._, I. 185-188. The evidence for the portraits rests
on the following passage in the _Annals_ of Tacitus ii. 37, where he is
relating how Hortalus, grandson of the orator Hortensius, being reduced to
poverty, came with his four children to the Senate: "igitur quatuor filiis
ante limen curiæ adstantibus, loco sententiæ, cum in Palatio senatus
haberetur, modo Hortensii inter oratores sitam imaginem, modo Augusti,
intuens, ad hunc modum coepit."

[37] Pausanias, _Attica_, Book I., Chap. 18, § 9, ed. J. G. Frazer, Vol.
I., p. 26.

[38] The above description is derived from Miss Harrison's book, _ut
supra_, pp. 195-198; Pausanias, ed. J. G. Frazer, Vol. II., pp. 184, 185.

[39] Eusebius, _Chronicon_, ed. Schöne, Vol. II., p. 167.

[40] Middleton, _Ancient Rome_, I. 186.

[41] _Tristia_, III. 59.

[42] _Epist._, I. 3. 17.

[43] _Noctes Atticæ_, V. 21. 9.

[44] Vopiscus, _Hist. Aug. Script._, II. 637.

[45] Aulus Gellius, _ut supra_, XVI. 8. 2.

[46] _Ibid._, XI. 17. 1.

[47] Flavii Vopisci _Tacitus_, c. 8.

[48] Id., _Aurelianus_, c. 1.

[49] _Noctes Atticæ_, XIX. 5.

[50] Plutarch, _Lucullus_, Chap. XLII. [Greek: Spondês d' axia kai logoy
ta peri tên tôn bibliôn kataskeuên. kai gar polla, kai gegrammena kalôs,
sunêge, ê te chrêsis ên philotimotera tês ktêseôs, aneimenôn pasi tôn
bibliothêkôn, kai tôn peri autas peripatôn kai scholaotêrlôn akôlutôs
upodechomenôn tous Ellênas, ôsper eis Mousôn ti katagôgion ekeise
phoitôntas kai sundiêmereuontas allêlois, apo tôn allôn chreiôn asmenôs

[51] _De Tranquillitate Animi_, Chap. IX. Studiorum quoque quæ
liberalissima impensa est, tamdiu rationem habet quamdiu modum. Quo
innumerabiles libros et bibliothecas quarum dominus vix tota vita indices
perlegit? onerat discentem turba, non instruit, multoque satius est paucis
te auctoribus tradere, quam errare per multos. Quadraginta milia librorum
Alexandriæ arserunt: pulcherrimum regiæ opulentiæ monumentum alius
laudaverit, sicut et Livius, qui _elegantiæ regum curæque egregium id
opus_ ait _fuisse_: non fuit elegantia illud aut cura, sed studiosa
luxuria, immo ne studiosa quidem, quoniam non in studium sed in
spectaculum comparaverant sicut plerisque ignaris etiam servilium
literarum libri non studiorum instrumenta sed coenationum ornamenta sunt.
Paretur itaque librorum quantum satis sit, nihil in adparatum. "Honestius"
inquis "hoc impensis quas in Corinthia pictasque tabulas effuderim."
Vitiosum est ubique quod nimium est. Quid habes cur ignoscas homini
armaria citro atque ebore captanti, corpora conquirenti aut ignotorum
auctorum aut improbatorum et inter tot milia librorum oscitanti, cui
voluminum suorum frontes maxime placent titulique? Apud desidiosissimos
ergo videbis quicquid orationum historiarumque est, tecto tenus exstructa
loculamenta. Iam enim inter balnearia et thermas bibliotheca quoque ut
necessarium domus ornamentum expolitur. Ignoscerem plane, si studiorum
nimia cupidine oriretur: nunc ista conquisita, cum imaginibus suis
descripta, sacrorum opera ingeniorum in speciem et cultum parietum
comparantur. With this passage may be compared Lucian's tract: [Greek:
Êros apaideuton kai polla biblia ônoumenon.] My friend Mr F. Darwin in
informs me that the Latin citrus, or Greek [Greek: kedros], is the
coniferous tree called _Thuia articulata = Callitris quadrivalvis_. See
Helm, _Kulturpflanzen_, Berl. 1894. Engl. Trans, p. 431.

[52] Lanciani, _Ancient Rome_, 8vo. 1888, p. 193.

[53] _Ancient Rome_, ed. 1892, ii. 254.

[54] _Phil. Trans._, Vol. XLVIII., Pt 2, p. 634.

[55] _Ibid._, p. 821.

[56] _Ibid._, p. 825.

[57] _Opere di G. G. Winckelmann_, Prato, 1831, VII. 197.

[58] Lanciani, _Ruins of Ancient Rome_, pp. 213-217. He describes and
figures Ligorio's elevation, from MS. Vat. 3439, in _Commissione
Archeologica Comunale di Roma_, Ann. X. Ser. II., 1882. pp. 29-54. See
also Middleton, _Ancient Rome_, 1892, II. 15-19. The plan of Rome called
the Capitoline Plan, because it is now preserved in the Museum of the
Capitol, was fixed to the north-east wall (fig. 7. 3).

[59] The average length of a roll may be taken at 20-30 ft.; the width at
9-11 in. See _The Palæography of Greek Papyri_, by F. G. Kenyon, Oxf.
1899, Chap. II.

[60] The breadth of these columns from left to right was not great, and
their length was considerably shorter than the width of the roll, as a
margin was left at the top and bottom.

[61] _Antichità di Ercolano_, Fol. Napoli, 1779. Vol. V., Tavola 55, p.

[62] In this statue the roll is a restoration, but a perfectly correct
one. It is original, and slightly different, in the replica of the statue
at Knowle Park, Sevenoaks, Kent. See a paper on this statue by J. E.
Sandys. Litt.D. in _Mélanges Weil_, 1898. pp. 423-428.

[63] Horace, _Epodes_, XIV. 5-8. Comp. Martial, _Epigrams_, IV. 89. Ohe!
libelle, Iam pervenimus usque ad umbilicos.

[64] _Tristia_, I. i. 109.

[65] Catullus (XXII. 7) says of a roll which had been got up with special

  Novi umbilici, lora rubra, membrana
  Directa plumbo, et pumice omnia æquata.

[66] Lucian, _Adv. Indoct._, Chap. 16.

[67] _Epigrams_, X. 93.

[68] My friend M. R. James, Litt.D., of King's College, has kindly given
me the following note: In the apocryphal Assumption of Moses Joshua is
told to 'cedar' Moses' words (= rolls), and to lay them up in Jerusalem:
"quos ordinabis et chedriabis et repones in vasis fictilibus in loco quem
fecit [Deus] ab initio creaturæ orbis terrarum." Assump. Mos., ed.
Charles, I. 17. See also Dueange, s.v. Cedria. Vitruvius (II. ix. 13)
says: "ex cedro oleum quod cedreum dicitur nascitur, quo reliquæ res cum
sint unctæ, uti etiam libri, a tineis et earie non læduntur." See above,
p. 22.

[69] _Epigrams_, III. ii. 6.

[70] Ovid (_Tristia_, I. i. 105) addressing his book, says:

  Cum tamen in nostrum fueris penetrale receptus
    Contigerisque tuam, scrinia curva, domum.

[71] _Epigrams_, I. 117.

[72] _Epigrams_, VII. 17.

[73] Suet. _Aug._ 31. Libros Sibyllinos condidit duobus _forulis_ auratis
sub Palatini Apollinis basi.

[74] _Sat._ III. 219.

[75] _Georg._ IV. 250.

[76] _De Re Rustica_, VIII. 8. Paxillis adactis tabulæ superponantur; quæ
vel loculamenta quibus nidificent aves, vel fictilia columbaria,

[77] _Ibid._, IX. 12. 2. The writer, having described bees swarming,
proceeds: protinus custos novum loculamentum in hoc præparatum perlinat
intrinsecus prædictis herbis ... tum manibus aut etiam trulla congregatas
apes recondat, atque ... diligenter compositum et illitum vas ... patiatur
in eodem loco esse dum advesperascat. Primo deinde crepusculo transferat
et reponat in ordinem reliquarum alvorum.

[78] Vegetius, _Art. Vet._, III. 32. Si iumento loculamenta dentium vel
dentes doluerint.

[79] Vitruvius, _De Arch._, ed. Schneider, X. 9. Insuper autem ad capsum
redæ loculamentum firmiter figatur habens tympanum versatile in cultro
collocatum, etc.

[80] Dr. Sandys, in his edition of Aristotle's _Constitution of Athens_,
1893, p. 174, has shewn that in the office of the public clerk a similar
contrivance was used, called [Greek: epistulion]: "a shelf supporting a
series of pigeon-holes, and itself supported by wooden pedestals."

[81] Ulpian, _Digest_, 33. 7. 12. In emptionem domus et specularia et
pegmata cedere solent, sive in æditiciis sint posita, sive ad tempus

[82] _Ibid._, 29. 1. 17. Reticuli circa columnas, plutei circa parietes,
item cilicia, vela, ædium non sunt.

[83] _Sat._ II. 4. I do not think that these lines refer to a library. The
whole house, not a single room in it, is full of plaster busts of

[84] _Ep._ cv. (ed. Billerbeck); _Ad Att._ IV. 4, p. 2.

[85] _Ep._ cvi. (_ibid._); _Ad Att._ IV. 5.

[86] _Ep._ cxi. (_ibid._); _Ad Att._ IV. 8.

[87] This cut is given in _Antiquitatum et Annalium Trevirensium libri_
XXV. Auctoribus RR. PP. Soc. Jesu P. Christophoro Browero, et P. Jacobo
Masenio. 2 v. fol. Leodii, 1670. It is headed: Schema voluminum in
bibliothecam (sic) ordine olim digestorum Noviomagi in loco Castrorum
Constantini M. hodiedum in lapide reperto excisum. See also C. G. Schwarz,
_De Ornamentis Librorum_, 4to, Lips. 1756, pp. 86, 172, 231, and Tab. II.,
fig. 4. I learnt this reference from Sir E. M. Thompson's _Handbook of
Greek and Latin Palæography_, ed. 2, 1894, p. 57, _note_. The Director of
the Museum at Trèves informs me that all the antiquities discovered at
Neumagen were destroyed in the seventeenth century.

[88] See above, p. 11.

[89] _Ibid._, p. 12.

[90] _Epigrams_, Lib. IX. _Introduction_.

[91] The whole relief is figured in Seyffert, _Dictionary of Classical
Antiquities_, ed. Nettleship and Sandys, p. 649.

[92] _De Architectura_, Lib. VII, Pref. [Aristophanes] e certis amiariis
infinita volumina eduxit.

[93] _Digesta Justiniani Augusti_, ed. Mommsen. 8vo. Berlin, 1870. Vol.
II. p. 88. Book XXXII. 52.

[94] This is the date of the _Columna cochlis_. Middleton's Rome, II. 24

[95] Nibby, _Roma Antica_, 8vo. Roma, 1839, p. 188.

[96] _Epist._ II. 17. 8. Parieti eius [cubiculi mei] in bibliothecæ
speciem armarium insertum est quod non legendos libros sed lectitandos

[97] I should not have known of the existence of this sarcophagus had it
not been figured, accurately enough on the whole, in _Le Palais de
Scaurus_, by Mazois, published at Paris in 1822. The sarcophagus had
passed through the hands of several collectors since Mazois figured it,
and I had a long and amusing search for it.

[98] _Mittheilungen des K. D. Archaeologischen Instituts Rom_, 1900, Band
XV. p. 171. Der Sarkophag eines Arztes.

[99] The inscription is printed in full in _Antike Bilderwerke in Rom ...
beschrieben von Friedrich Matz., und F. von Duhn_, 3 vols., 8vo. Leipzig,
1881, Vol. II. p. 346, No. 3127^*.

[100] Garrucci, _Arte Christiana_, Vol. IV. p. 39. It would appear from
some curious drawings on glass figured by Garrucci, _ut supra_ Pl. 490,
that the Jews used presses of similar design in their synagogues to
contain the rolls of the law.

[101] The original of this picture is 18 in. high by 9-3/4 in. broad,
including the border. It could not be photographed, and therefore, through
the kind offices of Miss G. Dixon, and Signor Biagi, Librarian of the
Laurentian Library, the services of a thoroughly capable artist, Professor
Attilio Formilli, were secured to make an exact copy in water colours.
This he has done with singular taste and skill. My figure has been reduced
from this copy. The press has also been figured in outline by Garrucci,
_Arte Christiana_, Vol. III., Pl. 126.

[102] The romantic story of the _Codex Amiatinus_ is fully narrated by Mr
H. J. White in _Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica_, 8vo. Oxf. 1890, II. pp.

[103] The _Octateuch_, or, the five books of Moses, with the addition of
Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.

[104] _Consol. Philosoph._, Book I. Ch. 5. Nec bibliothecæ potius comptos
ebore ac vitro parietes quam tuæ mentis sedem requiro.

[105] _Origines_, Book VI. Ch. ii. Cum peritiores architecti neque aurea
lacunaria ponenda in bibliothecis putent neque pavimenta alia quam a
Carysteo marmore, quod auri fulgor hebetat et Carystei viriditas reficiat

[106] _Apol. adv. Rufinum_, ii. 20: Opera, ed. Vallarsi, II. 549.

[107] _De Origine Historia Indicibus scrinii et bibliothecæ Sedis
Apostolicæ commentatio Ioannis Baptistæ de Rossi...._ 4to. Romæ, 1886,
Chapter V. A brief, but accurate, summary of his account will be found in
Lanciani's _Ancient Rome_, 8vo. 1888, pp. 187-190. Father C. J. Ehrle has
given me much help on this difficult question.

[108] _Sidonii Apollinaris Opera_, ed. Sirmondi. 4to. Paris, 1652. Notes,
p. 33. The words of this letter, which I have translated very freely, are
as follows:

Sed dum hæc tacitus mecum revolvo, occurrit mihi quod in Bibliotheca
studiosi sæcularium litterarum puer quondam, ut se ætatis illius
curiositas habet, prætereundo legissem. Nam cum supra memoratæ ædis
ordinator ac dominus, inter expressas lapillis aut ceris discoloribus,
formatasque effigies vel Oratorum vel etiam Poetarum specialia singulorum
autotypis epigrammata subdidisset; ubi ad præiudicati eloquii venit
poetam, hoc modo orsus est.

The last three lines of the inscription are from the _Æneid_, Book I. 607.
I owe the most important part of the translation of Rusticus to Lanciani,
_ut supra_, p. 196: that of Virgil is by Professor Conington.

[109] I have taken the text of the inscription, and my account of Agapetus
and his work, from De Rossi, _ut supra_, Chap. VIII. p. lv.

[110] Cassiodorus, _De Inst. Div. Litt._ Chap. XXX. pp. 1145, 46. Ed.
Migne. De Rossi, _ut supra_.

[111] Versus qui scripti sunt in armaria sua ab ipso [Isidoro] compositi.
_Cod. Vat. Pal._ 1877, a MS. which came from Lorch in Germany. De Rossi,
_ut supra_. Chap. VII.

[112] _Isidori Opera Omnia_, 410. Rome, 1803. Vol. VII. p. 179.

[113] See Hen. Stevenson, _Topografia e Monumenti di Roma nelle Pitture a
fresco di Sisto V. della Biblioteca Vaticana_, p. 7; in _Al Sommo
Pontefice Leone XIII. Omaggio Giubilare della Biblioteca Vaticana_, Fol.
Rome, 1881.

[114] Signor Lanciani (_Ancient Rome_, p. 195) was the first to suggest a
comparison between the Vatican Library and those of ancient Rome.



The system of decoration carried out in this Library, of which I have just
given a summary description, is so interesting, and bears evidence of so
much care and thought, that I subjoin a detailed account of it, which, by
the kindness of Father Ehrle, prefect of the Library, I was enabled to
draw up during my late visits to Rome. The diagrammatic ground-plan (fig.
18) which accompanies this description, if studied in conjunction with the
general view (fig. 16), will make the relation of the subjects to each
other perfectly clear. The visitor is supposed to enter the Library from
the vestibule at the east end; and the notation of the piers, windows,
wall-frescoes, etc., begins from the same end. Further, the visitor is
supposed to examine the east face of each pier first, and then to turn to
the left.

I will begin with the figures on the central piers and half-piers. These
figures are painted in fresco, of heroic size: and over their heads are
the letters which they are supposed to have invented.



  A tall stalwart figure dressed in short chiton. He holds an apple in his
  left hand, and a mattock in his right.

  Adam divinitus edoctus primus scientiarum et litterarum inventor.


  (_a_) ABRAHAM.

  Abraham Syras et Chaldaicas litteras invenit.


  Filii Seth columnis duabus rerum coelestium disciplinam inscribunt.

  (_c_) ESDRAS.

  Esdras novas Hebraeorum litteras invenit.

  (_d_) MOSES.

  Moyses antiquas Hebraicas litteras invenit.

On the cornice of the presses round this pier are the following

  (_a_) Doctrina bona dabit gratiam. Prov. xiii. 15.
  (_b_) Volo vos sapientes esse in bono. Rom. xvi. 19.
  (_c_) Impius ignorat scientiam. Prov. xxix. 7.
  (_d_) Cor sapientis quærit doctrinam. Prov. xv. 14.


  (_a_) MERCURY.

  Mercurius Thovt Ægyptiis sacras litteras conscripsit.

  (_b_) ISIS.

  Isis regina Ægyptiarum litterarum inventrix.

  (_c_) MENON.

  Menon Phoroneo æqualis litteras in Ægypto invenit.

  (_d_) HERCULES.

  Hercules ægyptius Phrygias litteras invenit.

  On the cornice of the presses:

  (_a_) Recedere a malo intelligentia. Job xxviii. 28.
  (_b_) Timere Deum ipsa est sapientia. Job xxviii. 22.
  (_c_) Faciendi plures libros nullus est finis. Eccl. xii. 12.
  (_d_) Dat scientiam intelligentibus disciplinam. Dan. xi. 12.


  (_a_) PHOENIX.

  Phoenix litteras Phoenicibus tradidit.

  (_b_) CECROPS.

  Cecrops Diphyes primus Atheniensium rex Græcarum litterarum auctor.

  (_c_) LINUS.

  Linus Thebanus litterarum Græcarum inventor.

  (_d_) CADMUS.

  Cadmus Phoenicis frater litteras xvi in Græciam intulit.

  On the cornice of the presses:

  (_a_) In malevolam animam non introibit sapientia. Sap. i. 4.
  (_b_) Habentes solatio sanctos libros. 1 Mach. xii. 9.
  (_c_) Cor rectum inquirit scientiam. Prov. xxvii. 12.
  (_d_) Sapientiam qui abiicit infelix est. Sap. iii. 14.



  Pythagoras. Y. litteram ad humanæ vitæ exemplum invenit.

  (_b_) PALAMEDES.

  Palamedes bello Troiano Græcis litteris quattuor adiecit.

  (_c_) SIMONIDES.

  Simonides Melicus quattuor Græcarum litterarum inventor.


  Epicharmus Siculus duas Græcas addidit litteras.

  On the cornice of the presses:

  (_a_) Qui evitat discere incidet in mala. Prov. vii. 16.
  (_b_) Non glorietur sapiens in sapientia sua. Ier. ix. 23.
  (_c_) Si quis indiget sapientia postulet a Deo. Iac. i. 15.
  (_d_) Melior est sapientia cunctis pretiosissimis. Prov. viii. 11.


  (_a_) EVANDER.

  Evander Carment. F. aborigines litteras docuit.


  Nicostrata Carmenta latinarum litterarum inventrix.

  (_c_) DEMARATUS.

  Demaratus Corinthius etruscarum litterarum auctor.

  (_d_) CLAUDIUS.

  Claudius imperator tres novas litteras adinvenit.

  On the cornice of the presses:

  (_a_) Non erudietur qui non est sapiens in bono. Eccl. xxi. 24.
  (_b_) Viri intelligentes loquantur mihi. Iac. xxxiv. 34.
  (_c_) Non peribit consilium a sapienti. Ier. xviii. 18.
  (_d_) Sapientiam atque doctrinam stulti despiciunt. Prov. i. 17.



  S. Io. Chrysostomus litterarum Armenicarum auctor.

  (_b_) VLPHILAS.

  Vlphilas Episcopus Gothorum litteras invenit.

  (_c_) CYRIL.

  S. Cyrillus aliarum Illyricarum litterarum auctor.

  (_d_) JEROME.

  S. Hieronymus litterarum Illyricarum inventor.

  On the cornice of the presses:

  (_a_) Scientia inflat charitas vero ædificat. Cor. viii. 1.
  (_b_) Sapere ad sobrietatem. Rom. xii. 3.
  (_c_) Vir sapiens fortis et vir doctus robustus. Prov. xxiv. 5.
  (_d_) Ubi non est scientia animæ non est bonum. Prov. xix. 2.



  Our Lord is seated. Over His Head [Greek: Alpha], [Greek: Omega]; in His
  Hand an open book: Ego sum [Greek: Alpha] et [Greek: Omega]; principium
  et finis. At His Feet: Iesus Christus summus magister, cælestis doctrinæ

  On Christ's right hand is a POPE, standing, with triple cross and tiara.

  Christi Domini vicarius.

  On Christ's left hand is an EMPEROR, also standing, with crown, sword,
  blue mantle.

  Ecclesiæ defensor.

I will now pass to the decoration of the walls. On the south wall, between
the windows, are representations of famous libraries; on the north wall,
of the eight general Councils of the Church. Each space is ornamented with
a broad border, like a picture-frame. In the centre above is the general
title of the subject or subjects below: e.g. _Bibliotheca Romanorum_; and
beneath each picture is an inscription describing the special subject.
Above each window, on the vault, is a large picture, to commemorate the
benefits conferred by Sixtus V. on Rome and on the world. I will describe
the libraries first, beginning as before at the east end of the room.


(Right of Entrance.)

    Sixtus V. Pont. M. Bibliothecæ Vaticanæ aedificationem

The Pope is seated. Fontana, a pair of compasses in his right hand, is on
one knee, exhibiting the plan of the intended library.


(Left of Entrance.)

    Moyses librum legis Levitis in tabernaculo reponendum

Moses hands a large folio to a Levite, behind whom more Levites are
standing. Soldiers, etc., stand behind Moses. Tents in background.


(On first wall-space south side.)

    Esdras sacerdos et scriba Bibliothecam sacram restituit.

Ezra, attired in a costume that is almost Roman, stands in the centre of
the picture, his back half turned to the spectator. An official is
pointing to a press full of books. Porters are bringing in others.


(Two pictures.)

(_a_) _The education of Daniel in Babylon._

    Daniel et socii linguam scientiamque Chaldæorum

Daniel and other young men are writing and reading at a table on the right
of the picture. A group of elderly men in front of them to the left.
Behind these is a lofty chair and desk, beneath which is a table at which
a group of boys are reading and writing. In the background a set of
book-shelves with a desk, quite modern in style.

(_b_) _The search for the decree of Cyrus._

    Cyri decretum de templi restauratione Darii iussu

Darius, crowned, his back half turned to the spectator, is giving orders
to several young men, who are taking books out of an _armarium_--evidently
copied from one of the Vatican book-cupboards.


(Two pictures.)

(_a_) _Pisistratus arranges a library at Athens._

    Pisistratus primus apud Græcos publicam bibliothecam

Pisistratus, in armour, over which is a blue mantle, is giving orders to
an old man who kneels before him, holding an open book. Behind the old man
attendants are placing books on desks--others are reading. Behind
Pisistratus is a group of officers, and behind them again a book-press
without doors, and a row of open books on the top.

(_b_) _Restoration of the library by Seleucus._

    Seleucus bibliothecam a Xerxe asportatam referendam

Servants are bringing in books which are being hastily packed into cases.
In the background is seen the sea, with a ship; and the door of the
palace. A picture full of life and movement.


(Two pictures.)

(_a_) _Ptolemy organises the library at Alexandria._

    Ptolemæus ingenti bibliotheca instructa Hebreorum libros

Ptolemy, a dignified figure in a royal habit, stands in the centre. He is
addressing an elderly man who stands on his right. Behind him are three
porches, within which are seen desks and readers. In the central porch are
closed presses, with rows of folios on the top. Below are desks, at which
readers are seated, their backs turned to the presses.

(_b_) _The Seventy Translators bring their work to Ptolemy._

    LXXII interpretes ab Eleazaro missi sacros libros
    Ptolemæo reddunt.

Ptolemy is seated on a throne to right of spectator with courtiers on his
right and left. The messengers kneel before him, and hand him volumes.


(_a_) _Tarquin receives the Sibylline Books._

    Tarquinius Superbus libros Sibyllinos tres aliis a
    muliere incensis tantidem emit.

Tarquin, seated in the centre of the picture, receives three volumes from
an aged and dignified woman. In front a lighted brazier in which the other
books are burning.

(_b_) _Augustus opens the Palatine library._

    Augustus Cæs. Palatina Bibliotheca magnifice ornata
    viros litteratos fovet.

Augustus, in armour, with imperial mantle, crown and sceptre, stands left
of centre. An old man seated at his feet is writing from his dictation.
Left of the Emperor are five desks; with five closed books lying on the
top of each. These desks are very probably intended to represent those of
the Vatican Library as arranged by Sixtus IV. Two men, crowned with
laurel, are standing behind the last desk, conversing. Behind them again
is a book-case of three shelves between a pair of columns. Books are lying
on their sides on these shelves. Beneath the shelves is a desk, with books
open upon it, and others on their sides beneath it.


_Alexander, Bishop and Martyr, collects a library at Jerusalem._

    S. Alexander Episc. et Mart. Decio Imp. in magna
    temporum acerbitate sacrorum scriptorum libros
    Hierosolymis congregat.

A picture full of movement, occupying the whole space between two windows.
The saint is in the centre of the picture, seated. Young men are bringing
in the books, and placing them on shelves.


_Pamphilus, Priest and Martyr, collects a library at Cæsarea._

    S. Pamphilus Presb. et Mart. admirandæ sanctitatis et
    doctrinæ Cæsareæ sacram bibliothecam conficit multos
    libros sua manu describit.

Pamphilus, in centre of picture, is giving orders to porters who are
bringing in a basket of books. On his left a large table at which a scribe
is writing. S. Jerome, seated in right corner of picture, is apparently
dictating to the scribe. Behind them is a large book-case on the shelves
of which books lie on their sides; others are being laid on the top by a
man standing on a ladder. In the left of the picture is a table covered
with a green cloth, on which book-binders are at work. In front of this
table a carpenter is preparing boards. In background, seen through a large
window, is a view of Cæsarea.


_S. Peter orders the safe-keeping of books._

    S. Petrus sacrorum librorum thesaurum in Romana ecclesia
    perpetuo asservari jubet.

S. Peter is standing before an altar on which are books and a cross. In
front doctors are writing at a low table.

[A small picture between window and west wall.]


_The successors of S. Peter carry on the library-tradition._

    Romani pontifices apostolicam bibliothecam magno studio
    amplificant atque illustrant.

A pope, his left hand resting on a book, is earnestly conversing with a
cardinal, whose back is half turned to the spectator. Another pope, with
three aged men, in background.

[A small picture on west wall.]

We will now return to the east end of the room, and take the
representations of Councils, painted on the east and north walls, in
chronological order.


(On east wall.)

_The first Council held at Nicæa_, A.D. 325.

    S. Silvestro PP. Constantino Mag. imp. Christus dei
    Filius patri consubstantialis declaratur Arii impietas

_The burning of the books of Arius._

    Ex decreto concilii Constantinus Imp. libros Arianorum
    comburi iubet.


_The first Council held at Constantinople_, A.D. 381.

    S. Damaso PP. et Theodosio sen. imp. Spiritus Sancti
    divinitas propugnatur nefaria Macedonii hæresis


_The Council held at Ephesus_, A.D. 431.

    S. Cælestino PP. et Theodosio Jun. Imp. Nestorius
    Christum dividens damnatur, B. Maria Virgo dei genetrix


_The Council held at Chalcedon_, A.D. 451.

    S. Leone magno PP. et Marciano Imp. infelix Eutyches
    vnam tantum in Christo post incarnationem naturam
    asserens confutatur.


_The second Council held at Constantinople_, A.D. 553.

    Vigilio Papa et Iustiniano Imp. contentiones de tribus
    capitibus sedantur Origenis errores refelluntur.


_The third Council held at Constantinople_, A.D. 680.

    S. Agathone Papa Constantino pogonato Imp. monothelitæ
    hæretici vnam tantum in Christo voluntatem docentes


_The second Council held at Nicæa_, A.D. 787.

    Hadriano papa Constantino Irenes F. imp. impii
    iconomachi reiiciuntur sacrarum imaginum veneratio


_The fourth Council held at Constantinople_, A.D. 869.

    Hadriano papa et Basilio imp. S. Ignatius patriarcha
    Constant. in suam sedem pulso Photio restituitur.

_The burning of the books of Photius._

    Ex decreto concilii Basilius Imp. chirographa Photii et
    conciliab. acta comburi iubet.

In conclusion I will enumerate the series of eighteen large pictures on
the side-walls and in the lunettes at each end of the room, representing,
with some few exceptions, the benefits conferred on Rome by Sixtus. The
most important of these pictures are above the windows (fig. 16), of which
there are seven on each side-wall. A Latin couplet above the picture
records the subject, and allegorical figures of heroic size, one on each
side, further indicate the idea which it is intended to convey.

The series begins at the east end of the room, over the door.

I. _Procession of Sixtus to his coronation._

  Hic tria Sixte tuo capiti diademata dantur
  Sed quantum in coelis te diadema manet.


On the left of this, over the First Nicene Council, is

II. _Coronation of Sixtus, with façade of old S. Peter's._

  Ad templum antipodes Sixtum comitantur euntem
    Jamque novus Pastor pascit ovile novum.

  HONOR.          DIGNITAS.

With the following picture the series on the south wall begins, above the

III. _An allegorical tableau. A lion with a human face, and a thunder-bolt
in his right paw, stands on a green hill. A flock of sheep is feeding

  Alcides partem Italiæ prædone redemit
    Sed totam Sixtus: dic mihi major uter.


IV. _The obelisk in front of old S. Peter's. The dome rising behind._

  Dum stabit motus nullis Obeliscus ab Euris
    Sixte tuum stabit nomen honosque tuus.


V. _An allegorical tableau. A tree loaded with fruits, up which a lion is
trying to climb. A flock of sheep beneath._

  Temporibus Sixti redeunt Saturnia regna
    Et pleno cornu copia fundit opes.


VI. _A Columna Cochlis surmounted by a statue._

  Ut vinclis tenuit Petrum sic alta columna
    Sustinet; hinc decus est dedecus unde fuit.


VII. _A crowd assembled in front of a church._

  Sixtus regnum iniens indicit publica vota
    Ponderis o quanti vota fuisse vides.


VIII. _The Lateran Palace, with the Baptistery and Obelisk._

  Quintus restituit Laterana palatia Sixtus
    Atque obelum medias transtulit ante foras.


IX. _A fountain erected by Sixtus._

  Fons felix celebri notus super æthera versu
    Romulea passim jugis in urbe fuit.


The next two pictures are above the arches leading from the west end of
the library into the corridor:

X. _Panorama of Rome as altered by Sixtus._

  Dum rectas ad templa vias sanctissima pandit
    Ipse sibi Sixtus pandit ad astra viam.


XI. _An allegorical representation of the Tiara, with adoring

  Virgo intacta manet nec vivit adultera conjux
    Castaque nunc Roma est quæ fuit ante salax.


With the following picture the series on the north wall begins:

XII. _Section of S. Peter's, with the dome._

  Virginis absistit mirari templa Dianæ;
    Qui fanum hoc intrat Virgo Maria tuum.


XIII. _The Obelisk in the Circus of Nero._

  Maximus est obelus circus quem maximus olim
    Condidit et Sixtus maximus inde trahit.


XIV. _The Tiber, with the Ponte Sisto, and the Ospedale di Santo Spirito._

  Quæris cur tota non sit mendicus in Urbe:
    Tecta parat Sixtus suppeditatque cibos.


XV. _A similar view._

  Jure Antoninum paulo vis Sixte subesse
    Nam vere hic pius est impius ille pius.


XVI. _A similar view, with the Obelisk._

  Transfers Sixte pium transferre an dignior alter
    Transferri an vero dignior alter erat.


XVII. _The Obelisk, now in front of S. Peter's, before it was removed._

  Qui Regum tumulis obeliscus serviit olim
    Ad cunas Christi tu pie Sixte locas.

  OBLATIO.          DEVOTIO.

XVIII. _A fleet at sea._

  Instruit hic Sixtus classes quibus æquora purget
    Et Solymos victos sub sua jura trahat.


[Illustration: Fig. 18. Rough groundplan of the great hall of the Vatican
Library, to illustrate the account of the decoration.]



The evidence collected in the last chapter shews that what I have there
called the Roman conception of a library was maintained, even by Christian
ecclesiastics, during many centuries of our era. I have next to trace the
beginning and the development of another class of libraries, directly
connected with Christianity. We shall find that the books intended for the
use of the new communities were stored in or near the places where they
met for service, just as in the most ancient times the safe-keeping of
similar treasures had been entrusted to temples.

It is easy to see how this came about. The necessary service-books would
be placed in the hands of the ecclesiastic who had charge of the building
in which the congregation assembled. To these volumes--which at first were
doubtless regarded in the same light as vestments or sacred
vessels--treatises intended for edification or instruction would be
gradually added, and so the nucleus of a library would be formed.

The existence of such libraries does not rest on inference only. There are
numerous allusions to them in the Fathers and other writers; S. Jerome,
for instance, advises a correspondent to consult church-libraries, as
though every church possessed one[115]. As however the allusions to them
are general, and say nothing about extent or arrangement, this part of my
subject need not detain us long[116].

The earliest collection of which I have discovered any record is that got
together at Jerusalem, by Bishop Alexander, who died A.D. 250. Eusebius,
when writing his Ecclesiastical History some eighty years later, describes
this library as a storehouse of historical records, which he had himself
used with advantage in the composition of his work[117]. A still more
important collection existed at Cæsarea in Palestine. S. Jerome says
distinctly that it was founded by Pamphilus, "a man who in zeal for the
acquisition of a library wished to take rank with Demetrius Phalereus and
Pisistratus[118]." As Pamphilus suffered martyrdom in A.D. 309, this
library must have been got together soon after that at Jerusalem. It is
described as not only extensive, but remarkable for the importance of the
manuscripts it contained. Here was the supposed Hebrew original of S.
Matthew's Gospel[119], and most of the works of Origen, got together by
the pious care of Pamphilus, who had been his pupil and devoted admirer.
S. Jerome himself worked in this library, and collated there the
manuscripts which Origen had used when preparing his Hexapla[120]. At
Cirta the church and the library were evidently in the same building,
from the way in which they are spoken of in the account of the persecution
of A.D. 303-304. "The officers," we are told, "went into the building
(_domus_) where the Christians were in the habit of meeting." There they
took an inventory of the plate and vestments. "But," proceeds the
narrative, "when they came to the library, the presses there were found
empty[121]." Augustine, on his deathbed, A.D. 430, gave directions that
"the library of the church [at Hippo], and all the manuscripts, should be
carefully preserved by those who came after him[122]."

Further, there appears to be good reason for believing that when a church
had a triple apse, the lateral apses were separated off by a curtain or a
door, the one to contain the sacred vessels, the other the books. This
view, which has been elaborated by De Rossi in explanation of three
recesses in the thickness of the wall of the apse of a small private
oratory discovered in Rome in 1876[123], is chiefly supported by the
language of Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, who lived from about A.D. 353 to
A.D. 431. He describes a basilica erected by himself at Nola in honour of
S. Felix, martyr, as having "an apse divided into three (_apsidem
trichoram_)[124]"; and in a subsequent passage, after stating that there
are to be two recesses, one to the right, the other to the left of the
apse, he adds, "these verses indicate the use of each[125]," and gives the
following couplets, with their headings:

_On the right of the Apse._

  Hic locus est veneranda penus qua conditur, et qua
  Ponitur alma sacri pompa ministerii.

  Here are the sacred vessels stored, and here
  The peaceful trappings of our holy rites.

_On the left of the same._

  Si quem sancta tenet meditandi in lege voluntas
  Hic poterit residens sacris intendere libris.

  Here he whose thoughts are on the laws of God
  May sit and ponder over holy books.

As De Rossi explains, the first of the two niches was intended to contain
the vessels and furniture of the altar; the second was reserved for the
safe-keeping of the sacred books. The word _trichora_, in Greek [Greek:
trichô], is used by later writers to designate a three-fold division of
any object--as for instance, by Dioscorides, of the seed-pod of the

Whether this theory of the use of the apse be accurate or fanciful, the
purely Christian libraries to which I have alluded were undoubtedly
connected, more or less closely, with churches; and I submit that the
libraries which in the Middle Ages were connected with cathedrals and
collegiate churches are their lineal descendants.

I have next to consider the libraries formed by monastic communities, the
origin of which may be traced to very early times. Among the Christians of
the first three centuries there were enthusiasts who, discontented with
the luxurious life they led in the populous cities along the coasts of
Africa and Syria, fled into the Egyptian deserts, there to lead a life of
rigorous self-denial and religious contemplation. These hermits were
presently joined by other hermits, and small communities were gradually
formed, with a regular organization that foreshadowed the Rules and
Customs of the later monastic life. Those who governed these primitive
monasteries soon realised the fact that without books their inmates would
relapse into barbarism, and libraries were got together. The Rule of S.
Pachomius (A.D. 292-345), whose monastery was at Tabennisi near Denderah
in Upper Egypt, provides that the books of the House are to be kept in a
cupboard (_fenestra_) in the thickness of the wall. Any brother who wanted
a book might have one for a week, at the end of which he was bound to
return it. No brother might leave a book open when he went to church or
to meals. In the evening the officer called "the Second," that is, the
second in command, was to take charge of the books, count them, and lock
them up.[127]

These provisions, insisted upon at a very early date, form a suitable
introduction to the most important section of my subject--the care of
books by the Monastic Orders. With them book-preserving and book-producing
were reduced to a system, and in their libraries--the public libraries of
the Middle Ages--literature found a home, until the invention of printing
handed over to the world at large the duties which had been so well
discharged by special communities. This investigation is full of
difficulty; and, though I hope to arrive at some definite conclusions
respecting the position, size, dimensions, and fittings of monastic
libraries, I must admit that my results depend to a certain extent on
analogy and inference. It should be remembered that in England the
monasteries were swept away more than three centuries ago by a sudden
catastrophe, and that those who destroyed them were far too busy with
their own affairs to place on record the aspect or the plan of what they
were wrecking. In France again, though little more than a century has
elapsed since her monasteries were overwhelmed by the Revolution, and
though descriptions and views of many of her great religious houses have
been preserved, and much has been done in the way of editing catalogues of
their manuscripts, there is still a lamentable dearth of information on my
particular subject.

I shall begin by quoting some passages from the Rules and Customs of the
different Orders, which shew (1) that reading was encouraged and enforced
by S. Benedict himself, with whom the monastic life, as we conceive it,
may be said to have originated; (2) that subsequently, as Order after
Order was founded, a steady development of feeling with regard to books,
and an ever-increasing care for their safe-keeping, can be traced.

The Rule of S. Benedict was made public early in the sixth century; and
the later Orders were but offshoots of the Benedictine tree, either using
his Rule or basing their own statutes upon it. It will therefore be
desirable to begin this research by examining what S. Benedict said on the
subject of study, and I will translate a few lines from the 48th chapter
of his Rule, _Of daily manual labour_.

    Idleness is the enemy of the soul; hence brethren ought,
    at certain seasons, to occupy themselves with manual
    labour, and again, at certain hours, with holy

    Between Easter and the calends of October let them apply
    themselves to reading from the fourth hour till near the
    sixth hour.

    From the calends of October to the beginning of Lent let
    them apply themselves to reading until the second
    hour.... During Lent, let them apply themselves to
    reading from morning until the end of the third hour ...
    and, in these days of Lent, let them receive a book
    apiece from the library, and read it straight through.
    These books are to be given out at the beginning of

In this passage the _library_--by which a book-press is probably to be
understood--is specially mentioned. In other words, at that early date the
formation of a collection of books was contemplated, large enough to
supply the community with a volume apiece, without counting the
service-books required for use in the church.

The Benedictine Order flourished and increased abundantly for more than
four centuries, until, about A.D. 912, the order of Cluni was established.
It was so called from the celebrated abbey near Mâcon in Burgundy, which,
though not the first house of the Order in point of date, became
subsequently the first in extent, wealth, and reputation. As a stricter
observance of the Rule of S. Benedict was the main object which the
founder of this Order had in view, the Benedictine directions respecting
study are maintained and developed. The Customs prescribe the following
regulations for books:

    On the second day of Lent the only passage of the Rule
    to be read in Chapter is that concerning the observance
    of Lent.

    Then shall be read aloud a note (_brevis_) of the books
    which a year before had been given out to brethren for
    their reading. When a brother's name is called, he
    rises, and returns the book that had been given to him;
    and if it should happen that he has not read it through,
    he is to ask forgiveness for his want of diligence.

    A carpet on which those books are to be laid out is to
    be put down in the Chapter-House; and the titles of
    those which are distributed to brethren afresh are to be
    noted, for which purpose a tablet is to be made of
    somewhat larger size than usual[129].

In a subsequent chapter it is directed that the books are to be entrusted
to the official "who is called Precentor and _Armarius_, because he
usually has charge of the library, which is also called the _armarium_
(press)[130]. This arrangement shews that up to this date all the books,
whether service-books or not, were regarded as belonging to the church.

I come next to the decrees given to the English Benedictines by Archbishop
Lanfranc in or about 1070. "We send you" he says "the Customs of our Order
in writing, selected from the Customs of those houses (_coenobia_) which
are in our day of the highest authority in the monastic order[131]." The
section relating to books is so interesting that I will translate it.

    On the Monday after the first Sunday in Lent ... before
    the brethren go in to Chapter, the librarian (_custos
    librorum_) ought to have all the books brought together
    into the Chapter-House and laid out on a carpet, except
    those which had been given out for reading during the
    past year: these the brethren ought to bring with them
    as they come into Chapter, each carrying his book in his
    hand. Of this they ought to have had notice given to
    them by the aforesaid librarian on the preceding day in
    Chapter. Then let the passage in the Rule of S. Benedict
    about the observance of Lent be read, and a discourse be
    preached upon it. Next let the librarian read a document
    (_breve_) setting forth the names of the brethren who
    have had books during the past year; and let each
    brother, when he hears his own name pronounced, return
    the book which had been entrusted to him for reading;
    and let him who is conscious of not having read the book
    through which he had received, fall down on his face,
    confess his fault, and pray for forgiveness.

    Then let the aforesaid librarian hand to each brother
    another book for reading; and when the books have been
    distributed in order, let the aforesaid librarian in the
    same Chapter put on record the names of the books, and
    of those who receive them[132].

It is, I think, certain that when Lanfranc was writing this passage the
Cluniac Customs must have been before him[133]. It should be noted that
the librarian is not defined otherwise than as "keeper of the books," but
we learn from the Customs of Benedictine houses subsequent to Lanfranc's
time that this duty was discharged by the Precentor, as in the Cluniac
Customs. For instance, in the Customs of the Benedictine house at
Abingdon, in Berkshire, drawn up near the end of the twelfth century, we

    The precentor shall keep clean the presses belonging to
    the boys and the novices, and all others in which the
    books of the convent are stored, repair them when they
    are broken, provide coverings for the books in the
    library, and make good any damage done to them[134].

    The precentor cannot sell, or give away, or pledge any
    books; nor can he lend any except on deposit of a
    pledge, of equal or greater value than the book itself.
    It is safer to fall back on a pledge, than to proceed
    against an individual. Moreover he may not lend except
    to neighbouring churches, or to persons of conspicuous

The Customs of the Abbey of Evesham in Worcestershire give the same
directions in a slightly different form.

    It is part of the precentor's duty to entrust to the
    younger monks the care of the presses, and to keep them
    in repair: whenever the convent is sitting in cloister,
    he is to go round the cloister as soon as the bell has
    sounded, and replace the books, in case any brother
    through carelessness should have forgotten to do so.

    He is to take charge of all the books in the monastery,
    and have them in his keeping, provided his carefulness
    and knowledge be such that they may be entrusted to him.
    No one is to take a book out unless it be entered on his
    roll: nor is any book to be lent to any one without a
    proper and sufficient voucher, and this too is to be set
    down on his roll[136].

The Carthusians--the second offshoot of the Benedictine tree (1084)--also
preserved the primitive tradition of study. They not only read themselves,
but were actively employed in writing books for others. In the chapter of
their statutes which deals with the furniture allowed to each "tenant of a
cell (_incola celle_)"--(for in this community each brother lived apart,
with his sitting-room, bed-room, and plot of garden-ground)--all the
articles needful for writing are enumerated, "for nearly all those whom we
adopt we teach, if possible, to write," and then the writer passes on to

    Moreover he--[the tenant of the cell]--receives two
    books out of the press for reading. He is admonished to
    take the utmost care and pains that they be not soiled
    by smoke or dust or dirt of any kind; for it is our wish
    that books, as being the perpetual food of our souls,
    should be most jealously guarded, and most carefully
    produced, that we, who cannot preach the word of God
    with our lips, may preach it with our hands[137].

They did, however, on occasion lend books, for it is provided that when
books are lent no one shall retain them contrary to the will of the
lenders[138]. It would be interesting to know how this rule was enforced.

The Cistercian Order--founded 1128--adopted the Benedictine Rule, and with
it the obligation of study and writing. Moreover, in their anxiety to take
due care of their books, they went further than their predecessors; for
they entrusted them to a special officer, instead of to the precentor, and
they admitted a special room to contain them into the ground-plan of their

At a later point I shall return to the interesting subject of the
Cistercian book-room. For the present I must content myself with
translating from their Customs the passage relating to books. It occurs in
Chapter CXV., _Of the precentor and his assistant_. After describing his
various duties, the writer proceeds:

    With regard to the production and safe-keeping of
    charters and books, the abbat is to consider to whom he
    shall entrust this duty.

    The officer so appointed may go as far as the doors of
    the writing-rooms when he wants to hand in or to take
    out a book, but he may not go inside. In the same way
    for books in common use, as for instance antiphoners,
    hymnals, graduals, lectionaries [etc.], and those which
    are read in the Prater and at Collation, he may go as
    far as the door of the novices, and of the sick, and of
    the writers, and then ask for what he wants by a sign,
    but he may not go further unless he have been commanded
    by the abbat. When Collation is over it is his duty to
    close the press, and during the period of labour, of
    sleep, and of meals, and while vespers are being sung,
    to keep it locked[139].

The Customs of the Augustinian Order are exceedingly full on the subject
of books. I will translate part of the 14th chapter of the Customs in use
at Barnwell[140], near Cambridge. It is headed: _Of the safe keeping of
the books, and of the office of Librarian (armarius)._ As the passage
occurs also in the Customs as observed in France and in Belgium, it may be
taken, I presume, to represent the general practice of the Order.

    The Librarian, who is called also Precentor, is to take
    charge of the books of the church; all which he ought to
    keep and to know under their separate titles; and he
    should frequently examine them carefully to prevent any
    damage or injury from insects or decay. He ought also,
    at the beginning of Lent, in each year, to shew them to
    the convent in Chapter, when the souls of those who have
    given them to the church, or of the brethren who have
    written them, and laboured over them, ought to be
    absolved, and a service in convent be held over them. He
    ought also to hand to the brethren the books which they
    see occasion to use, and to enter on his roll the titles
    of the books, and the names of those who receive them.
    These, when required, are bound to give surety for the
    volumes they receive; nor may they lend them to others,
    whether known or unknown, without having first obtained
    permission from the Librarian. Nor ought the Librarian
    himself to lend books unless he receive a pledge of
    equal value; and then he ought to enter on his roll the
    name of the borrower, the title of the book lent, and
    the pledge taken. The larger and more valuable books he
    ought not to lend to anyone, known or unknown, without
    permission of the Prelate....

    Books which are to be kept at hand for daily use,
    whether for singing or reading, ought to be in some
    common place, to which all the brethren can have easy
    access for inspection, and selection of anything which
    seems to them suitable. The books, therefore, ought not
    to be carried away into chambers, or into corners
    outside the Cloister or the Church. The Librarian ought
    frequently to dust the books carefully, to repair them,
    and to point them, lest brethren should find any error
    or hindrance in the daily service of the church, whether
    in singing or in reading. No other brother ought to
    erase or change anything in the books unless he have
    obtained the consent of the Librarian....

    The press in which the books are kept ought to be lined
    inside with wood, that the damp of the walls may not
    moisten or stain the books. This press should be divided
    vertically as well as horizontally by sundry shelves on
    which the books may be ranged so as to be separated from
    one another; for fear they be packed so close as to
    injure each other or delay those who want them[141].

    Further, as the books ought to be mended, pointed, and
    taken care of by the Librarian, so ought they to be
    properly bound by him.

The Order of Prémontré--better known as the Premonstratensians, or
reformed Augustinians--repeat the essential part of these directions in
their statute, _Of the Librarian (armarius)_, with this addition, that it
is to be part of the librarian's duty to provide for the borrowing of
books for the use of the House, as well as for lending[142].

Lastly, the Friars, though property was forbidden, and S. Francis would
not allow his disciples to own so much as a psalter or a breviary[143],
soon found that books were a necessity, and the severity of early
discipline was relaxed in favour of a library. S. Francis died in 1226,
and only thirty-four years afterwards, among the constitutions adopted by
a General Chapter of the Order held at Narbonne 10 June, 1260, are several
provisions relating to books. They are of no great importance, taken by
themselves, but their appearance at so early a date proves that books had
become indispensable. It is enacted that no brother may write books, or
have them written, for sale; nor may the chief officer of a province
venture to keep books without leave obtained from the chief officer of the
whole Order; no brother may keep the books assigned to him, unless they
are altogether the property of the Order--and so forth[144]. A century
later, when Richard de Bury, Bishop of Durham, was writing his
_Philobiblon_ (completed 24 January, 1344-45), he could say of them and
the other friars--whom, be it remembered, he, as a regular, would regard
with scant favour--

    But whenever it happened that we turned aside to the
    cities and places where the Mendicants had their
    convents we did not disdain to visit their libraries and
    any other repositories of books; nay there we found
    heaped up amidst the utmost poverty the utmost riches of
    wisdom. We discovered in their fardels and baskets not
    only crumbs falling from the master's table for the
    dogs, but the shewbread without leaven and the bread of
    angels having in it all that is delicious; and indeed
    the garners of Joseph full of corn, and all the spoil of
    the Egyptians and the very precious gifts which Queen
    Sheba brought to Solomon.

    These men are as ants ever preparing their meat in the
    summer, and ingenious bees continually fabricating cells
    of honey.... And to pay due regard to truth ... although
    they lately at the eleventh hour have entered the Lord's
    vineyard ..., they have added more in this brief hour to
    the stock of the sacred books than all the other
    vinedressers; following in the footsteps of Paul, the
    last to be called but the first in preaching, who spread
    the gospel of Christ more widely than all others[145].

At Assisi, the parent house of the Franciscan Order, there was a library
of considerable extent, many volumes of which still exist, with a
catalogue drawn up in 1381.

At this point I will resume the conclusions which may be deduced from this
examination of the Benedictine Rule and the Customs founded upon it.

In the first place they all assume the existence of a library. S. Benedict
contents himself with general directions about study. The Cluniacs put the
books in charge of the precentor, who is to be called also _armarius_, and
they prescribe an annual audit of them, with the assignment of a single
volume to each brother, on the security of a written attestation of the
fact. These regulations were adopted by the Benedictines, with fuller
rules for the librarian, who is still precentor also. He is to keep both
presses and books in repair, and personally to supervise the daily use of
the manuscripts, restoring to their proper places those that brethren may
have been reading. Among these rules permission to lend books on receipt
of a pledge first makes its appearance. The Carthusians maintain the
principle of lending. Each brother might have two books, and he is to be
specially careful to keep them clean. The Cistercians appoint a special
officer to have charge of the books, about the safety of which great care
is to be taken, and at certain times of the day he is to lock the press.
The Augustinians and the Premonstratensians follow the Cluniacs and
Benedictines: but the Premonstratensians direct their librarian to take
note of the books that the House borrows as well as of those that it
lends; and they adopt the Cistercian precaution about his opening and
locking the press.

Secondly, by the time that Lanfranc was writing his statutes for English
Benedictines, it was evidently contemplated that the number of books would
have exceeded the number of brethren, for the keeper of the books is
directed to bring all the books of the House into Chapter, and after that
the brethren, one by one, are to bring in the books which they have
borrowed[146]. Among the books belonging to the House there were probably
some service-books; but, from the language used, it appears to me that we
may fairly conclude that by the end of the eleventh century Benedictine
Houses had two sets of books: (1) those which were distributed among the
brethren; (2) those which were kept in some safe place, as part of the
possessions of the House: or, to adopt modern phrases, that they had a
lending library and a library of reference.

Thirdly, it is evident that the loan of books to persons in general, on
adequate security, began at a very early date. On this account I have
already ventured to call monastic libraries the public libraries of the
Middle Ages. As time went on, the practice was developed, and at last
became general. It was even enjoined upon monks as a duty by their
ecclesiastical superiors. In 1212 a Council which met at Paris made the
following decree, but I am not able to say whether it was accepted out of

    We forbid those who belong to a religious Order, to
    formulate any vow against lending their books to those
    who are in need of them; seeing that to lend is
    enumerated among the principal works of mercy.

    After careful consideration, let some books be kept in
    the House for the use of brethren; others, according to
    the decision of the abbat, be lent to those who are in
    need of them, the rights of the House being

    From the present date no book is to be retained under
    pain of incurring a curse [for its alienation], and we
    declare all such curses to be of no effect[147].

In the same century many volumes were bequeathed to the Augustinian House
of S. Victor, Paris, on the express condition that they should be so
lent[148]. It is almost needless to add that one abbey was continually
lending to another, either for reading or for copying[149].

Houses which lent liberally would probably be the first to relax
discipline so far as to admit strangers to their libraries; and in the
sixteenth and following centuries the libraries of the Benedictine House
of S. Germain des Près, Paris, as well as the already mentioned House of
S. Victor, were open to all comers on certain days in the week.

When we try to realise the feelings with which monastic communities
regarded books, it must always be remembered that they had a paternal
interest in them. In many cases they had been written in the very House in
which they were afterwards read from generation to generation: and if not,
they had probably been procured by the exchange of some work so written.
In fact, if a book was not a son of the House, it was at least a nephew.

The conviction that books were a possession with which no convent could
dispense, appears in many medieval writers. The whole matter is summed up
in the phrase, written about 1170, "claustrum sine armario, castrum sine
armamentario[150]," an epigram which I will not spoil by trying to
translate it; and even more clearly in the passionate utterances of Thomas
à Kempis on the desolate condition of priest and convent without
books[151]. The "round of creation" is explored for similes to enforce
this truth. A priest so situated is like a horse without bridle, a ship
without oars, a writer without pens, a bird without wings, etc.; while the
House is like a kitchen without stewpans, a table without food, a well
without water, a river without fish--and many other things which I have no
space to mention.

Evidence of the solicitude with which they protected their treasures is
not wanting. The very mode of holding a manuscript was prescribed, if not
by law, at least by general custom. "When the religious are engaged in
reading in cloister or in church," says an Order of the General
Benedictine Chapter, "they shall if possible hold the books in their left
hands, wrapped in the sleeve of their tunics, and resting on their knees;
their right hands shall be uncovered with which to hold and turn the
leaves of the aforesaid books[152]." In a manuscript at Monte Cassino[153]
is the practical injunction

  Quisquis quem tetigerit
  Sit illi lota manus;

and at the same House the possession of handkerchiefs--which were
evidently regarded as effeminate inventions--is specially excused on the
ground that they would be useful--among other things--"for wrapping round
the manuscripts which brethren handle[154]." Of similar import is the
distich at the end of a fine manuscript formerly in the library of S.

  Qui servare libris preciosis nescit honorem
  Illius a manibus sit procul iste liber[155].

With these injunctions may be compared a note in a fourteenth century
manuscript from the same library:

    Whoever pursues his studies in this book, should be
    careful to handle the leaves gently and delicately, so
    as to avoid tearing them by reason of their thinness;
    and let him imitate the example of Jesus Christ, who,
    when he had quietly opened the book of Isaiah and read
    therein attentively, rolled it up with reverence, and
    gave it again to the minister[156];

and the advice of Thomas à Kempis to the youthful students for whose
benefit he composed the treatise called _Doctrinale Juvenum_ which I have
already quoted:

    Take thou a book into thine hands as Simeon the Just
    took the Child Jesus into his arms to carry him and kiss
    him. And when thou hast finished reading, close the book
    and give thanks for every word out of the mouth of God;
    because in the Lord's field thou hast found a hidden

In a similar strain a writer or copyist entreats readers to be careful of
his work--work which has cost him an amount of pains that they cannot
realise. It is impossible to translate the original exactly, but I hope
that I have given the meaning with tolerable clearness:

    I beseech you, my friend, when you are reading my book
    to keep your hands behind its back, for fear you should
    do mischief to the text by some sudden movement; for a
    man who knows nothing about writing thinks that it is no
    concern of his. Whereas to a writer the last line is as
    sweet as port is to a sailor. Three fingers hold the
    pen, but the whole body toils. Thanks be to God. I
    Warembert wrote this book in God's name. Thanks be to
    God. Amen[158].

Entreaties so gentle and so pathetic as these are seldom met with; but
curses--in the same strain probably as those to which the Council of Paris
took exception--are extremely common. In fact, in some Houses, a
manuscript invariably ended with an imprecation--more or less severe,
according to the writer's taste[159]. I will append a few specimens.

    This book belongs to S. Maximin at his monastery of
    Micy, which abbat Peter caused to be written, and with
    his own labour corrected and punctuated, and on Holy
    Thursday dedicated to God and S. Maximin on the altar of
    S. Stephen, with this imprecation that he who should
    take it away from thence by what device soever, with
    the intention of not restoring it, should incur
    damnation with the traitor Judas, with Annas, Caiaphas,
    and Pilate. Amen[160].

    Should anyone by craft or any device whatever abstract
    this book from this place [Jumièges] may his soul
    suffer, in retribution for what he has done, and may his
    name be erased from the book of the living and not be
    recorded among the Blessed[161].

A simpler form of imprecation occurs very frequently in manuscripts
belonging to S. Alban's:

    This book belongs to S. Alban. May whosoever steals it
    from him or destroys its title be anathema. Amen[162].

A similar form of words occurs at the Cistercian House of Clairvaux, a
great school of writing like S. Alban's, but whether it habitually
protected its manuscripts in this manner I am unable to say:

    May whoever steals or alienates this manuscript, or
    scratches out its title, be anathema. Amen[163].

A very curious form of curse occurs in one of the manuscripts of Christ
Church, Canterbury. The writer repents of his severity in the last

    May whoever destroys this title, or by gift or sale or
    loan or exchange or theft or by any other device
    knowingly alienates this book from the aforesaid Christ
    Church, incur in this life the malediction of Jesus
    Christ and of the most glorious Virgin His Mother, and
    of Blessed Thomas, Martyr. Should however it please
    Christ, who is patron of Christ Church, may his soul be
    saved in the Day of Judgment[164].

Lastly, I will quote a specimen in verse, from a breviary now in the
library of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge:

  Wher so ever y be come over all
  I belonge to the Chapell of gunvylle hall:
  He shal be cursed by the grate sentens
  That felonsly faryth and berith me thens.
  And whether he bere me in pooke or sekke,
  For me he shall be hanged by the nekke,
  (I am so well beknown of dyverse men)
  But I be restored theder agen[165].

On the other hand, the gift of books to a monastery was gratefully
recorded and enumerated among the good deeds of their donors. Among the
Augustinians such gifts, and the labour expended upon books in general,
was the subject of a special service[166].

It is not uncommon to find a monastic library regularly endowed with part
of the annual revenue of the House. For instance, at Corbie, the librarian
received 10 sous from each of the higher, and 5 sous from each of the
inferior officers, together with a certain number of bushels of corn from
lands specially set apart for the purpose. This was confirmed by a bull of
Pope Alexander III. (1166-1179)[167]. A similar arrangement was made at
the library of S. Martin des Champs, Paris, in 1261[168]. At the
Benedictine Abbey of Fleury, near Orleans, in 1146, it was agreed in
chapter on the proposition of the abbat, that in each year on S.
Benedict's winter festival (21 March), he and the priors subordinate to
him, together with the officers of the House, should all contribute "to
the repair of our books, the preparation of new ones, and the purchase of
parchment." The name of each contributor, and the sum that he was to give,
are recorded[169]. At the Benedictine Monastery of Ely Bishop Nigel
(1133-1174) granted the tithe of certain churches in the diocese "as a
perpetual alms to the _scriptorium_ of the church of Ely for the purpose
of making and repairing the books of the said church[170]." The books
referred to were probably, in the first instance, service-books; but the
number required of these could hardly have been sufficient to occupy the
whole time of the scribes, and the library would doubtless derive benefit
from their labours. The _scriptorium_ at S. Alban's was also specially

We must next consider the answer to the following questions: In what part
of their Houses did the Monastic Orders bestow their books? and what
pieces of furniture did they use? The answer to the first of these
questions is a very curious one, when we consider what our climate is, and
indeed what the climate of the whole of Europe is, during the winter
months. The centre of the monastic life was the cloister. Brethren were
not allowed to congregate in any other part of the conventual buildings,
except when they went into the frater, or dining-hall, for their meals, or
at certain hours in certain seasons into the warming-house
(_calefactorium_). In the cloister accordingly they kept their books; and
there they wrote and studied, or conducted the schooling of the novices
and choir-boys, in winter and in summer alike.

It is obvious that their work must have been at the mercy of the elements
during many months of the year, and some important proofs that such was
the case can be quoted. Cuthbert, Abbat of Wearmouth and Jarrow in the
second half of the eighth century, excuses himself to a correspondent for
not having sent him all the works of Bede which he had asked for, on the
ground that the intense cold of the previous winter had paralysed the
hands of his scribes[171]; Ordericus Vitalis, who wrote in the first half
of the twelfth century, closes the fourth book of his Ecclesiastical
History with a lament that he must lay aside his work for the winter[172];
and a monk of Ramsey Abbey in Huntingdonshire has recorded his
discomforts in a Latin couplet which seems to imply that in a place so
inconvenient as a cloister all seasons were equally destructive of serious

  In vento minime pluvia nive sole sedere
  Possumus in claustro nec scribere neque studere[173].

  As we sit here in tempest in rain snow and sun
  Nor writing nor reading in cloister is done.

But, when circumstances were more propitious, plenty of good work that was
of permanent value could be done in a cloister. A charming picture has
come down to us of the literary activity that prevailed in the Abbey of S.
Martin at Tournai at the end of the eleventh century, when Abbat Odo was
giving an impulse to the writing of MSS. "When you entered the cloister,"
says his chronicler, "you could generally see a dozen young monks seated
on chairs, and silently writing at desks of careful and artistic design.
With their help, he got accurate copies made of all Jerome's commentaries
on the Prophets, of the works of Blessed Gregory, and of all the treatises
he could find of Augustine, Ambrose, Isidore, and Anselm; so that the like
of his library was not to be found in any of the neighbouring churches;
and those attached to them used generally to ask for our copies for the
correction of their own[174]."

The second question cannot be answered so readily. We must begin by
examining, in some detail, the expressions used to denote furniture in the
various documents that deal with conventual libraries.

S. Pachomius places his books in a cupboard (_fenestra_); S. Benedict uses
only the general term, library (_bibliotheca_), which may mean either a
room or a piece of furniture; and the word press (_armarium_), with which
we become so familiar afterwards, does not make its appearance till near
the end of the eleventh century. Lanfranc does not use it, but as I have
shewn that he based his statutes, at least to some extent, on the Cluniac
Customs, and as they identify the library (_bibliotheca_) with the press
(_armarium_), and call the librarian, termed by Lanfranc the keeper of the
books, the keeper of the press (_armarius_), we may safely assume that the
books to which Lanfranc refers were housed in a similar piece of
furniture. Moreover, in Benedictine houses of later date, as for instance
at Abingdon and Evesham, the word is constantly employed.

I pointed out in the first chapter that the word press (_armarium_) was
used by the Romans to signify both a detached piece of furniture and a
recess in a wall into which such a contrivance might be inserted[175]. The
same use obtained in medieval times[176], and the passage quoted above
from the Augustinian customs[177] shews that the book-press there
contemplated was a recess lined with wood and subdivided so as to keep the
books separate.

The books to be accommodated in a monastery, even of large size, could not
at its origin have been numerous[178], and would easily have been
contained in a single receptacle. This, I conceive, was that recess in the
wall which is so frequently found between the Chapter-House and the door
into the church at the end of the east pane of the cloister. In many
monastic ruins this recess is still open, and, by a slight effort of
imagination, can be restored to its pristine use. Elsewhere it is filled
in, having been abandoned by the monks themselves in favour of a fresh
contrivance. The recess I am speaking of was called the common press
(_armarium commune_), or common cloister-press (_commune armarium
claustri_); and it contained the books appointed for the general use of
the community (_communes libri_).

A press of this description (fig. 19) is still to be seen in excellent
preservation at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova in Central Italy,
near Terracina, which I visited in the spring of 1900. This house may be
dated 1187-1208[179]. The press is in the west wall of the south transept
(fig. 21), close to the door leading to the church. It measures 4 ft. 3
in. wide, by 3 ft. 6 in. high; and is raised 2 ft. 3 in. above the floor
of the cloister. It is lined with slabs of stone; but the hinges are not
strong enough to have carried doors of any material heavier than wood; and
I conjecture that the shelf also was of the same material. Stone is
plentiful in that part of Italy, but wood, especially in large pieces,
would have to be brought from a distance. Hence its removal, as soon as
the cupboard was not required for the purpose for which it was

[Illustration: Fig. 19. Press in the cloister at the Cistercian Abbey of
Fossa Nuova.]

Two recesses, evidently intended for the same purpose, are to be seen in
the east walk of the cloister of Worcester Cathedral, formerly a
Benedictine monastery. They are between the Chapter-House and the passage
leading to the treasury and other rooms. Each recess is square-headed, 6
ft. 9 in. high, 2 ft. 6 in. deep, and 11 ft. broad (fig. 20). In front of
the recesses is a bench-table, 13 in. broad and 16 in. high. This
book-press was in use so late as 1518, when a book bought by the Prior was
"delyvered to y^e cloyster awmery[180]."

[Illustration: Fig. 20. Groundplan and elevation of the book-recesses in
the cloister of Worcester Cathedral.]

As books multiplied ampler accommodation for them became necessary; and,
as they were to be read in cloister, it was obvious that the new presses
or cases must either be placed in the cloister or be easily accessible
from it. The time had not yet come when the collection could be divided,
and be placed partly in the cloister, partly in a separate and sometimes
distant room. This want of book-room was supplied in two ways. In
Benedictine and possibly in Cluniac houses the books were stored in
detached wooden presses, which I shall describe presently; but the
Cistercians adopted a different method. At the beginning of the twelfth
century, when that Order was founded, the need of additional book-space
had been fully realised; and, consequently, in their houses we meet with a
special room set apart for books. But the conservative spirit which
governed monastic usage, and discouraged any deviation from the lines of
the primitive plan, made them keep the press in the wall close to the door
of the church; and, in addition to this, they cut off a piece from the
west end of the sacristy, which usually intervened between the south
transept and the Chapter-House, and fitted it up for books. This was done
at Fossa Nuova. The groundplan (fig. 21) shews the press which I have
already figured, and the book-room between the transept and the
Chapter-House, adjoining the sacristy. It is 14 ft. long by 10 ft. broad,
with a recess in its north wall which perhaps once contained another

[Illustration: Fig. 21. Groundplan of part of the Abbey of Fossa Nuova.

To shew the book-room and book-press, and their relations to adjoining
structures: partly from M. Enlart's work, partly from my own

There is a similar book-room at Kirkstall Abbey near Leeds, built about
1150. The plan (fig. 22, A) shews its relation to the adjoining
structures. The _armarium commune_ (_ibid._ B) is a little to the north
of the room, as at Fossa Nuova. A room in a similar position, and destined
no doubt to the same use, is to be seen at Beaulieu, Hayles, Jervaulx,
Netley, Tintern, Croxden, and Roche.

[Illustration: Fig. 22, Groundplan of part of Kirkstall Abbey, Yorkshire.

A, book-room: B, _armarium commune_.]

The catalogue of the books at the Abbey of Meaux in Holderness[181],
founded about the middle of the 12th century, has fortunately been
preserved; and it tells us not only what books were kept in one of these
rooms, but how they were arranged. After the contents of the presses in
the church, which contained chiefly service-books, we come to the "common
press in the cloister (_commune almarium claustri_)." On the shelf over
the door (_in suprema theca[182] supra ostium_) were four psalters. The
framer of the catalogue then passes to the opposite end of the room, and,
beginning with the top shelf (_suprema theca opposita_), enumerates 37
volumes. Next, he deals with the rest of the books, which, he tells us,
were in other shelves, marked with the letters of the alphabet (_in aliis
thecis distinctis per alphabetum_). If I understand the catalogue
correctly, there were eleven of these divisions, each containing an
average of about 25 volumes. The total number of volumes in the collection
was 316.

Again, the catalogue of the House of White Canons at Titchfield in
Hampshire, dated 1400, shews that the books were kept in a small room, on
sets of shelves called _columpnæ_, set against the walls. The catalogue
begins as follows:

    There are in the Library at Tychefeld four cases to set
    books on; two of which, namely the first and the second,
    are on the eastern side. The third is on the south side;
    and the fourth is on the north side. Each of these has
    eight shelves [etc.][183].

Nor was this book-closet confined to Cistercian Houses. In the Cluniac
Priory at Much Wenlock in Shropshire there is a long narrow room on the
west side of the south transept, opening to the cloister by three arches,
which could hardly have been put to any other purpose. It is obvious that
no study could have gone forward in such places; they must have been
intended for security only.

As time went on, and further room for books became necessary, it was
provided, at least in some Cistercian Houses, by cutting off two
rectangular spaces from the west end of the Chapter-House. There is a good
example of this treatment to be seen at Furness Abbey, built 1150--1200.
The following description is borrowed from Mr W. H. St John Hope's
architectural history of the buildings.

    From the transept southwards the whole of the existing
    work is of later date, and distinctly advanced
    character. The ground storey is pierced with five large
    and elaborate round-headed doorways with good moldings
    and labels, with a delicate dog-tooth ornament. Three of
    these next the transept form a group....

    The central arch opened, through a vestibule, into the
    Chapter House. The others open into large square
    recesses or chambers, with ashlar walls, and rubble
    barrel-vaults springing from chamfered imposts on each
    side. In the northern chamber the vault is kept low and
    segmental, on account of the passage above it of the
    dorter stair to the church.... The southern chamber has
    a high pointed vault. Neither chamber has had doors, but
    the northern has holes in the inner jamb, suggestive of
    a grate of some kind, of uncertain date.

    The chambers just described probably contained the
    library, in wooden presses arranged round the

To illustrate this description a portion of Mr Hope's plan of Furness
Abbey (fig. 23) is appended. Each room was about 13 ft. square.

[Illustration: Fig. 23. Groundplan of part of Furness Abbey.]

[Illustration: Fig. 24. Arches in south wall of Church at Beaulieu Abbey,
Hampshire, once possibly used as book-presses.]

Rooms in a similar position are to be seen at Calder Abbey[185] in
Cumberland, a daughter-house to Furness; and at Fountains Abbey there are
clear indications that the western angles of the Chapter-House were
partitioned off at some period subsequent to its construction, probably
for a similar purpose. As the Chapter-House was entered from the cloister
through three large round-headed arches, each of the rooms thus formed
could be entered directly from the cloister, the central arch being
reserved for the Chapter-House itself. The arrangement therefore became
exactly similar to that at Furness. Mr Hope thinks that the series of
arches in the church wall at Beaulieu in Hampshire, two of which are here
shewn (fig. 24), may have been used for a like purpose[186]. There is a
similar series of arches at Hayles, a daughter-house to Beaulieu; and in
the south cloister of Chester Cathedral there are six recesses of early
Norman design, which, if not sepulchral, may once have contained books.

The use of the Chapter-House and its neighbourhood as the place in which
books should be kept is one of the most curious features of the Cistercian
life. The east walk of the cloister, into which the Chapter-House usually
opened, must have been one of the most frequented parts of the House, and
yet it seems to have been deliberately chosen not merely for keeping
books, but for reading them. At Clairvaux, so late as 1709, the authors of
the _Voyage Littéraire_ record the following arrangement:

    Le grand cloître ... est voûté et vitré. Les religieux y
    doivent garder un perpetuel silence. Dans le côté du
    chapitre il y a des livres enchaînez sur des pupitres de
    bois, dans lesquels les religieux peuvent venir faire
    des lectures lorsqu'ils veulent[187].

A similar arrangement obtained at Citeaux[188].

Having traced the development of the Cistercian book-closet, from a simple
recess in the wall to a pair of more or less spacious rooms at the west
end of the Chapter-House, I return to my starting-point, and proceed to
discuss the arrangement adopted by the Benedictines. They must have
experienced the inconvenience arising from want of space more acutely than
the Cistercians, being more addicted to study and the production of books.
They made no attempt, however, to provide space by structural changes or
additions to their Houses, but were content with wooden presses in the
cloister for their books, and small wooden studies, called carrells, for
the readers and writers.

The uniformity which governed monastic usage was so strict that the
practice of almost any large monastery may be taken as a type of what was
done elsewhere. Hence, when we find a full record of the way in which
books were used in the great Benedictine House at Durham, we may rest
assured that, _mutatis mutandis_, we have got a good general idea of the
whole subject. I will therefore begin by quoting a passage from that
valuable work _The Rites of Durham_, a description of the House drawn up
after the Reformation by some one who had known it well in other days,
premising only that it represents the final arrangements adopted by the
Order, and takes no account of the steps that led to them.

    In the north syde of the Cloister, from the corner over
    against the Church dour to the corner over againste the
    Dorter dour, was all fynely glased from the hight to the
    sole within a litle of the grownd into the Cloister
    garth. And in every wyndowe iij Pewes or Carrells, where
    every one of the old Monks had his carrell, severall by
    himselfe, that, when they had dyned, they dyd resorte to
    that place of Cloister, and there studyed upon there
    books, every one in his carrell, all the after nonne,
    unto evensong tyme. This was there exercise every daie.

    All there pewes or carrells was all fynely wainscotted
    and verie close, all but the forepart, which had carved
    wourke that gave light in at ther carrell doures of
    wainscott. And in every carrell was a deske to lye there
    bookes on. And the carrells was no greater then from one
    stanchell of the wyndowe to another.

    And over against the carrells against the church wall
    did stande certaine great almeries [or cupbords] of
    waynscott all full of bookes, wherein did lye as well
    the old auncyent written Doctors of the Church as other
    prophane authors with dyverse other holie mens wourks,
    so that every one dyd studye what Doctor pleased them
    best, havinge the Librarie at all tymes to goe studie in
    besydes there carrells.[189]

At Durham the monastic buildings stood to the south of the church, and the
library-walk of the cloister was that walk, or alley, or pane, or syde
(for all these words are used), which had the church to the north of it.
The library was placed there partly for the sake of warmth, partly to
secure greater privacy. At Canterbury and at Gloucester, where the church
was to the south of the conventual buildings, the library-walk of the
cloister was still the walk next to the church, the other walks, as Mr
Hope has pointed out to me, being apparently kept clear for the Sunday

[Illustration: Fig. 25. The cloister, Westminster Abbey.

From Mr Micklethwaite's plan of the buildings.]

I propose to explain the system indicated in the above quotation by
reference to a plan of the cloister at Westminster Abbey, drawn by my
friend Mr J. T. Micklethwaite (fig. 25)[190], and by quotations from his
notes upon it. At Durham every vestige of ancient arrangement has been so
completely destroyed that it is better to go to another House, where less
mischief has been done, and it happens fortunately that, so far as the
position of the cloister with reference to the church is concerned,
Westminster is the exact counterpart of Durham. I will consider first the
last paragraph of my quotation from the _Rites of Durham_, that namely
which deals with the presses for books, there called "almeries or

Mr Micklethwaite shews that the two bays at the north end of the west walk
of the cloister, and the second bay from the west in the north walk (fig.
25, nos. 1, 2, 4), were appropriated to the novices, by the existence of
several sets of nine holes, evidently cut by boys in their idle moods for
the playing of some game. Similar holes have been found at Canterbury,
Gloucester, and elsewhere. Next he points out that "the nosing of the
wall-bench for six feet of the third bay from the west in the north walk,
and in the whole of the fourth and fifth bays, and nearly all the sixth,
has been cut away flush with the riser, as if some large pieces of
furniture had been placed there (_ibid._ nos. 5, 5, 5, 5). These were
evidently bookcases." Eastward of these indications of bookcases "the
bases of the vaulting-shafts are cut in a way which seems to shew that
there was a double screen there (_ibid._ nos. 6, 6), or perhaps there were
bookcases arranged so as to form a screen, which is, I think, very likely.
Beyond this screen to the right are appearances in the wall [next the
cloister-garth] which seem to indicate a blocked-up locker, but they are
rather doubtful. And on the left is a large double locker blocked (_ibid._
7), and the blocking appears to be ancient. This locker is of the date of
the wall (Edw. I.), and may have been an additional book-closet provided,
because that on the other side of the church-door [to be described
presently] had become too small, and [was] blocked up when the larger
bookcases were made opposite the carrells[191]."

Lastly, at the risk of some repetition, I will quote a passage from a
letter which Mr Micklethwaite was so good as to write to me on this
subject, as it brings out some additional points, and states the whole
question with great clearness. After describing the position of the
bookcases, he proceeds:

    There was thus a space, the width of the bench, between
    the back of the case and the cloister-wall, which would
    help to keep things dry. Whether the floor was boarded
    we cannot now tell, but there is evidence that this part
    of the cloister was cut off from the rest by screens of
    some sort at both ends, which would make it a long
    gallery lighted on one side, and with bookcases ranged
    along the other, not unlike Wren's at Lincoln. The
    windows must have been glazed; indeed remains of the
    glazing existed to the end of the 17th century; and
    there were within my memory marks of fittings along the
    windows-side which I did not then understand, but which,
    if they still existed, would I have no doubt tell us
    something of the _carrells_. A "thorough restoration"
    has taken away every trace of them.

The "bookcase on the other side of the church door" mentioned above was in
the northernmost bay of the east cloister. Mr Micklethwaite says of it:

"Entering the cloister from the church by the east cloister door (_ibid._
no. 8), we find on our left hand a very broad bench against the wall,
extending as far as the entrance to the Chapter-House (_ibid._ 10). In the
most northern bay the wall-arcade, instead of being brought down by shafts
as in the others, is stopped off at the springing by original brackets, as
if to allow of some large piece of furniture being placed against the
wall. Here, I believe, stood in the thirteenth century the _armarium
commune_, or common bookcase (_ibid._ 9). At Durham there is a Norman
arched recess in the same place, not mentioned by the writer of the
_Rites_, because before his time its use had ceased, books having become
more numerous, and being provided for elsewhere[192]."

These notes enable us to imagine what this library was like. It was about
80 feet long by 15 feet broad, extending along four bays of the cloister.
It was cut off by a screen at one end, and possibly at the other also; the
book-presses stood against the wall, opposite to the windows, which were
probably glazed, as we know those at Durham were; and there might have
been a wooden floor. Further, the older monks sat in "carrells," as we
learn from the custumary of Abbat Ware, who was in office 1258-83. The
writer is speaking of the novices, and says that after they have attained
a certain degree of proficiency they may sit in cloister, and "be allowed
to glance at books taken out of the presses (_armaria_) belonging to the
older monks. But they must not be permitted as yet to write or to have

Whatever may have been the discomfort of this library according to our
ideas, there is good reason for believing that it was in use till 1591,
when Dean Williams fitted up part of the Dorter as a library for the use
of the Dean and Canons[194].

The practice of placing the book-press in the cloister obtained with equal
force in France, for the Benedictines who wrote the _Voyage Littéraire_,
and who would of course be well acquainted with what was usual in their
own Order, remark with surprise when they visit the ancient abbey of Cruas
on the Rhone, that the press is in the church.

    On voit encore dans l'eglise l'armoire où on enfermoit
    les livres, contre la coûtume des autres monastères de
    l'ordre, qui avoient cette armoire dans le cloître. On y
    lit ces vers d'un caractère qui peut avoir cinq cent

  Pastor jejunat qui libros non coadunat
  Nec panem præbet subjectis quem dare debet[195].

  A shepherd starves whose store of books is low:
  Nor can he on his flock their due bestow.

No example of an English book-press has survived, so far as I know, but it
would be rash to say that none exists; nor have I been so fortunate as to
find one in France, though I have taken a great deal of pains to obtain
information on the subject. In default of a press made specially to hold
books, I must content myself with representations of two well-known pieces
of furniture--both preserved in French churches.

The first (fig. 26) stands in the upper sacristy of the Cathedral of
Bayeux, over the south transept. The name usually given to it, _le
Chartrier de Bayeux_, implies that it was made to hold documents. M.
Viollet-le-Duc does not accept this view, but considers that it contained
reliquaries, with which he probably would not object to associate other
articles of church-plate.

[Illustration: Fig. 26. Part of the ancient press in Bayeux Cathedral,
called _Le Chartrier de Bayeux_.

From a photograph.]

[Illustration: Fig. 27. Press in the church at Obazine, Central France.

From a photograph.]

It is of oak, very coarse, rough, and massive. It is 9 ft. 3 inches high,
from floor to top, 17 ft. 2 inches long--(it was originally 3 ft.
longer)--and 3 ft. deep. There are two rows of cupboards each 3 ft. 8
inches high, with massive doors that still preserve their original
ironwork. The whole piece of furniture has once been painted, indications
of which still exist, but the subjects can no longer be made out. M.
Viollet-le-Duc[196], who possibly saw the paintings when they were in a
better state of preservation than when I examined them in 1896, decides
that they once represented the translation of relics.

My second example (fig. 27) is in the church of Obazine in Central France
(Département de la Corrèze). It is far simpler and ruder than the press in
Bayeux Cathedral; and the style of ornamentation employed indicates a
somewhat earlier date; though M, Viollet-le-Duc places the construction of
both in the first years of the 13th century. It is 6 ft. 7 in. high, by 7
ft. broad, and 2 ft. 7 in. deep. The material is oak, which still bears a
few traces of having once been painted[197].

These pieces of furniture were certainly not made specially for books;
but, as they belong to a period when the monastic system was in full,
vigorous, life, it is at least probable that they resemble those used by
monks to contain their books. I have shewn in the previous chapter that in
ancient Rome the press used for books was essentially the same as that
used for very different purposes; and I submit that it is unnecessary to
suppose that monastic carpenters would invent a special piece of furniture
to hold books. They would take the _armarium_ that was in daily use, and
adapt it to their own purposes.

Before I leave this part of my subject I must mention that there is a
third press in the Church of Saint Germain l'Auxerrois, Paris. It stands
in a small room over the south end of the west porch, which may once have
been a muniment room. It was probably made about a century later than
those which I have figured. In arrangement it bears a general resemblance
to the example from Bayeux. It consists of six cupboards arranged in two
tiers, the lower of which is raised to the level of a bench which extends
along the whole length of the piece of furniture, with its ends mortised
into those of the cupboards. The seat of this bench lifts up, so as to
form an additional receptacle for books or papers[198].

The curious wooden contrivances called carrells, which are mentioned in
the above quotation from the _Rites of Durham_, have of course entirely
disappeared. Nothing is said about their height; but in breadth each of
them was equal to the distance from the middle of one mullion of a window
to the middle of the next; it was made of wainscot, and had a door of open
carved work by which it was entered from the cloister. This arrangement
was doubtless part of the systematic supervision of brother by brother
that was customary in a monastery. Even the aged, though engaged in study,
were not to be left to their own devices. I have carefully measured the
windows at Durham (fig. 28); and, though they have been a good deal
altered, I suppose the mullions are in their original places. If this be
so the carrells could not have been more than 2 ft. 9 in. wide, and the
occupant would have found but little room to spare. There are eleven
windows, so that thirty-three monks could have been accommodated, on the
supposition that all were fitted with carrells.

[Illustration: Fig. 28. Groundplan of one of the windows in the cloister
of Durham Cathedral.]

In the south cloister at Gloucester there is a splendid series of twenty
stone carrells (fig. 29), built between 1370 and 1412. Each carrell is 4
ft. wide, 19 in. deep, and 6 ft. 9 in. high, lighted by a small window of
two lights; but as figures do not give a very vivid idea of size, and as I
could not find any one else to do what I wanted, I borrowed a chair from
the church and a folio from the library, and sat down to read, as one of
the monks might have done six centuries ago (fig. 30). There is no trace
of any woodwork appertaining to these carrells; or of any book-press
having ever stood near them. The easternmost carrell, however, differs a
good deal from the others, and it may have been used as a book-closet.
There is a bench-table along the wall of the church opposite to the
carrells; but it does not appear to have been cut away to make room for
book-presses, as at Westminster. The south alley appears to have been shut
off at the east end, and also at the west end, by a screen[199].

[Illustration: Fig. 29. Range of carrells in the south cloister at
Gloucester Cathedral.

(From Mr Murray's _Handbook to the Western Cathedrals_.)]

This drawing will help us to understand the arrangement of the wooden
carrells used at Durham and elsewhere. Each carrell must have closely
resembled a modern sentry-box, with this difference, that one side was
formed by a light of the window looking into the cloister-garth, opposite
to which was the door of entrance. This, I imagine, would be of no great
height; and moreover was made of open work, partly that the work of the
occupant might be supervised, partly to let as much light as possible pass
through into the cloister-library. The seat would be on one side of the
carrell and the desk on the other, the latter being so arranged that the
light would enter on the reader's left hand.

[Illustration: Fig. 30. A single carrell, Gloucester Cathedral.]

Carrells seem to have been usual in monasteries from very early times, not
to have been introduced at a comparatively late date in order to ensure
greater comfort. The earliest passage referring to them is that which I
have already quoted[200], shewing that they were in use at Westminster
between 1258 and 1283; at Bury S. Edmunds the destruction of the carrells
is mentioned among other outrages in a riot in 1327[201]; they occur at
Evesham between 1367 and 1379[202]; at Abingdon in 1383-84[203]; and at
Christ Church, Canterbury, it is recorded among the good deeds of Prior
Sellyng (1472-94), that in the south alley of the cloister "novos Textus
quos Carolos ex novo vocamus perdecentes fecit"; words which Professor
Willis renders "constructed there very convenient framed contrivances
which are now-a-days called carols[204]." Their use--at any rate in some
Houses--is evident from an injunction among the Customs of S. Augustine's,
Canterbury, to the effect that the cellarer and others who rarely sit in
cloister might not have carrells, nor in fact any brother unless he be
able to help the community by copying or illuminating, or at least by
adding musical notation[205]. They were in fact devices to provide a
certain amount of privacy for literary work in Houses where there was no
_Scriptorium_ or writing-room. At Durham, according to the author of
_Rites_, they were used exclusively for reading.

The above-mentioned Customs of S. Augustine's, written between 1310 and
1344, give a valuable contemporary picture of the organization of one of
the more important cloister-libraries. The care of the presses is to be
entrusted to the Precentor and his subordinate, called the Succentor. The
former is to have a seat in front of the press--which doubtless stood
against the wall--and his carrell is to stand at no great distance, on the
stone between the piers of the arches next the cloister-garth. The
Succentor is to have his seat and his carrell on the bench near the
press--by which the bench which commonly ran along the cloister-wall is
obviously meant. These arrangements are made "in order that these two
officers, or at least one of them, may always be at hand to satisfy
brethren who make any demand upon their time[206]." In other words, they
were the librarian and sub-librarian, who were to be always ready to
answer questions. It is clear that brethren were not allowed to handle the
books as they pleased.

The cloister at Durham, or at least that part of it which was used as a
library, was glazed; but whether with white glass or stained glass we are
not informed. So obvious a device for increasing both the comfort and the
beauty of a much-frequented part of the monastic buildings was doubtless
adopted in many other Houses. At Bury S. Edmunds part at least of the
cloister had "painted windows representing the sun, moon and stars and the
occupations of the months"; at Christ Church, Canterbury, Prior Sellyng
(1472-94) "had the south walk of the cloister glazed for the use of the
studious brethren"; at Peterborough the windows of the cloister

    were all compleat and fair, adorned with glass of
    excellent painting: In the South Cloyster was the
    History of the Old Testament: In the East Cloyster of
    the New: In the North Cloyster the Figures of the
    successive Kings from King _Peada_: In the West Cloyster
    was the History from the first foundation of the
    Monastery of King _Peada_, to the restoring of it by
    King _Edgar_. Every window had at the bottom the
    explanation of the History thus in Verse[207].

At Westminster, as recorded above, traces of the insertion of glass have
been observed.

In later times, when regular libraries had been built for the monasteries,
a special series of portraits occasionally appeared in glass, on a system
similar to that worked out in other materials in Roman and post-Roman
libraries; and sometimes, in other libraries, subjects are to be met with
instead of portraits, to indicate the nature of the works standing near
them. But I cannot say whether cloister-glass was ever treated in this


[115] _Epist._ XLIX. § 3. Ad Pammachium. Revolve omnium quos supra
memoravi commentarios, et ecclesiarum bibliothecis fruere et magis concito
gradu ad optata coeptaque pervenies.

[116] I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to the article "Libraries," in
the _Dictionary of Christian Antiquities_, and to the references there

[117] _Hist. Eccl._ VI. 20. [Greek: êkmazon de kata touto pleious logioi
kai ekklêsiastikoi andres ôn kai epistolas as pros allêlous diecharatton
eti nun sôzomenas enrein euporon ai kai eis êmas ephylachthêsan en tê kata
tên Ailian bibliothêkê pros tou tênikade tên autothi diepontos paroikian
Alexandrou episkeuastheioê, aph' hês kai autoi tas ulas tês meta cheiras
upotheseôs epi tauto sunagagein dedunêmetha].

[118] _Epist._ XXXIV., _Ad Marcellum._ De aliquot locis Psalmi cxxvi.
Migne, Vol. XXII. 448.

[119] _Ibid._ _De Viris Illustribus_, Chap. 3. Migne, Vol. XXIII. 613.
Porro ipsum Hebraicum habetur usque hodie in Cæsariensi bibliotheca quam
Pamphilus martyr studiose confecit.

[120] _Comment. in Titum_, Chap. 3, v. 9. Unde et nobis curæ fuit omnes
Veteris Legis libros quos vir doctus Adamantius in Hexapla digesserat de
Cæsariensi bibliotheca descriptos ex ipsis authenticis emendare.

[121] Optatus: _De schismate Donatistarum._ Fol. Paris, 1702. App. p. 167.

[122] _Augustini Opera_, Paris, 1838, XI. p. 102.

[123] _Bullettino di Archeologia Christiana_, Serie terza, 1876, p. 48.

[124] _Epist._ XXXII. § 10 (ed. Migne, Vol. LXI. p. 335). Basilica igitur
illa ... reliquiis apostolorum et martyrum intra apsidem trichoram sub
altaria sacratis.

[125] _Ibid._ § 13. Cum duabus dextra lævaque conchulis intra spatiosum
sui ambitum apsis sinuata laxetur, una earum immolanti hostias
jubilationis antistiti parat; altera post sacerdotem capaci sinu receptat
orantes ... § 16. In secretariis vero duobus quæ supra dixi circa apsidem
esse hi versus indicant officia singulorum.

[126] Book I. Chap. 2. _De Acacia._ [Greek: pherei sperma en thulakois
sunezeugmenois trichôrois ê tetrachôrois]. Comp. also Book IV. Chap. 167.
The use of the apse is discussed by Lenoir, _Architecture Monastique_,
4to. Paris, 1852, Vol. I. p. 111.

[127] Holsten, _Codex Regularum_, fol. 1759, 1. Regula S. Pachomii, No. c.
p. 31. Nemo vadens ad collectam aut ad vescendum dimittat codicem non
ligatum. Codices qui in fenestra id est intrinsecus parietis reponuntur ad
vesperum erunt sub manu secundi qui numerabit eos et ex more concludet.
The word fenestra is illustrated by a previous section of the Rule, No.
LXXXII. p. 30. Nullus habebit separatim mordacem pavulam ad evellendas
spinas si forte calcaverit absque Præposito domus et secundo: pendeatque
in fenestra in qua codices collocantur. Ducange says that the word is used
for the small cupboard in which the Sacrament was reserved. Here it is
evidently a recess in the wall closed by a door--like one of the later
armaria. On Pachomius and his foundation see _The Lausiac History of
Palladius_, by Dom Cuthbert Butler, Camb. 1898, and esp. p. 234.

[128] _Benedicti Regula Monachorum_, ed. E. Woelfflin, Leipzig, Teubner,

[129] _De secunda feria quadragesimæ._ In capitulo nequaquam alia Regulæ
sententia legitur quam quæ est de quadragesimâ. Recitatur quoque _Brevis_
librorum qui anno præterito sunt ad legendum fratribus erogati. Cum
quilibet frater nominatur, surgit, et librum sibi datum reddit: et si eum
forte non perlegerit, pro indiligentiâ veniam petit. Est autem unus tapes
ibi constratus super quem illi libri ponuntur, de quibus iterum quanti
dantur, dantur cum _Brevi_; et ad hoc est una tabula aliquantulum major
facta. _Antiquiores Consuetudines Cluniacensis Monasterii._ Lib. I. Cap.
LII. D'Achery, _Spicilegium_, ed. 1723, I. 667.

[130] _Ibid._ Lib. III. Cap. X. _Ibid._ 690. _De Præcentore et Armario._
Præcentor et Armarius Armarii nomen obtinuit eo quod in ejus manu solet
esse Bibliotheca quæ et in alio nomine Armarium appellatur.

[131] Reyner. _Apostolatus Benedictinorum in Anglia_, fol. 1626. App. Part
III. p. 211. As Lanfranc styles himself in the prologue Bishop of Rouen,
these decrees must have been issued between August 1067 and August 1070,
when he was made Archbishop of Canterbury.

[132] Reyner, _Apostolatus Benedictinorum in Anglia_, fol. 1626. App. Part
III. p. 216.

[133] I am aware that the Customs printed by D'Achery are dated 1110; but
it need not be assumed that they were written in that year. Similar
directions are to be found among the Veteres Consuetudines of the
Benedictine Abbey of S. Benoit sur Loire, or Fleury, founded A.D. 625.
_Floriacensis vetus Bibliotheca_, 8vo. Lyons, 1605, p. 394.

[134] Cantor almaria puerorum juvenum et alia in quibus libri conventus
reponentur innovabit fracta præparabit [reparabit?] pannos librorum
bibliothecæ reperiet fracturas librorum reficiet. _Chronicon monasterii de
Abingdon_ (De obedientariis Abbendoniæ). Rolls Series, II. 371.

[135] Cantor non potest libros vendere dare vel impignorare. Cantor non
potest libros accommodare nisi pignore, quod tanti vel majoris fuerit,
reposito. Tutius est pignori incumbere quam in personam agere. Hoc autem
licet facere tantum vicinis ecclesiis vel excellentibus personis. _Ibid._
pp. 373, 374.

[136] _Mon. Angl._ II. 39. The last sentence runs as follows in the
original: Nullus librum capiat nisi scribatur in rotulo ejus; nee alicui
liber aliquis mutuo tradatur absque competenti et sufficienti memoriali,
et hoc ponatur in rotulo ipsius. I owe this quotation and the last to
Father Gasquet's _Some Notes on Medieval Monastic Libraries_, 1891, p. 10.

[137] Adhuc etiam libros ad legendum de armario accipit duos quibus omnem
diligentiam curamque prebere monetur ne fumo ne puluere vel alia qualibet
sorde maculentur; Libros quippe tanquam sempiternum animarum nostrarum
cibum cautissime custodiri et studiosissime volumus fieri vt qui ore non
possumus dei verbum manibus predicemus. Guigonis, Prioris Carthusiæ,
_Statuta_. Fol. Basle, 1510. _Statuta Antiqua_, Part 2, Cap. XVI. § 9.

[138] Libros cum commodantur nullus contra commodantium retineat
voluntatem. _Ibid._ Cap. XXXII. § 16.

[139] _Les Monuments primitifs de la Règle Cistercienne_, par Ph.
Guignard, 8vo. Dijon, 1878, p. 237.

[140] _The Observances in use at the Augustinian Priory of S. Giles and S.
Andrew at Barnwell_: ed. J. W. Clark. 8vo. Camb., 1897, p. 15. This
passage also occurs in the Customs of the Augustinian House at Grönendaal
near Brussels. MS. in the Royal Library, Brussels, fol. 53 v^o. _De

[141] As I know of no other passage in a medieval writer which describes
an _armarium_, I transcribe the original text: Armarium, in quo libri
reponuntur, intrinsecus ligno vestitum esse debet ne humor parietum libros
humectet vel inficiat. In quo eciam diversi ordines seorsum et deorsum
distincti esse debent, in quibus libri separatim collocari possint, et
distingui abinvicem, ne nimia compressio ipsis libris noceat, vel querenti
moram inuectat.

[142] Statuta primaria Præmonstratensis Ordinis, Cap. VII. ap. Le Paige,
_Bibliotheca Præm. Ord._ fol. Paris, 1633, p. 803. The words are: Ad
Armarium pertinet libros custodire, et si sciverit emendare; Armarium
librorum, cum necesse fuerit, claudere et aperire ... libros mutuo
accipere cum necesse fuerit et nostros quærentibus commodare sed non sine
licentia Abbatis vel Prioris absente Abbate et non sine memoriali

[143] The delightful story of S. Francis and the brother who wished for a
psalter of his own is told in the _Speculum Perfectionis_, ed. Sabatier,
8vo. Paris, 1898, p. 11.

[144] These Constitutions have been printed by Father F. Ehrle in a paper
called _Die ältesten Redactionen der Generalconstitutionen des
Franziskanerordens_, in "Archiv für Literatur und Kirchengeschichte des
Mittelalters," Band VI. pp. 1-138. The passages cited above will be found
on p. 111.

[145] _The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury._ ed. E. C. Thomas, 8vo. Lond.
1888, p. 203.

[146] In the Cluniac Customs those volumes only which had been assigned to
particular brethren are to be laid on the carpet. It is difficult to
understand the reason for this formal assignment of a book to each brother
who chose to ask for one. As brethren in those early times had no separate
cubicles or cells, it could hardly imply more than a precaution against
the difficulty of two brethren requiring the use of the same volume.
Possibly the whole intention was disciplinary, to ensure study as
prescribed by the Rule.

[147] Delisle, _Bibl. de l'École des Chartes_, Ser. 3, Vol. I. p. 225.
Interdicimus inter alia viris religiosis, ne emittant juramentum de non
commodando libros suos indigentibus, cum commodare inter præcipua
misericordiæ opera computetur. Sed, adhibita consideratione diligenti,
alii in domo ad opus fratrum retineantur; alii secundum providentiam
abbatis, cum indemnitate domus, indigentibus commodentur. Et a modo nullus
liber sub anathemate teneatur, et omnia predicta anathemata absolvimus.
Labbe, _Concilia_, XI. 69.

[148] Delisle, _Cab. des Manuscrits_, II. 226.

[149] M. Delisle (_ut supra_, II. 124) cites an inscription in one of the
MSS. of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris: "Liber iste de Corbeia: sed
prestaverunt nobis usque Pascha."

[150] Mabillon, _Thesaurus Anecdotorum_, Vol. 1. p. 151.

[151] _Opera Thomæ a Campis_, fol. 1523. Fol. XLVII. 7. The passage occurs
in his _Doctrinale Juvenum_, Cap. V.

[152] _Medieval Monastic Libraries_: by F. A. Gasquet, p. 15. The passage
translated above occurs in a Custumary of S. Augustine's, Canterbury, MSS.
Cotton, Faustina, c. XII. fol. 196 b.

[153] _Cat. Monte Cassino_, II. 299.

[154] Theodmarus Cassinensis to Charlemagne, ap. Hæften, _Disquisitiones
Monasticæ_, fol. 1644, p. 1088.

[155] Delisle, _ut supra_, II. 227.

[156] Delisle, _ut supra_, II. 227. Tu, quicunque studebis in hoc libro,
prospice, et leviter atque dulciter tractes folia, ut cavere possis
rupturam propter ipsorum tenuitatem; et imitare doctrinam Jesu Christi,
qui cum modeste aperuisset librum Ysaie et attente legisset, tandem
reverenter complicuit ac ministro reddidit. This injunction occurs, in
substance, in the _Philobiblon_ of Richard de Bury, ed. Thomas, p. 241.

[157] _Opera Thomæ a Campis_, fol. 1523. Fol. XLVII.

[158] Amice qui legis, retro digitis teneas, ne subito litteras deleas,
quia ille homo qui nescit scribere nullum se putat habere laborem; quia
sicut navigantibus dulcis est portus, ita scriptori novissimus versus.
Calamus tribus digitis continetur, totum corpus laborat. Deo gratias. Ego,
in Dei nomine, Vuarembertus scripsi. Deo gratias. From a MS. in the Bibl.
Nat. Paris (MS. Lat. 12296) from the Abbey of Corbie: "les caractères
dénotent l'époque carlovingienne." Delisle, _ut supra_, II. 121.

[159] On the curse invariably used at S. Victor's, see Delisle, _ut
supra_, II. 227 _note_.

[160] Hic est liber Sancti Maximini Miciacensis monasterii, quem Petrus
abbas scribere jussit et proprio labore providit atque distinxit, et die
cænæ domini super sacrum altare sancti Stephani Deo et sancto Maximino
habendum obtulit, sub hujusmodi voto ut quisquis eum inde aliquo ingenio
non reddituius abstulerit, cum Juda proditore, Anna et Caiapha atque
Pilato damnationem accipiat. Amen. From a Benedictine House at Saint
Mesmin, Loiret. Delisle, _ut supra_, III. 384. M. Delisle considers that
the words "providit atque distinxit" mean "a été revue et ponctuée."

[161] Quem si quis vel dolo seu quoquo modo isti loco substraxerit anime
sue propter quod fecerit detrimentum patiatur, atque de libro viventium
deleatur et cum iustis non scribatur. From the Missal of Robert of
Jumièges, ed. H. Bradshaw Soc., 8vo. 1896, p. 316.

[162] Hic est liber sancti Albani quem qui ei abstulerit aut titulum
deleverit anathema sit. Amen. I owe this quotation to the kindness of my
friend Dr James.

[163] _Cat. des MSS. des Departements_, 4to. Vol. I. p. 128 (No. 255).

[164] Quicunque hunc titulum aboleverit vel a prefata ecclesia Christi
dono vel vendicione vel accommodacione vel mutacione vel furto vel
quocunque alio modo hunc librum scienter alienaverit malediccionem Ihesu
Christi et gloriosissime Virginis matris ejus et beati Thome martiris
habeat ipse in vita presenti. Ita tamen quod si Christo placeat qui est
patronus ecclesie Christi eius spiritus salvus in die judicii fiat. Given
to me by Dr James, from a MS. in the library of Trinity College,

[165] I have to thank my friend Dr Venn for this quotation. He tells me
that it was first pointed out by Dr Swete in _The Caian._ II. p. 127.

[166] See above, p. 71.

[167] Delisle, _ut supra_, II. 124.

[168] _Ibid._ p. 239.

[169] _Ibid._ p. 365. Edwards, _Memoirs of Libraries_, I. 283.

[170] _Supplement to Bentham's Ely_, by Wm Stevenson, 4to. 1817, p. 51. I
have to thank my friend the Rev. J. H. Crosby, Minor Canon of Ely
Cathedral, for a transcript of Bp Nigel's deed.

[171] _Monumenta Moguntina_, ed. Jaffé, 8vo. Berlin, 1866, in _Bibl. Rer.
Germ._ Vol. III. p. 301; quoted in Bede's works, ed. Plummer, p. xx.

[172] See Church's _S. Anselm_, ed. 1885, p. 48. The words are: Nunc
hyemali frigore rigens, aliis occupationibus vacabo, præsentemque libellum
hic terminare fatigatus decerno. Redeunte vero placidi veris sereno, etc.
_Hist. Eccl._ Pars II. lib. IV.

[173] This couplet, written on the fly-leaf of a MS. in the library of the
University of Cambridge (Hh. VI. II), was pointed out to me by my friend
F. J. H. Jenkinson, M.A., Librarian.

[174] Herimanni liber de restauratione S. Martini Tornacensis: ap. Pertz,
_Mon. Germ._ XIV. 313.

[175] See above, p. 37.

[176] See _Dictionnaire du Mobilier_, par Henri Havard, S. V. _Armoire_,
and the passages there quoted.

[177] See above, p. 71.

[178] The Cistercian Customs prescribe the possession of nine volumes at
least, chiefly service-books, before a house can be founded. _Documents_,
p. 253.

[179] _Origines Françaises de l'Architecture Gothique en Italie_, par G.
Enlart, 8vo. Paris, 1894. p. 9. This valuable work contains a full and
accurate description, copiously illustrated, of Fossa Nuova and other
abbeys in remote parts of Italy.

[180] _The Monastery and Cathedral of Worcester_, by John Noake, Lond.,
1866, p. 414.

[181] _Chronica monasterii de Melsa._ Rolls Series, Vol. III. App. p.

[182] The word _theca_ signified in classical Latin a case or receptacle
in which any object was kept. In medieval Latin it was specially used
(_fide_ Ducange) for the chest in which the bodies or bones or relics of
saints, were kept. In this catalogue it is obvious that it may mean either
a shelf or a cupboard.

[183] Sunt enim in libraria de Tychefeld quatuor columpnæ pro libris
imponendis, unde in orientali fronte due sunt videlicet prima et secunda.
In latere vero australi est tercia. Et in latere boreali est quarta. Et
earum singule octo habent gradus [etc.].

[184] _Trans. Cumb. and West. Antiq. and Archæol. Soc._ Vol. XVI. p. 259.
I take this opportunity of thanking my friend Mr Hope for allowing me to
use his plan of Furness Abbey, and also for pointing out to me the
evolution of the Cistercian book-rooms which I have done my best to
describe in the text.

[185] _Calder Abbey: its Ruins and its History._ By A. G. Loftie, M.A.

[186] Mr Hope tells me that he has lately re-examined these recesses, and
failed to discover traces of furniture or fittings of any kind within

[187] _Voyage Littéraire_, Paris, 1717, Vol. I. p. 101.

[188] _Cat. des Manuscrits des Bibliothèques Publiques de France._
Departements, Tom. V. Catalogue des Manuscrits de Citeaux, No. 635 (p.
405). Parvus liber incathenatus ad analogium cathedre ex opposito

[189] _The Rites of Durham_, ed. Surtees Soc. 1844, p. 70.

[190] _Notes on the Abbey Buildings of Westminster_, Arch. Journ. XXXIII.
pp. 15-49.

[191] _Notes on the Abbey Buildings of Westminster_, Arch. Journ. XXXIII.
pp. 21, 22.

[192] _Notes on the Abbey Buildings of Westminster_, Arch. Journ. XXXIII.
p. 16.

[193] MSS, Mus. Brit. MSS. Cotton, Otho. c. XI. fol. 84.

[194] See a paper by myself in _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc. and Comm._ IX. pp.

[195] _Voyage Littéraire_, ed. 1717. Part I. 297.

[196] _Dictionnaire du Mobilier_, s. v. _Armoire_.

[197] Viollet-le-Duc, _ut supra_, p. 4, where full details of the press at
Obazine are given. The photograph from which my illustration has been made
was specially taken for my use through the kind help of my friend Dr
James, who had seen the press in 1899.

[198] Viollet-le-Duc, _ut supra_, p. 14. I have myself examined this
press. My friend Mr Hope informs me that there is a press of this
character in the nether vestry at S. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, described by
him in _Inventories of the parish church of S. Peter Mancroft, Norwich_,
Norf. and Norw. Archæol. Soc, XIV. p. 29.

[199] See Mr Hope's _Notes on the Benedictine Abbey of S. Peter at
Gloucester_, in _Records of Gloucester Cathedral_, 1897, p. 23.

[200] See above, p. 93.

[201] _Memorials of S. Edmund's Abbey_, Rolls Series, II. 327. The writer
is describing the mischief done by the rioters of 1327: Deinde claustrum
ingressi, cistulas, id est caroles, et armariola fregerunt, et libros et
omnia in eis inventa similiter asportaverunt. I owe this quotation to Dr
James, _On the Abbey of S. Edmund at Bury_, Camb. Ant. Soc. Octav. Publ.
No. XXVIII. p. 158.

[202] _Liber Evesham_, Hen. Bradshaw Soc. 1893, p. 196. Abbat Ombresleye
(1367-79) built "paginam illam claustri contiguam ecclesie ubi carolæ
fratrum consistunt."

[203] _Accounts of the Obedientiaries of Abingdon Abbey_, ed. Camden
Society, 1892, p. 47. "Expense circa sedilia claustri" is the heading of
an account for wood bought and for carpenter's work. The sum spent was £2.
15_s._ 3_d._

[204] _Arch. Hist. of the Conventual Buildings of the Monastery of Christ
Church, Canterbury_. By R. Willis. 8vo, Lond. 1869, p. 45.

[205] MSS. Mus. Brit. MSS. Cotton, Faustina, c. XII., fol. 149. De karulis
in claustro habendis hanc consideracionem habere debent quibus committitur
claustri tutela ut videlicet celerarius seu alii fratres qui raro in
claustro resident suas karulas in claustro non habeant, set nec aliqui
fratres nisi in scribendo vel illuminando aut tantum notando communitati
aut et sibimet ipsis proficere sciant.

[206] MSS. Mus. Brit. MSS. Cotton, Faustina, c. XII., fol. 145. ...
precentorem et succentorem quibus committitur armariorum custodia. Cantor
habebit cathedram suam ante armarium in claustro stantem et carulam suam
iuxta desuper lapidem inter columpnas. Succentor vero super scannum iuxta
armarium carulam et sedem suam habebit, ut hii duo vel saltem unus eorum
possint semper esse parati ad respondendum fratribus seruicium petentibus.

[207] _History of the Church of Peterburgh._ By Symon Gunton: fol. 1686,
p. 103. The author gives the subjects and legends of nine windows. I owe
this quotation to the kindness of Mr Hope.



In the last chapter I attempted to describe the way in which the Monastic
Orders provided for the safe keeping of their books, so long as their
collections were not larger than could be accommodated in a press or
presses in the cloister, or in the small rooms used by the Cistercians for
the same purpose. I have now to carry the investigation a step farther,
and to shew how books were treated when a separate library was built.

It must not be supposed that an extensive collection of books was regarded
as indispensable in all monastic establishments. In many Houses, partly
from lack of funds, partly from an indisposition to study, the books were
probably limited to those required for the services and for the daily life
of the brethren. In other places, on the contrary, where the fashion of
book-collecting had been set from very early days, by some abbat or prior
more learned or more active than his fellows; and where brethren in
consequence had learnt to take a pride in their books, whether they read
them or not, a large collection was got together at a date when even a
royal library could be contained in a single chest of very modest
dimensions. For instance, when an inventory of the possessions of the
Benedictine House of S. Riquier near Abbeville was made at the request of
Louis le Débonnaire in 831 A.D., it was found that the library contained
250 volumes; and a note at the end of the catalogue informs us that if the
different treatises had been entered separately, the number of entries
would have exceeded five hundred, as many books were frequently bound in a
single volume. The works in this library are roughly sorted under the
headings Divinity, Grammar, History and Geography, Sermons,
Service-books[208]. A similar collection existed at S. Gall at the same
period[209]. In the next century we find nearly seven hundred manuscripts
in a Benedictine monastery at Bobbio in north Italy[210]; and nearly six
hundred in a House belonging to the same order at Lorsch in Germany[211].
At Durham, also a Benedictine House, a catalogue made early in the twelfth
century contains three hundred and sixty-six titles[212]; but, as at S.
Riquier, the number of works probably exceeded six or seven hundred.

These instances, which I have purposely selected from different parts of
Europe, and which could easily have been increased, are sufficient to
indicate the rapidity with which books could be, and in fact were
accumulated, when the taste for such collections had once been set. Year
by year, slowly yet surely, by purchase, by gift, by bequest, by the zeal
of the staff of writers whom the precentor drilled and kept at work, the
number grew, till in certain Houses it reached dimensions which must have
embarrassed those responsible for its bestowal. At Christ Church,
Canterbury, for instance, the catalogue made by Henry de Estria, Prior
1285-1331, enumerates about 1850 manuscripts[213].

It must gradually have become impossible to accommodate such collections
as these according to the old method, even supposing it was desirable to
do so. There were doubtless many duplicates, and manuscripts of value
requiring special care. Consequently we find that places other than the
cloister were used to keep books in. At Durham, for instance, the
catalogues made at the end of the fourteenth century enumerate (1) "the
books in the common press at Durham in sundry places in the cloister" (386
volumes)[214]; (2) "the books in the common press at Durham in the
Spendment" (408 volumes)[215]; (3) "the inner library at Durham called
Spendment" (87 volumes)[216]; (4) "the books for reading in the frater
which lie in the press near the entrance to the farmery" (17
volumes)[217]; (5) "the books in the common press of the novices at Durham
in the cloister" (23 volumes)[218]. Of the above catalogues the first
obviously deals with the contents of the great "almeries of wainscot"
which stood in the cloister; the second and third with the books for which
no room could be found there, and which in consequence had been
transferred to a room on the west side of the cloister, where wages were
paid and accounts settled. In the _Rites of Durham_ it is termed the
treasure-house or chancery. It was divided into two by a grate of iron,
behind which sat the officer who made the payments. The books seem to have
been kept partly in the outer half of the room, partly within this grate.

At Citeaux, the parent-house of the Cistercian order, a large and wealthy
monastery in Burgundy, the books were still more scattered, as appears
from the catalogue[219] drawn up by John de Cirey, abbat at the end of the
fifteenth century, now preserved, with 312 of the manuscripts enumerated
in it, in the public library of Dijon.

This catalogue, written on vellum, in double columns, with initial letters
in red and blue alternately, records the titles of 1200 MSS and printed
books; but the number of the latter is not great. It is headed:

    Inventory of the books at Citeaux, in the diocese of
    Chalons, made by us, brother John, abbat of the said
    House, in the year of our Lord 1480, after we had caused
    the said books to be set to rights, bound, and covered,
    at a vast expense, by the labour of two and often three
    binders, employed continuously during two years[220].

This heading is succeeded by the following statement:

    And first of the books now standing (_existencium_) in
    the library of the dorter, which we have arranged as it
    is, because the room had been for a long time useless,
    and formerly served as a tailory and vestry, ... but for
    two years or nearly so nothing or very little had been
    put there[221].

A bird's-eye view of Citeaux, dated 1674, preserved in the Bibliothèque
Nationale, Paris, shews a small building between the Frater and the
Dorter, which M. Viollet-le-Duc, who has reproduced[222] part of it,
letters "staircase to the dorter." The room in question was probably at
the top of this staircase, and the arrangements which I am about to
discuss shew beyond all question that the Dorter was at one end of it and
the Frater at the other.

There were six bookcases, called benches (_banche_), evidently
corresponding to the _sedilia_ or "seats" mentioned in many English
medieval catalogues. The writer takes the bookcases in order, beginning as

  De prima banca inferius versus refectorium (13 vols.).
      In 2^a linea prime banche superius (17 vols.).
  In 2^a banca inferius de latere dormitorii (18 vols.).
     "   "  superius   "   "  (14 vols.).
  In 2^a banca inferius de latere refectorii (15 vols.).
     "   "  superius   "   "  (18 vols.).

The third and fifth _banche_, containing respectively 75 volumes and 68
volumes, are described in identical language; but the descriptions of the
4th and 6th differ sufficiently to make quotation necessary:

  In quarta banca de latere dormitorii (24 vols.).
       "      "        "    refectorii (16 vols.).
  In sexta banca de latere dormitorii (25 vols.).
  Libri sequentes sunt in dicta sexta banca de latere dormitorii inferius
          sub analogio (38 vols.).

It seems to me that the first _banca_ was set against the Dorter wall, so
that it faced the Frater; and that it consisted of two shelves only, the
second of which is spoken of as a line (_linea_)[223]. The second, third,
and fifth _banche_ were detached pieces of furniture, with two shelves on
each side. I cannot explain why the fourth is described in such different
language. It is just possible that only one shelf on each side may have
been occupied by books when the catalogue was compiled. I conjecture that
the sixth stood against the Frater wall, thus facing the Dorter, and that
it consisted of a shelf, with a desk below it, and a second shelf of books
below that again.

Besides these cases there were other receptacles for books called
cupboards (_armaria_) and also some chests. These are noted in the
following terms:

  Secuntur libri existentes in armariis librarie.
  In primo armario de latere versus refectorium (36 vols.).
  In secundo armario (53 vols.).
  In tertio armario (24 vols.).
  Sequuntur libri existentes in cofro seu archa juxta gradus ascensus ad
          vestiarium in libraria (46 vols.).
  In quadam cista juxta analogium de latere refectorii (9 vols.).

The total of the MSS. stored in this room amounts to 509. In addition to
these the catalogue next enumerates "Books of the choir, church, and
cloister (53 vols.); Books taken out of the library for the daily use of
the convent (29 vols.); Books chained on desks (_super analogiis_) before
the Chapter-House (5 vols.); on the second desk (5 vols.); on the third
desk (4 vols.); on the fifth desk (4 vols.); Books taken out of the
library partly to be placed in the cloister, partly to be divided among
the brethren (27 vols.); Books on the small desks in the cloister (5
vols.); Books to be read publicly in convent or to be divided among the
brethren for private reading (99 vols.)." These different collections of
MSS., added together, make a total of 740 volumes, which seem to have been
scattered over the House, wherever a spare corner could be found for them.

The inconvenience of such an arrangement, or want of arrangement, is
obvious; and it must have caused much friction in the House. We can
imagine the officer in charge of the finances resenting the intrusion of
his brother of the library with an asperity not wholly in accordance with
fraternal charity. And yet, so strong is the tendency of human nature to
put up with whatever exists, rather than be at the trouble of changing it,
no effectual steps in the way of remedy were taken until the fifteenth
century. In that century, however, we find that in most of the large
monasteries a special room was constructed to hold books. Reading went
forward, as heretofore, in the cloister, and I conceive that the books
stored in the new library were mainly intended for loan or for reference.
As at Durham, the monks could go there when they chose.

These conventual libraries were usually built over some existing building,
or over the cloister. Sometimes, especially in France, the library appears
as an additional storey added to any building with walls strong enough to
bear it; sometimes again as a detached building. I will cite a few
examples of libraries in these different positions.

At Christ Church, Canterbury, a library, about 60 ft. long by 22 ft.
broad, was built by Archbishop Chichele between 1414 and 1443, over the
Prior's Chapel[224], and William Sellyng (Prior 1472-1494) "adorned [it]
with beautiful wainscot, and also furnished it with certain volumes
chiefly for the use of those addicted to study, whom he zealously and
generously encouraged and patronised[225]."

At Durham Prior Wessyngton, about 1446, either built or thoroughly
repaired and refitted a room over the old sacristy, between the
Chapter-House and the south Transept, or, as the _Rites_ say, "betwixt the
Chapter House and the Te Deum wyndowe, being well replenished with ould
written Docters and other histories and ecclesiasticall writers[226]."
Wessyngton's work must have been extensive and thorough, for it cost,
including the repairs of the books, £90. 16_s._ 0_d._[227]--at least £1100
or £1200 at the present value of money. The position of this library will
be understood from the illustration (fig. 31). The room is 44 ft. 10 in.
long, by 18 ft. wide, with a window at each end, 13 ft. wide, of five
lights, and a very rough roof of oak, resting on plain stone corbels.

[Illustration: Fig. 31. Library at Durham, built by Prior Wessyngton about

At Gloucester the library is in a similar position, but the date of its
construction is uncertain. It has been described as follows by Mr Hope:

    The library is an interesting room of fourteenth century
    date, retaining much of its original open roof. The
    north side has eleven windows, each of two square-headed
    lights and perfectly plain.... [There are no windows on
    the south side.] The large end windows are late
    perpendicular, each of seven lights with a transom.
    There are other alterations, such as the beautiful
    wooden corbels from which the roof springs, which are
    probably contemporary with the work of the cloister when
    the western stair to the library was built, and the room

At Winchester a precisely similar position was selected between the
Chapter-House and the south transept, above a passage leading from the
cloister to the ground at the south-east end of the church.

At the Benedictine House of S. Albans the library was begun in 1452 by
John Whethamstede, Prior, and completed in the following year at the cost
of £150[228]--a sum which represents about £2000 at the present day--but
the position has not been recorded.

At Worcester, also Benedictine, it seems probable that the library
occupied from very early times the long, narrow room over the south aisle
of the nave to which it was restored in 1866. This room, which extends
from the transept to the west end of the church, is 130 ft. 7 in. long, 19
ft. 6 in. wide, and 8 ft. 6 in. high on the south side. It is lighted by
twelve windows, eleven of which are of two lights each, and that nearest
to the transept of three lights. The room is approached by a circular
stone staircase at the south-west angle of the cathedral, access to which
is from the outside only[229].

At Bury S. Edmund's abbat William Curteys (1429-45) built a library, on an
unknown site: but his work is worth commemorating, as another instance of
the great fifteenth century movement in monasteries for providing special
rooms to contain books.

At S. Victor, Paris, an Augustinian House, the library was built between
1501 and 1508, I believe over the sacristy; at Grönendaal, near Brussels,
also Augustinian, it was built over the whole length of the north cloister
(a distance of 175 feet), so that its windows faced the south.

[Illustration: Fig. 32. Library of the Grey Friars House, London, commonly
called Christ's Hospital.

From Trollope's History.]

The Franciscan House in London, commonly called Christ's Hospital, had a
noble library, founded 21 October, 1421, by Sir Richard Whittington,
mercer and Lord Mayor of London. By Christmas Day in the following year
the building was roofed in; and before three years were over it was
floored, plastered, glazed, furnished with desks and wainscot, and stocked
with books. The cost was £556. 16_s._ 8_d._; of which £400 was paid by
Whittington, and the rest by Thomas Wynchelsey, one of the brethren, and
his friends[230]. It extended over the whole of one alley of the cloister
(fig. 32). Stow tells us that it was 129 ft. long, by 31 ft. broad[231];
and, according to the letters patent of Henry VIII., dated 13 January,
1547, by which the site was conveyed to the City of London, it contained
"28 Desks and 28 Double Settles of Wainscot[232]."

I have recounted the expedients to which the monks of Citeaux were reduced
when their books had become too numerous for the cloister. I will now
describe their permanent library. This is shewn in the bird's-eye view
dated 1674 to which I have already referred, and also in a second similar
view, dated 1718, preserved in the archives of the town of Dijon[233],
where I had the good fortune to discover it in 1894. It is accompanied by
a plan of the whole monastery, and also by a special plan[234] of the
library (fig. 35). The buildings had by this time been a good deal
altered, and partly rebuilt in the classical style of the late
renaissance; but in these changes the library had been respected. I
reproduce (fig. 33) the portion of the view containing it and the
adjoining structures, together with the corresponding ground-plan (fig.

The authors of the _Voyage Littéraire_, Fathers Martène and Durand, who
visited Citeaux in 1710, thus describe this library:

    Citeaux sent sa grande maison et son chef d'ordre. Tout
    y est grand, beau et magnifique, mais d'une magnificence
    qui ne blesse point la simplicité religieuse....

[Illustration: Fig. 33. Bird's-eye view of part of the Monastery of
Citeaux. From a drawing dated 1718. A, library; B, farmery.]

    Les trois cloîtres sont proportionnez au reste des
    bâtimens. Dans l'un de ces cloîtres on voit de petites
    cellules comme à Clervaux, qu'on appelle les écritoires,
    parce que les anciens moines y écrivoient des livres. La
    bibliothèque est au dessus; le vaisseau est grand,
    voûté, et bien percé. Il y a bon fonds de livres
    imprimez sur toutes sortes de matières, et sept ou huit
    cent manuscrits, dont la plupart sont des ouvrages des
    pères de l'église[235].

The ground-plan (fig. 34) shews the writing-rooms or _scriptoria_,
apparently six in number, eastward of the church; and the bird's-eye view
(fig. 33) the library built over them. Unfortunately we know nothing of
the date of its construction. It occupied the greater part of the north
side of a cloister called "petit cloître" or Farmery Cloister, from the
large building on the east side originally built as a Farmery (fig. 33,
B). It was approached by a newel-stair at its south-west corner (fig. 35).
This stair gave access to a vestibule, in which, on the west, was a door
leading into a room called small library (_petite bibliothèque_),
apparently built over one of the chapels at the east end of the church
(fig. 34). The destination of this room is not known. The library proper
was about 83 feet long by 25 feet broad[236], vaulted, and lighted by six
windows in the north and south walls. There was probably an east window
also, but as explained above, it was intended, when this plan was drawn,
to build a new gallery for books at this end of the older structure.

[Illustration: Fig. 34, Ground-plan of part of the Monastery of Citeaux.
From a plan dated 1718.]

[Illustration: Fig. 35, Ground-plan of the Library at Citeaux.]

I proceed next to the library at Clairvaux, a House which may be called
the eldest daughter of Citeaux, having been founded by S. Bernard in 1115.
This library was built in a position precisely similar to that at Citeaux,
namely, eastward of the church, on the north side of the second cloister,
over the _Scriptoria_. Begun in 1495, it was completed in 1503; and was
evidently regarded as a work of singular beauty, over which the House
ought to rejoice, for the building of it is commemorated in the following
stanzas written on the first leaf of a catalogue made between 1496 and
1509, and now preserved in the library at Troyes[237]:

  La construction de cette librairie.

  Jadis se fist cette construction
  Par bons ouvriers subtilz et plains de sens
  L'an qu'on disoit de l'incarnation
  Nonante cinq avec mil quatre cens.

  Et tant y fut besongnié de courage
  En pierre, en bois, et autre fourniture
  Qu'après peu d'ans achevé fut louvrage
  Murs et piliers et voulte et couverture.

  Puis en après l'an mil v^c et trois
  Y furent mis les livres des docteurs:
  Le doux Jésus qui pendit en la croix
  Doint paradis aux dévotz fondateurs.


We fortunately possess a minute description of Clairvaux, written, soon
after the completion of the new library, by the secretary to the Queen of
Sicily, who came there 13 July, 1517, and was taken, apparently, through
every part of the monastery[238]. The account of the library is as

    Et de ce même costé [dudit cloistre] sont xiiii estudes
    où les religieulx escripvent et estudient, lesquelles
    sont très belles, et au dessus d'icelles estudes est la
    neufve librairerie, à laquelle l'on va par une vis large
    et haulte estant audict cloistre, laquelle librairie
    contient de longeur lxiii passées, et de largeur xvii

    En icelle y a quarante huic banctz, et en chacun banc
    quatre poulpitres fournys de livres de touttes sciences,
    et principallement en théologie, dont la pluspart
    desdicts livres sont en parchemin et escript à la main,
    richement historiez et enluminez.

    L'édiffice de ladicte librairie est magnificque et
    massonnée, et bien esclairé de deux costez de belles
    grandes fenestres, bien vitrés, ayant regard sur ledict
    cloistre et cimitière des Abbez. La couverture est de
    plomb et semblablement de ladite église et cloistre, et
    tous les pilliers bouttans d'iceulx édiffices couverts
    de plomb.

    Le devant d'icelle librairie est moult richement orné et
    entaillé par le bas de collunnes d'estranges façons, et
    par le hault de riches feuillaiges, pinacles et
    tabernacles, garnis de grandes ymaiges, qui décorent et
    embelissent ledict édifice. La vis, par laquelle on y
    monte, est à six pans, larges pour y monter trois hommes
    de front, et couronné à l'entour de cleres voyes de
    massonerie. Ladicte librairerie est toute pavée de
    petits carreaulx à diverses figures.

It will be interesting to place by the side of this description a second,
written nearly two hundred years later, by the authors of the _Voyage
Littéraire_, who visited Clairvaux in the spring of 1709:

    Le grand cloître ... est voûté et vitré. Les religieux y
    doivent garder un perpétuel silence. Dans le côté du
    chapitre il y a des livres enchaînez sur des pupitres de
    bois, dans lesquels les religieux peuvent venir faire
    des lectures lorsqu'ils veulent....

    Du grand cloître on entre dans le cloître du colloque,
    ainsi appellé, parce qu'il est permis aux religieux d'y
    parler. Il y a dans ce cloître douze ou quinze petites
    cellules tout d'un rang, où les religieux écrivoient
    autrefois des livres: c'est pourquoy on les appelle
    encore aujourd'hui les écritoires. Au-dessus de ces
    cellules est la bibliothèque, dont le vaisseau est
    grand, voûté, bien percé, et rempli d'un grand nombre de
    manuscrits, attachez avec des chaînes sur des pupitres,
    mais il y a peu de livres imprimez[239].

The plan of the substruction of this new library, as shewn on the
ground-plan of Clairvaux given by Viollet Le Duc[240], is exactly the same
as that of Citeaux (fig. 33) but on a larger scale. The library itself, as
there, was approached by a newel stair at its south-west corner. This
stair was hexagonal, and of a diameter sufficient to allow three men to
ascend at the same time. The library was of great extent--being about 206
feet long by 56 feet broad--if the dimensions given in the above account
be correct, and if I am right in supposing a pace (_passée_) to be
equivalent to a modern _mètre_; vaulted, and well lighted. The Queen's
secretary seems to have been specially struck by the beauty, the size, and
the decoration of the windows. The floor was paved with encaustic tiles.

It will be interesting to note how, in some Houses, the library slowly
expanded itself, occupying, one after another, every coign of
vantage-ground. An excellent example of this growth is to be found in the
abbey of Saint Germain des Près, Paris; and fortunately there are several
views, taken at different periods before the Revolution, on which the
gradual extension of the library can be readily traced. I append a portion
of two of these. The first (fig. 36), dated 1687, shews the library over
the south walk of the cloister, where it was placed in 1555. It must not,
however, be supposed that no library existed before this. On the contrary,
the House seems to have had one from the first foundation, and so early as
the thirteenth century it could be consulted by strangers, and books
borrowed from it. The second view (fig. 37), dated 1724, shews a still
further extension of the library. It has now invaded the west side of the
cloister, which has received an upper storey; and even the external
appearance of the venerable Frater, which was respected when nearly all
the rest of the buildings were rebuilt in a classical style, has been
sacrificed to a similar gallery. The united lengths of these three rooms
must have been little short of 384 feet. This library was at the disposal
of all scholars who desired to use it. When the Revolution came it
contained more than 49,000 printed books, and 7000 manuscripts[241].

[Illustration: Fig. 36. Part of the Abbey of S. Germain des Près, Paris.

From a print dated 1687; reproduced in _Les Anciennes Bibliothèques de
Paris_, par Alf. Franklin, Vol. I. p 126.]

   1 Porta major monasterii.
   2 Atrium ecclesie.
   3 Regalis basilica.
   4 Sacrarium.
   5 Claustrum parvum B. M.
   7 Dormitorium.
   8 Bibliotheca.
   9 Dormitoria R. Patrum Congregationis.
  10 Aulæ Hospitum.
  12 Refectorium.

[Illustration: Fig. 37. Part of the Abbey of S. Germain des Près, Paris.

From a print in _Histoire de l'Abbaye Royale de Saint Germain des Prez_,
par Dom Jacques Bouillart, fol. Paris, 1724, lettered "l'Abbaye ... telle
qu'elle est présentement."]

  A. Porte Extérieure.
  B. Maisons de l'enclos.
  C. Parvis de l'Eglise.
  D. L'Eglise.
  F. Saciristie.
  G. Petit Cloître.
  H. Grand Cloître.
  I. Bibliothèque.
  K. Dortoir.
  L. Réfectoire.
  M. Cuisine.
  Z. Dortoir des Hôtes.

I now pass to Cathedrals, which vied with monasteries in the possession of
a library; and, as might be expected, the two sets of buildings throw
light on each other. I regret that it has now become impossible to
discover the site or the extent of such a library as that of York, which
was well stocked with books so early as the middle of the eighth century;
or of that of Notre Dame de Paris, which was a centre of instruction as
well as of learning; but some good examples of capitular libraries can be
found in other places; and, like those of the monasteries, they were for
the most part built in the fifteenth century. I will begin with the
library of Lincoln Cathedral, part of which is still in existence[242].

The Cathedral of Lincoln was founded at the close of the eleventh century,
and in the middle of the twelfth we find the books belonging to it kept in
a press (_armarium_). We learn this from the heading of a list[243] of
them when placed in the charge of Hamo, Chancellor 1150-1182, written on
the first page of a copy of the Vulgate, the first volume in the

    Quando Hamoni cancellario cancellaria data fuit et
    librorum cura commissa, hos in armario invenit libros et
    sub custodia sua recepit, scilicet:

        Bibliothecam in duobus voluminibus [etc.].

The list which follows enumerates 42 volumes, together with a map of the
world. To this small collection there were added in Hamo's time, either by
his own gift or by that of other benefactors, 31 volumes more; so that
before his death the press contained 73 volumes, probably a large
collection for that period. Besides these, there were service-books in the
charge of the bursar (_thesaurarius_), and song-books in that of the
precentor. The three collections were probably kept in the church.

The first indication of a separate room to contain books is afforded by
the gift of a volume by Philip Repyndon, Bishop 1405-1419, in which year
he resigned. It is given after his resignation, "to the new library to be
built within the Church of Lincoln." Again, Thomas Duffield, formerly
Chancellor, who died in 1426, bequeathed another book "to the new library
of the aforesaid church." The erection of the new library may therefore be
placed between 1419 and 1426.

A catalogue, now in the muniment room at Lincoln, which, on internal
evidence, may be dated about 1450, enumerates 107 works, of which 77
(more or less) have been identified as still in the library. The heading,
which I will translate, refers to a chaining of the books which had
recently taken place, possibly after the construction of the cases which I
shall describe in a subsequent chapter.

    It is to be noted that in this indenture are enumerated
    all the books in the library of the church of blessed
    Mary of Lincoln which have lately been secured with
    locks and chains; of which indenture one part is
    stitched into the end of the black book of the aforesaid
    church, and the other part remains in ...[244].

The library--a timber structure--was placed over the northern half of the
east walk of the cloister. At present only three bays at the north end
remain; but there were originally two bays more, at the south end, between
the existing structure and the Chapter-House. These were destroyed in
1789, when the following Chapter Order was made (7 May):

    That the old Library adjoining to the Chapter House
    shall be taken down, and the part of the Cloysters under
    it new leaded and the walls compleated, and the Stair
    case therto removed, and a new Stair Case made, agreable
    to a plan and estimate of the Expence thereof.

I will now briefly describe the room, with the assistance of the plan
(fig. 38)[245], and the view of the interior (fig. 39).

[Illustration: Fig. 39. Interior of the Old Library, Lincoln Cathedral.

The open door leads into Dean Honywood's Library, as described in Chapter

The walls are 9 ft. 8 in. high, from the floor to the top of the
wall-plate. They are divided into bays, each 7 ft. 9 in. wide, by vertical
shafts, from which, at a height of 5 ft. 9 in. from the ground, spring the
braces which support the tiebeams of the roof. These are massive beams of
oak, slightly arched, and molded on their under-surface. Their position is
indicated by dotted lines on the plan (fig. 38). The whole roof is a
splendid specimen of fifteenth century work, enriched with carving in the
finest style of execution. There is a bold ornament in the centre of each
tiebeam; and at the foot of the central joist in each bay, which is wider
than the rest, and molded, while the others are plain, there is an angel,
projecting horizontally from the wall. The purlin, again, is molded, and
where it intersects the central joist a subject is carved: an angel
playing on a musical instrument--a bird--a rose--a grotesque figure--and
the like. Below the wall-plate is a cornice, 12 in. deep, ornamented with
a row of quatrefoils above a row of battlements. Beneath these there is a
groove, which seems to indicate that the walls were once panelled or

[Illustration: Fig. 38. Plan of the Old Library, Lincoln Cathedral.]

It is probable that there was originally a row of equidistant windows in
the east and west walls, one to each bay on each side; but of these, if
they ever existed, no trace remains. There must also have been a window at
the north end, and probably one at the south end also. The present windows
are plainly modern. The room is known to have suffered from a fire, which
tradition assigns to 1609; and probably the original windows were changed
during the repairs rendered necessary at that time.

[Illustration: Fig. 40. Plan of the Cloister, etc., Lincoln Cathedral.]

It is not easy to decide how this library was approached. It has been
suggested that the stone newel stair at the north-west corner of the
Chapter-House was used for this purpose; but, if that be the case, how are
we to explain the words in the above order "the Stair Case thereto
removed"; and an item which occurs in the Cathedral Accounts for 1789,
"taking down the old stairs, strings, and banisters, 14_s._"? It appeared
to me, when examining the building, that there had been originally a door
on the east side, now replaced by a window, as shewn on the plan (fig.
38). Possibly the staircase destroyed in 1789 led to this door, which was
conveniently situated in the centre of a bay. The staircase built in 1789
is the one still existing at the north-east corner of the old library
(fig. 40, A).

At Salisbury Bishop Osmund (1078-99) is stated to have "got together a
quantity of books, for he himself did not disdain either to write books or
to bind them after they had been written"[246]; but the library, as
elsewhere, was a work of the fifteenth century. The foundation is very
clearly recorded in an act of the Chapter, dated 15 January, 1444-45. The
members present decide that as it is desirable, "for divers reasons, to
have certain schools suitable for lectures, together with a library for
the safe keeping of books and the convenience of those who wish to study
therein--which library up to the present time they have been without--such
schools and library shall be built as soon as possible over one side of
the cloister of the church, at the cost of William [Ayscough] now Bishop
of Salisbury, the Dean, and the Canons of the aforesaid church[247]."
Accordingly, a building was erected, extending over the whole length of
the east cloister, conveniently approached by the staircase at the
south-west corner of the south transept, which originally led only to the
roof. This library was curtailed to its present dimensions, and otherwise
altered, in consequence of a Chapter Order dated 25 November, 1758, part
of which I proceed to quote:

    That the southern part of the library be taken down as
    far as the partitions within which the manuscripts are
    placed, the whole being found much too heavy to be
    properly supported by the Cloysters, which were never
    designed originally to bear so great a weight.

    That the roof of the northern part of the library (where
    the Theological lecture antiently used to be given by
    the Chancellor of the Church) be taken down; the walls
    lowered, and a new and lighter roof be placed in its
    room; and that the same be fitted up in a neat and
    convenient manner for the reception of the present books
    and any others which shall hereafter be added to them.

The appearance of the library, as the execution of the above order left
it, will be understood from the view (fig. 41), taken from the roof of an
adjoining alley of the cloister. Internally the room is 66 feet long, 20
feet wide, and 12 ft. 9 in. high. It has a flat plaster ceiling, part of
the "new and lighter roof" imposed on the lowered walls in 1758. The
fittings are wholly modern.

The library attached to S. Paul's Cathedral, London, by which I mean the
medieval cathedral commonly called Old S. Paul's, was in a similar
position. Its history is succinctly recorded by Dugdale. After describing
the cemetery called Pardon Church Hawgh, with the cloister that surrounded
it, he proceeds:

    _The Library._

    Over the East quadrant of the before mentioned Cloyster,
    was a fair _Library_ built, at the costs of _Walter
    Shiryngton_, Chancelour of the Duchy of Lancaster in
    King Henry the 6th's time: But in the year MDXLIX. 10.
    _Apr._ both Chapell, Cloyster, and Monuments, excepting
    onely that side where the _Library_ was, were pulled
    down to the ground, by the appointment of _Edward_ Duke
    of Somerset, then Lord Protector to King _Edward_ 6. and
    the materialls carried into the Strand, towards the
    building of that stately fabrick called Somerset-House,
    which he then erected; the ground where they stood being
    afterwards converted into a Garden, for the Pettie

[Illustration: Fig. 42. Plan of the Library in Wells Cathedral.

Scale 1/10 inch=1 foot.]

[Illustration: Fig. 41. Exterior of the Library at Salisbury Cathedral,
looking north-east.]

Nothing is known of the dimensions or arrangement of the above room; but,
as it was over a cloister, it must have been long and narrow, like that
which still exists in a similar position at Wells Cathedral, which I will
briefly mention next.

The Chapter Library at Wells Cathedral occupies the south end of a long,
narrow room over the east pane of the cloister, approached by a spiral
staircase from the south transept. This room is about 162 feet long by 12
feet wide; the portion assigned to the library is about 106 feet long
(fig. 42). The roof was originally divided into 13 spaces by oak
principals, very slightly arched, resting on stone corbels. There were two
windows on each side to each space. In the part fitted up as a library the
principals have been plastered over to imitate stone, and the joists
between them concealed by a ceiling. There is a tradition that this room
was fitted up as a library in 1472. The present fittings, which I shall
have occasion to mention in a subsequent chapter, were put up when the
library was refitted and stocked with books after the Restoration[249].

These four examples--at Lincoln, Salisbury, S. Paul's, and Wells--are
typical of Cathedral libraries built over a cloister. I will next notice
some that were detached.

[Illustration: Fig. 43. Plan of the Library at Lichfield Cathedral.

From _History and Antiquities of Staffordshire_, by Stebbing Shaw, fol.
Lond. 1798, Vol. 11. p. 244.]

The library of Lichfield Cathedral[250] stood on the north side of the
cathedral, west of the north door, at some little distance from the church
(fig. 43). It was begun in 1489, when Thomas Heywood, dean, "gave £40
towards building a library of brick," and completed in 1493. It was about
60 feet long by 15 feet wide, approached by a flight of stairs. As the
Chapter Order (9 December, 1757) which authorised its destruction speaks
of the "Library, Chapter Clerk's House, and Cloisters," I suspect that it
stood on a colonnade, after the manner of the beautiful structure at
Noyon, a cathedral town in eastern France, at no great distance from

This library--which I have carefully examined on two occasions--was built
in pursuance of the following Order of the Chapter, 16 November, 1506.

    Le 16. iour de Nouembre audit an, l'affaire de la
    Librairie se remet sus. Le sieur Doyen offre cent francs
    pour cet oeuure. Et le 20. iour de Nouembre, ouy le
    Maistre de Fabrique et Commissaires à ce deputez, fut
    arrestée le long de l'allée qui meine de l'Eglise à la
    porte Corbaut; et à cet effect sera tiré le bois à ce
    necessaire de nos forests, et se fera ladite Librairie
    suiuant le pourtrait ou patron exhibé au Chapitre le
    sixiesme iour de Mars 1506. Le Bailly de Chapitre donne
    cent sols pour ce bastiment, à condition qu'il en aura
    une clef[251].

This library (fig. 44) is, so far as I know, an unique specimen of a
library built wholly of wood, supported on wooden pillars with stone
bases, so that it is raised about 10 feet above the stone floor on which
they rest, probably for the sake of dryness. There is a legend that a
market used to be held there; but at present the spaces between the
pillars have been filled in on the south side. The one here represented
(fig. 45) stands on the north side, in a small yard between the library
and the cathedral.

[Illustration: Fig. 44. Chapter-Library at Noyon, France.]

The site selected for the building is on the south side of the choir of
the cathedral, with its longest axis north and south. It measures 72 feet
in length by 17 feet in width between walls, but was originally longer, a
piece having been cut off at the south end, where the entrance now is, and
where the library is now terminated by a stone wall of classical
character. Tradition places the entrance at the opposite end, by means of
an external staircase; an arrangement which would have been more
convenient for the members of the Chapter, as they could have approached
it through their vestry, which is on the south side of the choir. There
are now nine windows on the east side--originally there were at least ten;
but none on the west side, and it is doubtful if there ever were any, as
they would be rendered useless by the proximity of other structures. The
fittings are modern and without interest.

[Illustration: Fig. 45. A single pillar of the cloister beneath the
Chapter Library at Noyon.]

At Bayeux also the Chapter-library is a detached building--of stone, in
two floors, about 40 feet long by 26 feet wide, but I have not been able
to discover the date at which it was built; and at York a detached library
was built 1421-22 at the south-west corner of the south transept. This
building, in two floors, the upper of which appears to have held the
books, is still in existence.

The Cathedral library at Troyes, built by Bishop Louis Raguier between
1477 and 1479, to replace an older structure, was in an unusual position,
and arranged in an unusual manner. It abutted against the south-east angle
of the south transept, from which it could be entered. It was nearly
square, being 30 feet long by 24 feet broad; and the vault was supported
on a central pillar, from which radiated the six desks which contained the
books (fig. 46). It was called _La Theologale_, because lectures on
theology were given in it, as in the library at Salisbury. The desks were
taken down in 1706, and the whole structure swept away in 1841-42, by the
Departmental Architect, in the course of "a thorough restoration[252]."

[Illustration: Fig. 46. Plan of the Library at the south-east angle of the
south transept of the Cathedral at Troyes.

A, B, C, D, Library; E, Entrance from vestibule in front of south transept
door. The room on the east side of this passage was used to keep records

At this point I cannot refrain from mentioning a somewhat anomalous
library-foundation at Worcester, due to the zeal of Bishop Carpenter
(1444-76), though both structure and foundation have been long since swept
away[253]. In 1464 he built and endowed a library in connexion with the
charnel-house or chapel of S. Thomas, martyr, a detached building on the
north side of the cathedral. The deed in which this foundation is recorded
contains so many interesting particulars that I will state briefly the
most important points insisted upon[254].

The Bishop begins by stating that by ancient arrangement the sacrist of
the cathedral, assisted by a chaplain, is bound to celebrate mass daily in
the charnel-house or chapel aforesaid, to keep it in repair, and to supply
it with ornaments and vestments. For this purpose an annual endowment of
15 marks has been provided. He then describes his own foundation.

In accordance with the intention of his predecessors, and actuated by a
desire to increase the knowledge of our holy faith, he has built a library
in the aforesaid charnel-house, and caused certain books to be chained
therein. Further, lest these volumes should be left uncared for, and so be
damaged or abstracted, he has caused a dwelling-house for a master or
keeper of the said books to be erected at the end of the said library; and
he has conferred on the said keeper a new stipend, in addition to the old
stipend of 15 marks.

This keeper must be a graduate in theology, and a good preacher. He is to
live in the said chantry, and say mass daily in the chapel thereof. He is
to take care of all the books in the library, which he is to open on every
week-day for two hours before None, and for two hours after None, to all
who wish to enter for the purpose of study. He is to explain hard and
doubtful passages of scripture when asked to do so, and once in every week
to deliver a public lecture in the library. Moreover on Holy Thursday he
is to preach in the cathedral, or at the cross in the burial-ground.

Further, in order to prevent any book being alienated, or carried away, or
stolen from the library, a tripartite list of all the books is to be made,
wherein the true value of each is to be set down. One of these lists is
to be retained by the Bishop, another by the sacrist, and a third by the
keeper. Whenever a book is bequeathed or given to the library it is to be
at once set down in this list together with its true value.

On the Friday after the feast of Relics (27 January) in each year, the
sacrist and the keeper are carefully to compare the books with the list;
and should any book have disappeared from the library through the
carelessness of the keeper, he is to replace it or the value of it within
one month, under a penalty of forty shillings, whereof twenty shillings is
to be paid to the Bishop, and twenty shillings to the sacrist. When the
aforesaid month has fully expired, the sacrist is to set apart out of his
own salary a sum sufficient to pay the above fine, and to purchase and
chain in the library as soon as possible another book of the same value
and material.

The keeper is to receive from the sacrist an annual salary of ten pounds,
and four yards of woollen cloth to make him a gown and hood.

The sacrist is to keep the chapel, library, books, and chains, together
with the house built for the use of the keeper, in good repair; and he is,
moreover, to find and maintain the vestments and lights required for the
chapel. All these duties he is to swear on the Holy Gospels that he will
faithfully perform.

My enumeration of Cathedral libraries would be sadly incomplete if I did
not say a few words about the splendid structure which is attached to the
Cathedral of Rouen[255]. The Chapter possessed a respectable collection of
books at so early a date as 1120; this grew, and, 29 July, 1424, it was
decided to build "a study or library (_quoddam studium seu vnam
librariam_)," which was completed in 1428. Fifty years afterwards--in
1477--it was decided that the library should be extended. The first
thought of the Chapter was that it should be built of wood, and the
purchase of good stout timber (_bona et grossa ligna_) is ordered. This
plan, however, was evidently abandoned almost as soon as it was formed,
for two years afterwards (20 April 1479) "the library lately erected" is
mentioned. These words can only refer to the existing structure which is
built wholly of stone. A week later (28 April) William Pontis,
master-mason, was asked to prepare a design for a staircase up to the
library. This he supplied on the following day. In June of the same year
the Chapter had a serious difference of opinion with him on the ground
that he had altered the design and exceeded the estimate. They came,
however, to the wise conclusion that he should go on with the work and be
requested to finish it with all dispatch.

In the following spring (20 March 1480) it was decided to prolong the
library as far as the street; and in 1481 (18 September) to build the
beautiful stone gate surmounted by a screen in open-work through which the
court is now entered. This was completed by the end of 1482. The whole
structure had therefore occupied about five years in building.

The library, together with a building of older date next to the Cathedral
which serves as a sort of vestibule to it, occupies the west side of what
is still called, from the booksellers' shops which used to stand there,
_La Cour des Libraires_. The whole building measures 105 ft. in length, by
25 ft. in breadth. The library proper is lighted by six windows in the
east wall, and by two windows in the north wall. The masonry of the wall
under these windows and the two lancets by which it is pierced indicate
that advantage had been taken of an earlier building to form the
substructure of the library. The west wall must always have been blank.
Access to the library was obtained directly from the transept by means of
the beautiful stone staircase in two flights which Pontis built in 1479.
This staircase leads up to a door marked BIBLIOTHECA which opens into the
vestibule above mentioned. In 1788 a room was built over the library to
contain the archives of the church, and the staircase was then ingeniously
prolonged so as to reach the new second-floor.

Unfortunately the minutes of the Chapter tell us nothing about the
original fittings of this room[256]. In 1718 the books were kept in
cupboards protected by wire-work, over which were the portraits of
benefactors to the library[257].

At present the archives have disappeared; the few books that remain have
replaced them in the upper storey, and the library is used as a second
vestry. The illustration (fig. 47) shews the interior of the _Cour des
Libraires_, with the beautiful gate of entrance from the street. The
library occupies the first floor. Beneath are the arches under which the
shops used to be arranged; and above is the library of 1788.

[Illustration: Fig. 47. Interior of the _Cour des Libraires_, Rouen,
shewing the gate of entrance from the street, and the Library.]


[208] _Catalogi Bibliothecarum antiqui_; ed. G. Bekker, 8vo. 1885, pp.

[209] _Ibid._, pp. 43-53.

[210] _Ibid._, pp. 64-73.

[211] _Ibid._ p. 82-120.

[212] _Catalogi Veteres Librorum Eccl. Cath. Dunelm._, ed. Surtees Soc.
1838, pp. 1-10.

[213] See a letter by Dr M. R. James in _The Guardian_, 18 May, 1898.

[214] _Catalogi Veteres Librorum Eccl. Cath. Dunelm._ Ed. Surtees Soc,
1838, pp. 46-79. This catalogue is dated Easter, 1395.

[215] _Ibid._ pp. 10-34. This catalogue is dated 1391.

[216] _Ibid._ pp. 34-38. Of the same date.

[217] _Ibid._ pp. 80, 81. These volumes are recorded in the first of the
above catalogues.

[218] _Ibid._ pp. 81-84. The date is 1395. For a description of the
Spendment see _Rites of Durham_, _ut supra_, p. 71.

[219] Printed in _Catalogue général des manuscrits des Bibliothèques
Publiques de France_, V. 339-452.

[220] Inventarium librorum monasterii Cistercii, Cabilonensis diocesis,
factum per nos, fratrem Johannem, abbatem eiusdem loci, anno Domini
millesimo CCCC octuagesimo, postquam per duos annos continuos labore
duorum et sepius trium ligatorum eosdem libros aptari, ligari, et
cooperiri, cum magnis sumptibus et expensis fecimus.

[221] Et primo librorum existencium in libraria dormitorii, quam ut est
disposuimus, cum locus ipse prius diu fuisset inutilis et dudum arti
sutorie et vestiario serviebat, sicut per aliquas annexas armariorumque
dispositiones apparebat, sed a II^o annis vel circa nichil aut parum ibi

[222] _Dictionnaire raisonné de l'Architecture_, I. 271. He does not give
the date, but, when I examined the original in the _Bibliothèque
Nationale_, I found it plainly dated 1674. It is a most valuable record,
as it shews the monastic buildings, which were greatly altered at the
beginning of the last century, in their primitive state.

[223] With this use of the word _linea_ may be compared the word _rayon_,
now usually used in France for a shelf, especially a book-shelf.

[224] Godwin, _De Præsulibus Angliæ_, ed. Richardson, I. 126.

[225] _Anglia Sacra_, I. 145. Librariam etiam supra Capellam Prioris
situatam perpulcrâ cælaturâ adornavit, quam etiam nonnullis libris
instaurari fecit, ad usum maximè literarum studiis deditorum, quos miro
studio et benevolentia nutrivit et fovit.

[226] _Rites of Durham_, p. 26.

[227] Item structura ij fenestrarum in Libraria tam in opere lapideo,
ferrario et vitriario, ac in reparacione tecti descorum et ij ostiorum,
necnon reparacione librorum se extendit ad iiij^{oo}x^i. xvj^o. et ultra.
_Hist. Dunelm. Scriptores tres._ Ed. Surtees Soc. p. cclxxiii.

[228] _Regist. Abbatiæ Johannis Whethamstede Abbatis monasterii sancti
Albani iterum susceptæ_: ed. II. T. Riley, Rolls Ser. Vol. I. p. 423.

[229] _Hist. and Ant. of Worcester._ By V. Green, 4to. Lond. 1796. Vol. I.
p. 79. The measurements in the text were taken by myself in 1895.

[230] _Monumenta Franciscana_, ed. J. S. Brewer, Rolls Ser. Vol. I. p.
319, from a document called "Prima fundatio fratrum minorum Londoniæ,"
MSS. Cotton, Vitellius, F. xii.

[231] Stow's _Survey_, ed. Strype, fol. Lond. 1720, Book 3, p. 130.

[232] _History of Christ's Hospital_, by Rev. W. Trollope, 4to. Lond.
1834, App. p. xxiii. The view of the library (fig. 32) is borrowed from
this work.

[233] I have to thank M. Joseph Garnier, Archiviste du Département, for
his great kindness, not only in allowing me to examine these precious
relics, but in having them conveyed to a photographer, and personally
superintending a reproduction of them for my use.

[234] This plan is not dated, but, from internal evidence, it forms part
of the set to which the bird's-eye view and the general ground-plan
belong. They were taken when "des projets," as the heading calls them,
were being discussed. One of these was an increase of the library by the
addition of a long gallery at the east end at right angles to the original

[235] _Voyage Littéraire de deux Religieux Benedictins_, 4to. Paris, 1717,
I. 198, 221.

[236] I have taken 1 _toise_=6·39 feet.

[237] I have to thank M. Léon Dorez, of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris,
for kindly lending me his transcript of this catalogue, and for continual
help in all my researches.

[238] Printed in Didron, _Annales Archéologiques_, 1845, III. 228. The
article is entitled: _Un grand monastère au XVI^{me} siècle_. I owe this
reference to my friend Mr W. H. St John Hope, Assistant Secretary to the
Society of Antiquaries.

[239] _Voy. Litt._ I. 101, 102.

[240] _Dictionnaire de l'Architecture_, I. 267.

[241] For the history of this library see Bouillart's work cited at the
foot of Fig. 37; and Franklin, _Anciennes Bibliothèques de Paris_, Vol. I.
pp. 107-134.

[242] For the historical information contained in this narrative, which
originally appeared as a paper in the _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc. and Comm._
IX. 37 for 18 February, 1895, I am indebted to an article in _The
Builder_, 2 April, 1892, pp. 259-263, by my friend the late Rev. E.
Venables, Canon and Precentor of Lincoln.

[243] This list has been printed in the Appendix to _Giraldus Cambrensis_
(Rolls Series), VII. 165-171.

[244] Memorandum quod in ista indentura continentur omnes libri existentes
in libraria ecclesie beate Marie Lincoln de novo sub seruris cathenati,
cuius quidem indenture una pars consuitur in fine nigri libri dicte
ecclesie et altera pars remanet in.... The rest of the line is illegible.
I have to thank the Rev. A. R. Maddison for kindly lending me his
transcript of this valuable MS.

[245] For this plan I have to thank my friend T. D. Atkinson, Esq., of
Cambridge, architect.

[246] William of Malmesbury, _Gesta Pontificum_, Rolls Ser. p. 183.

[247] Ex eo quod visum est eis vtile et necessarium diuersis causis eos
moventibus habere quasdam scolas competentes pro lecturis suis vna cum
libraria ad conseruacionem librorum et vtilitatem inibi studere volencium
qua hactenus caruerunt statuerunt ... quod super vna parte claustri
eiusdem ecclesie huiusmodi scole edificentur ... cum libraria [etc.].
Chapter Act Book. I have to thank A. R. Malden, Esq., Chapter Clerk, for
his kind assistance.

[248] Dugdale, _History of S. Paul's Cathedral_, fol. 1658, p. 132.

[249] I have fully described this library and its fittings in _Camb. Ant.
Soc. Proc. and Comm._ 1891. Vol. viii., pp. 6-10.

[250] My account of the library at Lichfield is derived from the _History
and Antiquities of the Church and City of Lichfield_, by Rev. Th. Harwood,
4to. Gloucester, 1806, p. 180; and the Chapter Act Book, which I was
allowed to examine through the kindness of my friend the Very Rev. H. M.
Luckock, D.D., Dean.

[251] Levasseur, _Annales de L'Eglise Cathédrale de Noyon_, 4to. Paris,
1633, p. IIII. A marginal note tells us that the gift of the Bailly de
Chapitre was accepted 14 June, 1507.

[252] _Voyage archéologique ... dans le Département de l'Aube._ A. F.
Arnaud. 4to. Troyes 1837, pp. 161-163.

[253] For the library belonging to the monastery see p. 108.

[254] The deed is copied in _MSS. Prattinton_ (Soc. Ant. Lond.), Vol.
VIII. p. 379. For this reference I have to thank the Rev. J. K. Floyer,
M.A., librarian of Worcester Cathedral. See his _Thousand Years of a
Cathedral Library_ in the _Reliquary_ for Jan. 1901, p. 7.

[255] My principal authority for the history of the Chapter Library is the
Minute-Book of the Dean and Chapter of Rouen Cathedral, now preserved in
the Archives de la Ville at Rouen, where I had the pleasure of studying it
in September, 1896. A summary of it is given in _Inventaire-Sommaire des
Archives Départementales_ (Seine Inférieure), 4to. Paris, 1874, Vol. II. I
have also consulted _Recherches sur les Bibliothèques ... de Rouen_, 8vo.,

[256] The Canons held a long debate, 28 May, 1479, "de ambonibus seu
lutrinis in nova libraria fiendis et collocandis"; but finally decided to
use the furniture of the old library for the present.

[257] _Voyage Liturgique de la France_, par Le Sieur de Moléon, 1718, p.
268. I have to thank Dr James for this quotation.



How were the libraries mentioned in the preceding chapter fitted up? For
instance, what manner of bookcases did Archbishop Chichele put into his
library at Canterbury in 1414, or the "bons ouvriers subtilz et plains de
sens" supply to the Abbat of Clairvaux in 1496? The primitive book-presses
have long ago been broken up; and the medieval devices that succeeded them
have had no better fate. This dearth of material need not, however,
discourage us. We have, I think, the means of discovering with tolerable
certainty what monastic fittings must have been, by comparing the
bookcases which still exist in a more or less perfect form in the
libraries of Oxford and Cambridge with such monastic catalogues as give
particulars of arrangement and not merely lists of books.

The collegiate system was in no sense monastic, indeed it was to a certain
extent established to counteract monastic influence; but it is absurd to
suppose that the younger communities would borrow nothing from the
elder--especially when we reflect that the monastic system, as inaugurated
by S. Benedict, had completed at least seven centuries of successful
existence before Walter de Merton was moved to found a college, and that
many of the subsequent founders of colleges were more or less closely
connected with monasteries. Further, as we have seen that study was
specially enjoined upon monks by S. Benedict, it is precisely in the
direction of study that we might expect to find features common to the two
sets of communities. And, in fact, an examination of the statutes
affecting the library in the codes imposed upon some of the earlier
colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, leads us irresistibly to the conclusion
that they were derived from monastic Customs, using the word in its
technical sense, and monastic practice. The resemblances are too striking
to be accidental.

I shall therefore, in the next place, review, as briefly as I can, the
statutes of some of the above colleges, taking them in chronological
order[258]; and I shall translate some passages from them.

But first let me mention that the principle of lending books to students
under a pledge was accepted by the University of Oxford many years before
colleges were founded. It is recorded that Roger L'Isle, Dean of York, in
the early part of the thirteenth century, "bestowed several exemplars of
the holy Bible to be used by the Scholars of Oxford under a pledge"; that
the said books, with others, were "locked up in chests, or chained upon
desks in S. Mary's Chancel and Church to be used by the Masters upon leave
first obtained"; that certain officers were appointed to keep the keys of
these chests, and to receive the pledges from those that borrowed the
books; and that the books were so kept "till the library over the
Congregation House was built, and then being taken out, were set up in
pews or studies digested according to Faculties, chained, and had a keeper
appointed over them[259]."

In the statutes of Merton College, Oxford, 1274, the teacher of grammar
(_grammaticus_) is to be supplied with a sufficient number of books out of
the funds of the House, but no other mention of books occurs therein[260].
The explanatory ordinances, however, given in 1276 by Robert Kilwardby
(Archbishop of Canterbury 1273-79), direct that the books of the community
are to be kept under three locks, and to be assigned by the warden and
sub-warden to the use of the Fellows under sufficient pledge[261]. In the
second statutes of University College (1292), it is provided, "that no
Fellow shall alienate, sell, pawn, hire, lett, or grant, any House, Rent,
Money, Book, or other Thing, without the Consent of all the Fellows"; and
further, with special reference to the Library:

    Every Book of the House, now given, or hereafter to be
    given, shall have a high value set upon it when it is
    borrowed, in order that he that has it may be more
    fearful lest he lose it; and let it be lent by an
    Indenture, whereof one part is to be kept in the common
    Chest, and the other with him that has the Book: And let
    no Book, belonging to the House, be lent out of the
    College, without a Pawn better (than the Book), and this
    with the Consent of all the Fellows.

    Let there be put one Book of every Sort that the House
    has, in some common and secure Place; that the Fellows,
    and others with the Consent of a Fellow, may for the
    Future have the Benefit of it.

    Every Opponent in Theology, or Reader of the Sentences,
    or a Regent that commonly reads (_regens et legens
    communiter_), when he wants it, shall have any necessary
    Book, that the House has, lent to him Gratis; and when
    he has done with it, let him restore it to that Fellow,
    who had formerly made choice of it[262].

The statutes of Oriel College, dated 1329, lay down the following rules
for the management of books:

    The common books (_communes libri_) of the House are to
    be brought out and inspected once a year, on the feast
    of the Commemoration of Souls [2 November], in presence
    of the Provost or his deputy, and of the Scholars

    Every one of them in turn, in order of seniority, may
    select a single book which either treats of the science
    to which he is devoting himself, or which he requires
    for his use. This he may keep, if he please, until the
    same festival in the succeeding year, when a similar
    selection of books is to take place, and so on, from
    year to year.

    If there should happen to be more books than persons,
    those that remain are to be selected in the same

The last clause plainly shews how small the number of the books must have
been when the statute was written. Their safety was subsequently secured
by an ordinance of the Provost and Scholars, which, by decree of the
Visitor, dated 13 May, 1441, received the authority of a statute. The high
value set upon the books is shewn by the extreme stringency of the
penalties imposed for wilful loss or failure of restitution. After
describing the annual assemblage of the Provost and Fellows, as directed
in the former statute, the new enactment proceeds as follows:

    Any person who absents himself on that day, so that the
    books selected by him are neither produced nor restored;
    or who, being present, refuses to produce or to restore
    them; or who refuses to pay the full value, if, without
    any fraud or deception on his part, it should happen
    that any one of them be missing; is to be deprived of
    all right of selecting books for that year; and any
    person who wittingly defers the aforesaid production or
    restitution till Christmas next ensuing, shall, _ipso
    facto_, cease to be a Fellow.

    Further, any scholar who has pawned or alienated,
    contrary to the common consent of the college, any book
    or object of value (_jocale_) belonging to the college;
    or who has even suggested, helped, or favoured, such
    pawning or alienation, shall, _ipso facto_, cease to be
    a member of the Society[264].

The statutes of Peterhouse, Cambridge, dated 1344, class the books of the
Society with the charters and the muniments, and prescribe the following
rules for their safe custody:

    In order that the books which are the common property of
    the House (_communes libri_), the charters, and the
    muniments, may be kept in safe custody, we appoint and
    ordain that an indenture be drawn up of the whole of
    them in the presence of at least the major part of the
    scholars, expressing what the books are, and to what
    faculty they belong; of which indenture one part is to
    be deposited with the Master, the other with the Deans,
    as a record of the transaction.

    The aforesaid books, charters, and muniments are to be
    placed in one or more common chests, each having two
    locks, one key of which shall for greater security be
    deposited with the Master, the other with the Senior
    Dean, who shall cause the books to be distributed to
    those scholars who have need of them, in the manner
    which has been more fully set forth in the section which
    treats of the office of the Deans[265].

The section referred to prescribes that the Deans

    are to distribute them [the books] to the scholars in
    such manner as shall appear to them expedient; and
    further, they shall, if they think proper, make each
    scholar take an oath that he will not alienate any book
    so borrowed, but will take all possible care of it, and
    restore it to the Master and Dean, at the expiration of
    the appointed time[266].

In 1473 Dr John Warkworth became Master. He was evidently a lover of
books, for he gave to the Library fifty-five volumes, which he protected,
after the fashion of an earlier age, by invoking a curse upon him who
should alienate them. Moreover, during his Mastership, in 1480, the
College enacted or adopted a special statute headed, _De libris Collegii_,
which may be thus translated:

    In the name of God, Amen. As books are the most precious
    treasure of scholars, concerning which there ought to be
    the most diligent care and forethought, lest, as
    heretofore, they fall to decay or be lost, it is hereby
    appointed, settled, and ordained, by the Master and
    Fellows of the House or College of S. Peter in
    Cambridge, that no book which has been chained in the
    library there shall be taken away from, or removed out
    of, the library, except by special assent and consent of
    the Master and all the resident Fellows of the aforesaid
    College--it being understood that by resident Fellows a
    majority of the whole Society is meant.

    Provided always that no book which has been given to the
    library on condition of being kept perpetually chained
    therein shall, by virtue of this statute, be on any
    pretence removed from it, except only when it needs

    Provided also that every book in the library which is to
    be selected and distributed shall have a certain value
    set upon it by the Master and the two Deans, and that
    indentures shall be drawn up recording the same.

    Once in every two years, in the Michaelmas Term, a fresh
    selection and distribution shall be held of every book
    which is not chained in the Library--the precise day to
    be fixed by the Master and the Senior Dean.

    No book so selected and distributed shall pass the night
    out of College, except by permission of the Master and
    the President and the other Dean who is not President;
    provided always that the said book be not kept out of
    the College for six months in succession.

    If it should happen that a given book be not brought in
    and produced on the aforesaid day of fresh selection and
    distribution, then the person who is responsible for it
    shall pay to the Master, or in his absence to the Senior
    Dean, the full value of the said absent book, under pain
    of being put out of commons until it be restored.

    Every Fellow who is not present on the aforesaid day
    shall appoint a deputy, who shall be prepared to bring
    in any books which may have been lent to him, on the day
    when a fresh distribution is to take place, under pain
    of being put out of commons[267].

The statutes given in 1350 to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, by the Founder
William Bateman (Bishop of Norwich 1344-56), contain rules which are more
stringent than those already quoted, and were evidently written in
contemplation of a more considerable collection of volumes. A list of the
books which he himself presented to Trinity Hall is appended to his
statutes, and a special chapter (_De libris collegii_) is allotted to the
Library. This may be translated as follows:

    On the days appointed for the general audit of accounts
    [in the Michaelmas and Easter Terms] all the books which
    have been received, or shall be received in future,
    either from our own liberality, or from the pious
    largess of others, are to be laid out separately before
    the Master and all the resident Fellows in such manner
    that each volume may be clearly seen; by which
    arrangement it will become evident twice in each year
    whether any book has been lost or taken away.

    No book belonging to the aforesaid College may ever at
    any time be sold, given away, exchanged, or alienated,
    under any excuse or pretext; nor may it be lent to
    anybody except a member of the College; nor may it be
    entrusted in quires, for the purpose of making a copy,
    to any member of the College, or to any stranger, either
    within the precincts of the Hall or beyond them; nor may
    it be carried by the Master, or any one else, out of the
    Town of Cambridge, or out of the aforesaid Hall or
    Hostel, either whole or in quires, except to the
    Schools; provided always that no book pass the night out
    of College, unless it be necessary to bind it or to
    repair it; and when this happens, it is to be brought
    back to College as soon as possible after the completion
    of the binding or the repair.

    Moreover, all the books of the College are to be kept in
    some safe room, to be assigned for the College Library,
    so that all the Scholars of the College may have common
    access to them. We give leave, however, that the poor
    scholars of the college may have the loan of books
    containing the texts of Canon and Civil Law for their
    private use for a certain time, to be fixed at the
    discretion of the Master and the three Senior Fellows,
    provided they be not taken out of College; but the books
    of the Doctors of Civil and Canon Law are to remain
    continuously in the said Library Chamber, fastened with
    iron chains for the common use of the Fellows[268].

It is evident that this statute was regarded as a full and satisfactory
expression of what was required, for it is repeated, with additions or
omissions to suit the taste of the respective founders, in the statutes of
New College (1400), All Souls' (1443), Magdalen (1479), Corpus Christi
(1517), Brasenose (1521), Cardinal College (1527) and S. John's College
(1555), at Oxford; and in those of King's College, Cambridge.

Among these changes a few are sufficiently important to require special
notice. At New College William of Wykeham allows students in civil law and
canon law to keep two text-books "for their own special use during the
whole time they devote themselves to those faculties in our College,
provided they do not possess such books of their own"; the "remaining
text-books, should any be left over, and also the glosses or commentaries
of the Doctors of civil and canon law, may be lent to the persons
belonging to those faculties by the method of annual selection, as in the
other faculties"; the "books which remain unassigned after the Fellows
have made their selection are to be fastened with iron chains, and remain
in the Common Library for the use of the Fellows[269]"; the wishes of
donors, whether expressed by will or during their lifetime, are to be
respected; and, lastly, the safety of the Library is to be secured by
three locks, two large, and one small, of the kind called "a clickett."
The keys of the two former are to be kept by the Senior Dean and the
Bursar respectively; of the clickett each Fellow is to have a separate
key. At night the door is to be carefully locked with all three keys[270].

At All Souls' College, the founder, Henry Chichele (Archbishop of
Canterbury 1414-43), makes the books to be chained the subjects of
definite choice. The principle of an annual selection is maintained,
except for "those books which, in obedience to the will of the donors, or
the injunction of the Warden, the Vice-Warden, and the Deans, are to be
chained for the common use of the Fellows and Scholars." Further, the
preparation of a catalogue is specially enjoined. Every book is to be
entered in a register by the first word of the second leaf, and every book
given to the Library is to bear the name of the donor on the second leaf,
or in some other convenient position. The books are to be inspected once
in every year, after which the distribution, as provided for by Bateman
and Wykeham, is to take place. Each Fellow who borrows a book is to have a
small indenture drawn up containing the title according to the first word
of the second leaf, and an acknowledgment that he has received it. These
small indentures are to be left in charge of the Warden, or, in his
absence, of the Vice-Warden[271].

In the statutes of Magdalen College, the founder, William Waynflete
(Bishop of Winchester 1447-87), maintains the provisions of Wykeham and
Chichele, but introduces an injunction of his own, to the effect that
every Fellow or Scholar who uses the Library is to shut the book he has
consulted before he leaves and also the windows; and the last to use the
Library at night is to go through the whole room and see that all the
windows are shut and not to leave the door open--under a severe

At Corpus Christi College, the founder, Richard Fox (Bishop of Winchester
1501-28), insists upon safeguards against the indiscriminate chaining, of

    No book is to be brought into the Library or chained
    there, unless it be of suitable value and utility, or
    unless the will of the donor have so directed; and none
    is to be taken out of it, unless it so happen that there
    be there already a considerable number on the same
    subject, or that another copy in better condition and of
    greater value, to take its place, have been presented by
    some benefactor.

    By this means those books which are of greater value, or
    which contain material of greater utility to students in
    each Faculty, will be stored up in the Library; while
    those which are not fit for the Library, or of which a
    sufficient number of copies already exist in it, may be
    distributed to the Fellows of the College, according to
    the system of indentures between the borrower and the
    President, or in his absence the Vice-President, or one
    of the Deans[273].

The Bishop was evidently afraid that the Library should be overcrowded,
for he even allows books to be sold, in the event of their becoming so
numerous as to be no longer of use to the Fellows for the purpose of being

Lastly I will translate the following College Order or Statute which was
in force at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Unfortunately it is without date,
but from internal evidence may take rank with some of the earliest
enactments already quoted.

    Let there be in the aforesaid House a Keeper of the
    Books, who shall take under his charge all the books
    belonging to the community, and once in each year,
    namely on the feast of the Translation of S. Thomas the
    Martyr [7 July], or at the latest within the eight days
    immediately following, let him render to the community
    an account of the same, by exhibiting each book in order
    to the Master and Fellows.

    The inspection having been made, after the Fellows have
    deliberated, let him distribute them to each Fellow in
    proportion to his requirements. And let the said Keeper
    have ready large pieces of board (_tabulas magnas_),
    covered with wax and parchment, that the titles of the
    books may be written on the parchment, and the names of
    the Fellows who hold them on the wax beside it. When
    they have brought their books back, their names shall be
    erased, and their responsibility for the books shall
    come to an end, the keeper remaining liable. So shall he
    never be in ignorance about any book or its borrower.

    No book is to be taken away or lent out of the House on
    any pretext whatever, except upon some occasion which
    may appear justifiable to the major part of the
    community; and then, if any book be lent, let a proper
    pledge be taken for it which shall be honourably
    exhibited to the Keeper[274].

Let us consider, in the next place, what points of library-management have
been brought into the most prominent relief by the above analysis of
College statutes. We find that the "Common Books" of the House--by which
phrase the books intended for the common use of the inmates are meant--are
placed on the same footing as the charters, muniments, and valuables
(_jocalia_). They are to be kept in a chest or chests secured by two or
three locks requiring the presence of the same number of officials to open
them. These volumes may not be borrowed indiscriminately, but each Scholar
(Fellow) may choose the book he wants, and write a formal acknowledgment
that he has received it, and that he is bound to restore it or pay the
value of it, under a severe penalty. Once a year the whole collection is
to be audited in the presence of the Master of the College and all the
Fellows, when a fresh distribution is to be made. The books not so
borrowed are to be put in "some common and secure place"; an arrangement
which was subsequently developed into a selection of books required for
reference, and the chaining of them in "the Library Chamber for the common
use of the Fellows."

The Register of Merton College, Oxford, contains many interesting entries
which shew that these directions respecting the choice and loan of books
were faithfully observed. I will translate a few of them[275]:

    On the twenty-fourth day of October [1483] choice was
    made of the books on philosophy by the Fellows studying

    On the eleventh day of November [1483], in the Warden's
    lodging, choice was made of the books on theology by the
    Fellows studying theology[276].

    On the eighteenth day of March [1497] choice of books on
    logic was held in the Common Hall[277].

The next entry is particularly valuable, as it proves that all the books
on a given subject, no matter how numerous, were occasionally distributed:

    On the twenty-sixth day of the same month [August, 1500]
    choice was made of the books on philosophy. It was found
    that there were in all 349 books, which were then
    distributed among the Fellows studying philosophy[278].

In 1498 (14 December) the Warden wished to borrow a book from the
library, whereupon a record of the following formalities was drawn

    On the same day a book of College Orders (on the second
    leaf _ter posita_) was taken out of the library with the
    consent of all the Fellows. And leave was given to the
    Warden, in the presence of the four senior Fellows, to
    make use of it for a season. As a caution for this book
    the aforesaid Warden deposited a certain other book,
    viz. S. Jerome's commentary on Matthew and the Epistles
    of Paul (on the second leaf _sunt_). This book lay in
    our possession as caution for the other book of College
    Orders[280]; but, because this book was an insufficient
    caution, there was deposited with it as a supplementary
    caution another book, namely: Jerome on Isaiah,
    Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

The Warden kept the book for a year, at the expiration of which we find
the following entry[281]:

    On the last day but one of the same month [1499] the
    Warden returned to the Vice-Warden the book of College
    Orders (on the second leaf _ter posita_) which he had
    had out of the library for his own use for a season on
    depositing a sufficient caution.

    Whereupon the Vice-Warden returned to him his cautions,
    namely, the commentary of S. Jerome on Matthew (second
    leaf _sunt_), and another, namely, S. Jerome's
    exposition of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel (second
    leaf, _Audi cela_).

Lastly, I will quote a record of the solemn reception of a gift to the

    On the same day [2 August, 1493] a handsome book was
    given to the College through John Godehew, Bachelor, by
    two venerable men, Robert Aubrey and Robert Feyld, to be
    chained in the common library of the House for the
    perpetual use of those studying in it. It is Hugh of
    Vienne on the Apocalypse, on the second leaf _quod
    possessio eius_. Let us therefore pray for them[282].

These provisions savour of the cloister. The "common books" represent the
"common press (_armarium commune_)" with which we are so familiar there;
the double or triple locks with which the book-chests are secured recall
the rules for safeguarding the said press; the annual audit and
distribution of books is directed in Lanfranc's statutes for English
Benedictines; the borrowing under a pledge, or at least after an entry
made by the Librarian on his roll of the name of the book and the name of
the brother who borrowed it, was universal in monasteries; and the setting
apart of certain books in a separate room to which access was readily
permitted became a necessity in the larger and more literary Houses.
Lastly, the commemoration of donors of books is specially enjoined by the

This close similarity between monastic and secular rules need not surprise
us. I have shewn in the preceding chapter how faithfully the Benedictine
rules for study were obeyed by all the Monastic Orders; and I know not
from what other source directions for library-management could have been
obtained. Besides, in some cases the authors of the rules which I have
been considering must themselves have had experience of monastic
libraries. Walter de Merton is said to have been educated in an
Augustinian Priory at Merton; Hugh de Balsham, founder of Peterhouse, was
Bishop of Ely; William Bateman, whose library-statute was so widely
applied, had been educated in the Benedictine Priory at Norwich, and his
brother was an abbat; Henry Chichele was Archbishop of Canterbury, where,
as I have shewn, a very extensive collection of books had been got
together, to contain which worthily he himself built a library.

Secondly, monastic influence was brought directly to bear on both
Universities through student-monks; and at Oxford, which was specially
selected as the University for monastic colleges, the Benedictines founded
Gloucester House, now Worcester College, so early as 1283. This college
had a library, on the south side of the chapel, which was built and
stocked with books at the sole charge of John Whethamstede, Abbat of S.
Albans[284]--whose work in connexion with the library of that House has
been already recorded[285]. Durham College, maintained by the Benedictines
of Durham, was supplied with books from the mother-house, lists of which
have been preserved[286]; and subsequently a library was built there to
contain the collection bequeathed in 1345 by Richard de Bury (Bishop of
Durham 1333-45)[287]. Lastly, Leland tells us that at Canterbury College
in the same University the whole furniture of the library (_tota
bibliothecæ supellex_) was transferred from the House of Christ Church,
Canterbury[288]. It is, I submit, quite inconceivable that the fittings
supplied to these libraries could have been different from those commonly
used in the monasteries of S. Albans, Durham, and Canterbury.

Further, it should be noted that the erection of a library proper was an
afterthought in many of the older colleges, as it had been in the
monasteries. For instance, at Merton College, Oxford, founded 1264, the
library was not begun till 1377; at University College, founded 1280, in
1440; at Balliol College, founded 1282, in 1431; at Oriel College, founded
1324, in 1444; at Pembroke College, Cambridge, founded 1347, in 1452.
William of Wykeham, who founded New College, Oxford, in 1380, was the
first to include a library in his quadrangle; and, after the example had
been set by him, the plan of every subsequent college includes a library
of sufficient dimensions to last till the Reformation, if not till the
present day.

The above dates, covering as they do at least two-thirds of the fifteenth
century, shew that the collegiate libraries were being built at the same
time as the monastic. This coincidence of date, taken in conjunction with
the coincidences in enactment which I have already pointed out, seems to
me to supply an additional argument in support of my theory that the
internal fittings of collegiate and monastic libraries would be identical.
Besides, no forms are so persistent as those of pieces of furniture. A
workman, once instructed to make a thing in a particular way, carries out
his instructions to the letter, and transmits them to his descendants.

Before we consider what these fittings were, I will briefly deal with some
other questions affecting collegiate libraries, as, for instance, their
size, position, and general arrangement. And first, as regards the number
of books to be accommodated.

It happens, unfortunately, that very few catalogues have been preserved
of the libraries referred to in the above statutes; but, if we may
estimate the extent of the remainder from those of which we have some
account, we shall see that the number of volumes contained in a collegiate
library must have been extremely small. For instance, the catalogue[289]
appended to Bishop Bateman's statutes, dated 1350, enumerates eighty-four
volumes, classed under the following subjects, in two divisions[290], viz.
those presented to the College for the immediate use of the Fellows (_A_);
and those reserved for the Bishop's own use during his life (_B_):

                            _A_  _B_
  Books on Civil Law         7    3
  Books on Canon Law        19   13
  Books on Theology          3   25
  Books for the Chapel       7    7
                            --   --
                            36   48

At King's Hall, in 1394, eighty-seven volumes only are enumerated[291];
and even in the University Library not more than 122 volumes were recorded
in 1424[292]. They were distributed as follows:

  [Books on General Theology][293]                        54
  Books on Scholastic Theology (_Theologia disputata_)    15
  Books on Moral Philosophy                                5
  Books on Natural Philosophy                             12
  Books on Medicine (_medicinalis philosophia_)            5
  Books on Logic                                           1
  Books on Poetry                                          0
  _Libri sophisticales_                                    1
  Books on Grammar                                         6
  Books on History (_Libri cronicales_)                    0
  Books on Canon Law                                      23
              Total                                      122

The catalogue of the Library of Queens' College, dated 1472, enumerates
one hundred and ninety-nine volumes[294]; the second catalogue of the
University Library, dated 1473, three hundred and thirty volumes[295]; an
early catalogue of the library of S. Catharine's Hall, one hundred and
four volumes, of which eighty-five were given by the Founder[296]; and a
catalogue of the old library of King's College, dated 1453, one hundred
and seventy-four volumes. In these catalogues the books are not directly
classed under heads, but arranged roughly, according to subject, in their
respective cases[297].

At Peterhouse in 1418 we find a somewhat larger collection, namely, three
hundred and eighty volumes, divided among seventeen subjects. The general
heading of the catalogue[298] states that it contains "all the books
belonging to the house of S. Peter in Cambridge, both those which are
chained in the library, those which are divided among the Fellows, and
those of which some are intended to be sold, while certain others are laid
up in chests within the aforesaid house." This language shews that by the
time the catalogue was made the collection had been divided into books for
the use of the Fellows (_libri distribuendi_) and books chained in the
library (_libri cathenati in libraria_); in other words, into a lending
library and a library of reference. We are not told how this division had
been made, or at what time; but it is evident that by 1418 it had become
permanent, and no longer depended on the tastes or studies of the Fellows.
There was one set of books for them to select from, and another for them
to refer to; but the two were quite distinct[299].

In the next place I will analyse the catalogue in order to shew what
subjects were represented, and how many volumes there were in each. And
first of the contents of the library of reference:

  Libri theologie cathenati                                      61
  Isti sunt libri Naturalis Philosophie cathenati in librario    26
  Libri Metaphisice                                               3
  "     Moralis Philosophie                                       5
  "     Astronomie                                               13
  "     Alkenemie                                                 1
  "     Arsmetrice                                                1
  "     Musice                                                    1
  "     Geometrie                                                 1
  "     Rethorice                                                 1
  "     Logice                                                    5
  "     Gramatice                                                 6
  "     Poetrie cathenati                                         4
  "     De Cronicis cathenati                                     4
  "     Medicine cathenati                                       15
  "     Iuris Ciuilis cathenati                                   9
  "     Iuris Canonici cathenati                                 18
  Ex dono ducis exonie                                            1
  "       M. Joh. Sauage                                          2
  Libros subscriptos donavit Mag. Edm. Kyrketon                   7
  "      contulit M. W. Lichfeld                                  2
  Ex dono M. W. Redyct                                            4
  Libros subscriptos contulit M. Joh. Fayre                       3
  "      contulit M. Will. More                                  13
  "        "      M. John Ledes                                  14

The books that were to be divided among the Fellows are classed as

  Libri theologie assignati sociis                                   63
  "     Philosophie Naturalis Metaphisice et Moralis
              diuisi inter socios                                    19
  "     Logice diuisi inter socios                                   15
  "     Poetrie et Gramatice assignati sociis                        13
  "     Medicine                                                      3
  "     Iuris Ciuilis diusi inter socios                             20
  "       "   Canonici diuidendi inter socios                        19
  "     empti ad usum ... sociorum collegii cum pecuniis
              eiusdem collegii                                        8

In framing these tables I have included among the _Libri cathenati_ those
specially presented to the College, 46 in number; but I have not attempted
to sort them according to subject. I have also assumed that any book or
books representing a given class, if not represented in the lending
library, as Astronomy, Arithmetic, Music, etc., would be chained for
reference. The number of this class, 220, if added to the 160 of the other
class, gives the required total, 380.

In addition to these tables it will be interesting to construct a third,
containing the subject and number of the books represented in both

                           Chained      Lent

  Theology                    61         63
  Natural Philosophy          26 }
  Metaphysics                  3 }       19
  Moral Philosophy             5 }
  Logic                        5         15
  Grammar                      6 }
                                 }       13
  Poetry                       4 }
  Medicine                    15          3
  Civil Law                    9         20
  Canon Law                   18         19
                             152        152

The subjects of the books included in this latter table represent, in a
very clear and interesting way, the studies pursued at Peterhouse in the
14th and 15th centuries. It is prescribed by the statutes, dated 1344,
that the scholars are to study Arts, Aristotelian Philosophy, or Theology;
but that they are to apply themselves to the course in Arts until, in the
judgment of the Master and Fellows, or at least of the larger and wiser
portion of that body, they are sufficiently instructed to proceed to the
study of Theology[300]. Two may study Civil Law or Canon Law, but no more
at the same time; and one may study Medicine[301]. For both these lines of
study special leave is required.

The course of Arts comprised Grammar, Logic, Aristotle, Arithmetic, Music,
Geometry, and Astronomy. In the first of these, including Poetry, the
lending library contained more volumes than the reference library; in
Logic it had three times as many; in Philosophy (Aristotle and his
commentators) it was well supplied; but, on the other hand, Music,
Geometry and Astronomy were wholly wanting. Theology is represented by 63
volumes as against 61 in the reference library; Civil Law by 20 volumes
against 9 in the reference library; and Canon Law by 19 against 18. In
Medicine, however, there were only 3 against 15. By a curious coincidence
the number of volumes in the two collections dealing with the subjects
represented in both is the same. The subject most in request, as might
have been expected, was Theology. Next to this come Civil Law and Canon
Law. Medicine was evidently unpopular. I have no explanation to offer for
the curious fact that Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, and Rhetoric are
represented by only a single volume apiece in the library of

These examples, which there is no reason to regard as exceptional, are
sufficient to shew that an ordinary chamber would be large enough to
contain all the volumes possessed by a college, even after some of the
more generally useful books of reference had been chained to desks for the
resort of students.

It has been already shewn that what Professor Willis calls "a real
library--that is to say, a room expressly contrived for the purpose of
containing books[303]"--was not introduced into the plan of colleges for
more than a century after their first foundation. He points out that such
rooms can be at once recognised by their equidistant windows, which do
not, as a rule, differ from those of the ordinary chambers, except that
they are separated by much smaller intervals. Examples of this arrangement
are still to be seen at S. John's College, Jesus College, and Queens'
College, Cambridge; but perhaps the most characteristic specimen of all is
that which was built over the Hall at Pembroke College in the same
University, by Laurence Booth (Master 1450-1480), the aspect of which has
been preserved in Loggan's print, here reproduced (fig. 48)[304].

[Illustration: Fig. 48. Pembroke College, Cambridge, reduced from Loggan's
print, taken about 1688.

A, Chapel; B, Library; C, Hall; D, Master's Lodge; E, Kitchen; F, Master's
Garden; G, Fellows' Garden.]

The upper chamber (_solarium_) which Thomas Cobham (Bishop of Worcester
1317-27) began to build over the old Congregation House on the north
side of S. Mary's Church, Oxford, about 1320, for the reception of the
books which he intended to present to the University, is the earliest of
these libraries in existence. It still retains on the south side part of a
range of equidistant single-light windows of the simplest character,
which, as just stated, mark the destination of the apartment. This room
is about forty-five feet long by eighteen feet broad, and, in its original
state, had probably seven single-light windows on each side, and a window
of two lights at the east end[305] (fig. 49). A long controversy between
the University and Oriel College rendered the benefaction useless for more
than forty years; and it was not until 1367 that the University passed a
statute directing that Bishop Cobham's books are to be chained, in proper
order; and that the Scholars who wish to use them are to have free access
to them at convenient hours (_temporibus opportunis_). Lastly, certain
volumes, of greater value, are to be sold, to the value of forty pounds,
or more, if a larger sum can be obtained for them, for the purpose of
purchasing an annual rent-charge of sixty shillings, to be paid to a
chaplain, who is to pray for the soul of the aforesaid Thomas Cobham, and
other benefactors; and who is to take charge of the books given by him and
them, and of all other books heretofore given, or hereafter to be given,
to the University[306]. The passing of this statute may probably be
regarded as the first institution of the office of University Librarian.
Notwithstanding this statute, however, the University did not obtain
peaceful possession of their library until 1410, when the controversy was
finally extinguished by the good offices of their Chancellor, Richard

[Illustration: Fig. 49. Long Section of Old Congregation House and
Library, Oxford, looking south.

From _The Church of S. Mary the Virgin, Oxford_, by T. G. Jackson,

As a type of a collegiate library I will select the old library of Queens'
College, Cambridge. This room, on the first floor of the north side of the
quadrangle, forms part of the buildings erected in 1448. It is 44 ft. long
by 20 ft. wide (fig. 50), and is lighted by eleven windows, each of two
lights, six of which are in the south wall and five in the north wall. The
windows in the south wall have lost their cusps, but they are retained in
those in the north wall--and the library has in all points suffered less
from modern interference than almost any other with which I am acquainted.
The bookcases have been altered and patched more than once, in order to
provide additional shelf-room; but at the bottom of the more modern
superstructure part at least of the original medieval desk may be
detected. If this fragment be carefully examined it will be found that
there is on the inside of each end of the bookcase a groove which
evidently once supported a desk 6 ft. 6 in. long, and of a height
convenient for a seated reader to use[308] (fig. 51). The books lay on
their sides on this desk, to which they were chained in a way that I shall
explain directly, and a bench for the reader was placed between each pair
of desks. In the plan (fig. 50) I have added the half-desk which once
stood against the west wall; and I have lettered all the desks according
to the catalogue made in 1472 by Andrew Docket, the first President.

[Illustration: Fig. 50. Ground-plan of the Library at Queens' College,

[Illustration: Fig. 51. Elevation of book-desk in Library of Queens'
College, Cambridge.][309]

It should be carefully noted, when studying this plan, that the distance
between each pair of windows is not more than 2 feet, and that the end of
the desk covers the whole of this space. If this fact be borne in mind
when examining libraries that are now fitted up in a different way, it
becomes possible to detect what the original method was.

I propose to name this system of fittings the lectern-system; and I shall
shew, as we proceed, that it was adopted, with various modifications, in
England, France, Holland, Germany and Italy.

Fortunately, one example of such fittings still exists, at Zutphen in
Holland, which I visited in April, 1894. Shortly afterwards I wrote the
following description of what is probably a unique survival of an ancient

The library in which these fittings occur is attached to the church of SS.
Peter and Walburga, the principal church of the town. A library of some
kind is said to have existed there from very early times[311]; but the
place where the books were kept is not known. In 1555 a suggestion was
made that it would be well to get together a really good collection of
books for the use of the public. The first stone of the present building
was laid in 1561, and it was completed in 1563. The author of the
_Theatrum Urbium Belgicæ_, John Blaeu, whose work was completed in 1649,
describes it as "the public library poorly furnished with books, but being
daily increased by the liberality of the Senate and Deputies[312]."

The room is built against the south choir-aisle of the church, out of
which a door opens into it. In consequence of this position the shape is
irregular, for the church is apsidal, and the choir-aisle is continued
round part of the apse. It is about 60 feet long, by 26 feet broad at the
west end. In the centre are four octagonal columns on square bases,
supporting a plain quadripartite vault. The room is thus divided
longitudinally into two aisles, with a small irregular space at the east

The diagrammatic ground-plan, here subjoined (fig. 52), will help to make
this description clear. It makes no pretensions to accuracy, having been
drawn from notes only[313].

[Illustration: Fig. 52. Ground-plan of the Library at Zutphen.]

There are two windows, each of three lights, at the west end of the room,
and four similar windows on the south side, one to each bay. There is a
fifth window, now blocked, at the south-east corner. Some of these windows
contain fragments of richly coloured stained glass--among which the figure
of a large green parrot is conspicuous; but whether these fragments were
brought from the church, or are part of the glass originally supplied to
the library, there is no evidence to shew. Most of these windows are
partially blocked, having been damaged, it is said, in one of the numerous
sieges from which Zutphen has suffered. The position of the church, close
to the fortifications, as Blaeu's bird's-eye view shews, makes this story
probable. The floor is paved with red tiles. The general appearance of the
room will be understood from the view of the north aisle reduced from a
photograph (fig. 53)[314].

[Illustration: Fig. 53. General view of the north side of the Library
attached to the church of S. Walburga at Zutphen.]

[Illustration: Fig. 54. Desk and reader on the south side of the Library
at Zutphen.

From a photograph.]

[Illustration: Fig. 55. Elevation of (A) one of the bookcases in the
Library at Zutphen: (B) one of those in the Library at Queens' College,

There are eighteen bookcases, or desks; namely, ten on the south side of
the room, and eight on the north side (fig. 52). The material is oak; the
workmanship very rude and rough. I will describe those on the south side
first. Each is 9 feet long by 5 feet 5¼ inches high, measured from the
floor to the top of the finial on the end; and the lower edge of the desk
on which the books lie is 2 feet 6¼ inches above the floor; but the
general plan, and the relative dimensions of the different parts, will be
best understood from the photograph of a single desk at which a reader is
seated (fig. 54), and from the elevation of one of the ends (fig. 55, A),
beside which I have placed the elevation of one of the desks at Queens'
College (B). The photograph shews that in fixing the height of the desk
above the ground the convenience of readers has been carefully considered.
The iron bar that carries the chains is locked into the ornamental
upright, passes through a staple in the middle of the desk, and into the
upright at the opposite end, which is left plain. This bar is half an inch
in diameter, and one inch above the level of the top of the desk. It is
prevented from bending by passing through a staple fixed in the centre of
the desk. A piece of ornamental iron-work is fixed to the upright. It is
made to represent a lock, but is in reality a mere plate of metal, and the
tongue, which looks as though it were intended to move, is only an
ornament, and is pierced by the keyhole. The lock is sunk in the thickness
of the wood, behind this plate, and the bar, which terminates in a knob,
is provided with two nicks, into which the bolts of the lock are shot
when the key is turned (fig. 56). Between each pair of desks there is a
seat for the reader.

[Illustration: Fig. 56. End of iron bar, Zutphen.]

[Illustration: Fig. 57. End of one of the desks on the north side of the
Library, Zutphen.]

The desks on the north side of the room differ slightly from those on the
south side. They are rather larger, the ends are of a different shape and
devoid of ornament (fig. 57), and there is a wider interval between the
bar and the top of the desk. It seems to me probable that the more highly
ornamented desks are those which were put in when the room was first
fitted up, and that the others were added from time to time as new books
had to be accommodated.

The books are attached to the desk by the following process. A chain was
taken about 12 inches long, more or less, consisting of long narrow links
of hammered iron. These links exactly resemble, both in shape and size,
those of a chain which may still be seen in the library of the Grammar
School at Guildford, Surrey[316]. This chain, of which a piece is here
figured (fig. 58), was probably made in 1586, or only 23 years after the
building of the library at Zutphen. It terminates, like those at Zutphen
(fig. 59), in a swivel (to prevent entanglement), attached to the ring
which is strung upon the bar. The attachment of the chain to the book was
effected by means of a piece of metal bent round so as to form a loop
through which the last link of the chain was passed. The ends of the loop,
flattened out, were attached by nail or rivet to the edge of the stout
wooden board which formed the side of the book. This mode of attachment
will be best seen in the volume which I figure next (fig. 60)--a
collection of sermons printed at Nuremberg in 1487. It is believed to have
once belonged to a Dominican House at Bamberg, in the library of which it
was chained[317].

[Illustration: Fig. 58. Piece of chain, shewing the ring attached to the
bar, the swivel, and one of the links, actual size. Guildford.]

The iron loop in this specimen (fig. 60) is fastened to what I call the
right-hand board of the book; by which I mean the board which is to the
right hand of a reader when the book lies open before him; but the
selection of the right-hand or the left-hand board depended on individual
taste. Further the mode of attachment is never the same in two examples.
The iron and rivets are often clumsy, and do considerable damage to the
leaves, by forcing them out of shape and staining them with rust.

In this method of chaining no provision is made for removing any book
from the desk when not wanted, and placing it on a shelf beneath the desk,
as was done in some Italian modifications of the system. Each volume must
lie on the desk, attached by its chain, like a Bible on a church-lectern.
The smallest number of volumes on any desk at Zutphen is six; the largest,
eleven; the total, 316. Most of those on the south side of the room were
printed during the first half of the sixteenth century; those on the north
side are much later, some as late as 1630. I did not see any manuscripts.

[Illustration: Fig. 59. Piece of the iron bar, with chain, Zutphen.]

[Illustration: Fig. 60. Chained book, from a Dominican House at Bamberg,
South Germany.]

If we now reconsider the indications preserved at Queens' College, it
will, I feel sure, be recognised that the desks at Zutphen explain them,
and enable us to realise the aspect of what I conceive to have been the
most ancient method of fitting up a collegiate or a monastic library. When
such a room first became necessary in a monastery, and furniture suitable
for it was debated, a lectern would surely suggest itself, as being used
in the numerous daily services, and proving itself singularly convenient
for the support of books while they were being read.

Another example of such fittings was once to be seen at Pembroke College,
Cambridge, in the library above the hall (fig. 48). In Dr Matthew Wren's
account of that library already quoted there is a passage which may be
translated as follows:

    I would have you know that in the year 1617 the Library
    was completely altered and made to assume an entirely
    new appearance. This alteration was rendered necessary
    by the serious damage which, to our great sorrow, we
    found the books had suffered--a damage which was
    increasing daily--partly from the sloping form of the
    desks, partly from the inconvenient weight of the chains
    (_tum ex declivi pluteorum fabricâ, tum ex ineptâ mole

These desks were copied at S. John's College in the same University. A
contract dated 20 June, 1516, provides that the contractor

    shall make all the Desks in the Library wythin the said
    college of good and substanciall and abyll Tymber of Oke
    mete and convenient for the same Library, aftir and
    accordyng to the Library within ... Pembroke Hall[319].

The Library here referred to was on the first floor to the south of the
Great Gate of the college. It is now divided into chambers, but its
original extent can be readily made out by its range of equidistant
windows. The wall-spaces dividing these are 28½ inches wide, practically
the same as those at Queens' College.

At Peterhouse also a similar arrangement seems to have subsisted when the
catalogue of 1418 was made. The very first book, a Bible, is said to stand
"in the sixth lectern on the west side (_lectrino 6^o ex parte
occidentali_)." The word _lectrinum_ is unusual, but it emphasizes the
form of the desk more clearly than any other.

[Illustration: Fig. 61 Single desk in the old Library, Lincoln Cathedral.]

A splendid example of this type of case is to be seen at Lincoln (fig.
61), where three "stalls" or desks, belonging to the old library already
described[320], are still preserved. Each is about 7 ft. long, 3 ft.
broad, and 4 ft. 4 in. high to the top of the sloping portion. At each
end, and in the centre, is a massive molded standard, 7 ft. 2 in. high,
terminating in a boldly carved finial; and these three standards are
connected together by a band of open-work, of a design similar to that of
the cornice of the library. Half way between this band and the top of the
desk is the bar to carry the chains, now of wood, but formerly of course
of iron; and below this again is a shelf 18 in. wide, projecting slightly
beyond the sloping portion of the desk. The edge of the desk is protected
by a ledge, as usual, and under it is a second shelf extending the whole
width of the piece of furniture. What was the use of these shelves? As the
bar is above the desk, not below it, the books must have reposed, as a
general rule, upon the desk, instead of being laid on their sides on the
shelf below it when not wanted by a reader. The chains would not have been
long enough to allow of any other arrangement. I think, therefore, that
the lower shelf must have been a constructional contrivance, to assist in
keeping the standards in their places. The narrow upper shelf, on the
other hand, was probably intended for the convenience of the reader. He
might place on it, temporarily, any book that he was not using, and which
got in his way while he was reading one of those beside it; or, if he was
making extracts, he might set his inkstand upon it.

These desks evidently stood in the old library against the shafts of the
roof, for one of the ends has been hollowed out in each to receive the
shaft; and the finial, which is left plain on that side, is bent over
slightly, to admit it under the brace (fig. 39).

As I have now described three varieties of the lectern-system, I will
place before my readers, side by side, elevations of each of the three
(fig. 62) drawn to the same scale. It will be seen that they resemble each
other exactly in essentials. The differences observable are accidental,
and may be referred to individual taste.

That this form of desk was recognised on the continent as typical of
library-fittings is proved by its appearance in a French translation of
the first book of the _Consolation of Philosophy_ of Boethius, which I had
the good fortune to find in the British Museum[321] (fig. 63). This
manuscript was written in Flanders towards the end of the fifteenth
century. In such a work the library shewn requires what I may term
generalised fittings. An eccentric peculiarity would have been quite

[Illustration: Fig. 62. Elevation of (A) one of the bookcases in the
Library at Zutphen; (B) one of those in the Library at Queens' College,
Cambridge; (C) one of those in the Library of Lincoln Cathedral.]

In the Stadtbibliothek of Nuremberg some of the oldest works on
jurisprudence still preserve their chains. Each has a short chain about
12 in. long fixed on the upper edge of the left-hand board. The title is
written on the middle of the upper edge of the right-hand board. It is
obvious that these volumes must have lain on a desk with their titles

[Illustration: Fig. 63. Interior of a Library.

From a MS. of a French translation of the first book of the _Consolation
of Philosophy_ by Boethius: written in Flanders towards the end of the
fifteenth century.]

[Illustration: Fig. 64. Library of the Collège de Navarre, Paris, now

It is probable that similar fittings were used in the library of the
Sorbonne, Paris, which was first established in 1289, with books chained
for the common convenience of the Fellows (_in communem sociorum
utilitatem_)[323]. This library was divided into two separate collections,
which formed, so to speak, two distinct libraries. The first, called the
great library, or the common library, contained the books most frequently
studied. They were chained, and could only be taken out under the most
exceptional circumstances. A statute, dated 1321, the provisions of which
recall the collegiate statutes summarised above, directed that the best
book the society possessed on each subject should be thus chained. The
second division of the library, called the small library, contained
duplicates, books rarely consulted, and generally all those of which the
loan was authorised under certain conditions[324]. The following
description of this library has been given by Claude Héméré (Librarian
1638-43) in his MS. history. This I proceed to translate:

    The old library was contained under one roof. It was
    firmly and solidly built, and was 120 feet long by 36
    feet broad.... Each side was pierced with 19 windows of
    equal size, that plenty of daylight both from the east
    and the west (for this was the direction of the room)
    might fall upon the desks, and fill the whole length and
    breadth of the library. There were 28 desks, marked with
    the letters of the alphabet, five feet high, and so
    arranged that they were separated by a moderate
    interval. They were loaded with books, all of which were
    chained, that no sacrilegious hand might [carry them
    off. These chains were attached to the right-hand board
    of every book] so that they might be readily thrown
    aside, and reading not be interfered with. Moreover the
    volumes could be opened and shut without difficulty. A
    reader who sat down in the space between two desks, as
    they rose to a height of five feet as I said above,
    neither saw nor disturbed any one else who might be
    reading or writing in another place by talking or by any
    other interruption, unless the other student wished it,
    or paid attention to any question that might be put to
    him. It was required, by the ancient rules of the
    library, that reading, writing, and handling of books
    should go forward in complete silence[325].

This description indicates desks similar to those of Zutphen. Even the
height is the same.

A library which vividly recalls the above account, with 19 windows on one
side and probably the same number on the other, was built in 1506 for the
Collège de Navarre, Paris, now the École Polytechnique[326]. My
illustration (fig. 64) is from a photograph taken shortly before its
destruction in 1867. I have calculated that it was about 108 ft. long by
30 ft. wide.

The library of the Collège d'Autun, Paris, was similarly arranged. An
inventory taken 29 July, 1462, records: "dix bancs doubles, à se seoir
d'une part et d'autre, et ung poupitre; esquelz bancs et poupitre out esté
trouvez enchaisnez les livres qui s'ensuyvent, qui sont intitulez sur la
couverture d'iceulx[327]." The catalogue enumerates 174 volumes, or rather
more than 17 for each "banc" or lectern. The expression _bancs doubles_ is
interesting, as it seems to imply that there were at that time libraries
in which _bancs simples_ were used; that is to say, lecterns with only one
sloping surface instead of two.

A study of the catalogue drawn up in 1513 for the Augustinian House of S.
Victor, Paris, by Claude de Grandrue, one of the monks, shews that the
same system must have been in use there. Further, his catalogue is an
excellent specimen of the pains taken in a large monastery to describe the
books accurately, and to provide ready access to them. A brief prefatory
note informs us that the desks are arranged in three rows, and marked with
a triple series of letters. The first row is marked A, B, C, etc.; the
second AA, BB, etc.; the third AAA, BBB, etc. To each of these letters are
appended the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on, to shew the position of the
required volume. For instance--to take one at random--_Abælardi confessio_
is marked P. 13: that is, it is the thirteenth book on the desk in the
first row marked P. When the catalogue proper--in which each manuscript is
carefully described--was finished, the author increased its usefulness by
the composition of an alphabetical index[328].

How, I shall be asked, can the form of the bookcase or desk (_pulpitum_)
be inferred from this catalogue? I reply: In the first place, because
there are no shelf-marks. The librarian notes the letter of the desk, and
the place of each book on it, but nothing more. Secondly, because the
number of manuscripts accommodated on each desk is so small. There are 50
desks, and 988 manuscripts--or, an average of little more than 19 to
each. At Zutphen the average is exactly 18. This piece of evidence,
however, is so important that I will give it in detail. The following
table, compiled by myself from the catalogue, gives the letters used to
mark the desks, and the number of manuscripts on each.

  A   13 | AA   13 | AAA   15
  B   21 | BB   16 | BBB   16
  C   13 | CC   19 | CCC   17
  D   18 | DD   18 | DDD   19
  E   17 | EE   21 | EEE   17
  F   20 | FF   17 | FFF   29
  G   18 | GG   18 | GGG   24
  H   16 | HH   17 | HHH   29
  I   16 | II   23 | III   25
  K   17 | KK   21 | KKK   29
  L   22 | LL   21 | LLL   23
  M   21 | MM   20 | MMM   26
  N   18 | NN   20 |      ----
  O   14 | OO   13 |      269
  P   19 | PP   23 |
  Q   22 | QQ   27 |
  R   14 | RR   26 |
  S   14 | SS   28 |
  T   21 | TT   24 |
     ----|     ----|
     334 |     385 |

These totals give a general total of 988 manuscripts, which, divided by
50, makes the average number for each desk, as stated above, 19·76.

Further, my theory is supported by the positive evidence of a description
of this library (unfortunately without date) quoted by M. Delisle: "Les
livres estoient couchez et enchaisnez, sur de longs pupitres, et une allée
entre deux[329]." It is obvious that the English system of placing each
lectern between a pair of windows could not have been maintained here.

At Queens' College, Cambridge, the catalogue, dated 1472, enumerates 192
volumes, divided over 10 desks and 4 half-desks, each called a step
(_gradus_). There were (avoiding fractions) 8 books on each half-desk, and
15 on each complete desk; so that by comparing the plan (fig. 50) and
elevation of a desk (fig. 51) with the views of the library at Zutphen, a
good idea of a college library in the fifteenth century can be obtained.

Before I leave the lectern-system, I will describe two eccentric specimens
of it. The first is still to be seen at Trinity Hall, Cambridge; the
second once existed at the University of Leyden.

[Illustration: Fig. 66. Elevation of a book-desk and seat in the Library
of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.]

[Illustration: Fig. 65. General view of the Library at Trinity Hall,

[Illustration: Fig. 68. A French Library of 1480.

From MS. 164 in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.]

The library of Trinity Hall is thoroughly medieval in plan, being a long
narrow room on the first floor of the north side of the second court, 65
feet long by 20 feet wide, with eight equidistant windows in each
side-wall, and a window of four lights in the western gable. It was built
about 1600, but the fittings are even later, having been added between
1626 and 1645 during the mastership of Thomas Eden, LL.D. They are
therefore a deliberate return to ancient forms at a time when a different
type had been adopted elsewhere.

There are five desks and six seats on each side of the room, placed, as
usual, at right angles to the side-walls, in the inter spaces of the
windows, and in front of the windows, respectively. Their arrangement, and
the details of their construction, will be understood from the general
view (fig. 65), and from the elevation (fig. 66).

These lecterns are of oak, 6 feet 7 inches long, and 7 feet high, measured
to the top of the ornamental finial. There is a sloping desk at the top,
beneath which is a single shelf (fig. 66, A). The bar for the chains
passes under the desk, through the two vertical ends of the case. At the
end farthest from the wall, the hasp of the lock is hinged to the bar and
secured by two keys (fig. 67). Beneath the shelf there is at either end a
slip of wood (fig. 66, B), which indicates that there was once a moveable
desk which could be pulled out when required. The reader could therefore
consult his convenience, and work either sitting or standing (fig. 65).
For both these positions the heights are very suitable, and at the bottom
of the case was a plinth (fig. 66, C), on which he could set his feet. The
seats between each pair of desks were of course put up at the same time as
the desks themselves. They shew an advance in comfort, being divided into
two, so as to allow support to the reader's back.

[Illustration: Fig. 67. Lock at end of book-desk. Trinity Hall.]

Similar desks occur in a beautiful miniature (fig. 68) from a manuscript
(now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge[330]) written in France about
1480. They appear to be solid--possibly fitted with cupboards for books
under the sloping portion. No seats are shewn, and, as a reader is
standing between them consulting a book, it may be concluded that they
could only be used by students in that position.

Lastly, I reproduce (fig. 69) a print by Jan Cornelis Woudanus, shewing
the library of the University of Leyden in 1610[331]. The bookcases were
evidently contrived with the view of getting the largest number possible
into the room. Each contained a single row of books, chained to a bar in
front of the shelf; and, also for the purpose of saving the space usually
occupied by a seat, readers were obliged to consult them standing. There
are eleven bookcases on each side of the room, each containing from 40 to
48 volumes. At the end of the room are two cupboards, probably for
manuscripts; and to the right of the spectator is a third press, marked
_Legatum Josephi Scaligeri_. He died in January, 1609. Further, as an
illustration of the usual appliances for study found in libraries at this
period, and often mentioned in catalogues and account-books, I would draw
attention to the globes and maps.

I present these bookcases at this point of my researches with some
diffidence, for they can hardly be said to represent the lectern-system.
On the other hand, they do not exactly represent any other; and I
therefore submit that they may be looked at here, as transitional
specimens, bridging over the interval between the desks we have lately
been considering, and those which we shall have to consider in the next

[Illustration: Fig. 69. The interior of the Library of the University of

From a print by Jan Cornelis Woudanus, dated 1610.]


[258] The Statutes of the Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge bearing on the
care of books have been thoroughly analysed by Professor Willis in his
essay on "The Library," _Arch. Hist._ III. pp. 387-471, which I edited and
completed. I have therefore not thought it necessary to acknowledge each
quotation separately, but I wish it to be understood that this section of
my present book is to a great extent borrowed from him.

[259] Wood, _History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford_, ed.
Gutch, 4to. Oxford, 1796, Vol. II. Part 2, p. 910.

[260] _Commiss. Docts._ (Oxford), Vol. 1. Statutes of Merton College, Cap.
2, p. 24.

[261] _Sketch of the Life of Walter de Merton_, by Edmund [Hobhouse],
Bishop of Nelson, New Zealand, 8vo. Oxford, 1859, p. 39.

[262] _Annals of University College_, by Wm. Smith, 8vo. 1728, pp. 37-39.
I have compared Mr Smith's version with the Statute as printed by Anstey,
_Munimenta Academica_, I. 58, 59, and have made a few corrections.

[263] _Commiss. Docts._ (Oxford), Vol. I. Statutes of Oriel College, p.

[264] _Ibid._ p. 22.

[265] _Commiss. Docts._ (Cambridge), II. 38. De omnibus libris Domus,
Munimentis, et Chartis custodiendis.

[266] _Ibid._ p. 17. De Duobus Decanis et eorum officio.

[267] _Commiss. Docts._ (Cambridge), II. 44. Statutum de libris Collegii.

[268] _Commiss. Docts._ (Cambridge), II. 432. De libris Collegii.

[269] The words are "in libraria communi ... ad sociorum communem usum
continue remanere."

[270] _Commiss. Docts._ (Oxford), Vol. I. Statutes of New College, p. 97.
De libris collegii conservandis et non alienandis.

[271] _Commiss. Docts._ (Oxford), Vol. I. Statutes of All Souls' College,
p. 54. De custodia bonorum ad capellam pertinentium.

[272] _Ibid._ Vol. II. Statutes of Magdalen College, p. 60. De custodia
librorum, ornamentorum, jocalium, et aliorum bonorum collegii.

[273] _Ibid._ Statutes of Corpus Christi College, p. 89. De custodia
bonorum Collegii.

[274] This passage is quoted in a short account of Pembroke College
Library, drawn up by Matthew Wren, D.D., while Fellow, as the preface to a
volume dated 1617, in which he recorded the names, of those who had
presented books to the Library. The words at the end of the statute are:
"sub cautione idonea custodi librorum exposita sine fraude."

[275] The history of Merton College has been most admirably written, in Mr
Robinson's series of College histories, by my friend Bernard W. Henderson,
M.A., Fellow and Librarian. His researches have thrown a new light on the
library, and especially on the date of the fittings. My most cordial
thanks are due to him, to the Warden and to the Bursar, for their kindness
in allowing me access to the library, and also to all the documents
referring to it.

[276] _Reg. Vet._ fol. 7 b. Vicesimo quarto die Octobris celebrata erat
eleccio librorum philosophie inter philosophicos collegii socios.

Undecimo die mensis Novembris celebrata erat eleccio librorum theologie in
domo custodis inter Theologos collegii socios.

[277] _Ibid._ fol. 110. 18^o. die eiusdem mensis [Marcii] fuit eleccio
librorum logicalium in Alta Aula.

[278] _Ibid._ fol. 125 b.

[279] _Reg. Vet._ fol. 118.

[280] The words are: "qui quidem liber jacuit pro caucione alterius libri
decretorum collegii."

[281] _Ibid._ fol. 121.

[282] _Ibid._ fol. 100 b.

[283] See above, p. 71.

[284] Dugdale, _Mon. Angl._ IV. 403-406.

[285] See above, p. 108.

[286] _Cat. Vet. Libr. Eccl. Cath. Dunelm._ ed. Surtees Soc. pp. 39-41.

[287] Wood, _History etc._, Vol. II. p. 910.

[288] Leland, _Comm. de Script. Brit._ ch. 131. I owe this important
quotation to the kindness of Dr James.

[289] Printed in the _Camb. Antiq. Soc. Comm._, Vol. II. p. 73.

[290] The headings of the two lists are as follows: "Libri per nos de
presenti dicto nostro Collegio dati et in dicto Collegio ex nunc ad
Sociorum communem usum perpetuo remansuri."

"Libri vero de presenti per nos dicto collegio dati, quorum usum nobis pro
vitæ nostræ tempore quamdiu nobis placuerit duximus reservandum, immediate
inferius describuntur."

[291] _Arch. Hist._ Vol. II. p. 442. History of Trinity College.

[292] _Collected Papers of Henry Bradshaw_, 8vo. Camb., 1889, pp. 19-34.

[293] No heading to the first division of the list is given in the

[294] _Camb. Ant. Soc. Comm._, Vol. II. p. 165.

[295] _Ibid._ Vol. II. p. 258.

[296] _Camb. Ant. Soc. Quarto Publ._, No. I. This catalogue represents the
state of the library at the end of the fifteenth century, for it contains
the books given by Richard Nelson, who founded a Fellowship in 1503, and
probably gave his books at the same time, "sub ea condicione quod semper
remanerent cum tribus sociis."

[297] From my additions to the essay on "The Library," by Professor
Willis, p. 404.

[298] This catalogue, written at the beginning of the old parchment
Register of the College, has been printed by Dr James in his _Catalogue of
the MSS. in the Library of Peterhouse_, 8vo. Camb., 1899. pp. 3-26.

[299] From my additions to the essay on "The Library," by Professor
Willis, p. 402.

[300] _Commiss. Docts._ (Cambridge), Vol. I. p. 21. Stat. 24.

[301] _Ibid._ p. 22.

[302] This analysis of the catalogue of Peterhouse Library is borrowed
from the Introduction which I had the pleasure of contributing to my
friend Dr James' _Catalogue_.

[303] _Arch. Hist._, The Library, p. 404.

[304] _Arch. Hist._, vol. I., p. 138.

[305] I have to thank my friend Mr T. G. Jackson, architect, for kindly
lending me this section of Bishop Cobham's library. For his history of the
building, see his _Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford_, 4to. 1897, pp.
90-106. With regard to the number of windows he notes (p. 102): There
would have been eight, two to a bay, were it not that the tower buttresses
occupy half the western bay.

[306] Anstey, _Mun. Acad._ I. 227.

[307] Jackson, _ut supra_, p. 98.

[308] The total height of this desk-end is 66 in.; from the ground to the
beginning of the groove 31 in.; each slit is 19 in. long.

[309] For scale see fig. 62, p. 163.

[310] _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc. and Comm._ Vol. VIII. pp. 379-388, 7 May,

[311] The existing Library is still called the New Library.

[312] _Novum ac Magnum Theatrum Urbium Belgicæ_, fol. Amsterdam, 1649, s.
v. Zutphania. For these historical facts I have to thank my friend Mr
Gimberg, _Archivarius_ at Zutphen.

[313] I have to thank Mr T. D. Atkinson, architect, for drawing this plan.

[314] I have again to thank Mr Gimberg for this photograph. It was a work
of no small difficulty owing to the imperfect light.

[315] For scale see fig. 62, p. 163.

[316] I have described this library in _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc. and Comm._
Vol. VIII. pp. 11-18.

[317] This book is now in the University Library, Cambridge.

[318] _Arch. Hist._, The Library, III. 429. It is obvious that these heavy
chains must have been attached to the lower edge of one of the boards, and
that the bar must have been below the desk and not above it. See above, p.

[319] _Arch. Hist._ II. 244.

[320] See above, pp. 117-121.

[321] MSS. Harl. 4335. The picture hanging on the wall represents
Philosophy offering her consolation to a sick man.

[322] For this information I have to thank my friend, Bernard W.
Henderson, M.A., Fellow of Merton College, Oxford.

[323] Delisle, _Cabinet des manuscrits_, II. 186, _note_.

[324] This account is, in the main, a translation of that given by M.
Delisle, _ut supra_.

[325] Bibl. Nat. Par. MSS. Lat. 5493. For the history of this library see
Delisle, _ut supra_, pp. 142-208; Franklin, _Anciennes Bibliothèques de
Paris_, I. pp. 221-317.

[326] Franklin, _ut supra_, vol. I. p. 399.

[327] Franklin, _Bibliothèques de Paris_, II. 70.

[328] Delisle, _ut supra_, II. 228-231; Franklin, _ut supra_, I. 135-185.
The catalogue of Claude de Grandrue is in the Bibliothèque Nationale,
fonds latin, No. 14767; the alphabetical index in the Bibliothèque
Mazarine, No. 1358.

[329] Delisle, p. 228, _note_.

[330] The MS. (No. 164) is by Frère Jehan de Castel.

[331] This reproduction is from a copy of the print now in the Fitzwilliam
Museum, Cambridge. It also occurs on a reduced scale in _Les Arts au Moyen
Age et à l'Epoque de la Renaissance_ par Paul Lacroix, 4^o. Paris, 1869,
p. 492; and in _Illustrium Hollandiae et Westfrisiae Ordinum_ etc. 4^o.
Lugd. Bat., 1614.



If the evidence brought forward in the last chapter be accepted, the
Library which a Monastery or College built in the fifteenth century was a
long narrow room lighted by rows of equidistant windows. Occasionally, if
neighbouring buildings allowed, there was a window at the end of the room
also. The fittings were lecterns of wood. On these the books were laid,
each volume being fastened by a chain to a bar usually placed over the
desk, but occasionally, in all probability, in front of it or beneath it.
The readers sat on benches immoveably fixed opposite to each window. It is
obvious that reading was convenient enough so long as the students were
few, but if they were numerous and the books chained too closely together
much annoyance must have been caused. When the University of Oxford
petitioned Humphrey Duke of Gloucester in 1444 to help them to build a new
library, they specially dwelt upon the obstacles to study arising from the
overcrowded condition of the old room. "Should any student," they said,
"be poring over a single volume, as often happens, he keeps three or four
others away on account of the books being chained so closely

Further, the lectern-system was so wasteful in the matter of space, that,
as books accumulated, some other piece of furniture had to be devised to
contain them. The desk could not be dispensed with so long as books were
chained; and it therefore occurred to an ingenious carpenter that the
required conditions would be fulfilled if the two halves of the desk were
separated, not by a few inches, but by a considerable interval, or broad
shelf, with one or more shelves fixed above it. Thus a case was arrived at
containing four shelves at least, two to each side of the case, which
could be made as long as the width of the library permitted. I propose to
call this system "the stall-system," from the word _staulum_ (sometimes
written _stalla_, _stallus_, or _stallum_), which is frequently applied to
a case for books in a medieval library.

There are at least five fine examples of this system at Oxford--none, I am
sorry to say, at Cambridge. There was a set at Clare College, supplied to
the old Library about 1627, but they have since been altered by the
removal of the desks. Those at Oxford are at Corpus Christi College
(1517), S. John's College (1596), Sir Thomas Bodley's library (1598),
Merton College (1623), Jesus College (1677-79), Magdalen College (of
uncertain date).

As a type of this system I shall take the library of Corpus Christi
College, founded in 1516 by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester. The library
was ready for the fittings by the end of March in the following year, as
we learn from a building account preserved by Hearne:

    8 Henry VIII. This boke made from the xvth day off March
    unto the xxxti day off the same Moneth [30 March, 1517].

    Md. couenauntyd and agreid wyth Comell Clerke, for the
    makyng off the dextis in the liberary, to the summe off
    xvi, after the maner and forme as they be in Magdaleyn
    college, except the popie heedes off the seites, thes to
    be workmanly wrowght and clenly, and he to have all
    maner off stooff foond hym, and to have for the makyng
    off on dexte xs the sum off the hole viii. li.[333]

[Illustration: Fig. 70. Bookcases and seat in the Library at Corpus
Christi College, Oxford.

From a photograph taken in 1894.]

The arrangement and appearance of these most interesting cases will be
understood from the general view (fig. 70) and from the elevation (fig.
71), but I shall proceed to describe them with some minuteness.

[Illustration: Fig. 71. Elevation of one bookcase in the Library of Corpus
Christi College, Oxford.]

The library occupies the first floor of the south side of the quadrangle
opposite to the entrance. It is 79 feet 6 inches long, by 21 feet broad,
with ten equidistant windows, about 3 feet 6 inches apart, on each side.
At the west end there is an inner library, occupying the angle between the
south and west sides of the quadrangle. On each side there are nine
bookcases, each 8 ft. 6 in. high, 2 ft. wide, and 7 ft. 6 in. long,
divided by partitions into three compartments.

I have carefully studied these cases on several occasions, and it seems to
me that the only alterations introduced since the original construction
are: (1) the addition of about two feet to the upper portion of the case
in order to provide additional shelf-room; (2) a slight change in the
arrangements of the desk for the reader; and (3) the addition of the
catalogue frame, which by its style is evidently Jacobean, to the end next
the central alley. Originally each case had two shelves only, one on the
level of the desk (Fig. 71, G, H), and the second about half-way between
it and the original top of the case (_ibid._ E, F). Before chaining fell
into disuse the cases were heightened so as to provide an additional shelf
(_ibid._ C, D). At present the number has been further increased by the
addition of a fourth shelf above the desk (_ibid._ A, B), and two below it
(_ibid._ I, K, L, M). The desks have been altered by a change in the
position of the bracket, and by the suppression of the slit through which
the chains usually passed, as I shall explain below.

The system of chaining used for the lectern-system required modification
and extension to suit this new arrangement of shelves. At Corpus Christi
College most of the iron-work remains (fig. 70); but it is necessary to go
elsewhere to find chained books actually in use. Of such chaining I know
no better example than the Chapter Library in Hereford Cathedral, from a
study of which I will describe the system, and shew that it is the same as
that employed at Corpus Christi College and elsewhere.

The Chapter Library at Hereford was originally over the west cloister, and
there is evidence that it was being fitted up in 1394, when Walter de
Rammesbury, B.D., gave £10 for the desks[334]. The original building has
long since been destroyed, and the books were transferred from one place
to another until the present beautiful structure was built on the old site
in 1897.

[Illustration: Fig. 73. Part of a bookcase in the Chapter Library,

Throughout these changes some very ancient bookcases have been preserved.
They have been taken to pieces and altered several times, but are
probably, in the main, those put up in 1394. Above all, one of them
possesses, in thorough working order, the system of chaining, parts of
which are to be met with on the cases at Oxford which we have been
considering. Of the accompanying illustrations the first (fig. 72) gives a
general view of the most complete case, that which now contains the
manuscripts, and the second (fig. 73) shews one compartment of the same
case with the books, chains, desk etc. This case is 9 ft. 8 in. long, 2
ft. 2 in. wide and 8 ft. high, exclusive of the cornice. The material is
unplaned oak, very rough; the ends are 2-3 in. thick, made of three planks
fastened together with strong wooden pegs. The desk has been a good deal
altered, and is now inconveniently low, but, as the books were chained, it
is evident that there must always have been desks on each case, and
moreover the hook which held them up is still to be seen in several
places. The frames to contain the catalogue, which closely resemble those
at Oxford, are known to have been added in the 17th century by Thomas
Thornton, D.D., Canon Residentiary.

[Illustration: Fig. 72. Bookcase in the Chapter Library, Hereford

[Illustration: Fig. 74. Part of a single volume, shewing the clasp, the
ring for the chain, and the mode of attaching it: Hereford.]

From a sketch taken in 1876.]

[Illustration: Fig. 75. A single volume, standing on the shelf, with the
chain attached to the iron bar: Hereford.]

[Illustration: Fig. 76. Iron bar and socket, closed to prevent removal of
the bar: Hereford.]

As the books were to stand upright on a shelf, not to lie on their sides
on a desk, it was necessary to attach the chain in a different manner. A
narrow strip of flat brass was passed round the left-hand board (fig. 74)
and riveted to it, in such a manner as to leave a loop in front of the
edge of the board, wide enough to admit an iron ring, an inch and a
quarter in diameter, to which one end of the chain was fastened. The book
is placed on the shelf with the fore-edge turned outwards, and the other
end of the chain is fastened to a second ring, rather larger than the
former, which plays along an iron bar (fig. 75). For the two upper shelves
these bars, which are ½ in. in diameter, are supported in front of the
shelf, at such a distance from it as to allow of easy play for the rings
(fig. 73). Each bar extends only from partition to partition, so that
three bars are needed for each shelf. For the lowest shelf there are also
three bars, set two inches behind the edge of the shelf, so as to keep the
rings and chains out of the way of the desk. The bars for the upper
shelves rest in iron sockets screwed to the woodwork at the juncture of
the horizontal shelves with the vertical divisions and ends respectively.
The socket fixed to the end of the bookcase which was intended to stand
against the wall is closed by an iron plate (fig. 76), so that the bar
cannot pass beyond it. At the opposite end, that which would usually face
the alley between the two rows of bookcases, the bars are secured by lock
and key in the following manner. A piece of flat iron is nailed to the end
of the bookcase, just above the level of the uppermost shelf (fig. 77).
Attached to this by a hinge is a hasp, or band of iron, two inches wide,
and rather longer than the interval between the two shelves. Opposite to
each shelf this iron band expands into a semicircular plate, to which a
cap is riveted for the reception of the head of the socket in which the
bar rests (fig. 77); and just below the middle shelf it drops into a lock
and is secured by a key (fig. 73). A second hasp, similarly constructed,
secures the lowest of the three bars; but, as that bar is behind, and not
in front of, the shelf to which it belongs, the arrangements described
above are reversed. One lock and key serves for the ironwork belonging to
the three shelves.

[Illustration: Fig. 77. Iron bar, with part of the iron plate or hasp
which is secured by the lock and keeps the bar in place: Hereford.]

The chains are made of links of hammered iron as shewn in the sketch (fig.
78) which represents a piece of one of the actual size. There is usually a
swivel in the centre, probably to prevent twisting. They vary somewhat in
length, and in the length of the links, according to the shelf on which
the books to which they belong are ranged, it being obviously necessary to
provide for the convenient placing of a book on the desk when a reader
wished to consult it. The most usual dimensions are 3 ft. 4 in., 3 ft. 6
in., 4 ft. 3 in.

The removal of any of the volumes, or the addition of a new one, must have
been a tedious and inconvenient operation. The bar would have to be
withdrawn, and all the rings set free. Moreover, if this change had to be
effected in one of the compartments remote from the end of the case which
carried the lock, the bar belonging to each of the other compartments
would have to be withdrawn before the required volume could be reached.

[Illustration: Fig. 78. Piece of chain, shewing the swivel: Hereford.

Actual size.]

If the views (figs. 70, 71) of the book-cases at Corpus Christi College,
Oxford, be attentively examined, it will be seen that the ironwork exactly
resembles that at Hereford. We find similar sockets to contain the bars at
the junction of the horizontal shelves and vertical uprights, and a
similar system of iron hasps to prevent the bars from being withdrawn.

The desk for the reader would of course vary according to individual
taste. As a general rule it was attached to the ends of the case by strong
hinges, so that it could be turned up and got out of the way when any
alteration in the ironwork had to be carried out. Iron hooks to hold it up
were not unfrequently provided. One of these, from the Bodleian Library,
is here figured (fig. 79). It was also usual to provide a slit in this
desk, about 2 in. wide, as close as possible to the shelf, for the chain
attached to the book in use to pass through. This is well shewn in the
view of a single book-case in Merton College, Oxford (fig. 83).

I will next describe the library of Merton College, Oxford. There is still
considerable doubt respecting the date of some of the bookcases, but the
appearance of the library is so venerable, so unlike any similar room with
which I am acquainted, that it must always command admiration, and deserve

[Illustration: Fig. 80. Exterior of the Library at Merton College, Oxford,
as seen from 'Mob Quadrangle.'

From a photograph by H. W. Taunt, 1899.]

The library occupies the whole of the first floor of the south side of
"Mob Quadrangle" and the greater part of the same floor of the west side
(fig. 80). It is entered through a doorway in the south-western angle of
the court, whence a staircase leads up to the vestibule (fig. 81). This
room is separated from the two divisions of the library by lofty oak
screens, elaborately carved and ornamented in the style of the early

[Illustration: Fig. 79. Hook to hold up the desk. Bodleian Library,

The two rooms into which the library is divided have a uniform width of 20
ft. 6 in. The west room, called by tradition Old Library, is 38 ft. 6 in.
long (A, B, fig. 81); the south room, or New Library, is 56 ft. 6 in. long
(C, D, fig. 81).

The west room is lighted by seven equidistant lancet windows in each of
the west and east walls, and by two dormer windows of peculiar design on
the side of the roof next to the court. The south room is similarly
lighted by ten lancets in each of the north and south walls, and on the
side next to the court by two dormer windows like those in the west room.
This room moreover has an open space at the east end, about 10 ft. long,
lighted by a window of two lights in each of the north and south walls
respectively, and by an oriel of five lights in the east wall. In both
rooms there is a waggon-roof of five cants boarded, and divided into
panels by molded ribs with little bosses at the intersections (fig. 82).

The blank wall at the north end of the west room is panelled with oak of
an elaborate and beautiful design for a height of about 12 ft. (fig. 82).
The space above this is decorated with panels of plaster-work. The large
square central panel contains the arms of the college; the circular panel
to the west those of John Whitgift (Archbishop of Canterbury 1583-1604);
and the similar panel to the east those of Sir Henry Savile (Warden

[Illustration: Fig. 81. Ground-plan of the Library at Merton College,

The east end of the south room is similarly treated, but the oak panelling
is less elaborate. In the plaster-work above it the arms of the college
are flanked on the north by those of George Abbot (Archbishop of
Canterbury 1611-1633) and on the south by those of Sir Nathaniel Brent
(Warden 1621-1651).

[Illustration: Fig. 82. Interior of the west Library at Merton College,

From a photograph by H. W. Taunt, 1899.]

[Illustration: Fig. 83. Bookcase in the west Library of Merton College,

From a photograph by H. W. Taunt, 1899.]

Both rooms are floored with rough oak planking. On this are laid four
sleepers, each about 5 in. square, parallel with the side-walls. The two
central sleepers have their outside edge roughly chamfered. Into these the
bookcases and the seats are morticed. The central alley, 5 ft. wide, is in
both rooms paved with encaustic tiles.

In the west room there are twelve complete cases and four half-cases; in
the south room there are twenty complete cases and two half-cases (fig.
81); in both rooms arranged in the usual manner with respect to the walls
and windows.

In order to present as vivid an idea as possible of these beautiful cases,
I reproduce here a photograph of a single compartment from the west
library, with a seated reader at work (fig. 83). The case is made to look
rather higher than it really is, but this distortion can be easily
corrected by comparing the height of the standard with that of the seated

In the west room each case (figs. 82, 83) is 7 ft. 5 in. long, 1 ft. 5 in.
wide and 6 ft. high from the top of the sleeper to the top of the cornice.
The material is oak. The ends are nearly 2 in. thick, and next the wall
are shaped roughly with an adze. Each case is separated into two divisions
by a central partition; and originally there was a desk 1 ft. 3 in. wide
on each side of the case. These desks were immoveable, and nailed to rough
brackets. There were two shelves only to each case: one just above the
level of the desk, and a second about half-way between it and the cornice
(fig. 84).

The system of ironwork by which the books were secured can be easily
recovered by studying the scars on the ends of the cases next the central
alley. At the lower end of the standard, two feet from the ground, was an
iron bar which carried the chains of all the books which stood on the
shelf just above the level of the desk, without reference to the side from
which they were to be consulted. This bar was secured by a separate hasp
and lock. The bars for the upper shelf, one on each side of the case, were
obviously secured by a system similar to that described above at Hereford
and Corpus Christi College. The whole system has been indicated on the
elevation (fig. 84), which should be compared with the reproduction of one
of the cases in the west room (fig. 83). Originally no books stood below
the desk. The comfort of readers was considered by the insertion of a bar
of wood to rest the feet on, between the seat and the bookcase (fig. 84).

[Illustration: Fig. 84. Elevation of a bookcase and seat in the West
Library at Merton College, Oxford.

Measured and drawn by T. D. Atkinson, Architect.]

In the south room the cases are on the same general plan as in the west
room; but the system of chaining appears to have been slightly different,
and to have approximated more closely to what I may call the Hereford

In both rooms each case has a picturesque enrichment at the end of the
standard above the cornice, and a small oblong frame just below it to
contain the general title of the books within the case. The west room is
devoted to LIBRI ARTIUM, with the exception of the three cases and the
half-case at the north end of the east side, which are marked CODICES MSS.
These are protected by latticed doors of wood. In the south room the
cases on the south side are all lettered L. THEOLOGIAE; on the north side
the first three are lettered L. MEDICINAE; the next L. MEDIC. IURISPP. and
the last five L. IURIS PRVDENTIÆ. In this room the last cases at the east
end on each side have latticed doors like those on the corresponding cases
in the west room.

The building of this library is recorded in four separate account-rolls
extending from the beginning of the first year of Richard II. to the third
year of the same king, that is from 1377 to 1379. From these documents it
appears that the building cost £462. 1_s._ 11½_d._

From this first construction to the beginning of the sixteenth century--a
space of 125 years--the accounts furnish us with no information; but, from
what we learn afterwards, it would appear that the internal walls were
unplastered, that the roof-timbers were unprotected, and that the only
light was admitted through the narrow lancet windows.

In 1502-3 the panel-work (_celatura_) on the roof of the west library was
put up at a cost of £27. 6_s._ 0_d._ The account contains also a charge
for painting the bosses (_nodi_) at the intersection of the moldings that
separate the panels. Mr Henderson points out that these ornaments prove
the existing ceiling to be that put up in 1503; for among them are the
Tudor Rose, the dolphin of Fitzjames (Warden 1483-1507). and the Royal
Arms used from Henry IV. to Elizabeth, but altered by James I.

After this another long interval occurs during which no work done to the
library is recorded; but in 1623 the south room was taken in hand, and the
changes introduced into it were so extensive that it is referred to in the
accounts as New Library (_Nova Bibliotheca_) a name which it still

In the first place the room at the east end (fig. 81) was thrown into it,
and the oriel window constructed, together with the two large dormers on
the side next the court (fig. 80). These works, by which light was so
largely increased, prove how gloomy the library must have been before they
were undertaken. Next, after important repairs to the walls and floor, and
the construction of the decorative plaster-work at the east end, the old
bookcases were sold, and Benet the joiner supplied twenty new cases and
one half-case. The only old case remaining is, by tradition, the half-case
against the screen on the north side as one enters from the vestibule.

It is therefore certain that the cases and seats in the south room date
from 1623. It is unfortunately equally certain that we know nothing about
the date of those in the west room; and we are therefore unable to say
whether the cases in the south room were copied from them in 1623, or
whether the reverse process took place at some unknown date. If we adopt
the pleasing theory that in the west room we have very early cases,
constructed possibly when the library was built, we must still admit that
these relics of a remote past have been altered at some subsequent period,
so as to be brought into conformity with the cases in the south room; for
the cornices and the frames for the titles are precisely similar in the
two rooms.

The difference between the two sets of cases in the method of chaining, to
which attention has been already drawn, may bear on the question of date.
As time went on chaining would be modified in the direction of simplicity;
and to replace a single central bar by two lateral ones is a step towards
this, for under such conditions the addition or removal of a book would
entail less displacement. Further, it must be recognised that these cases,
whether extremely ancient or comparatively modern, differ in many
particulars from those to be met with elsewhere. They are lighter,
narrower and more elegant. Again, when the ground-plan of the library is
considered (fig. 81) it will be seen that their ends occupy nearly the
whole space between a pair of windows. In other examples of the
stall-system this is not the case.

The only explanation I have to offer for the whole difficulty is the
following. The library was constructed for the lectern-system, with
wall-spaces not more than 2 ft. wide, and was so fitted up. When books had
become numerous the western library was taken in hand, and the lecterns
altered into stalls, the single central bar being retained. At the same
time, in all probability, the dormers were inserted. It is remarkable that
these changes should not be recorded in the accounts, but possibly they
were carried out as the result of a special benefaction[336]. In 1623 the
stalls which had been placed in the west room, having been found
convenient, were copied for the south room.

I will in the next place briefly notice the distinctive points of the
other examples of the stall-system in Oxford.

At S. John Baptist's College the library was built in 1596, and we may
presume was fitted up soon afterwards, as Wood records numerous donations
of books in the years immediately succeeding, and the appointment of a
keeper to take charge of them in 1603[337]. This library, on the first
floor of the south side of the second quadrangle, is 112 feet long by 26
feet wide, with eight windows of two lights in each wall. The bookcases,
of which there are eight on each side between the windows, with a
half-case against the west wall, are rather larger than those at Corpus
Christi College, being 10 feet high, and 2 feet 6 inches wide. They have a
classical cornice and terminal pediment. The titles of the subjects are
painted at the tops of the stalls as at Merton College. A few traces of
chaining are still to be detected. The desks have not been altered. Each
is in two divisions, as at Corpus, separated by a central bracket, and it
has the slit to admit the chains. The long iron hinges are evidently
original. The seats resemble those at Corpus.

The bookcases at Trinity College, set up in 1618, and those at Jesus
College, made probably in 1679, call for no special remark.

Between 1598 and 1600 Sir Thomas Bodley refitted the library over the
Divinity School. This noble room is 86 feet long by 32 feet wide. These
dimensions contrast forcibly with those of the long narrow rooms to which
we have been accustomed; and it is probably on account of the great width
that the 10 windows on each side have two lights apiece. At right angles
to these walls, which face north and south, there are nine bookcases on a
side with a half-case at each end. Here again we find so close a
resemblance to the cases at Corpus Christi College, that a particular
description is unnecessary. It should be noted, however, that, as at S.
John's College, they had been made of a greater height (8 feet 4 inches)
in the first instance, so as to accommodate two shelves above that on the
level of the desk. These shelves are proved to be original by the
existence, at the juncture of the shelves with the upright divisions, of
the plates of iron which originally carried the sockets for the bar. The
rest of the ironwork has been removed, and it is difficult to detect
traces of its former existence, because modern shelves have been set
against the ends of the cases. The hole for the lowest bar, however,
remains in the same relative position as at Corpus Christi College; and,
as the ironwork for supporting the bars is identical with what still
remains there, it seems safe to conclude that no new principle was
introduced. The desks are modern, but the large and ornamental brackets
which support them are original, and the iron hooks (fig. 79) still remain
by which they were prevented from falling when turned up. The position of
these hooks shews that each desk was 19 inches broad. There were
originally seats between each pair of cases, as may be seen in Loggan's
view of the interior of the library, where their ends are distinctly

A special feature of this room is the beautiful open roof, practically
that which Sir Thomas Bodley put up in 1599. The principals and tie-beams
are ornamented with arabesques, while the flat surface between them is
divided into square compartments on which are painted the arms of the
University. On the bosses that intervene between these compartments are
the arms of Bodley himself.

I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter that the stall-system had
been represented in the library at Clare College, Cambridge. The old
library was a long narrow room over the old chapel, and we know on the
authority of William Cole[338] that it was "fitted up with wainscote
Classes on both sides." These "classes" had been put up shortly before
1627, when the Duke of Buckingham, then Chancellor of the University, was
taken to see them. When this library was pulled down in 1763 they were
removed to the new library which had been fitted up 20 years previously,
and ranged round the room in front of the modern shelves. They are
splendid specimens of carpentry-work, and bear so close a resemblance to
the cases in the library of S. John's College, that it may be assumed that
they were copied from them[339]. When the removal took place they were a
good deal altered, and a few years ago some fragments which had not been
utilised were found in a lumber-closet. One of the standards (fig. 85),
with its brackets, shews that the cases were once fitted with desks, the
removal of which was ingeniously concealed by the insertion of slips of
wood in the style of the older work[340]. I have not been able to discover
any traces of chaining, but as there are a number of seats in the library,
very like those in Corpus Christi College, Oxford, it is more than
probable that chains were once employed.

[Illustration: Fig. 85. Stall-end in the Library of Clare College,

The stall-system was not only popular in Oxford itself, but was adopted as
a standard for bookcases, and reproduced elsewhere.

The first example I will cite is at Westminster Abbey[341], where part of
the dorter was fitted up as a library during the years 1623 and 1624 by
John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln and afterwards Archbishop of York, who
was dean of Westminster from 1620 to his death in 1650. In the flowery
rhetoric of his biographer Bishop Hacket:

    With the same Generosity and strong propension of mind
    to enlarge the Boundaries of Learning, he converted a
    wast Room, scituate in the East side of the Cloysters,
    into _Plato's_ Portico, into a goodly Library; model'd
    it into decent shape, furnished it with Desks and
    Chains, accoutred it with all Utensils, and stored it
    with a vast Number of Learned Volumes[342].

This library--which has not been materially altered since 1625--occupies
the north end of what was once the dorter. It is 60 feet long, by 33 feet
4 inches broad. There are twelve bookcases--evidently the "desks" recorded
by Williams' biographer. Each is 10 feet 10 inches long, 2 feet broad, and
8 feet 3 inches high, divided by plain uprights into three compartments.
There are three shelves, below which is a desk for the reader, resting on
brackets, and provided with the usual slit for the chains to pass through.
These desks are hinged. The cases are quite plain, with the exception of a
molded cornice; above which, on the end of each, is some scroll-work.
There is also a small frame to contain the catalogue. It is probable that
there were originally seats for readers between each pair of cases. I
cannot discover any certain evidence of chaining, and yet "chains" are
distinctly enumerated among the dean's benefactions. There are faint scars
at the intersection of some of the shelves and uprights which may be
screwholes--but I cannot feel certain on the point.

I have already given the plan of the cathedral library at Wells (fig. 42).
After the Restoration this building was re-fitted during the episcopate of
Robert Creighton (Bishop 1670-1672), with the help of donations from the
celebrated Dr Richard Busby, and Dr Ralph Bathurst, who was dean from 1670
to 1704. It is important to remember that Bathurst was also master of
Trinity College, Oxford, an office which he retained until his death. As
he is described in the MS. List of Benefactors preserved in the library as
having taken a foremost part in fitting it up (in _Bibliothecâ hac
instaurandâ_ [Greek: ergodiôktês]), the selection of the bookcases may
with much probability be ascribed to him. His own college has still
bookcases which once must have been excellent specimens of the

[Illustration: Fig. 87. Bookcases in the Library of Durham Cathedral.

From a photograph.]

There are eight bookcases at Wells, of plain unpainted deal, projecting
from the west wall between the windows (fig. 42). They are 8 ft. 6 in.
long, 8 ft. 1 in. high and 3 ft. broad. Seven of them have desks on both
sides, but the last--that placed against the partition at the south end,
which screens off a small room for a study--has a desk on one side only.
There is no shelf below the desk, but two above it. They are fitted with
the usual apparatus for chaining. Between each pair of bookcases, in front
of the window, is a seat for the reader. These cases resemble so closely
those at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, that the source from which they
were derived cannot be doubtful.

Was this library ever chained? A Walton's Polyglot, 1657, had evidently
been prepared for chaining, and in a novel fashion, the plate to carry the
chain being attached to the left-hand board close to the back of the
volume (fig. 86)--so that it was evidently set on the shelf in the
ordinary way, and not with the fore-edge turned to the spectator, as is
usual in chained libraries. But with this exception I could not discover
indications of the attachment of a plate on any of the volumes. If I am
right in concluding that the books in this library were never chained, the
cases are a curious instance of the maintenance of fashion. Dean Bathurst
ordered a bookcase, and it was supplied to him with all its fittings
complete, whether they were to be used or not.

[Illustration: Fig. 86. Ring for attachment of chain, Wells.]

My last example is from Durham Cathedral, where John Sudbury, dean from
1661 to 1684, fitted up the ancient Frater as a library. The room is about
115 feet long by 30 feet wide, with nine windows in each side-wall. Their
sills are ten feet from the ground.

The cases (fig. 87) are evidently the work of a carpenter who was
thoroughly conversant with the stall-system. They had originally two
shelves only above the desk, the entablature, now visible on the ends
only, being carried along the sides. The shelf below the desk is also
modern. These cases are ten feet apart, and between each pair, instead of
a reader's seat, is a dwarf bookcase terminating in a desk. Attached to it
on each side is a seat conveniently placed for a reader to use the desk on
the side of the principal case.

I have shewn that the stall-system made its appearance at Oxford early in
the sixteenth century, but I have not been able to discover who introduced
it. My own impression is that it was monastic in its origin; and I can
prove that it fits at least two monastic libraries exactly. This theory
will also explain the prevalence of such cases at Oxford, and their almost
total absence from Cambridge, where monastic influence was never exercised
to the same extent.

I will begin with Canterbury, where, as I mentioned above[343], the
library was over the Prior's Chapel. The construction of this chapel is
described as follows by Professor Willis:

    Roger de S. Elphege, Prior from 1258 to 1263, completed
    a chapel between the Dormitory and Infirmary.... The
    style of its substructure shews that it was begun by his
    predecessor.... [It] is placed on the south side of the
    Infirmary cloister, between the Lavatory tower and
    Infirmary. Its floor was on the level of the upper
    gallery, and was sustained by an open vaulted ambulatory
    below. This replaced the portion of the original south
    alley [of the cloister] which occupied ... that
    position.... But, as this new substructure was more than
    twice as broad as the old one, the chapel was obtruded
    into the small cloister-garth, so as to cover part of
    the façade of the Infirmary Hall, diminish the already
    limited area, and destroy the symmetry of its form[344].

Above this chapel Archbishop Chichele built the library which Prior
Sellyng fitted up. It stood east and west, and of course must have been of
the same size as the chapel beneath it, namely, according to Professor
Willis, 62 feet long on the north side, 59 feet long on the south side,
and 22 feet broad. The door was probably at the south-west corner, at the
head of a staircase which originally led only to the chapel beneath it.

From these measurements I have constructed a plan of the room (fig. 88),
and of the bookcases which I am about to describe. The windows are of
course imaginary, but, I submit, justified by the uniform practice of
medieval libraries.

[Illustration: Fig. 88. Conjectural plan of the Library over the Prior's
Chapel at Christ Church, Canterbury.]

I am able to reconstruct this library because I have had the good fortune
to come across a very curious document[345] which gives sufficient data
for the purpose. It is contained in a MS. volume, now the property of the
Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, composed of several quires of paper
stitched into a parchment cover. They once belonged to, and were probably
written by, Brother William Ingram, who was _custos martirii_ in 1503; and
in June 1511 was promoted to the office of Pitancer. The accounts and
memoranda in the book are of a very miscellaneous character. The part
which concerns the library consists of a note of the books which were
repaired in 1508. This is headed:

    Repairs done to the books contained in the library over
    the chapel of our lord the Prior, namely, in new byndyng
    and bordyng with covers and claspyng and chenyng,
    together with sundry books of the gift of the aforesaid
    Prior, namely, in the year of our Lord 1508, and the
    year of the reign of King Henry VII., 23[346].

The writer goes round the room, beginning at the west end. He proceeds
along the north side, and returns along the south side, to the point
whence he started, enumerating on his way the bookcases and their shelves,
the volumes removed, and, occasionally, a note of the repairs required.
For my present purpose I will content myself with his account of a single
bookcase, the first on the list. The writer begins thus: "From the upper
shelf on the east side in the first seat (_de superiori textu[347] ex
orienti parte in prima_ (sic) _sedile_)." Three volumes are enumerated.
"From the lower shelf (_de inferiori textu_)," two volumes. "From the
upper shelf on the other side of the same seat (_de superiori textu ex
altera parte eiusdem sedilis_)," seven volumes. "From the lower shelf (_de
inferiori textu_)," five volumes. In this way eight seats, i.e. bookcases,
are gone through on this side of the room. The writer next turns his
attention to the south side, and goes through eight more seats, beginning
with: "From the east side of the upper shelf on the south side (_de textu
superiori ex parte australi incipiendo. In parte orientali_)." The
examination was evidently thorough, and, as the same number of seats is
enumerated for each side of the room, we may, I think, safely conclude
that all were examined, and that the whole number in the library was

The passages I have quoted shew that each of these bookcases had an upper
and lower shelf on each side, on which the books stood, so as to be
conveniently consulted by readers on each side; the books were chained;
and, in consequence, there must have been a desk, presumably below the
shelves on each side; and a seat for the reader. I have embodied these
requirements in the accompanying sketch or diagram (fig. 89), which
indicates a bookcase of the same type as those at Corpus Christi College,
Oxford. If we may suppose that each of these cases was two feet wide and
eight feet long like those at Merton College, we can accommodate eight
cases on each side of the room (fig. 88), with the same interval between
each pair as at that college.

[Illustration: Fig. 89. Sketch of the probable appearance of a bookcase,
and a reader's seat, in the Library at Christ Church, Canterbury.]

Let us now consider whether the library as thus arranged would have had
sufficient shelf-room. Each bookcase being 8 feet long would contain 32
feet of shelving, and the 16 cases a total of 512 feet. The catalogue made
in the time of Prior Henry of Eastry (1285-1331) enumerates 1850
volumes[348]. If we allow two feet and a half for every ten of these we
shall require 462½ feet; or in other words we can arrange the whole
collection in 14 stalls, leaving 2 over for the additions which must have
been made in the interval between the middle of the 14th century and the
date of Brother Ingram's researches.

If the sketch here given of the probable aspect of the library at Christ
Church, Canterbury, be compared with the view of the library at Merton
College, Oxford (fig. 82), a fairly correct idea of a great conventual
library will be obtained. A very slight effort of imagination is needed to
make the necessary changes in the shelves, and to replace academic
students by Benedictine monks. Then, if we conceive the shelves to be
loaded with manuscripts, many of which were written in the early days of
the English Church, we shall be able to realise the feelings of Leland on
entering the library at Glastonbury:

    I had hardly crossed the threshold when the mere sight
    of books remarkable for their vast antiquity filled me
    with awe, or I might almost say with bewilderment: so
    that for a moment I could not move a step forward[349].

I propose in the next place to print a translation of the Introduction to
the catalogue[350] of the Benedictine Priory of S. Martin at Dover, which
was a cell to Canterbury made in 1389 by John Whytfeld. This catalogue
does not indicate the stall-system; in fact I am at a loss to define the
precise system which it does indicate. I print it in this place on account
of its internal interest, and the evidence which it affords of the care
taken in the last quarter of the fourteenth century to make books easily
accessible to scholars.

    The present Register of the Library of the Priory of
    Dover, compiled in the year of the Lord's Incarnation
    1389 under the presidency of John Neunam prior and monk
    of the said church, is separated into three main
    divisions. The object is that the first part may supply
    information to the precentor of the house concerning the
    number of the books and the complete knowledge of them:
    that the second part may stir up studious brethren to
    eager and frequent reading: and that the third part may
    point out the way to the speedy finding of individual
    treatises by the scholars. Now although a brief special
    preface is prefixed to each part to facilitate the
    understanding of it, to this first part certain general
    notes are prefixed, to begin with, for the more plain
    understanding of the whole Register.

    Be it noted, then, first, that this whole Library is
    divided into nine several classes (Distinctions), marked
    according to the nine first letters of the alphabet,
    which are affixed to the classes themselves, in such a
    way that A marks out to him who enters the first Class,
    B the second, C the third, and so on in order. Each of
    the said nine classes, moreover, will be seen to be
    divided into seven shelves (grades), which are also
    marked off by the addition of Roman numeral figures,
    following the letters which denote the classes. We begin
    the numbering of the shelves from the bottom, and
    proceed upwards so that the bottom shelf, which is the
    first, is marked thus, I; the second thus, II; the third
    thus, III; and so the numbering goes, on up to

    In addition to this, the books of the Library are all of
    them marked on each leaf with Arabic numerals, to
    facilitate the ascertaining of the contents of the

    Now since many of the volumes contain a number of
    treatises, the names of these treatises, although they
    have not always been correctly christened, are written
    down under each volume, and an Arabic numeral is added
    to each name shewing on what leaf each tract begins. To
    this number the letter A or B is subjoined, the letter A
    here denoting the first page of the leaf, and the letter
    B the second. The books themselves, furthermore, have
    their class-letters and also their shelf-marks inserted
    not only outside on their bindings, but also inside,
    accompanying the tables of contents at the beginning. To
    such class-letters a small Arabic figure is added which
    shews clearly what position the book occupies in the
    order of placing on the shelf concerned.

    On the second, third, or fourth leaf of the book, or
    thereabouts, on the lower margin the name of the book is
    written. Before it are entered the above-mentioned
    class-letters and shelf-numbers, and after it (a small
    space intervening) are immediately set down the words
    with which that leaf begins, which I shall call the
    proof of investigation (_probatorium cognitionis_). The
    Arabic figures next following will state how many leaves
    are contained in the whole volume; and finally another
    numeral immediately following the last clearly sets
    forth the number of the tracts contained in the said

    If then the above facts be securely entrusted to a
    retentive memory it will be clearly seen in what class,
    shelf, place and order each book of the whole Library
    ought to be put, and on what leaf and which side of the
    leaf the beginnings of the several treatises may be
    found. For it has been the object of the compiler of
    this present register [and] of the Library, by setting
    forth a variety of such marks and notations of classes,
    shelves, order, pagination, treatises and volumes, to
    insure for his monastery security from loss in time to
    come, to shut the door against the spite of such as
    might wish to despoil or bargain away such a treasure,
    and to set up a sure bulwark of defence and resistance.
    And in truth the compiler will not be offended but will
    honestly love anyone who shall bring this
    register--which is still faulty in many respects--into
    better order, even if he should see fit to place his own
    name at the head of the whole work.

    In the first part of the register, therefore, we have
    throughout at the top, between black lines ruled
    horizontally, first the class-letter, in red, and,
    following it, the shelf-mark, in black characters
    (_tetris signaculis_). Then again between other lines
    ruled in red, vertically: first, on the left a numeral
    shewing the place of the book in order on its shelf:
    then the name of the volume: thirdly, the number of the
    "probatory" leaf; fourthly, the "probatory" words (in
    the case of which, by the way, reference is made to the
    text and not to the gloss); fifthly, the number of
    leaves in the whole volume; and, lastly, the number of
    the treatises contained in it--all written within the
    aforesaid lines. In addition there will be left in each
    shelf of this part, at the end, some vacant space, in
    which the names of books that may be subsequently
    acquired can be placed[352].

The meaning of the word "distinction" is the principal difficulty in the
way of understanding the above description. I thought at first that it
denoted merely difference of subject, and that _gradus_, as in the
catalogue of Queens' College, Cambridge, was a side of a lectern. But the
statement that the grades are numbered "from the bottom and proceed
upwards" can hardly be reconciled with any arrangement of lecterns.
_Distinctio_ probably denotes a bookcase or press, divided into 7 grades,
and probably placed against the wall, the word _gradus_ here meaning a
flat shelf, instead of one set at an angle as in former instances. If this
explanation be correct we have here a very early instance of shelves in
such a position.

My second example of a monastic library fitted up according to the
stall-system is the library at Clairvaux. As I have already printed a full
description of it[353], I need not do more in this place than translate
the passage referring to the fittings:

    This library is 189 feet long, by 51 feet wide[354]. In
    it are 48 seats (_bancs_), and in each seat 4 shelves
    (_poulpitres_) furnished with books on all subjects, but
    chiefly theology.... The building that contains the said
    library is magnificent, built of stone, and excellently
    well lighted on both sides with five large windows, well

As there were so many as 48 bookcases, that is, 24 on each side, the
bookcases were evidently spaced without reference to the lateral windows,
which were probably raised high above the floor.

The catalogue, from which I have already quoted the verses commemorating
the building of the library, contains much useful information respecting
the arrangement of the books. The verses are succeeded by the following
introductory note:

    Repertorium omnium librorum in hac Clarevallis
    biblioteca existentium a fratre Mathurino de cangeyo
    eiusdem loci monacho non sine magno labore editum.


    Pro intelligentia presentis tabule seu Repertorii,
    sciendum est quod a parte aquilonari collocantur libri
    quorum litere capitales nigre sunt, quorum vero rubre a
    parte australi. Et omnes in ea ordine alphabetico

    Utriusque autem partis primum analogium per litteram A
    signatur, secundum per litteram B, tercium per litteram
    C, quartum per litteram D, quintum per litteram E. Et
    consequenter cetera analogia per sequentes litteras

    Quodlibet autem analogium quatuor habet partes, quarum
    prima signatur per litteram A, secunda per B, tercia per
    C, quarta per D.

    Prime partis primi analogii primus liber signatur per A.
    a. 1, secundus per A. a. 2, tercius per A. a. 3, et

    Secunde partis primus liber signatur per A. b. 1,
    secundus per A. b. 2; et de consequentibus similis est

    Tercie partis primus liber signatur per A. c. 1,
    secundus per A. c. 2; et consequenter.

    Quarte partis primus liber signatur per A. d. 1,
    secundus per A. d. 2; et consequenter.

    [In this way five "analogia" are enumerated.]

    Et eadem est disciplina et ordinacio de ceteris
    analogiis prout habetur in novissimo quaternione eiusdem
    tabule, immo et in fronte cuiuslibet analogii in tabella
    eidem appendente.

    Hanc tabulam seu repertorium scripsit quondam frater
    Petrus mauray de Arecis oriundus. Vivus vel defunctus
    requiescat in bona semper pace. Amen.

The most important passage in the above note may be thus translated:


    For the right understanding of the present table or
    method of finding books (_tabule seu repertorii_), you
    must know that on the north side are ranged those books
    whereof the capital letters are black; on the south side
    those whereof the capital letters are red. All are set
    down in alphabetical order.

    On each side the first desk (_analogium_) is marked by
    the letter A; the second by the letter B; [and so

    Each desk has four divisions, the first of which is
    marked by the letter _a_, the second by the letter _b_,
    the third by the letter _c_, the fourth by the letter
    _d_. The first book on the first shelf of the first desk
    is marked A. a. i; the second A. a. ii; [and so forth].

The catalogue as well as the description makes it perfectly clear that
each desk, that is to say, each bookcase, had four shelves; and further,
as the authors of the _Voyage Littéraire_ (1708) mention chains[355], it
may be concluded that there were desks, and seats for readers, between
each pair of bookcases. If we place two shelves on each side of the case
we get a piece of furniture precisely similar to that in use at


[332] Macray, _Annals of the Bodleian Library_, p. 7. The words used are:
Jam enim si quis, ut fit, uni libro inhæreat, aliis studere volentibus ad
tres vel quatuor pro vicinitate colligationis præcludit accessum.

[333] Hearne's _Glastonbury_, ed. 1722, p. 286.

[334] _Fasti Herefordenses_, by Rev. F. T. Havergal. 4^o, 1869, p. 181. A
Chapter-order dated 16 February, 1589, directed the removal of the books
to the Lady Chapel, and the erection of a school on the ground where the
Library had once stood.

[335] For the historical facts in the following account I am indebted to
Mr Henderson's History, to the merits of which I have already drawn
attention. I have also made copious extracts from the College
account-books. Further, I have carefully studied the library on several
occasions, and have had the benefit of the professional assistance of my
friend Mr T. D. Atkinson, Architect.

[336] In the bursar's accounts for 1605, among other charges for the
library, is the following entry: "pro pari cardinum ad sedem in
bibliotheca 12d." If I am right in thinking that this refers to the desks
for the readers in the west library it proves that the existing cases had
been set up before 1605.

[337] Wood, _Colleges and Halls_, p. 551.

[338] Add. MSS. Mus. Brit. 5803, MSS. Cole, II. 9.

[339] _Arch. Hist._ III. 453.

[340] I have described these fragments in _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc._, Vol.
VIII. p. 18.

[341] See my paper in _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc. and Comm._, Vol. IX. p. 37.

[342] _Scrinia reserata_: a Memorial ... of John Williams, D.D.... By John
Hacket. Fol. Lond. 1693, pp. 46, 47.

[343] See above, p. 106.

[344] _Arch. Hist. of ... Monastery of Chr. Ch. Cant._ 8vo. 1869, p. 65.
This chapel was pulled down at the end of the 17th century and the present
library, called the Howley library, built in its place.

[345] I have to thank my friend Mr W. H. St John Hope, Assistant Secretary
of the Society of Antiquaries, for first drawing my attention to it; and
the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury for leave to use it.

[346] Reparaciones facte circa libros qui continentur in libraria supra
capellam domini prioris videlicet in le new byndyng and bordyng cum
coopertoriis and le claspyng and chenyng eciam cum diuersis libris ex dono
eiusdem prioris videlicet Anno domini M^o ccccc^o viij^o and Anno Regni
Regis henrici vij^o xxiii.

[347] This word seems to have been used at Canterbury to denote any piece
of joinery. We have already seen it applied to a carrell (p. 99).

[348] See above, p. 102. The catalogue has been printed by Edwards,
_Memoirs of Libraries_, I. pp. 122-235.

[349] Vix certè limen intraveram cum antiquissimorum librorum vel solus
conspectus religionem, nescio an stuporem, animo incuteret meo; eâque de
causâ, pedem paullulum sistebam. Leland, _De Script. Brit._ ed. Hall, I.

[350] This catalogue is in the Bodleian Library (MSS. 920). I am indebted
to my friend Dr James for the admirable translation which I here print.

[351] The words thus translated are: "Incipiendo graduum computacionem a
loco inferiori in altum procedendo videlicet ut gradus infimus qui primus
est sic signetur I."

[352] Dr James has pointed out (_Camb. Ant. Soc. Oct. Publ._, No. XXXII.)
that there are six MSS. from Dover Priory among Archbishop Parker's MSS.
at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The first of these--a Bible in two
volumes--is entered in the catalogue of the Priory as A. 1. 2, 3--that is
to say it was in _distinctio_ A, _gradus_ 1, and the volumes stood second
and third in the _gradus_.

[353] See above, p. 112.

[354] The words are: "contient de longueur LXIII passées, et de largeur
XVII passées." I have taken one pace=3 feet.

[355] _Voyage Littéraire_, ed. 1717, Part I.. p. 102.



While the "stall-system" was being generally adopted in England and in
France, a different plan was being developed in Italy. It consisted in a
return to the "lectern-system," with the addition of a shelf below the
lectern, on which the books lay on their sides when not wanted; and an
ingenious combination of a seat for the reader with the desk and shelf.

The earliest library fitted up in this manner that I have been able to
discover is at Cesena, a city of north Italy between Forli and Ravenna. It
is practically in its original condition.

In the fifteenth century Cesena was governed by the powerful family of
Malatesta, one of whom, Domenico Malatesta Novello, built the library in
1452, and placed it under the charge of the convent of S. Francesco. Two
burghers were associated with the Friars in this duty. The library was
always public. It was designed by Matteo Nuzio of Fano, a celebrated
architect of the day, as we learn from an inscription originally inserted
into the wall on the right of the door of entrance, but now placed inside
the library:

                    MATHEVS. NVTIVS.
               FANENSI EX VRBE. CREATVS.
                 DEDALVS ALTER. OPVS.

[Illustration: Figs. 90, 91. Ground-plan and section of Library at

[Illustration: Fig. 92. General view of the Library at Cesena.

From a photograph.]

The general plan and arrangement will be readily understood from the
ground-plan (fig. 90), and the longitudinal section (fig. 91), copied on a
reduced scale from those given by the learned Giuseppe Maria Muccioli, who
published a catalogue of the MSS. in the library in 1780[356], and also
from the general view of the interior (fig. 92). It is a long narrow
building, 133 ft. 4 in. long, by 34 ft. broad[357], standing east and
west, so that its windows face north and south. It is on the first floor,
being built over some rooms which once belonged to the convent, and is
entered at the west end through a lofty marble doorway. Internally it is
divided into three aisles, of which the central is the narrowest, by two
rows of ten fluted marble columns. Against the side-walls and partly
engaged in them, are two rows of similar columns. The aisles are divided
by plain quadripartite vaults, resting partly on the central columns,
partly on those engaged in the side-walls, into eleven bays, each lighted
by two windows (fig. 91). These aisles are about 12 ft. wide. The central
aisle, 8 ft. 3 in. wide between the columns, has a plain barrel vault,
extending from end to end of the building.

The influence of the Renaissance may readily be detected in the
ornamentation of the columns, but traces of medieval forms still linger in
the room. If the central alley were wider it might be taken for the nave
of a basilica.

[Illustration: Fig. 93. Bookcases at west end of south side of Library,

There are 29 bookcases in each aisle. Between each pair of cases there is
a wooden floor, raised 3½ in. above the general level of the room; and
there is an interval of 2 ft. 3 in. between the cases and the wall, so
that access may be readily obtained to them from either end. The room is
paved with unglazed tiles.

The westernmost bay is empty (fig. 90), being used as a vestibule, and
the first bookcase, if I may be allowed the expression, on each side, is
really not a bookcase but a seat (fig. 93)[358].

[Illustration: Fig. 94. Part of a bookcase at Cesena to shew the system of

The construction of these cases is most ingenious, both as regards
convenience and economy of space. If they were designed by the architect
who built the room, he must have been a man of no ordinary originality.
Each piece of furniture consists of a desk to lay the books on when wanted
for use, a shelf for those not immediately required, and a seat for the
reader, whose comfort is considered by a gentle slope in the back (fig.
93). At the end next the central alley is a panel containing the heraldic
devices of the Malatesta family.

The principal dimensions of each case are as follows:

  Length                       10 ft. 2½ in.
  Height                        4 ft. 2¼ in.
  Width of seat                 3 ft. 1 in.
  Width of foot-rest           11 in.
  Height                        3½ in.
  Height of seat from ground    1 ft. 10½ in.
  Width                         1 ft. 4 in.
  Distance from desk to desk    4 ft. 1 in.
  Angle of slope of desk       45°.

The books are still attached to the desks by chains. The bar which carries
them is in full view just under the ledge of the desk (fig. 94), inserted
into massive iron stanchions nailed to the underside of the desk. There
are four of these: one at each end of the desk, and one on each side of
the central standard. The bar is locked by means of a hasp attached to the
standard in which the lock is sunk.

The chains are of a novel form (fig. 95). Each link, about 2¼ in. long,
consists of a solid central portion, which looks as though it were cast
round a bent wire, the ends of which project beyond the solid part. The
chain is attached to the book by an iron hook screwed into the lower edge
of the right-hand board near the back.

[Illustration: Fig. 95. Piece of a chain, Cesena.]

[Illustration: Fig. 96. Chained book at Ghent.]

The volume which I figure next (fig. 96), entitled _Lumen animæ seu liber
moralitatum_, was printed at Eichstädt in Bavaria, in 1479. M. Ferd.
Vander Haeghen, librarian of Ghent, bought it in Hungary a few years
since, and gave it to the library which he so ably directs. The chain is
just 24 in. long. The links, of which there are ten, are slightly
different from any which I have figured, each link being compressed in the
middle so that the two sides touch each other. There is no ring, but a
link, rather larger than the rest, is passed round the bar. It will be
observed that the chain is fastened to the left-hand board, and not to the
right-hand board as in Italy. The presence of a title written on
parchment kept in place by strips of leather, and five bosses of copper,
shew that the left-hand board was uppermost on the desk. The position of
the chain shews that when it was attached the book was intended to lie on
a desk, where the bar must have been in front of, or below, the desk; but
there is also a scar on the upper edge of the right-hand board, which
shews that at some previous period it lay on a desk of what I may call the
Zutphen type, where the bar was above the sloping surface.

With the library at Cesena may be compared that attached to the Dominican
Convent of S. Mark at Florence, built in 1441 for Cosmo dei Medici--the
first public library in Italy. It is on the first floor, and is approached
by a staircase from the cloister. It is 148 ft. long by 34 ft. 6 in.
wide[359], divided into three aisles by two rows of eleven columns. The
central aisle, 9 ft. wide between the columns, has a plain barrel vault;
the side aisles, 11 ft. wide, have quadripartite vaults. In each of the
side-walls there are twelve windows. In all these details the library
resembles that at Cesena so closely that I cannot help suspecting that
Malatesta or his architect may have copied it.

The original fittings have been removed, but we learn from the
catalogue[360] that the books were originally contained in 64 _banchi_,
half of which were on the east side and half on the west side of the room.
There was an average of about sixteen books to each _banchus_. The
catalogue also mentions a Greek library, which had seven _banchi_ on each
side. This was probably a separate room.

There is a similar library at the Benedictine Convent of Monte Oliveto,
near Siena, but it is on a much smaller scale. Like the others, it is
divided into three aisles by two rows of six columns. The central aisle
has a barrel vault, and the side aisles quadripartite vaults. It is 85 ft.
long by 32 ft. broad. There are seven windows on one side only. At the end
of the library, approached by a flight of thirteen stairs, is a room of
the same width and 21 ft. long, which may have been used as an inner
library. An inscription over the door of entrance records that this
library was built in 1516[361].

While discussing the arrangements of Italian libraries, I must not omit
that at the Convent of S. Francis at Assisi[362]. The catalogue, dated 1
January, 1381, shews that the library, even at that comparatively early
date, was in two divisions: (1) for the use of the brethren; (2) for loans
to extraneous persons. This catalogue, after a brief preface stating that
it includes "all the books belonging to the library of the Holy Convent of
S. Francis at Assisi, whether they be chained, or whether they be not
chained," begins as follows:

    In the first place we make a list of the books which are
    chained to benches (_banchi_) in the Public Library as
    follows, and observe that all the leaves of all the
    books which are in this catalogue, whether they are in
    quires of 12, 10, 8, or any other number of leaves
    larger or smaller,--every one of these books contains
    the denomination of the quires, as appears in the first
    quire of each book on the lower margin: all the quires
    being marked at beginning and end in black and red with
    the figure here shewn, and the number of the quire
    within it.


    Moreover, the letters of the alphabet that are placed on
    the top of the covers ought all to be fairly large and
    entirely black, as marked below [in this catalogue] at
    the end of each book[363].

This introduction is succeeded by the list of books. They are chained to
nine benches on the west side of a room, and to the same number on the
east side. The total is 170.

The second part of the catalogue has the following heading:

    In the name of the Lord, Amen. Here begins the list of
    all the books which are in the Reserved Library
    (_libraria secreta_) of the Holy Convent of S. Francis
    at Assisi, appointed to be lent to prelates, masters,
    readers, bachelors, and all other brethren in orders,
    according as the amount of knowledge or line of study of
    each demands them.

This part of the collection is contained in eleven presses (for which the
unusual word _solarium_[364] is used) arranged along the east and west
walls of a room, but whether the same as the last we are not informed. The
number of manuscripts is 530.

A considerable number of the manuscripts here registered still exists.
They are well taken care of in the Town Hall, and a list of them has been
privately printed. Several are in their original condition, bound in
boards about a quarter of an inch thick, covered with white leather. The
title, written on a strip of parchment, is pasted on the top of the
right-hand board. It usually begins with a capital letter in red or black,
denoting the desk or press in which a given MS. would be found, thus:

  F   Postilla Magistri
      Nicolai de lyra super psalmos
      reponatur uersus orientem in banco vj^o.

In the next place I will tell at length the story of the establishment of
the Vatican Library by Pope Sixtus IV., as it is both interesting in
itself and useful for my present purpose[365].

The real founder of the Vatican Library, as we understand the term, was
Nicholas V. (1447-1455), but he was unable to do more than collect books,
for which no adequate room was provided till the accession of Sixtus IV.
in 1471. In December of that year, only four months after his election,
his chamberlain commissioned five architects to quarry and convey to the
palace a supply of building-stone "for use in a certain building there to
be constructed for library-purposes[366]"; but the scheme for an
independent building, as indicated by the terms here employed, was soon
abandoned, and nothing was done for rather more than three years. In the
beginning of 1475, however, a new impulse was given to the work by the
appointment of Bartolommeo Platina as Librarian (28 February)[367]; and
from that date until Platina's death in 1481 it went forward without let
or hindrance. This distinguished man of letters seems to have enjoyed the
full confidence of the Pope, to have been liberally supplied with funds,
and to have had a free hand in the employment of craftsmen and artists to
furnish and decorate his Library. It is pleasant to be able to record that
he lived to see his work completed, and all the books under his charge
catalogued. The enumeration of the volumes contained in the different
stalls, closets, and coffers, with which the catalogue of 1481 concludes,
is headed by a rubric, which records, with pathetic simplicity, the fact
that it was drawn up "by Platina, librarian, and Demetrius of Lucca his
pupil, keeper, on the 14th day of September, 1481, only eight days before
his death[368]."

[Illustration: Fig. 98. Ground-plan of the rooms in the Vatican Palace
fitted up for library-purposes by Sixtus IV.

E. Wilson, Cambridge]

It is evident that the Library had suffered considerably from the
negligence of those in whose charge it had been. Many volumes were
missing, and those that remained were in bad condition. Platina and his
master set to work energetically to remedy these defects. The former
engaged a binder, and bought materials for his use[369]; the latter issued
a Bull (30 June) of exceptional severity[370]. After stating that "certain
ecclesiastical and secular persons, having no fear of God before their
eyes, have taken sundry volumes in theology and other faculties from the
library, which volumes they still presume rashly and maliciously to hide
and secretly to detain"; such persons are warned to return the books in
question within forty days. If they disobey they are _ipso facto_
excommunicated. If they are clerics they shall be incapable of holding
livings, and if laymen, of holding any office. Those who have knowledge of
such persons are to inform against them. The effect produced by this
document has not been recorded; nor are we told what the extent of the
loss was. It could hardly have been very extensive, for a catalogue which
Platina prepared, or perhaps only signed, on the day of his election,
enumerates 2527 volumes, of which 770 were Greek and 1757 Latin[371]. The
number of the latter had more than doubled in the twenty years that had
elapsed since the death of Nicholas V., an augmentation due, in all
probability, to the activity of Sixtus himself.

The place selected to contain this extensive collection was the
ground-floor of a building which had been erected by Nicholas V. and
subsequently used as a provision store. The position of it, and its
relations to neighbouring structures, will be understood from the
accompanying plan (fig. 97), which I borrow from M. Fabre's paper. In
order to shew how the building was arranged when it was first built,
before other structures abutted against it, I have prepared a second plan
(fig. 98) drawn from measurements taken by myself.

[Illustration: Fig. 97. Ground-plan of part of the Vatican Palace, shewing
the building of Nicholas V., as arranged for library purposes by Sixtus
IV., and its relation to the surrounding structures.

From Letarouilly, _Le Vatican_, fol. Paris, 1882; as reproduced by M.

The floor is divided into four rooms by party-walls which are probably
older than 1475, but which are proved, by the catalogue of 1481, to have
been in existence at that period. The first of these rooms, entered
directly from the court, contained the Latin Library; the second, the
Greek Library. These two, taken together, formed the Common, or Public,
Library (_Bibliotheca communis_, _B. publica_, or merely _Bibliotheca_).
Next to this room, or these rooms, was the _Bibliotheca secreta_ or
Reserved Library, in which the more precious MSS. were kept apart from the
others. The fourth room, which was not fitted up till 1480 or 1481, was
called _Bibliotheca pontificia_. In addition to MSS. it contained the
papal archives and registers (_Regesta_). In the catalogue dated 1512 it
is called _Intima et ultima secretior bibliotheca_, and seems to have
contained the most valued treasures. This quadripartite division is
commemorated by Aurelio Brandolini (Epigram XII.)[372]. After alluding to
the founders of some of the famous libraries of antiquity, he says in

  Bibliotheca fuit, fateor, sua cuique, sed vna.
    Sixte pater vincis: quatuor vnus habes.

Thanks to the care with which Platina set down his expenditure, we are
able to follow step by step the gradual transformation of the rooms. His
account-books[373], begun 30 June 1475, record, with a minuteness as rare
as it is valuable, his transactions with the different artists and workmen
whom he thought proper to employ. It was evidently intended that the
library should be beautiful as well as useful, and some of the most
celebrated artists of the day were set to work upon it.

The librarian prudently began in August, 1475, by increasing the light,
and a new window was made "on the side next the court." It seems to have
been impossible to get either workmen or materials in Rome; both were
supplied from a distance. For the windows, glass, lead and solder were
brought from Venice, and a German, called simply Hormannus, i.e. Hermann,
was hired to glaze them. For the internal decoration two well-known
Florentine artists--the brothers Ghirlandajo--were engaged, with Melozzo
da Forli, who was painting there in 1477[374]. In 1476 the principal
entrance was decorated with special care. Marble was bought for the
doorcase, and the door itself was studded with 95 bronze nails, which were
gilt, as were also the ring and knocker, and the frame of trellised
ironwork (_cancellus_), which hung within the outer door.

The building is entered from the _Cortile del Papagallo_[375] through a
marble doorway (fig. 98, A) in the classical style surmounted by the arms
of Sixtus IV. On the frieze are the words SIXTUS PAPA IIII. The doorcase
is doubtless that made in 1476; but the door, with its gilt nails and
other adornments, has disappeared. Within the doorway there has been a
descent of three steps at least to the floor of the Library[376]. The four
rooms of which it was once composed are now used as the _Floreria_ or
_Garde-meuble_ of the Vatican Palace; a use to which they have probably
been put ever since the new Library was built at the end of the sixteenth

The Latin Library, into which the door from the court opens directly, is a
noble room, 58 ft. 9 in. long, 34 ft. 8 in. wide, and about 16 ft. high to
the spring of the vault. In the centre is a square pier, which carries the
four plain quadripartite vaults, probably of brick, covered with plaster.
The room is at present lighted by two windows (B, C) in the north wall,
and by another, of smaller size, above the door of entrance (A). That this
latter window was inserted by Sixtus IV., is proved by the presence of his
arms above it on a stone shield. This is probably the window "next the
court" made in 1475. The windows in the north wall are about 8 ft. high by
5 ft. broad, and their sills are 7 ft. above the floor of the room.
Further, there were two windows in the west wall (_b_, _c_) a little
smaller than those in the north wall, and placed at a much lower level,
only a few feet above the floor. These were blocked when the Torre Borgia
was built by Alexander VI. (1492-1503), but their position can still be
easily made out. This room must have been admirably lighted in former

The room next to this, the Greek Library, is 28 ft. broad by 34 ft. 6 in.
long. It is lighted by a window (fig. 98, D) in the north wall, of the
same size as those of the Latin Library, and by another (_ibid._, E) a
good deal smaller, opposite to it. This room was originally entered from
the Latin Library by a door close to the north wall (_d_). But, in
1480[377], two large openings (_e_, _f_) were made in the partition-wall,
either because the light was found to be deficient, or because it was
thought best to throw the two rooms into one as far as possible. At some
subsequent date the door (_d_) was blocked up, and the opening next to it
(_e_) was carried down to the ground, so as to do duty as a door. The
other opening (_f_), about 7 ft. 6 in. square, remains as constructed.

The decorative work of the brothers Ghirlandajo can still be made out, at
least in part, though time has made sad havoc with it. The edges of the
vaulting were made prominent by classical moldings coarsely drawn in a
dark colour; and at the key of each vault is a large architectural
ornament, or coat of arms, surrounded by a wreath of oak-leaves and
acorns, to commemorate the Della Rovere family. They are tied together on
each side with long flaunting ribbons, which, with their shadows, extend
for a considerable distance over the vaults. The semi-circular lunettes in
the upper part of the wall under the vaults are all treated alike, except
that those on the sides of the room, being larger than those at the ends
(fig. 98), contain two subjects instead of one. The lower part, for about
3 feet in height, is painted to represent a solid marble balcony, behind
which a Doctor or Prophet is supposed to be standing. He is visible from
rather below the waist upwards, and holds in his hand a scroll bearing an
appropriate text. On each side of the figure in the smaller lunettes,
resting on the balcony, is a large vase of flowers; and behind it a clear
sky. Round the upper edge of the lunette is a broad band of oak-leaves,
and fruits of various kinds. The figures, of which there were evidently
twelve originally, are the following, beginning with the one at the
north-east corner over the door leading into the Greek Library, and
proceeding to the right:

   1. HIERONYMUS. _Scientiam scripturarum ama, et vitia carnis non amabis._

   2. GREGORIUS. _Dei sapientiam sardonyco et zaphyro non confer._

   3. THOMAS. _Legend illegible._

   4. BONAVENTURA. _Fructus scripturæ est plenitudo æternæ felicitatis._

   6. DIOGENES.   }
   7. CLEOBULUS.   }
                   }  _Legends illegible._
   9. SOCRATES.    }
  10. PLATO.       }

  11. AUGUSTINUS. _Nihil beatius est quam semper aliquid legere aut

  12. AMBROSIUS. _Diligentiam circa scripturas sanctorum posui._

Jerome and Gregory occupy the east wall; Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura
the first lunette on the south wall, over the door of entrance; Aristotle
and Diogenes the next, succeeded by Cleobulus and Antisthenes on the west
wall; on the first lunette on the north wall are Socrates and Plato; in
the second Augustine and Ambrose, facing Aquinas and Bonaventura. Thus the
eastern half of the library was presided over by doctors of the Christian
Church, the western by pagan philosophers.

The space on the north wall (_gh_), nearly opposite to the door of
entrance, was occupied by the fresco on which Melozzo da Forli was working
in 1477. It was intended to commemorate the establishment of the Library
in a permanent home by Sixtus the Fourth. The Pope is seated on the right
of the spectator. On his right stands his nephew, Cardinal Pietro Riario,
and before him, his head turned towards the Pope, to whom he seems to be
speaking, another nephew, Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, afterwards Pope
Julius the Second. At the feet of the Pope kneels Bartolommeo Platina, the
newly appointed Librarian, who is pointing with the forefinger of his
right hand to the inscription below the fresco. Behind Platina are two
young men with chains of office round their necks. The inscription, said
to have been written by Platina himself, is as follows:


The fresco is now in the Vatican picture-gallery. It was transferred to
canvas soon after 1815, when the present gallery was formed, and has
suffered a good deal from what is called restoration[379].

The decoration of the Greek Library is not alluded to in the
Accounts[380]; but it is easy to see that the lunettes have been
ornamented on the same system as those of the Latin Library, but without
figures; for their decoration still exists, though much damaged by time
and damp. Below the lunettes the walls are covered with whitewash, under
which some decoration is evidently concealed. The whitewash has peeled off
in some places, and colour is beginning to make its appearance.

The _Bibliotheca secreta_ is 20 ft. wide by 38 ft. 6 in. long. It is
lighted by a single window in the north wall (fig. 98, F), of the same
size and shape as the rest. The light is sufficient, even under present

The fourth and last room--spoken of in 1480 as "that addition which our
Master lately made"--is 29 ft. wide by 40 ft. 6 in. long. It is at present
lighted by only a single window in the north wall (fig. 98, G), and is
very gloomy. But in former days, before Julius II. (1503-1513) built the
_Cortile di San Damaso_, it had another window in the middle of the east
wall (_ibid._, H), where there is now a door. Nothing certain can be made
out about its decoration.

It is much to be regretted that so little is said about the glazing of the
windows throughout the Library. Great care was evidently bestowed upon
them, and the engagement of foreign artists, with the purchase of glass at
Venice, are proofs that something specially beautiful was intended.
Coloured glass is mentioned, which may have been used either for coats of
arms--and we know that the Papal Arms were to be set up in the
_Bibliotheca secreta_--or for subjects. But, in forming conjectures as to
the treatment of these windows, it should be remembered that the
transmission of light must always have been the first consideration, and
that white glass must have preponderated.

The rooms for the Librarian and his assistants were in a small building
which abutted on the Library at its S.W. corner, and stood between the two
courts, obtaining light from each. Over the door of entrance was the

              SIXTUS . IIII . PONT . MAX.

The accommodation provided was not magnificent, two rooms only being
mentioned. A door (fig. 98, _a_), now blocked, gave access to the Library
from this building. It is interesting to note, as a proof of the richness
of all the work, that it was of inlaid wood (_pino intarsiata_).

The work of fitting up this Library occupied about six years. It began in
September 1475, and proceeded continuously to January 1477, when Melozzo's
fresco was in progress. In December of that year the windows of the
_Bibliotheca secreta_ were begun; but during 1478 and 1479 nothing was
done. In 1480 work was resumed, and the last payment to painters was made
in 1481.

Let us now consider how these rooms were fitted up for the reception of
books. I will first collect the notices in the Accounts respecting desks,
or _banchi_, as they are called, and then compare them with the rooms
themselves, and with the descriptions in the catalogues, which are
fortunately extremely full; and I think that it will be possible to give a
clear and consistent picture of the arrangements.

Platina ordered the desks for the Latin Library first, in 1475. This is
set down in the following terms:

    I have counted out, in the presence of Clement, steward
    of the household of His Holiness our Master, Salvatus
    the library-keeper (_librarius_), and Demetrius the
    reader (_lector_), 45 ducats to Francis the carpenter of
    Milan, now dwelling in the fishmarket of the city of
    Rome, towards making the desks in the library; and
    especially ten desks which stand on the left hand, the
    length of which is 38 palms or thereabouts; and so
    having received a part of the money, the total of which
    is 130 ducats, he promises and binds himself to do that
    which it is his duty to do, this 15th day of July,

The full name of this carpenter is known, from his receipts, to have been
Francesco de Gyovane di Boxi da Milano. He received in all 300 ducats
instead of the 130 mentioned in the first agreement, and when the last
payment was made to him, 7 June, 1476, the following explanatory note is

    Moreover I have paid to the same [Francis the carpenter]
    30 ducats for what remains due on 25 desks for the
    Library: for the longer ones, which are 10 in number,
    there were paid, as entered above, 130 ducats; for the
    rest there were paid 170 ducats, making a total of 300
    ducats, and so he has been paid in full for all the
    desks, this 7th day of June, 1476[383].

In 1477 the furniture for the next room, the _Bibliotheca secreta_ or
Inner Library, was begun. The work was entrusted to a Florentine, called
in the Accounts merely _Magister Joanninus faber lignarius de Florentia_,
but identified by M. Fabre with Giovannino dei Dolci, one of the builders
of the Sistine chapel. The most important entry referring to him is the

    Master Giovannino, carpenter of Florence, had from me
    Platyna, librarian of His Holiness our Master, for
    making the desks in the inner library, for the great
    press, and the settle, in the said room--all of which
    were estimated by Master Francis of Milan at one hundred
    and eighty ducats--he had, as aforesaid, sixty-five
    ducats and sixty groats on the 7th May, 1477[384].

The last payment on this account was made 18 March, 1478, on which day he
also received eight ducats for three frames "to contain the names of the
books," and for some repairs to old desks[385]. These frames were painted
by one of Melozzo da Forli's workmen[386]. In February, 1481, 12
book-chests were supplied[387].

The desks for the fourth room or _Bibliotheca pontificia_ were ordered in
1480-81. The workmen employed were Giovannino and his brother Marco.

    Master Giovannino of Florence and Master Marco his
    brother, a carpenter, received XXV ducats in part
    payment for the desks which are being made in the
    library now added by His Holiness our Master, 18 July,

These workmen received 100 ducats up to 7 April, 1481, but the account was
not then settled. Up to this period the bookcases had cost the large sum
of 580 ducats or, if the value of the ducat be taken at six shillings and
sixpence, £188 10_s._ of our money.

The purchase of chains began in January 1476[389]. It is worth notice that
so simple an article as a chain for a book could not be bought in Rome,
but had to be sent for from Milan; where, by the way, the dues exacted by
the government made the purchase irksome and costly. The total number of
chains bought was 1728, and the total cost 102 ducats, or rather more than
£33. The rings were found to be too small, and were altered in Rome.
Nothing is said about the place from which the rods came (_ferramenta
quibus catenæ innituntur_).

In 1477 (14 April) "John the chain-maker (_Joannes fabricator catenarum_)"
supplies "48 iron rods on which the books are strung on the seats[390]"
and also 48 locks, evidently connected with the same number of rods
supplied before. In the same year a key-maker (_magister clavium_)
supplies 22 locks for the seats and cupboards in the _Bibliotheca
secreta_[391]; and in 1480, when the _Bibliotheca pontficia_ was being
fitted up, keys, locks, chains, and other ironwork were supplied by
Bernardino, nephew of John of Milan[392].

For further information we must turn to the catalogues. For my present
purpose the first of these[393] is that by Platina, of which I have
already spoken, dated 14 September, 1481. It is a small folio volume,
written on vellum, with gilt edges, and in plain binding that may be
original. The first page has a lovely border of an enlaced pattern with
the arms of Sixtus IV. in a circle at the bottom.

The compiler of the catalogue goes through the library case by case,
noting (at least in the Latin Library) the position of the case, the
subjects of the books contained in it, and their titles. This is succeeded
by an enumeration of the number of volumes, so as to shew, in a couple of
pages, how many the whole Library contained. MM. Müntz and Fabre print
this enumeration, but, so far as I know, the catalogue itself has not as
yet been printed by any one. For my present purpose I shall combine the
headings of the catalogue, the subjects, and the number of the volumes, as

  Inventarium Bibliothecæ Palatinæ Divi Sexti Quarti Pont. Max.


  Ad sinistram ingredientibus

    In primo banco. [_Bibles and Commentaries_]               51
    In secundo banco. _Hieronymus. Augustinus_                55
    In tertio banco. _Augustinus. Ambrosius. Gregorius_       47
    In quarto banco. _Ioannes Chrysostomus_                   50
    In quinto banco. _Thomas_                                 47
    In sexto banco. _In Theologia. In divino officio_         54
    In septimo banco. _Ius canonicum_                         43
    In octauo banco. _Ius canonicum_                          41
    In nono banco. _Ius civile_                               42

    In primo banco ad dextram ingredientibus. _Philosophi_    53
    In secundo banco. _Astrologi. In Medicina_                48
    In tertio banco. _Poetæ_                                  41
    In quarto banco. _Oratores_                               43
    In quinto banco. _Historici_                              33
    In sexto banco. _Historici ecclesiastici_                 48
    In septimo banco. _Grammatici_                            47


    In primo banco Bibliothecæ Grecæ. _Testamentum
       vetus et novum_                                        42
    In secundo banco. _Auctores clariores [Fathers]_          31
    In tertio banco. _Auctores clariores_                     46
    In quarto banco. _Auctores clariores_                     49
    In quinto banco. _Ius civile et canonicum_                58
    In sexto banco. _In Philosophia_                          59
    In septimo banco. _Oratores et Rhetores_                  57
    In octauo banco. _Historici. Poetæ et Grammatici_         58


  [A. BANCHI.]

    In primo banco Bibliothecæ Secretæ. [_Bibles, Fathers,
      etc._]                                                  29
    In secundo banco. _In Theologia_                          37
    In tertio banco. _In Philosophia_                         41
    In quarto banco. _Ius canonicum_                          20
    In quinto banco. _Concilia_                               34
    In sexto banco. _In Astrologia. In Hebraico. In
      Dalmatico. In Arabico_                                  29


  In primo armario Bibliothecæ Secretæ. _Libri sacri
    et in divino officio_                                    173
  In secundo armario. _Ius canonicum. Ius civile_            148
  In tertio armario. _Expositiones. In sententiis. Poetæ
    Grammatici et Historici Greci_                           242
  In quarto armario. _In medicina. Mathematici et
    Astrologi. Ius canonicum et civile. Oratores et
    Rhetores. Platonis Opera. In Philosophia_                186
  In quinto armario. _Auctores clariores_                     89

  [C. CAPSÆ.]

  In prima capsa primi banchi Bibliothecæ Secretæ.
    _In Theologia_                                           107
  In secunda capsa primi banchi. _Diversa facultas_
    [_Miscellanea_]                                           66
  In prima capsa secundi banchi. [_Privileges and Royal
    Letters in_ 3 _volumes_]                                   3
  In secunda capsa secundi banchi. [_Miscellanea_]           124
  In prima capsa tertii banchi. _Philosophi_                  90
  In secunda capsa tertii banchi                            [00]
  In prima capsa quarti banchi. _Historici_                   65
  In secunda capsa quarti banchi                            [00]
  In prima capsa quinti banchi. [_Official forms_]            43
  In secunda capsa quinti banchi. _In Arabico_                23
  In prima capsa sexti banchi. _In Historia
    ecclesiastica. Ceremonialia_                              67
  In secunda capsa sexti banchi. _Libri sine nomine
    ad quinquaginta parvi et modici quidem valoris_           50


  In prima capsa spaleræ Bibliothecæ Secretæ. _In
    Poesi. Oratores Rhetores_                                 69
  In secunda capsa. _In divino officio et sermones_           59
  In tertia capsa. _Concilia et Canon. De potestate
    ecclesiastica_                                            54
  In quarta et ultima capsa. _In Medicina. In
    Astrologia_                                               34


  [A. BANCHI.]

  In primo banco Bibliothecæ Pontificiæ. _Testamentum
      vetus et novum_                                         19
  In secundo banco. _Expositores_                             22
  In tertio banco. _Augustinus_                               14
  In quarto banco. _Hieronymus_                               23
  In quinto banco. _In Theologia_                             22
  In sexto banco. _In Theologia_                              18
  In septimo banco. _Thomas_                                  23
  In octavo banco. _In Philosophia_                           29
  In nono banco. [_Greek and Latin Classics_]                 25
  In decimo banco. _Ius canonicum_                            28
  In undecimo banco. [_Civil Law_]                            17
  In duodecimo banco. [_New Testament. Fathers_]              19


  Regestra Pontificum hic descripta in capsis Spaleræ
  Bibliothecæ Pontificiæ per Platinam Bibliothecarium
  ex ordine recondita et in capsa prima                       21
  In secunda capsa Spaleræ Bibliothecæ Pontificiæ             47
  In tertia capsa Bibliothecæ Pont. Regestra recondita
      par Platynam Bibliothecarium                            16
  In quarta capsa Spaleræ Bibliothecæ Pontificiæ Regestra
      recondita                                               16
  In quinta capsa Spaleræ Bibliothecæ Pontificiæ Regestra
      recondita                                               15

  These lists give the following results:

  Latin Library, left hand, 9 seats                          430
   "      "     right   "   7   "                            313

  Greek Library             8   "                               400
  Inner  "                  6   "                            190
                             Armaria                         938
                             Capsæ                           638
                             Spalera                         216

  Bibliotheca Pontificia     12 seats                        259
                             5 Capsæ (Regestra)              115
                                                      Total     3499

Before proceeding farther, it should be noticed that, on a rough average,
each seat in the Latin Library, left hand, contained 47 volumes, and in
the same Library, right hand, 43 volumes. In the Greek Library, each seat
contained 50 volumes; in the Inner Library, 31 volumes; in the
_Bibliotheca pontificia_, 21 volumes.

In the next place I will give the results of the examination of a
catalogue[394] of the Library, which M. Fabre, with much probability,
assigns to the year 1512[395]. It begins as follows with the Latin

  Ad sinistra' Pontificis bibliothecam introeuntibus
    In primo scanno supra                            [27]
         "     "    infra                            [27]
    Finis primi scanni sub et supra                      [54]

The nine seats (_banchi_) of the left side of the Latin Library are gone
through in the same way as the first, with the result that each is shewn
to have two shelves. The total number of books is 457, or 27 more than in

On the opposite, or right-hand side of the Library, the first two seats
have three shelves, and are described as follows:

  In primo scanno supra                            [22]
       "       "  infra                            [27]
   " eodem scanno inferius siue sub infra          [26]
  Finis primi scanni sub et subter                     [75]

On this side of the Latin Library the number of books has risen to 360 as
against 313 of the previous catalogue.

In the Greek Library there are similarly two shelves to each seat, and the
total number of volumes is 407 as against 400.

The account of the Inner Library begins as follows:

  In secretiori bibliotheca
  In iij^o. scanno supra.                          [16]
  "           "    infra                           [17]
  "           "    inferius siue sub infra         [21]

Three of the seats have three shelves; the rest two; and the total number
of volumes has become 222 as against 190: or, an average of 37 to each

The _Bibliotheca pontificia_ is introduced with the following heading:

    In intima et ultima secretiori bibliotheca ubi libri
    sunt pretiosiores.

Each seat has two shelves, and the total number of volumes is 277 as
against 259 in 1481. Among the MSS. occurs "Virgilius antiquus litteris
maiusculis"--no doubt the Vatican Virgil (_Codex romanus_), a volume which
fully justifies its place among those termed _libri pretiosiores_.

This catalogue closes with the following sentence:

    Finis totius Bibliothece Pontificie: viz. omnium
    scamnorum tam Latinorum quam Grecorum in prima, secunda,
    tertia, et quarta eius distinctione et omnium omnino
    librorum: exceptis armariis et capsis: et iis libris,
    qui Græci ex maxima parte, in scabellis parieti
    adherentibus in intima ac penitissima Bibliothece parte
    sunt positi. Deo Laudes et Gratias.

The increase between 1481 and 1512 in the number of volumes in the parts
of the Library defined in the above catalogue will be best understood from
the following table, which shews that 131 volumes had been added in 31

                         1481   1512

  Latin Library           743    817
  Greek    "              400    407
  Bibliotheca secreta     190    222
      "       pontificia  259    277
                         ----   ----
                 Total   1592   1723

Another catalogue, unfortunately without date[396], but which has every
appearance of belonging to the same period, notes the rooms as the
_Bibliotheca magna publica_, i.e. the Latin and Greek Libraries taken
together, the _Bibliotheca parva secreta_, and the _Bibliotheca magna

The catalogue drawn up by Zenobio Acciaioli, 12 October, 1518[397], offers
no peculiarity except that in the Inner Library each seat is noted as
having three rows of books, thus:

  In primo bancho bibliothece parve secrete
                        Infra in secundo ordine
                            "    tertio     "

[Illustration: Fig 99. Interior of the Library of Sixtus IV., as shewn in
a fresco in the Ospedale di Santo Spirito, Rome.

From a photograph taken by Danesi.]

We may now proceed to arrange the Library in accordance with the
information derived from the Accounts and the catalogues, compared with
the ground-plan (fig. 98).

These authorities shew that in each of the rooms the books were arranged
on what are called _banchi_, or as they would have been termed in England,
desks, or seats, to which the books were attached by chains. It is
obvious, therefore, that there must have been also seats for readers. A
piece of furniture fulfilling these conditions and constructed twenty-five
years earlier, is still to be seen at Cesena, as I have just explained.
Further, I have examined a good many manuscripts now in the Vatican
Library which formed part of the older collection; and wherever the mark
of the chain has not been obliterated by rebinding, it is in the precise
position required for the above system.

If I am right in supposing that the cases at Cesena are a survival of what
was once in general use, we should expect to find another example of them
in the Vatican; and that such was the case, is proved by the evidence of a
fresco in the Ospedale di Santo Spirito at Rome, representing the interior
of the library. This hospital was rebuilt by Sixtus IV. on an enlarged
scale[398], and after its completion in 1482, one of the halls on the
ground floor was decorated with a series of frescoes representing the
improvements which he had carried out in the city of Rome. Recent
researches[399] make it probable that the earlier pictures in the series
of which the library is one, were selected by Platina, and executed before
his death in 1481. I am able to present to my readers a reduced copy of
this invaluable record (fig. 99) executed for me by Signor Danesi, under
the kind superintendence of Father Ehrle.

The artistic merit of such a work as this is not great, but I feel sure
that the artist faithfully reproduced what he saw with the limitations
prescribed by his own want of skill. The desks bear a general resemblance
to those at Cesena; they are plainer than the Accounts would warrant, but
this may be due to want of skill on the part of the artist. The chains
have also been omitted either for the same reason or from a wish to avoid
detail. It will be noticed that each desk is fully furnished with volumes
laid out upon it, and that these vary in number and size, and have
different bindings. It may be argued that the artist wished to compliment
his patrons by making the most of their property; but I should be inclined
to maintain that this was the normal condition of the Library, and that
the books, handsomely bound and protected by numerous bosses of metal,
usually lay upon the desks ready for use.

If this fresco be compared with the earlier work of Melozzo da Forli, it
is not difficult to identify four of the persons present in the Library
(other than the readers). The central figure is obviously Sixtus IV., and
the Cardinal to whom he is speaking is, I think, meant for Giuliano della
Rovere, afterwards Julius II. The figure immediately behind the Pope may
be intended for Pietro Riario, and the figure behind him is certainly
Platina. The others, I take it, are simply attendants.

Nor must it be forgotten that, important as this fresco is in connexion
with the Library of the Vatican, it is of even greater interest as a
contemporary representation of a large fifteenth century library.

The arrangement of each room is not quite so simple as might appear at
first sight; and, besides the desks, there are other pieces of furniture
to be accounted for. We will therefore go through the rooms in order with
the ground-plan (fig. 98). On this plan the cases are coloured gray, the
readers' seats are indicated by transverse lines, and the intervals are
left white.

_Latin Library._ The Accounts tell us that there were 10 seats on the left
hand of the Latin Library, and that these were longer than the rest,
measuring 38 palms each, or about 27 ft. 9 in. English[400].

As the distance from the central pier to the west wall is just 27 ft. 6
in., it is obvious that the cases must have stood north and south--an
arrangement which is also convenient for readers, as the light would fall
on them from the left hand. For this reason I have placed the first desk
against the pier, the reader's seat being westward of it. A difficulty
now arises. It is stated in the Accounts that _ten banchi_ are paid for,
but all the catalogues mention only _nine_. I suggest that the explanation
is to be found in the fact that ten pieces of furniture do occur between
the pier and the wall, the first of which is a shelf and desk, and the
last a seat only. This arrangement is to be seen at Cesena and in the
Medicean Library at Florence. The room being 34 ft. 8 in. wide, space is
left for a passage along the south wall to the door (_a_) of the
Librarian's room, and also for another along the opposite ends of the

For the arrangement of the rest of the Library, the Accounts give a most
important piece of information. They tell us that the whole of the seats
for the Common Library, i.e. the Latin and Greek Libraries taken together,
25 in number, cost 300 ducats, of which sum the 10 long seats above
mentioned absorbed 130 ducats, leaving 170 to pay for the remaining 15.
From these data it is not difficult to calculate the cost of each palm,
and from that the number of palms that 170 ducats would buy. I make this
to be 510 palms, or about 373 feet[401].

It is, I think, obvious that there must have been some sort of vestibule
just inside the door of entrance, where students could be received, and
where they could consult the catalogue or the Librarian. Further, the
catalogues shew that the seven desks arranged in this part of the Library
were in all probability shorter than those of the opposite side, for they
contained fewer volumes. If we allow each of them 21 ft. 4 in. in length,
we shall dispose of 149 ft., which leaves 224 ft. for the 8 desks of the
Greek Library, or 28 ft. for each, with one foot over.

_Greek Library._ In this room there were eight seats, and, as explained
above, each was about 28 ft. long. The room being 28 ft. wide, this
number, with a width of 3 ft. for each, is very convenient, and leaves a
passage 4 ft. wide along the west wall. The length, moreover, does not
interfere with the passage from door to door, and leaves a short interval
between the ends of the desks and the opposite wall.

_Inner Library._ In this room space has to be provided for (1) six seats,
each holding on an average about 30 volumes; (2) a press (_armarium_) with
five divisions, and holding 938 volumes; (3) a settle (_spalera_); (4) 12
chests or coffers (_capsæ_).

I have placed the _armarium_ at the end of the room, opposite the window.
In this position it can be allowed to be 20 ft. in width with 5 divisions,
each, we will suppose, about 4 ft. wide. Let us suppose further that it
was 7 ft. high, and had 6 shelves. If we allow 8 volumes to each foot,
each shelf would hold 32 volumes, and each division six times that number,
or 192. This estimate for each division will give a total of 960 volumes
for the five divisions, a number slightly in excess of that mentioned in
Platina's catalogue.

After allowing a space 5 ft. wide in front of the press, there is plenty
of room left for 6 desks, each 21 ft. long. I have placed the _spalliera_,
with its four coffers (_capsæ_) under the seat, below the window. This
piece of furniture, in modern Italian _spalliera_, French _epaulière_, is
common in large houses at the present day. It usually stands in an
ante-room or on a landing of one of the long staircases. A portion at
least of the _spalliere_ used in this Library are still in existence. They
stood in the vestibule of the present Vatican Library until a short time
ago, when the present Pope had them removed to the Appartamento Borgia,
where they stand against the wall round one of the rooms. There are two
distinct designs of different heights and ornamentation. The photograph
here reproduced (fig. 100) was taken specially for my use. The _spalliere_
have evidently been a good deal altered in the process of fitting up, and
moreover, as it is impossible to discover whether we have the whole or
only a part of what once existed, it is useless to make any suggestion,
from the length of the portions that remain, as to which room they may
once have fitted. They are excellent specimens of inlaid work. That on the
right, with the row of crosses along the cornice, is 6 ft. 2 in. high, and
66 ft. long. That on the left is 5 ft. 10 in. high, and 24 ft. 7 in. long.
The capsæ project from the wall 1 ft. 4 in., and are 2 ft. high. Their
lids vary a little in length, from 3 ft. 11 in. to 4 ft. 10 in.

[Illustration: Fig. 100. The library-settles (_spalliere_) once used in
the Vatican Library of Sixtus IV., and now in the Appartamento Borgia.

From a photograph.]

But the presence of a _spalliera_ is not the only peculiarity in the
furniture of this room. Platina's catalogue shews that, connected in some
manner with each seat, were two coffers (_capsæ_): and we have seen that
12 such chests were brought into the Library in 1481. I have placed these
in pairs at the ends of the desks opposite the settle (_spalliera_).

_Innermost Library_, or _Bibliotheca pontificia_. This Library contained
12 desks. These, from their number, must have stood east and west. There
was also a _spalliera_, which held the Papal Registers. I have placed it
in the recess on the north side of the room, which looks as though made
for it.

It should be noted that there was a map of the world in the Library, for
which a frame was bought in 1478[402]; and a couple of globes--the one
celestial, the other terrestrial. Covers made of sheepskin were bought for
them in 1477[403]. Globes with and without such covers are shewn in the
view of the Library of the University of Leyden taken in 1610 (fig. 69);
and M. Fabre reminds us that globes still form part of the furniture of
the Library of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, fitted up by Cardinal
Francesco Barberini, 1630-40[404].

Comfort was considered by the provision of a brazier on wheels "that it
may be moved from place to place in the Library[405]."

The following curious rule, copied, as it would appear, in the Library
itself, by Claude Bellièvre of Lyons, who visited Rome about 1513, shews
that order was strictly enforced:

    Nonnulla quæ collegi in bibliotheca Vaticani. Edictum S.
    D. N. Ne quis in bibliotheca cum altero contentiose
    loquatur et obstrepat, neve de loco ad locum iturus
    scamna transcendat et pedibus conterat, atque libros
    claudat et in locum percommode reponat. Ubique volet
    perlegerit. Secus qui faxit foras cum ignominia mittetur
    atque hujusce loci aditu deinceps arcebitur[406].

Before concluding, I must quote an interesting description of this Library
by Montaigne:

    Le 6 de Mars [1581] je fus voir la librerie du Vatican
    qui est en cinq ou six salles tout de suite. Il y a un
    grand nombre de livres atachés sur plusieurs rangs de
    pupitres; il y en a aussi dans des coffres, qui me
    furent tous ouverts; force livres écris à mein et
    notamment un Seneque et les Opuscules de Plutarche. J'y
    vis de remercable la statue du bon Aristide[407] à tout
    une bele teste chauve, la barbe espesse, grand front, le
    regard plein de douceur et de magesté: son nom est
    escrit en sa base très antique....[408]

    Je la vis [la Bibliothèque] sans nulle difficulté;
    chacun la voit einsin et en extrait ce qu'il vent; et
    est ouverte quasi tous les matins, et si fus conduit
    partout, et convié par un jantilhomme d'en user quand je

Sixtus IV. intended the library attached to the Holy See to be of the
widest possible use. In the document appointing Demetrius of Lucca
librarian, after Platina's death, he says distinctly that the library has
been got together "for the use of all men of letters, both of our own age,
or of subsequent time[410]"; and that these are not rhetorical
expressions, to round a phrase in a formal letter of appointment, is
proved by the way in which manuscripts were lent out of the library,
during the whole time that Platina was in office. The Register of Loans,
beginning with his own appointment and ending in 1485, has been printed by
Müntz and Fabre, from the original in the Vatican Library[411], and a most
interesting record it is. It is headed by a few words of warning, of which
I give the general sense rather than a literal translation.

    Whoever writes his name here in acknowledgment of books
    received on loan out of the Pope's library, will incur
    his anger and his curse unless he return them uninjured
    within a very brief period.

    This statement is made by Platina, librarian to his
    Holiness, who entered upon his duties on the last day of
    February, 1475[412].

Each entry records the title of the book lent, with the name of the
borrower. This entry is sometimes made by the librarian, but more
frequently by the borrower himself. When the book is returned, Platina or
his assistant notes the fact, with the date. The following entry, taken
almost at random, will serve as a specimen:

    Ego Gaspar de Ozino sapientissimi domini nostri
    cubicularius anno salutis MCCCCLXXV die vero XXI Aprilis
    confiteor habuisse nomine mutui a domino Platina
    Lecturam sive commentum in pergameno super libris X
    Etticorum Aristotelis, et in fidem omnium mea propria
    manu scripsi et supscripsi. Liber autem pavonatio
    copertus est in magno volumine.----Idem Gaspar manu
    propria.----Restituit fideliter librum ipsum et
    repositus est inter philosophos die XXVIII April 1475.

It is occasionally noted that a book is lent with its chain, as for

    Christoforus prior S. Balbine habuit Agathium Historicum
    ex banco viii^o cum cathena.... Restituit die XX
    Octobris post mortem Platyne.

When no chain is mentioned are we to understand that the book was not so
protected, and that there were in the library a number of books without
chains, perhaps for the purpose of being more conveniently borrowed?

A few words should be added on the staff of the library. At first--that is
during the year 1475--Platina had under his orders three subordinates,
Demetrius, Salvatus, and John. These are called writers (_scriptores_) or
keepers (_custodes_); and Salvatus is once called librarian (_librarius_),
but it will be shewn below that this word means a writer rather than a
librarian, as we understand the word. The position of these persons was
extremely humble; and Salvatus was so indigent that his shoes were mended
at the Pope's expense, and a decent suit of clothes provided for him at
the cost of eight ducats[413]. Besides these there was a bookbinder, also
called John. In the following year two keepers only are mentioned,
Demetrius and Josias. The latter died of the plague in 1478. The salary of
the librarian was at the rate of ten ducats a month, and that of each of
his subordinates at the rate of one ducat for the same period. This
arrangement appears to have been confirmed by a Bull of Sixtus IV. before
the end of 1477[414].

These officers and Platina appear to have lived together in the rooms
adjoining the Latin Library, as shewn by the accounts for the purchase of
beds, furniture, and the like[415]; and when Josias falls ill of the
plague, Platina sends away Demetrius and John the bookbinder, "for fear
they should die or infect others[416]."

All articles required for the due maintenance of the library were provided
by Platina. The charges for binding and lettering are the most numerous.
Skins were bought in the gross--on one occasion as many as 600--and then
prepared for use. All other materials, as gold, colours, varnish, nails,
horn, clasps, etc., were bought in detail, when required; and probably
used in some room adjoining the library. Platina also saw to the
illumination (_miniatio_) of such MSS. as required it.

Comfort and cleanliness were not forgotten. There are numerous charges for
coals, with an amusing apology for their use in winter "because the place
was so cold"; and for juniper to fumigate (_ad suffumigandum_). Brooms are
bought to clean the library, and fox-tails to dust the books (_ad
tergendos libros_[417]).

It should further be mentioned that Sixtus assigned an annual income to
the library by a brief dated 15th July, 1477. It is therein stipulated
that the fees, paid according to custom by all officials appointed to any
office vacated by resignation, should thenceforward be transferred to the
account of the library[418].

While Sixtus IV. was thus engaged in Rome, a rival collector, Federigo da
Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino (1444--1482), was devoting such leisure as he
could snatch from warfare to similar pursuits. The room in which he stored
his treasures is practically unaltered. It differs materially in
arrangement from the other libraries of the same period. This difference
is perhaps due to its position in a residence which was half palace, half
castle. It is on the ground floor of a building which separates the inner
from the outer court. It measures 45 ft. in length, by 20 ft. 9 in. in
width. The walls are about 14 ft. high to the spring of the barrel-vault
which covers the whole space. There are two large windows at the north end
of the room, and one at the south end. These are about 7 ft. from the
ground. The original entrance was through a door into the inner court, now
blocked. In the centre of the vault is a large eagle in relief with F.D.
on each side of its head; round it is a wreath of cherubs' heads: and
outside of all a broad band of flames and rays. The vault is further
decorated with isolated flames, gilt, on a white ground[419].

The books are said to have occupied eight presses, or sets of shelves, set
against the east and west walls, but our information on the subject of the
fittings is provokingly meagre. It is chiefly contained in the following
passage of a description written by Bernardino Baldi, and dated 10 June,
1587. Baldi, as a native of Urbino, and in later life attached to the
service of the Duke, must have been well acquainted with the room and its

    La stanza destinata a questi libri è alia mano sinistra
    di chi entra nel Palazzo contigua al vestibolo, o andito
    ... le fenestre ha volte a Tramontana, le quali per
    esser alte dal pavimento, ed in testa della stanza, e
    volte a parte di cielo che non ha sole, fanno un certo
    lume rimesso, il quale pare col non distraer la vista
    con la soverchia abbondanza della luce, che inviti ed
    inciti coloro rhe v'entrano a studiare. La state è
    freschissima, l' inverno temperatamente calda. Le
    scanzie de' libri sono accostate alle mura, e disposte
    con molto bell' ordine.

    In questa fra gli altri libri sono due Bibbie, una
    latina scritta a penna e miniata per mano di
    eccellentissimi artefici, e l' altra Ebrea antichissima
    scritta pure a mano ... Questa si posa sopra un gran
    leggivo d' ottone, e s' appoggia all' ale d' una grande
    aquila pur d' ottone che aprendole la sostiene. Intorno
    alle cornici che circondano la libreria si leggono
    scritti nel fregio questi versi[420].

In the preface to the catalogue of the library published at Rome in 1895,
the author, after quoting the above passage, adds "There were eight
presses each containing seven shelves"[421]. The architectural decorations
have all disappeared, with the exception of a fragment of a pediment at
the south end of the room, on which F. E. DVX is still visible. The
lectern is in the choir of the cathedral.

The Biblioteca Laurenziana, or Medicean Library, at Florence, is the last
Italian library which I intend to describe.

After the death of Pope Leo X. in 1521, his executor Cardinal Giulio dei
Medici, afterwards Pope Clement VII., restored to Florence the books which
their ancestors had got together, and commissioned Michelangelo to build a
room for their reception. The work was frequently interrupted, and it was
not until 1571 (11 June) that the library was formally opened.

The great architect, supported by the generosity of the Pope, constructed
an apartment which for convenience and for appropriate decoration stands
alone among libraries. It is raised high above the ground in order to
secure an ample supply of light and air, and is approached by a double
staircase of marble. It is 151 ft. 9 in. long, by 34 ft. 4 in. broad, and
was originally lighted by 15 windows in each of the side-walls at a height
of about 7 ft. 6 in. from the floor. There is a flat roof of wood, carved;
and a pavement of terra-cotta consisting of yellow designs on a red

When the room was first fitted up there were 44 desks on each side, but
when the reading-room was built at the beginning of the last century,
four were destroyed. This reading-room also blocks four windows. The glass
was supplied by Giovanni da Udine in 1567 and 1568. The subjects are
heraldic. In each window the arms of the Medici occupy a central position,
and are surrounded by wreaths, arabesques, and other devices of infinite
grace and variety, in the style which the genius of Raphael had introduced
into the Vatican.

[Illustration: Fig. 101. Bookcases in the Medicean Library, Florence.]

The bookcases (fig. 101) are of walnut-wood, a material which is said to
have been prescribed by the Pope himself. They were executed, if we may
believe Vasari[422], by Battista del Cinque and Ciapino, but they are now
known to have been designed by Michelangelo. A rough outline in one of his
sketch-books, preserved in the Casa Buonarotti at Florence with other
relics illustrating his life, and here reproduced (fig. 102),
unquestionably represents one of these desks. The indication of a human
figure on the seat proves the care which he took to ensure a height
convenient for readers.

[Illustration: Fig. 102. Copy, slightly reduced, of a sketch by
Michelangelo for one of the bookcases in the Medicean Library, Florence.]

These desks are on the same general plan as those at Cesena, but they are
rather higher and more richly ornamented. Each is 11 ft. 3 in. long, and 4
ft. 4 in. high. It must be admitted that the straight back to the reader's
seat is not so comfortable as the gentle slope provided in the older
example. A frame for the catalogue hangs on the end of each desk next the
central alley. In order to make clear the differences in the construction
of the desks at Cesena and at Florence I append an elevation of each
(figs. 103, 104).

[Illustration: Fig. 103. Elevation of desks at Cesena.]

[Illustration: Fig. 104. Elevation of desks at Florence.]

It will be seen from the view of one of the desks (fig. 101) that the
books either lie on the sloping desk or are packed away on the shelf under
it. There is an average of 25 books on each desk. The chains, as at
Cesena, are attached to the lower edge of the right board, at distances
varying from 2 in. to 4 in. from the back of the book (fig. 105). The
staple is sunk into the wood.

[Illustration: Fig. 105. A book in the Medicean Library, to shew
attachment of chain.]

The chains are made of fine iron bars about one-eighth of an inch wide,
but not quite so thick, flattened at the end of each link, and rounded in
the centre, where a piece of the same iron is lapped round, but not
soldered. Each chain (fig. 106) is 2 ft. 3 in. long. So far as I could
judge all the chains in the library are of the same length. There is a
ring at the end of the chain next to the bar, but no swivel.

[Illustration: Fig. 106. Piece of chain in the Medicean Library, of the
actual size.]

The ironwork by which these chains are attached to the desk is somewhat
complicated. By the kindness of the librarian, Signor Guido Biagi, I have
been allowed to study it at my leisure, and to draw a diagrammatic sketch
(fig. 107) which I hope will make it clear to my readers. The lock is sunk
in the central support of the desk. The bar passes through a ring on each
side of this support, and also through a ring near each end of the desk.
These rings are fixed to the lower edge of the desk just under the
molding. A flat piece of iron is forged on to the bar near the centre.
This iron is pierced near the key-hole with an oblong slit through which
passes a moveable piece of iron, here shewn in outline of its actual size
(fig. 108). The bolt of the lock passes through a hole in this piece, and
holds the bar firmly in its place.

[Illustration: Fig. 107. Diagram to explain the ironwork at the Medicean

[Illustration: Fig. 108. Outline of bolt forming part of ironwork.]

The bar is not quite so long as the desk; consequently, when it has been
unlocked, and the iron bolt sketched above withdrawn, it can be turned
round by taking hold of the central iron, and pushed to the right or to
the left, past the terminal rings. The chains can then be readily
unstrung, or another strung upon the bar.

In the next chapter I shall describe the changes in Library arrangements
adopted during the period which succeeded the Middle Ages; but, before
ending this present chapter, there are a few points affecting the older
libraries and their organization to which I should like to draw attention.

In the first place all medieval libraries were practically public. I do
not mean that strangers were let in, but even in those of the monasteries,
books were let out on the deposit of a sufficient caution; and in Houses
such as S. Victor and S. Germain des Près, Paris, and at the Cathedral of
Rouen, the collections were open to readers on certain days in the week.
The Papal library and those at Urbino and Florence were also public; and
even at Oxford and Cambridge there was practically no objection to lending
books on good security. Secular corporations followed the example set by
the Church, and lent their manuscripts, but only on security. A very
remarkable example of this practice is afforded by the transaction between
the École de Médecine, Paris, and Louis XI. The king wanted their copy of
a certain work on medicine; they declined to lend it unless he deposited
12 marks worth of plate and 100 gold crowns. This he agreed to do; the
book was borrowed; duly copied, and 24 January, 1472, restored to the
Medical Faculty, who in their turn sent back the deposit to the king[423].

As a general rule, these libraries were divided into the lending library
and the library of reference. These two parts of the collection have
different names given to them. In the Vatican Library of Sixtus IV. we
find the common library (_Bibliotheca communis_) or public library (_B.
publica_), and the reserved library (_B. secreta_). The same terms were
used at Assisi. At Santa Maria Novella, Florence, there was the library,
and the lesser library (_B. minor_). In the University Library, Cambridge,
there was "the public library" which contained the more ordinary books and
was open to everybody, and "the private library" where the more valuable
books were kept and to which only a few privileged persons were
admitted[424]. At Queens' College, in the same university, the books which
might be lent (_libri distribuendi_) were kept in a separate room from
those which were chained to the shelves (_libri concatenati_), and at
King's College there was a public library (_B. magna_) and a lesser
library (_B. minor_). In short, in every large collection some such
division was made, either structural, or by means of a separate

I have shewn that two systems of bookcases, which I have called
lectern-system and stall-system, were used in these libraries; but, as
both these have been copiously illustrated, I need say no more on that
part of the subject. Elaborate catalogues, of which I have given a few
specimens, enabled readers to find what they wanted in the shortest
possible time, and globes, maps, and astronomical instruments provided
them with further assistance in their studies. Moreover in some places the
library served the purpose of a museum, and curiosities of various kinds
were stored up in it.

No picture of a medieval library can be complete unless it be remembered
that in many cases beauty was no less an object than utility. The
bookcases were fine specimens of carpentry-work, carved and decorated; the
pavement was of encaustic tiles worked in patterns; the walls were
decorated with plaster-work in relief; the windows were filled with
stained glass; and the roof-timbers were ornamented with the coat-armour
of benefactors.

Of these embellishments the most distinctive was the glass. At St Albans
the twelve windows contained figures illustrating the subjects of the
books placed near them. For instance, the second window represented
Rhetoric and Poetry; and the figures selected were those of Cicero,
Sallust, Musaeus, Orpheus. Appropriate verses were inscribed beneath each.
The whole scheme recalls the library of Isidore, Bishop of Seville, which
I have already described[426]. In the library of Jesus College,
Cambridge, each light contains a cock standing on a globe, the emblem of
Bishop Alcock the founder, with a label in his beak bearing a suitable
text, and under his feet an inscription containing half the designation
required. For instance, the first two bookcases contained works on Physic,
and in the window is the word PHI-SICA divided between the two
lights[427]. In Election Hall at Eton College--a room originally intended
for a library--we find the Classes of Civil Law, Criminal and Canon Law,
Medicine, etc., illustrated by medallions shewing a church council, an
execution, a physician and his patient, and the like[428]. At the
Sorbonne, Paris, the 38 windows of the library were filled with the
portraits of those who had conferred special benefits on the college[429];
at Froidmont[430] near Beauvais the authors of the _Voyage Littéraire_
remark the beautiful stained glass in the library: and in Bishop Cobham's
library at Oxford, according to Hearne, there "was brave painted glass
containing the arms of the benefactors, which painted glass continued till
the times of the late rebellion[431]."

Lastly, I will collect the different terms used to designate medieval
bookcases. They are--arranged alphabetically--_analogium_, _bancus_ or
_banca_, _descus_, _gradus_, _stallum_, _stalla_, _stallus_ or _staulum_,
and _sedile_. I have sometimes thought that it would be possible to
determine the form of the bookcase from the word used to describe it; but
increased study has convinced me that this is impossible, and that the
words were used quite loosely. For instance, _bancus_ designates the cases
in the Vatican Library which represent a variety of the lectern-system;
and its French equivalent _banc_ the cases at Clairvaux which were stalls
with four shelves apiece. Again "desk" (_descus_) is used interchangeably
with "stall" (_stallum_) in a catalogue of the University Library,
Cambridge, dated 1473, to designate what I strongly suspect were lecterns;
in 1693 by Bishop Hacket when describing the stalls which Dean Williams
gave to the library at Westminster Abbey[432]: and in 1695 by Sir C. Wren
to describe bookcases which were partly set against the walls, partly at
right-angles to them.

It has been already shewn that _gradus_ means a shelf, or a lectern, or a
side of a lectern[433]; and _sedile_ is obviously only the Latin
equivalent for "seat," which was sometimes used, as at S. John's College,
Cambridge, in 1623[434], to designate a bookcase. It was also used at
Christ Church, Canterbury, for what I have shewn to be a stall with four
shelves[435]. The word _analogium_ was used in France to signify a
lectern[436]. The word "class" (_classis_) is used at the University
Library, Cambridge, in 1584, instead of the ancient "stall," and
afterwards superseded it entirely. For instance, when a Syndicate was
appointed in 1713 to provide accommodation for Bishop Moore's Library, the
bookcases are described as _Thecæ sive quas vocant classes_. Gradually the
term was extended until it reached its modern signification, namely, the
shelves under a given window together with those on the sides of the
bookcases to the right and left of the spectator facing it[437].

We sometimes meet with the word _distinctio_. For instance, an Apocalypse
in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, which once belonged
to St Augustine's College, Canterbury, is noted as having stood
"_distinctione prima gradu tertio_"; and the same word is used in the
introduction to the catalogue of Dover Priory to signify what I am
compelled to decide was a bookcase. The word _demonstratio_, on the other
hand, which occurs at the head of the catalogue of the library of Christ
Church, Canterbury, made between 1285 and 1331, probably denotes a
division of subject, and not a piece of furniture.

Until the lectern-system had gone out of fashion, a word to denote a shelf
was not needed. When shelves had to be referred to, _textus_[438] was used
at Canterbury, and _linea_[439] at Citeaux. On the other hand, at Saint
Ouen at Rouen, this word indicates a row of bookcases, probably lecterns.
In a record of loans[440] from that library in 1372 and following years,
the books borrowed are set down as follows (to quote a few typical

  Item, digestum novum, linea I, E, II.
  Item, liber de regulis fidei, cum aliis, linea III, L, VIII.
  Item, Tulius de officiis, linea II a parte sinistra, D, II.

These extracts will be sufficient to shew that the cases were arranged in
three double rows, each double row being called a _linea_. Each lectern
was marked with a letter of the alphabet, and each book with the number of
the row, the letter of the lectern to which it belonged, and its number on
the lectern. Thus, to take the first of the above entries, the Digest was
to be found in the first row, on lectern E, and was the second volume on
the said lectern. It is evident that there was a row of lecterns on each
side of a central alley or passage, and that a book was to be found on the
right hand, unless the left hand was specially designated.

A catalogue has been preserved of the books in the castle of Peñiscola on
the east coast of Spain, when the anti-pope Benedict XIII. retired there
in 1415. They were kept in presses (_armaria_), each of which was
subdivided into a certain number of compartments (_domuncule_), each of
which again contained two shelves (_ordines_)[441]. I suggest that this
piece of furniture resembled, on a large scale, Le Chartrier de Bayeux,
which I have already figured (fig. 26).

In conclusion, I will quote a passage in which the word library designates
a bookcase. It occurs in an inventory of the goods in the church of S.
Christopher le Stocks, London, made in 1488:

    On the south side of the vestrarie standeth a grete
    library with ij longe lecturnalles theron to ley on the

I need hardly remind my readers that the French word _bibliothèque_ has
the same double meaning.


[356] Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum Malastestianæ Cæsenatis bibliothecæ
fratrum minorum fidei custodiæque concreditæ.... Auctore Josepho Maria
Mucciolo ejusdem ordinis fratre et Ravennatis coenobii alumno. 2 vols.
fol. Cæsenæ, 1780-84.

[357] These measurements were taken by myself, with a tape, in September,

[358] The desk bearing a single volume shewn on this seat (fig. 93) is

[359] These measurements were taken by myself with a tape, in April 1898,
and verified in April 1899.

[360] This catalogue is in the State Archives at Modena.

[361] I visited Monte Oliveto 19 April, 1899.

[362] See _Ueber Mittelalterliche Bibliotheken_, v. T. Gottlieb. 8vo.
1890, p. 181. I have twice visited Assisi and examined the Catalogue here
referred to. My best thanks are due to Professor Alessandri for giving me
every assistance in my researches.

[363] Inprimis facimus inventarium de libris in libraria publica ad bancos
cathenatis in hunc modum. Et nota, quod omnia folia omnium librorum, qui
sunt in isto inuentario sive per sexternos vel quinternos aut quaternos
seu quemvis per alium numerum majorem vel minorem omnes quotquot sunt,
nomina quaternorum tenent, ut apparet in quolibet libro in primo quaterno
in margine inferiori; quare omnes sunt ante et retro de nigro et rubeo per
talem figuram intus cum suo numero signati. Item lictere alphabeti, qui
desuper postes ponuntur, omnes debent esse aliquantulum grosse et
totaliter nigre, sicut inferius in fine cuiuslibet libri signatur. The
spots round this figure are alternately black and red.

[364] Ducange s. v. _solarium_ shews that occasionally it =_armarium_.

[365] I have to thank Father C. J. Ehrle, _S. J._, Prefect of the Vatican
Library, for the very great kindness with which he has assisted me in
these researches during three visits to Rome in 1898, 1899, 1900; and also
the officials who allowed me to examine parts of the palace not usually
accessible to strangers.

Further, I wish it to be clearly and distinctly understood that my
researches are based upon an essay by M. Paul Fabre, _La Vaticane de Sixte
IV._, which had appeared in the _Milanges d'Archéologie et d'Histoire of
the École Française de Rome_ for December 1895, but of the existence of
which I had never heard until Father Ehrle shewed it to me. On reading it,
I found that M. Fabre had completely anticipated me; he had done exactly
what I had come to Rome to do, and in such a masterly fashion that I could
not hope to improve upon his work. After some consideration I determined
to verify his conclusions by carefully examining the locality, and to make
a fresh ground-plan of it for my own use. I have also studied the
authorities quoted by M. Eugène Müntz (_Les Arts à la Cour des Papes_)
from my own point of view.

There are two works to which I shall frequently refer: _Les Arts à la Cour
des Papes pendant le xv^e et le xvi^e siècle_, par Eugène Müntz: Part III.
1882 (Bibl. des Écoles Françaises d'Athènes et de Rome, Fasc. 28): and _La
Bibliothèque du Vatican_ _au xv^e Siècle_, par Eugène Müntz et Paul Fabre;
Paris, 1887 (Ibid. Fasc. 48). The former will be cited as "Müntz"; the
latter as "Müntz et Fabre." My paper, of which an abstract only is here
given, has been published in the _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc. and Comm._ 6 March
1899, Vol. X. pp. 11-61.

[366] This document, dated 17 December, 1471, has been printed by Müntz,
p. 120. I am afraid that this order can have but one meaning: viz. the
excavation and destruction of ancient buildings.

[367] This is the date assigned by Platina himself. See below, p. 231.

[368] MS. Vat. Lat. 3947, fol. 118 b. Notatio omnium librorum Bibliothecæ
palatinæ Sixti quarti Pont. Max. tam qui in banchis quam qui in Armariis
et capsis sunt a Platyna Bibliothecario et Demetrio Lucense eius alumno
custode die xiiii. mensis Septemb. M.CCCC.LXXXI facta. Ante vero eius
decessum dierum octo tantummodo. This _Notatio_ has been printed, Müntz et
Fabre, p. 250, but without the catalogue to which it forms an appendix.
This, so far as I know, still remains unprinted.

[369] Müntz et Fabre, pp. 148-150, _passim_.

[370] _Ibid._ p. 32.

[371] _Ibid._ p. 141. The catalogue is printed pp. 159-250.

[372] MS. Vat. 5008.

[373] These accounts, now preserved in the State Archives at Rome, have
been printed with great accuracy (so far as I was able to judge from a
somewhat hasty collation) by Müntz, _Les Arts à la Cour da Papes_, Vol.
III. 1882, p. 121 sq.; and by Müntz and Fabre, _La Bibliothèque du Vatican
au xv^e Siècle_, 1887, p. 148 sq.

[374] The entries referring to these purchases are given in full, with
translations, in my paper above referred to.

[375] The name is derived from the frescoes with which its external walls
were decorated during the reign of Pius IV. (1559-1565). They represented
palm trees, on which parrots (_papagalli_) and other birds were perching.
Fragments of these frescoes are still to be seen. The court beyond this
"del Portoncin di Ferro" was so called from an iron gate by which the
passage into it from the Cortile del Papagallo could be closed.

[376] The difference of level between the floor of the court and the floor
of the library is eighteen inches. An inclined plane of wood now replaces
the steps.

[377] Item pro purganda bibliotheca veteri et asportandis calcinaciis
duarum fenestrarum factarum inter græcam et latinam b. XX die qua supra,
i.e. 20 Aug. 1480. Müntz, p. 132.

[378] A Foundling Hospital, alluding to the Ospedale di Santo Spirito
founded by Sixtus IV.

[379] Fabre, _La Vaticane_, p. 464. Bunsen, _Die Beschreibung der Stadt
Rom_, ed. 1832, Vol. II.. Part 2, p. 418.

[380] The following entry is curious: Habuere Paulus et Dionysius pictores
duos ducatos pro duobus paribus caligarum quas petiere a domino nostro dum
pingerent cancellos bibliothecæ et restituerent picturam bibliothecæ
græcæ, ita n. Sanctitas sua mandavit, die xviii martii 1478. Müntz, p.

[381] Fabre, _La Vaticane_, p. 465, citing Bandini, _Bibliothecæ
Mediceo-Laurentianæ catalogus_, I. p. xxxviii.

[382] Enumeravi, præsente Clemente synescalcho familiæ s. d. n., Salvato
librario, et Demetrio lectore, ducatos XLV Francischo fabro lignario
mediolanensi habitatori piscinæ urbis Romæ pro banchis Bibliothecæ
conficiendis, maxime vero decem quæ ad sinistram jacent, quorum longitudo
est XXXVIII palmorum, vel circa, et ita accepta parte pecuniarum, cujus
summa est centum et XXX ducatorum, facturum se debitum promittit et
obligat, die XV Julii 1475. Müntz, p. 121.

[383] Item solvi eidem ducatos XXX pro reliquo XXV banchorum bibliothecæ:
pro longioribus autem qui sunt X solvebantur centum et triginta, ut supra
scriptum est; pro reliquis solvebantur centum et septuaginta; quæ summa
est tricentorum ducatorum: atque ita pro banchis omnibus ei satisfactum
est, die VII Junii 1476. Müntz, p. 126. The rest of the money had been
paid to him by instalments between 15 July, 1475, and this date.

[384] Magister Joanninus faber lignarius de Florentia habuit a me Platyna
s. d. n. bibliothecario pro fabrica banchorum Bibliothecæ secretæ, pro
Armario magno et Spaleria ejusdem loci, quæ omnia extimata fuerunt centum
et octuaginta ducat' a magistro Francisco de Mediolano; habuit, ut
præfertur, ducatos sexaginta quinque et bononenos sexaginta die VII maii
1477. Müntz, p. 130. There were 100 bononeni in each ducat.

[385] Habuit ultimo ducatos octo pro tribus tabulis ex nuce cornisate (?)
ad continenda nomina librorum e per le cornise de tre banchi vechi ex nuce
die supradicta; nil omnino restat habere ut ipse sua manu affirmat,
computatis in his illis LX bononenis qui superius scribuntur. Müntz, p.

[386] Dedi Joanni pictori famulo m. Melotii pro pictura trium tabularum
ubi descripta sunt librorum nomina carlenos XVIII die X Octobris 1477.
_Ibid._, p. 131.

[387] Item pro XII capsis latis in bibliothecam secretam. Müntz et Fabre,
p. 158.

[388] Magister Joanninus de Florentia et m. Marcus ejus frater faber
lignarius habuere ducatos XXV pro parte solucionis banchorum quæ fiunt in
bibliotheca addita nunc a S^mo. d. nostro, die XVIII Julii 1480. Müntz, p.

[389] Müntz, pp. 124-126.

[390] Magister Joannes fabricator catenarum habuit a me die XIIII aprilis
1477 ducatos decem, ad summam centum et quinque ducatorum quos ei debebam
pro tribus miliaribus et libris octingentis ferri fabrefacti ad usum
bibliothecæ, videlicet pro quadraginta octo virgis ferreis ad quas in
banchis libri connectuntur [etc.]. Müntz, p. 128.

[391] _Ibid._, p. 127.

[392] _Ibid._, p. 135.

[393] MSS. Vat. 3947.

[394] MSS. Vat. 7135.

[395] _La Vaticane_, etc., p. 475.

[396] MS. Vat. 3946.

[397] MS. Vat. 3948.

[398] For an account of what Sixtus accomplished at Santo Spirito see
Pastor, _History of the Popes_, Eng. Tran. IV. 460-462.

[399] Brockhaus, _Janitschek's Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaften_, Band
VII. (1884); Schmarsow, _Melozzo da Forli_ (1886), pp. 202-207.

[400] I have taken 1 palm = mètre 0·223; and 1 mètre = 39·37 in.

[401] My calculation works out as follows. Each of 10 seats was 38 palms
long: total length, 380 palms. As these 10 seats cost 130 ducats, each
palm cost 130/380 ducats = 1/3 a ducat nearly.

As the total paid was 300 ducats, this first payment, viz. 130 ducats,
left 170 ducats still due for the 15 remaining seats. As each palm cost a
third of a ducat, 170 ducats would buy 510 palms = 113·73 metres = 4477
inches (nearly) = 373 feet.

[402] Per lo tellaro del mappamondo b. 52. Müntz, p. 129. Habuere pictores
armorum quæ sunt facta in duabus sphæris solidis et pro pictura mappemundi
ducatos III, die XII decembris 1477. Müntz et Fabre, p. 151. This map had
probably been provided by Pius II. (1458-1464), who kept in his service
Girolamo Bellavista, a Venetian maker of maps. Müntz et Fabre, 126.

[403] Expendi pro cobopertura facta duobus sphæris solidis quarum in
altera est ratio signorum, in altera cosmographia, ducatos IIII videlicet
cartenos XVI in octo pellibus montoninis, cartenos XXV in manifactura;
sunt nunc ornata graphio cum armis s. d. n., die XX decembris 1477. Müntz
el Fabre, p. 152. M. Fabre quotes an extract in praise of the map and
globes from a letter written from Rome in 1505, _La Vaticane de Sixte
IV._, p. 471 _note_.

[404] _Ibid._

[405] Müntz, p. 130.

[406] Bibl. Nat. Paris, MSS. Lat. 13123, fol. 220, quoted by Müntz et
Fabre, p. 140.

[407] This statue, found in Rome in the middle of the sixteenth century,
represents Aristides Smyrnæus, a Greek rhetorician of the second century
after Christ. It is still in the Vatican Library, at the entrance to the
Museo Cristiano.

[408] In the omitted passage Montaigne describes a number of books shewn
to him.

[409] _Journal du voyage de Michel de Montaigne en Italie_, ed. Prof.
Alessandro d' Ancona. 8vo. Città di Castello, 1895, p. 269. I owe this
quotation to M. Fabre.

[410] Müntz et Fabre, p. 299.

[411] _Ibid._, pp. 269-298. MSS. Vat. Lat. 3964.

[412] Quisquis es qui tuum nomen hic inscribis ob acceptos commodo libros
e bibliotheca pontificis, scito te indignationem ejus et execrationem
incursurum nisi peropportune integros reddideris. Hoc tibi denuntiat
Platyna, S. suæ bibliothecarius, qui tantæ rei curam suscepit pridie Kal.
Martii 1475.

[413] Dedi die XIII Septembris 1475 ducatum unum Salvato scriptori pro
emendis calligis. Item expendi pro veste una Salvati scriptoris seminudi
et algentis ducatos XIII de mandato sancti domini nostri. Müntz et Fabre,
p. 148.

[414] Habui ego Platyna sanctissimi domini nostri bibliothecarius ducatos
triginta pro salario meo, quod est decem ducatorum in mense, ab idibus
Julii usque ad idus Octobris 1477, quemadmodum apparet in bulla de
facultatibus officiis et muneribus a sanctissimo domino nostro papa Sixto
IIII facta. _Ibid._ p. 150.

[415] Müntz, pp. 129, 133.

[416] Item dedi ducatos quinque pro quolibet Demetrio et Johanni ligatori
librorum quos ex mandato domini nostri foras misi, mortuo ex peste eorum
socio, ne ipsi quoque eo loci interirent vel alios inficerent, die VIII
junii 1478. Müntz et Fabre, pp. 153.

[417] The entries alluded to in this account will all be found in Müntz
and Fabre, pp. 148-158.

[418] The document is printed by Müntz and Fabre, p. 300.

[419] I visited Urbino for the purpose of studying this library 28 April,

[420] _Memorie concernenti la Citta di Urbino._ Fol. Rome, 1724, p. 37.
See also Vespasiano, _Federigo Duca d' Urbino_; ap. Mai, _Spicilegium
Romanian_, I. pp. 124-128; Dennistoun, _Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino_,
8vo. 1851, I. pp. 153-160. The duties of the librarian, which remind us in
many particulars of those of the monastic _armarius_, are translated by
Dennistoun (p. 159) from Vat. Urb. MSS. No. 1248, f. 58.

[421] _Codices Urbinates Graeci Bibl. Vat._ 4to. Rome, 1895, p. 12. For
this statement, the writer cites Raffaelli, _Imparziale istoria dell'
unione delta Biblioteca ducale di Urbino alia Vaticana di Roma_. Fermo,
1877, p. 12.

[422] _Vasari_, ed. 1856, vol. XII. p. 214.

[423] Franklin, _Anc. Bibl. de Paris_, II. 22.

[424] This statement rests on the authority of Dr Caius, _Hist. Cant.
Acad._ p. 89. Cum duæ bibliothecæ erant, altera priuata seu noua, altera
publica seu vetus dicebatur. In illa optimi quique; in hac omnis generis
ex peiori numero ponebantur. Illa paucis, ista omnibus patebat.

[425] _Arch. Hist._ III. p. 401.

[426] See above p. 45. Dr James has printed the verses from Bodl. MSS.
Laud. 697, fol. 27, _verso_, in _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc. and Comm._ VIII.

[427] The whole series is given in _Arch. Hist._ III. p. 461.

[428] I quote this account of the glass at Eton from Dr James, _ut supra_,
p. 214.

[429] De Lisle, _Cabinet de Manuscrits_, vol. II. p. 200.

[430] _Voyage Littéraire_, ed. 1717, II. 158.

[431] Bliss, _Reliquiæ Hearnianæ_, II. 693; _ap._ Macray, _Annals_, p. 4.

[432] See above, p. 188.

[433] See Index.

[434] _Arch. Hist._ Vol. II. p. 270.

[435] See above, p. 192.

[436] See Index.

[437] _Arch. Hist._ Vol. III. p. 30. Conyers Middleton, _Bibl. Cant. Ord.
Meth._ Works, Vol. III. p. 484.

[438] See above, p. 192.

[439] See above, p. 105.

[440] _Du prêt des livres dans l' abbaye de Saint Ouen, sous Charles V._
par L. Delisle. _Bibl. de l' École des Chartes_, ser. III. Vol. I. p. 225.

[441] _Le Librairie des Papes d' Avignon_, par Maurice Faucon, Tome II. p.
43, in _Bibl. des Écoles Françaises d'Athènes et de Rome_, Fasc. 50.

[442] _Archæologia_, Vol. 47, p. 120. I have to thank my friend Mr P. T.
Micklethwaite, architect, for this quotation.



I have now traced the evolution of the bookcase from a clumsy contrivance
consisting of two boards set at an angle to each other, to the stately
pieces of furniture which, with but little alteration, are still in use;
and I hope that I have succeeded in shewing that the fifteenth century was
emphatically the library-era throughout Europe. Monasteries, cathedrals,
universities, and secular institutions in general vied with each other in
erecting libraries, in stocking them with books, and in framing liberal
regulations for making them useful to the public.

To this development of study in all directions the sixteenth century
offers a sad and startling contrast. In France the Huguenot movement took
the form of a bitter hostility to the clergy--which, after the fashion of
that day, exhibited itself in a very general destruction of churches,
monasteries, and their contents; while England witnessed the suppression
of the Monastic Orders, and the annihilation, so far as was practicable,
of all that belonged to them. I have shewn that monastic libraries were
the public libraries of the Middle Ages; more than this, the larger
houses were centres of culture and education, maintaining schools for
children, and sending older students to the Universities. In three years,
between 1536 and 1539. the whole system was swept away, as thoroughly as
though it had never existed. The buildings were pulled down, and the
materials sold; the plate was melted; and the books were either burnt, or
put to the vilest uses to which waste literature can be subjected. I will
state the case in another way which will bring out more clearly the result
of this catastrophe. Upwards of eight hundred monasteries were suppressed,
and, as a consequence, eight hundred libraries were done away with,
varying in size and importance from Christ Church, Canterbury, with its
2000 volumes, to small houses with little more than the necessary
service-books. By the year 1540 the only libraries left in England were
those at the two Universities, and in the Cathedrals of the old
foundation. Further, the royal commissioners made no attempt to save any
of the books with which the monasteries were filled. In France in 1789 the
revolutionary leaders sent the libraries of the convents they pillaged to
the nearest town: for instance, that of Citeaux to Dijon; of Clairvaux to
Troyes; of Corbie to Amiens. But in England at the suppression no such
precautions were taken; manuscripts seem to have been at a discount just
then, for which the invention of printing may be to some extent
responsible; their mercantile value was small; private collectors were
few. So the monastic libraries perished, save a few hundred manuscripts
which have survived to give us an imperfect notion of what the rest were

How great the loss was, has probably been recorded by more than one
writer; but for the moment I can think of nothing more graphic than the
words of that bitter protestant John Bale, a contemporary who had seen the
old libraries, and knew their value. After lamenting that "in turnynge
ouer of y^e superstycyouse monasteryes so lytle respect was had to theyr
lybraryes for the sauegarde of those noble and precyouse monumentes" (the
works of ancient writers), he states what ought to have been done, and
what really happened.

    Neuer had we bene offended for the losse of our
    lybraryes beynge so many in nombre and in so desolate
    places for the most parte, yf the chiefe monumentes and
    moste notable workes of our excellent wryters had bene

    If there had bene in every shyre but one solempne
    lybrary, to the preseruacyon of those noble workes, it
    had bene yet sumwhat. But to destroy all without
    consydyracyon is and wyll be vnto Englande for euer a
    moste horryble infamy amonge the graue senyours of other
    nacyons. A greate nombre of them whych purchased those
    superstycyouse mansyons, reserued of those bokes some to
    ... scoure theyr candelstyckes, and some to rubbe theyr
    bootes. Some they sold to the grossers and sopesellers,
    and some they sent ouer see to the boke bynders, not in
    small nombre, but at times whole shyppes full, to the
    wonderynge of the foren nacyons. I know a merchaunt man
    which shall at this tyme be namelesse, that boughte the
    contentes of two noble lybraryes for. xl. shyllynges
    pryce, a shame it is to be spoken. This stuffe hath he
    occupyed in the stede of graye paper by the space of
    more than these .x. yeares, and yet he hath store ynough
    for many yeares to come[443].

The Universities, though untouched by the suppression, were not allowed to
remain long at peace. In 1549, commissioners were sent by Edward the Sixth
to Oxford and Cambridge. They considered that it fell within their
province to reform the libraries as well as those who used them; and they
did their work with a thoroughness that under other circumstances would
have been worthy of commendation. Anthony Wood[444] has told us in
eloquent periods, where sorrow struggles with indignation, how the college
libraries were treated; how manuscripts which had nothing superstitious
about them except a few rubricated initials, were carried through the city
on biers to the market-place and there consumed. Of the treatment meted
out to the public library of the University he gives an almost identical
account[445]. This library--now the central portion of the Bodleian--had
been completed about 1480. It was well stocked with manuscripts of value,
the most important of which, in number about 600[446], had been given by
Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, between 1439 and 1446. His collection was
that of a cultivated layman, and was comparatively poor in theological
literature. Yet in this home of all that was noble in literature and
splendid in art (for the Duke's copies are said to have been the finest
that could be bought) did this crew of ignorant fanatics cry havoc, with
such fatal success that only three MSS. now survive; and on January 25,
1555-56, certain members of the Senate were appointed "to sell, in the
name of the University, the book-desks in the public library. The books
had all disappeared; what need then to retain the shelves and stalls, when
no one thought of replacing their contents, and when the University could
turn an honest penny by their sale[447]?"

I suppose that in those collegiate and cathedral libraries of which some
fragments had been suffered to remain, the gaps caused by the destruction
of manuscripts were slowly filled up by printed literature. No new
bookcases would be required for many years; and in fact, nearly a century
passed away before any novelty in the way of library-fittings makes its
appearance. Further, when new libraries came to be built, the provision of
suitable furniture was not easy. The old stall, with two shelves loaded
with books attached to them by chains, and a desk and seat for the use of
the reader, was manifestly no longer adequate, when books could be
produced by the rapidity of a printing-press, instead of by the slowness
of a writer's hand. And yet, as we shall see, ancient fashions lingered.

So far as I know, the first library built and furnished under these new
conditions in England was that of S. John's College, Cambridge. This
"curious example of Jacobean Gothic[448]" was built between 1623 and 1628,
at the sole charge of Bishop Williams, whose work at Westminster during
the same period has been already recorded. The site selected was the
ground between the second court of the college and the river, the
library-building being constructed as a continuation of the north side of
that court, with the library on the first floor, and the chambers intended
for the Bishop's Fellows and Scholars on the ground floor.

The room, after the fashion of the older libraries, is long and narrow,
110 ft. in length by 30 ft. in breadth. Each side-wall is pierced with ten
lofty pointed windows of two lights with tracery in the head. The sills of
these windows are raised 4 ft. above the floor, and the interval between
each pair of windows is 3 ft. 8 in. There is also a western oriel, the
foundations of which are laid in the river which washes its walls (fig.
109). The name of the founder is commemorated on the central gable by the
letters I. L. C. S., the initials of _Johannes Lincolniensis Custos
Sigilli_, the Bishop being at that time keeper of the Great Seal, or, as
we should say, Lord Chancellor. The date 1624 marks the completion of the
shell of the building[449].

[Illustration: Fig. 109. West oriel of the Library at S. John's College,

[Illustration: Fig. 110. Bookcases in the Library of S. John's College,

The beautiful fittings (fig. 110), which are still in use, were completed
before 1628. Medieval arrangement was not wholly discarded, but various
modern features were introduced. The side-walls and window-jambs are
panelled to a height of 8 ft.; and the cornice of this panel-work is
continuous with that of the taller cases--which, as in the older examples,
stand at right angles to the walls between each pair of windows. Before
these fittings were constructed, chaining had been practically abandoned,
so that it was not necessary to provide either desk or seat. In the place,
therefore, of the reader's seat, a low bookcase was set in front of each
window. These cases were originally 5 ft. 6 in. high, with a sloping desk
on the top on which books could be laid for study. Stools also were
provided for the convenience of readers. The larger cases or, as the
building-account of the library calls them, "the greater seats," have been
a good deal altered in order to accommodate more books. Originally the
plinth ran round the sides of the case; as did also the broad member which
is seen on the end above the arches. By this arrangement there were in all
only four shelves, namely, one below the broad member and three above it.
Further, there was a pilaster in the middle, below the central bracket. It
should be noted that the medieval habit of placing a list of the books
contained in each case at the end of the case is here maintained.

It might have been expected that these splendid cases would have invited
imitation, and in those at Clare College the general style was undoubtedly
copied. But, as I have already explained[450], those cases were originally
genuine specimens of the stall-system, with desks. In other libraries,
while a new style of bookcase was put up, we shall find no innovation
comparable to that seen at S. John's. This was due, in great measure, to
the medieval character of the rooms to be fitted up.

The library at Peterhouse was lengthened in 1633. It is 75 ft. long by 25
ft. broad, and each of its side-walls is pierced by a range of three-light
windows. The cases (fig. 111) were put up between 1641 and 1648. Like
those at S. John's, they stand at right angles to the walls between the
windows, but they are detached, and not continuous with the panelwork.
Originally they were just eight feet high, but have since been heightened
to accommodate more books. Each case is still divided by a central
pilaster. So far they do not present any striking peculiarity, but I wish
to draw attention to a curious contrivance, which we shall find
subsequently reproduced in various forms, though not exactly as it is seen
here; for these cases were evidently admired, and imitated in several
other colleges. The chains had been taken off the books at Peterhouse in
1593-94, when they were first moved into the new library; so that desks
attached to the cases were not required. Nor were lower cases, with desks
at the top of them, provided. But the convenience of the reader was
considered, up to a certain point, by the provision of a seat, 12 in.
wide and 23 in. high, extending along the side of each case, and returned
along the wall between it and the case next to it. This arrangement may
still be seen in the two compartments at the west end of the room, one on
each side of the door of entrance. The ends of the seat or 'podium,' are
concealed by boldly carved wings[451].

[Illustration: Fig. 111. Bookcases in the Library of Peterhouse,

The convenience of this type of case was evidently recognised at once, for
we find it copied, more or less exactly, in the south room of the
University Library (1649); at Jesus College (1663); at Gonville and Caius
College (1675); at Emmanuel College (1677); and at Pembroke College

[Illustration: Fig. 112. Bookcases in the south room of the University
Library, Cambridge.]

The south room of the University Library, on the first floor, is 25 ft.
wide and was originally 67 ft. long. It was lighted by eight windows in
the north wall, and by nine windows in the south wall, each of two lights.
There was also a window of four lights in the east gable, as we learn from
Loggan's print, and probably a window in the west gable also[452]. It was
entered by a door, in the north-east corner, approached by a "vice," or
turret-stair. This door was fortunately left intact when the east building
was erected in 1755. The room has been but little altered, and still
preserves the beautiful roof, the contract for which is dated 25 June,

We do not know anything about the primitive fittings, but, having regard
to the fact that the spaces between the windows are barely two feet wide,
it is probable that they were lecterns. Moreover, a catalogue, dated 1473,
enumerates eight stalls on the north side each containing on an average 21
books, and nine on the south side, each containing 18 books[454]. These
numbers, compared with those mentioned above at Zutphen, indicate

In the next century this room was assigned to teaching purposes, and the
lecterns were either removed or destroyed. In 1645 the University
petitioned Parliament to put them in possession of Archbishop Bancroft's
library, which he, by will dated 28 October, 1610, had bequeathed to the
Public Library of the University of Cambridge, should certain other
provisions not be fulfilled. The request was granted, 15 February, 1647,
and the books arrived in 1649. The room in question, then used as the
Greek School, was ordered, 3 September, 1649, to be "fitted for the
disposeall of the said books" without delay. The existing cases were
supplied at once, for Fuller, writing in the following year, speaks of
them with commendation[455]. Their exact date is therefore known.

These cases (fig. 112) are 8 ft. high from the floor to the top of the
horizontal part of the cornice, and 22 in. broad. They have the central
pilaster; but the seat has been cut down to a step, which is interrupted
in the middle, so as to allow the central pilaster to rise directly from
the ground. The wing, however, was too picturesque a feature to be
discarded, so it was placed at the end of the step, and carried up, by
means of a long slender prolongation, as far as the molding which
separates the two panels on the end of the stall.

These cases were exactly copied at Gonville and Caius College; and again
at Emmanuel College; but in both those examples the step is continuous. At
Jesus College the same type is maintained, with the central pilaster and
continuous step; but the work is extremely plain, and there is neither
wing nor pediment. At Pembroke College there is a further modification of
the type. The step disappears, and, instead of it, a plinth extends along
the whole length of the case. The wing, however, remains, as a survival of
the lost step, and helps to give dignity to the base of the standard,
which is surmounted by a semicircular pediment, beneath which is a band of
fruit and flowers in high relief[456].

I will now describe a very interesting bookcase at King's College,
Cambridge (fig. 113), which was put up in 1659, with a bequest from
Nicholas Hobart, formerly Fellow[457]. It remains in its original position
in one of the chapels on the south side of the choir, which were used for
library-purposes till the present library was built by Wilkins in 1825. It
has several details in common with those at S. John's College, as
originally constructed, and will help us to understand their aspect before
they were altered. There is a lofty plinth, a broad member interposed
between the first and second shelf, a central vertical pilaster; and, as
at Peterhouse, and elsewhere, a step or 'podium' with a wing. But, with
these resemblances to cases in which books are arranged as at present, it
is curious to find the usual indications of chaining, which we know from
other sources was not given up in this library until 1777. There are locks
on the end of the case just below each of the two shelves, and scars on
the vertical pilasters caused by the attachment of the iron-work that
carried the bar. Further, just below the broad band, a piece of wood of a
different quality has been inserted into the pilasters, evidently to fill
up a vacancy caused by the removal of some part of the original structure,
probably a desk or shelf.

The antiquary William Cole, writing in 1744, describes these chapels when
used as libraries. Each chapel held five bookcases, "two at the
extremities, which are but half-cases, and three in the body, of which the
middlemost is much loftier than the rest." In the chapel fitted up by
Hobart, Cole tells us that "at the end of the biggest middle class is
wrote in gold letters LEGAVIT NICOLAUS HOBART 1659[458]." As the chapel is
only 20 ft. long, the intervals between the cases could hardly have
exceeded 2 ft., and as the books were chained they must have been
consulted standing.

[Illustration: Fig. 113. Bookcase in the old Library of King's College,
Cambridge, made with the bequest of Nicholas Hobart, 1659.]

A similar return to ancient forms is to be found in the library of Queen's
College, Oxford, begun in 1692. The architect is said to have been
Nicholas Hawkesmoore, to whom the fittings, put up in the first fourteen
years of the eighteenth century[459], are also ascribed. This library is
123 ft. long by 30 ft. wide. There are ten bookcases on each side at right
angles to the walls between the windows. Each case is about 11 ft. high,
and 2 ft. 6 in. wide; but, though their ornamentation is in the style of
the period, of which they are splendid examples, their general design
exactly reproduces the old type. In their original state they were
provided with desks, though there is no evidence that the books were
chained; they had only two shelves above that which was on the level of
the top of the desk; and there was a double seat between each pair of
cases. The space above the second shelf, between it and the cornice, was
occupied by a cupboard, handsomely ornamented with carved panels, for
small books or manuscripts[460]. In fact, the only innovation which the
designer of these remarkable cases permitted himself to employ was to make
the moldings of their cornices continuous with that of the panelwork which
he carried along the sides of the room, and into the jambs of the windows.
The space below the desk was utilised for books, but, as these were found
to be inconvenient of access, the desks and seats were taken away in 1871,
and dwarf bookcases provided in front of the windows.

When the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury built their library, now called
the Howley-Harrison Library, in 1669-70, they constructed a room on
strictly medieval lines. It is 65 ft. long by 21 ft. broad, with seven
equidistant windows in the north wall and six in the south wall. The
bookcases, which are plain medieval stalls, project from the walls at
right angles between the windows.

There is another class of libraries which must be briefly mentioned in
this chapter, namely, those connected with parish churches and
grammar-schools. I suppose that after the destruction of monastic
libraries all over the country, the dearth of books would be acutely felt,
and that gradually those who had the cause of education at heart
established libraries in central situations, to which persons in quest of
knowledge might resort.

[Illustration: Fig. 114. Ground plan of Library, Grantham, Lincolnshire.

Scale one quarter of an inch to one foot.]

The library (fig. 114) at Grantham in Lincolnshire occupies a small room,
16 feet from north to south by 14 feet from east to west, over the south
porch of the parish church, approached by a newel stair from the south
aisle. It was founded in 1598 by the Reverend Francis Trigg, rector of
Wellbourn; and in 1642, Edward Skipworth "out of his love and well-wishing
to learning, and to encourage the vicars of Grantham to pursue their
studies in the winter-time, gave fifty shillings, the yearly interest
thereof to provide firewood for the library fire." From this language I
conclude that the original gift of books was made for the benefit of the
vicar for the time being.

There are three bookcases set against the walls, each about 6 ft. high and
6 ft. long. A considerable number of the books still bear their chains,
which are composed of long flat links closely resembling those at
Guildford, with a ring and swivel next to the bar. The library--room,
bookcases, and books--was carefully restored and repaired in 1894[461].

At Langley Marye or Marish in Buckinghamshire near Slough, a library was
founded in 1623 by Sir John Kederminster "as well for the perpetual
benefit of the vicar and curate of the parish of Langley, as for all other
ministers and preachers of God's Word that would resort thither to make
use of the books therein." He placed it under the charge of the four
tenants of his almshouses, who were to keep safe the books, and the key of
the room, under stringent penalties[462].

The library is a small room on the south side of the church, entered
through the squire's pew, to which there is a separate door in the south
wall. The fittings are of an unusual character, and have been preserved
unaltered. The whole room is panelled at a distance of 15 in. from the
wall, so as to make a series of cupboards, in which the books are
contained. The doors of these cupboards are divided into panels,
alternately square and oblong. Each of the former contains a small figure
painted in colours on a black ground; each of the latter a shield, or some
heraldic device. The inner surface of these doors is similarly divided
into panels, on each of which is painted an open book. Above the
cupboards, just under the flat ceiling, is a series of more or less
imaginary landscapes, doing duty as a frieze. Over the fireplace is a very
beautiful piece of decoration consisting of a large oval shield with
various coats of arms painted on it. It is set in an oblong panel, in the
spandrels of which are painted seated figures of Prudence, Justice,
Temperance, Fortitude, with their emblems and suitable mottoes[463].

In 1629, the following entry occurs in what is called "the Church Book" of
Cartmel, in Lancashire:

    14 July, 1629. It is ordered and agreed upon that the
    churchwardens seate in the body of the churche shall be
    enlarged both in the wideness and in the deske that the
    bookes given unto the church may bee more convenientlie
    laid and chained to remain there according to the
    directions of the donors[464].

The will of Humphry Chetham, a wealthy merchant of Manchester, dated 16
December, 1651, directs £200 to be spent on certain specified books,

    to be, by the discretion of my Executors, chained upon
    Desks, or to be fixed to the Pillars, or in other
    convenient Places, in the Parish Churches of
    _Manchester_ and _Boulton in the Moors_, and in the
    Chapels of _Turton_, _Walmesley_, and _Gorton_, in the
    said County of _Lancaster_[465].

The bookcase at Gorton[466] is a cupboard of oak, 7 ft. long by 3 ft. high
and 19 in. deep, raised upon four stout legs, 22 in. high. On opening the
doors, the interior is seen to be divided into two equal parts by a
vertical partition, and again by a horizontal shelf. The shelf and the
partition are both 9 in. deep, so as to leave a considerable interval in
front of them. The bars--of which there is one for each division--rest in
a socket pierced in a small bracket screwed to each end of the case, in
such a position that the bar passes just in front of the shelf. A flat
piece of iron, nailed to the central division, carries a short hasp, which
passes over the junction of the bars, and is there secured by a lock. By
this arrangement no person could withdraw either bar without the key. The
chains, of iron, tinned, are of the same type as those at Hereford, but
the links are rather longer and narrower. They are attached to the volume
in the same manner, either near the bottom of the right board, or near the
top of the left board. There are scars on the lower edge of the case, and
on the legs, which seem to indicate that there might once have been a
desk. Otherwise, the books, when read, must have rested on the reader's
knees. The whole piece of furniture closely resembles one dated 1694 at
Bolton in Lancashire to be described below (fig. 116).

The bookcase at Turton[467] resembles that at Gorton so closely that it
needs no particular description. The doors are richly carved, and on the
cornice above them is the following inscription, carved in low relief:


Besides these parochial libraries Mr Chetham directed the foundation
(among other things) of "a Library within the Town of _Manchester_, for
the Use of Scholars, and others well affected, to resort unto ... the same
Books there to remain as a public Library for ever; and my Mind and Will
is, that Care be taken, that none of the said Books be taken out of the
said Library at any Time ... the same Books [to] be fixed or chained, as
well as may be, within the said Library, for the better Preservation
thereof." In order to carry out these provisions the executors bought an
ancient building called the _College_, which is known to have been
completed before 1426 by Thomas Lord de la Warre, as a college in
connexion with the adjoining collegiate church, now the Cathedral[468].
The library was placed in two long narrow rooms on the first floor, the
original destination of which is uncertain. They are at right angles to
each other, and have a united length of 137 ft. 6 in., with a breadth of
17 ft. The south and west walls are pierced with fourteen three-light
windows, probably inserted by Chetham's executors; the east and west walls
are blank.

The existing fittings, though they have been extensively altered[469] from
time to time, are in the main those which were originally put up. The
bookcases, of oak, are placed in medieval fashion at right angles to the
windows. They are 10 ft. long, 2 ft. wide, and were originally 7 ft. high,
but have been pieced apparently twice, so that they now reach as high as
the wall-plate. Each pair of cases is 6 ft. apart, so as to make a small
compartment, closed by wooden gates, which now open in the middle; but a
lock attached to one side of the end of each case indicates that
originally the gates were in one piece. The cases are quite plain, with
the exception of a few panels at the end. On the uppermost of these, which
is oblong, and extends from side to side of the case, the subjects of the
works are written: as PHILOSOPHIA; and beneath, in smaller characters,
_Mathematica_, _Physica_, _Metaphysica_. All indications of chaining have
been obliterated, but a reference to the earliest account-book which has
been preserved, that beginning 20 April, 1685, shews that the founder's
directions were obeyed:

  20 Apr. 1685.   To James Wilson for Cheining ten books
                                                            0  2  6

     "    1686.   -------------- for making 26 large
                    Claspes and Cheining 26 bookes          0  4  4

  9 Mar. 1686-87. -------------- for Cheining and
                    Clasping 12 doz. bookes                00 18 00

Chains were evidently kept as a part of the stock-in-trade of the library,
to be used as required, for, at the end of an Inventory taken 18 November,
1684, we find:

    Alsoe in the Library two globes; three Mapps; two queres
    of larg paper to make tables; a paper fol-booke; A
    Ruleing penn; 24 dossen Chains; A geniological roul; and
    a larg serpent or snaks skin.

[Illustration: Fig. 115. Ring and link of chain: Wimborne Minster.]

At Wimborne Minster the books are placed in a small room, about fifteen
feet square, over the vestry, a building in the Decorated style, situated
between the south transept and the south aisle of the choir. Access to
this room is obtained by a turret-stair at the south-west corner. It was
fitted up as a library in 1686, when the greater part of the books were
given by the Rev. William Stone. There are two plain wooden shelves,
carried round three sides of the room. The chains are attached to the
right-hand board of each book, instead of to the left-hand board, and they
are made of iron wire, twisted as shewn in the sketch (fig. 115). The
swivel, instead of being central, plays in a twist of the wire which
forms the ring attached to the book. The iron bars are supported on eyes,
and are secured by a tongue of iron passed over a staple fixed into the
bracket which supports the shelf. The tongue was originally kept in its
place by a padlock, now replaced by a wooden peg. No desk was attached to
the shelves, but in lieu of it a portable desk and stool were

A library was built over the porch of the parish church at
Denchworth[471], Berks, in 1693, and "stocked with 100 books well secured
with chains," presumably for the use of the vicar and his successors; and
in 1715, William Brewster, M.D., bequeathed 285 volumes to the
churchwardens of All Saints' Church, Hereford, for the same purpose[472].
The books were placed in the vestry, where they still are. They are all
chained on a system copied from that in use at the Chapter Library.

In addition to collections of books, which varied in extent according to
the taste, or the means, of the donor, single volumes are often found
chained in churches. These do not come within the scope of this Essay, and
I will therefore pass on to notice some libraries connected with Grammar

At Abingdon in Berkshire, the school, founded 1563, had a library, some
volumes of which, bearing their chains, are still preserved. There was a
similar collection at Bicester in Oxfordshire, where a school is said to
have been in existence before 1570. In 1571 James Pilkington, Bishop of
Durham (1561-1577), by will dated 4 February in that year, bequeathed his
books to the school at Rivington in Lancashire. The following extracts
from the statutes, said to have been made shortly after the arrival of the
books, remind us of monastic provisions[473].

    The Governors shall the first day of every quarter when
    they come to the School take an account of all such
    books as have been given to the School, and if any be
    picked away torn or written in they shall cause him that
    so misused it to buy another book as good and lay it in
    the place of it and there to be used continually as
    others be.

    The Schoolmaster and Usher whensoever the Scholars go
    from the School shall cause all such books as have been
    or shall be given to the School and occupied abroad that
    day to be brought into the place appointed for them, and
    there to be locked up; and every morning shall cause the
    dictionaries, or such other books as are meet to be
    occupied abroad by the Scholars, that have none of their
    own, to be laid abroad, and see that none use to write
    in them, pull out leaves, nor carry them from the
    School; and if any misuse any book, or pick it away, the
    Governours shall cause him to buy another as good, to be
    laid in the stead of it, and occupied as the other was.

    And for the books of divinity, the Schoolmaster and
    Usher and such as give themselves to study divinity,
    shall occupy them, that they may be the more able to
    declare any article of the catechism or religion to the
    scholars; and in the church to make some notes of the
    Chapters that be read that the people may better
    understand them and remember what is read. And yet these
    books they shall not carry out of the School, without
    license of the Governours, and on pain to bring it
    again, or else to buy one as good, in its stead, and to
    be allowed out of the Master's or Usher's wages.

    If any preacher come and desire to have the use of some
    of those books, they shall let him have the use of them
    for a time so that they see them brought in again; none
    other shall carry them from the School except they have
    license of half the Governours and be bound to bring it
    safe again.

In 1573 John Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich (1560-1575), bequeathed "the
most part" of his Latin books to his native town Guildford, to be placed
in "the Lybrarie of the same Towne ioyning to the Schole." These books,
after some legal difficulties had been overcome, were brought to
Guildford, and placed in a gallery which connected the two wings of the
school, and had been begun in 1571. The books were fastened to the shelves
with chains, one of which has been already figured (fig. 58). There is
evidence that the library was well cared for, and augmented by various
donations, which were regularly chained as they came in, down to the end
of the 17th century[474].

Henry Bury, founder of the free school at Bury in Lancashire in 1625,
directed in his will that a convenient place should be found for the
library, because, as he proceeds to say:

    I have already geven ... in trust for the use of Bury
    Parish and the countrie therabouts, of ministers also at
    ther metinge and of schole maisters and others that seek
    for learninge and knowledge, above six hundreth bookes,
    and some other such things as I thought might helpe for
    their delight, and refresh students, as globes mappes
    pictures and some other things not every wheare to bee

This language shews that this provident benefactor intended his library to
be public. It is pleasant to be able to record that some of the books
which he gave are still in existence[475].

Lastly I will figure (fig. 116) the press given in 1694 by "James Leaver
citison of London," to the Grammar School at Bolton in Lancashire. It
closely resembles those given by Humphry Chetham to Turton and Gorton. The
system of ironwork by which the bars are kept in place is exactly the
same; and it retains the desk, traces of which exist at Gorton.

In my enumeration of the libraries attached to schools and churches, I
have drawn special attention to the fact that in nearly all of them the
books were chained. In explanation of this it might be argued that these
libraries were in remote places, to which new ideas would not easily
penetrate, but I am about to shew that this method of protection, which
began in a remote past, was maintained with strange persistency down to
modern times. I shall collect some further instances of the chaining of
books in places where it might have been expected that such things would
be no longer thought of; and in conclusion I shall record some dates at
which the final removal of chains took place.

[Illustration: Fig. 116. Bookpress in the school at Bolton, Lancashire.

From _Bibliographical Miscellanies_ by William Blades.]

In the library of the Faculty of Medicine, Paris, the books were ordered
to be chained in 1509, in consequence of some thefts; and these chains
were still attached to certain books in 1770[476]. At Corpus Christi
College, Cambridge, in 1554, it was ordered that the books bequeathed by
Peter Nobys, D.D. (Master 1516-23), should be taken better care of for the
future, and, if the chains were broken, that they should be repaired at
the expense of the college[477]. In 1555, Robert Chaloner, Esq.,
bequeathed his law books to Gray's Inn, with forty shillings in money, to
be paid to his cousin, "to th' entent that he maie by cheines therwith and
fasten so manye of them in the Librarye at Grauisin [Gray's Inn] as he
shall think convenyente[478]."

At S. John's College, Cambridge, in 1563-4, three shillings were paid to
"Phillip Stacyoner for cornering, bossing, and chayninge _Anatomiam
Vessalii etc._[479]" In 1573, Dr Caius directs by will twelve copies of
his own works to be given to his college, "there to be kepte as the other
bokes are, and to be successivelye tyed with chaynes in the Librarye of
the same College[480]." Dr Perne, Master of Peterhouse, by will dated 25
February, 1588, directs that all his books therein bequeathed "be layed
and chayned in the old Librarie of the Colledge[481]." At Trinity College,
Cambridge, in 1601, Mr Peter Shaw gave £5 towards the "cheyning and
desking of his bookes given to the newe liberarie[482]." In 1638-9, when a
new library was completed for the Barber Surgeons of London, £6. 18_s._
were spent on binding and chaining, as for instance:

    Paid for 36 yards of chaine at 4_d._ the yard and 36
    yards at 3_d._ the yard cometh to xxij_s._ vj_d._

    Paid to the coppersmith for castinge 80 brasses to
    fasten the chaines to the bookes--xiij_s._ iiij_d._[483]

Sir Matthew Hale, who died in 1676, directed in his will that certain
manuscripts should be given to the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn:
"My desire," he said, "is that they be kept safe and also in remembrance
of me. They were fit to be bound in leather and chained and kept in
archives[484]." In the will of Matthew Scrivener, Rector of Haslingfield
in Cambridgeshire, dated 4 March, 1687, the following passage occurs: "I
give fifty pounds in trust for the use of the public Library [at
Cambridge], either by buying chains for the securing the books at present
therein contained, or for the increase of the number of them[485]." At
the church of S. Gatien at Tours it is recorded in 1718 that the library
which occupied one alley of the cloister was well stocked with
manuscripts, chained on desks, which stood both against the wall and in
the middle of the room[486]. Lastly, in 1815, John Fells, mariner, gave
£30 to found a theological library in the church of S. Peter, Liverpool.
"The books were originally fastened to open shelves in the vestry with
rods and chains[487]."

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the practice was finally
abandoned. At Eton College in 1719 it was "Order'd to take y^e Chains off
y^e Books in y^e Library, except y^e Founder's Manuscripts[488]"; at the
Bodleian Library, Oxford, the removal of them began in 1757[489]; at
King's College, Cambridge, the books were unchained in 1777[490]; at
Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1780[491]; and at Merton College in

In France the custom was evidently abandoned at a much earlier date, for
the authors of the _Voyage Littéraire_, who visited more than eight
hundred monasteries at the beginning of the eighteenth century, with the
special intention of examining their records and their libraries, rarely
allude to chaining, and when they do mention it, they use language which
implies that it was a curious old fashion, the maintenance of which
surprised them[493].


[443] _The laboryouse Journey and Serche of Johan Leylande for Englandes
Antiquitees...._ by Johan Bale. London, 1549.

[444] _History and Antiquities of University of Oxford_, Ed. Gutch, 410.
1796, Vol. II. p. 106. Wood (b. 1632, d. 1695) gives these facts as
"credibly reported from antient men and they while young from scholars of
great standing."

[445] _Ibid._ Vol. II. Pt. 2, p. 918.

[446] This number is given on the authority of Macray, _Annals of the
Bodleian Library_, Ed. II. p. 6.

[447] Macray, _ut supra_, p. 13.

[448] These words were used by Professor Willis, _Arch. Hist._ Vol. III.
p. 451.

[449] For the history of this building see Professor Willis, _ut supra_,
Vol. II. pp. 264-271.

[450] See above p. 186.

[451] _Arch. Hist._ ut supra, Vol. I. p. 33, and Vol. III. p. 454.

[452] When the new façade was built in the middle of the 18th century this
room was shortened by about 8 feet, so that now there are only 8 windows
on the south side and 7½ on the north side.

[453] The contract is printed and explained in _Arch. Hist._ Vol. III. pp.

[454] _Camb. Ant. Soc. Proc._ Vol. II. p. 258. The catalogue is printed,
with remarks, by H. Bradshaw, M.A., University Librarian. It should be
noted that on the south side of the room, the first case only is called
'stall,' the remaining eight are called 'desks.'

[455] _History of University of Cambridge_, ed. Prickett and Wright, p.
160. See also _Arch. Hist._ Vol. III. p. 27.

[456] These descriptions are all borrowed from Professor Willis, _Arch.
Hist._ Vol. III. pp. 454-458, 460, 465.

[457] _Arch. Hist._ Vol. I. p. 538.

[458] _Arch. Hist._ I. p. 539.

[459] This date is given on the authority of the present Provost, John
Richard Magrath, D.D.

[460] A view of the Library in its original state is given in Ingram's
_Memorials_, Queen's College, p. 12. An article in _Notes and Queries_,
6th Ser. IV. 442, by the Rev. Robert Lowes Clarke, M.A., Fellow and
Librarian, contains the following passage: "The bookcases were fitted with
reading desks, as at the Bodleian, and there were fixed oak seats in each
recess. These were convenient in some ways, and helped to make the room
seem a place for study rather than a store for materials, but they made
the lower shelves hard of access, and were removed in 1871 to give room
for new cases."

[461] For these details I have to thank the late Canon H. Nelson. I
visited Grantham in 1895 with my friend Mr. T. D. Atkinson, architect, who
drew the above plan.

[462] _Report of Comm. for Inquiring concerning Charities_, Vol. II. pp.

[463] This description of the library is partly from my own notes, taken 7
July, 1901, partly from Hornby's _Walks about Eton_, 1894.

[464] _Old Church and School Libraries of Lancashire_, by R. C. Christie,
Chetham Soc., 1885, p. 76.

[465] _The last will of Humphry Chetham_, 4to. Manchester, n. d. p. 42.

[466] This bookcase stood in the National School-room when I examined it
in 1885. In 1898 the books were thoroughly repaired.

[467] The front of this bookcase is figured on the title-page of
_Bibliographical notices of the Church Libraries at Turton and Gorton_.
Chetham Soc., 1855, p. 3.

[468] The architectural history of these buildings has been admirably
worked out, in _Old Halls in Lancashire and Cheshire_, by Henry Taylor,
Architect, 4to. Manchester, 1884, pp. 31-46.

[469] These alterations probably began when the following Order was made:
"Tuesday, 24 July, 1787. That a Committee be appointed to inspect the
Library along with the Librarian, consisting of the Treasurer [etc.]; And
that such Committee shall have power to repair and make such Alterations
in the Library as they may think proper." No Order for taking off the
chains has been discovered.

[470] _Sketches of English Literature_, by Clara Lucas Balfour, 12mo.
Lond. 1852. Introduction. In the description of the library there given
the padlocks are specially mentioned. Compare also, _A History of Wimborne
Minster_, 8vo. Lond. 1860; and Hutchins' _Dorsetshire_, ed. 1803, Vol. II.
p. 554.

[471] _Notes and Queries_, Series 6, Vol. IV. p. 304. The library was
destroyed in 1852 when the Church was restored by Mr George Street,

[472] _The History of All Saints' Church, Hereford_, by Rev. G. H.
Culshaw, M.A., 8vo. Hereford, 1892.

[473] _Old Church and School Libraries of Lancashire_, by R. C. Christie,
Chetham Soc., 1885, p. 189.

[474] _Cam. Ant. Soc. Proc. and Comm._ Vol. VIII. pp. 11-18. In 1899 the
books which remained were put in order and set on new shelves by the care
and at the cost of H. A. Powell, Esq.

[475] _Old Church and School Libraries of Lancashire_, by R. C. Christie,
Chetham Soc. p. 139.

[476] Franklin, _Anc. Bibl._ Vol. II. p. 25.

[477] Masters, _History_, p. 62.

[478] _The Guild of the Corpus Christi, York_, ed. Surtees Society, 1872,
p. 206, _note_.

[479] S. John's College Audit-Book, 1563-4, _Exp. Necess._

[480] _Commiss. Docts._ (Cambridge), II. 309.

[481] _Arch. Hist._ III. 454.

[482] Sen. Burs. Accounts, 1600-1, _Recepta_.

[483] _Memorials of the Craft of Surgery in England_, ed. D'Arcy Power.
8vo. London 1886, p. 230.

[484] Herbert, _Inns of Court_, p. 303.

[485] _Documents relating to St Catharine's College_, ed. H. Philpott,
D.D., p. 125.

[486] _Voyage Liturgique de la France_, by Le Sieur de Moléon, 1718. I
have to thank Dr James for this reference.

[487] _Old Church Libraries_, _ut supra_, p. 102.

[488] Eton College Minute Book, 19 December, 1719.

[489] Macray, _ut supra_, p. 86. The inconvenience of chaining had long
been felt for in _The Foreigner's Companion through the Universities_, by
Mr Salmon, 1748, it is objected that "the books being chain'd down, there
is no bringing them together even in the Library," p. 27.

[490] King's College Mundum Book, 1777: _Smith's work_. "To a man's time 9
Dayes to take the Chains of the books £1. 7_s._ 0_d._"

[491] Churton's _Lives of Smyth and Sutton_, p. 311, _note_.

[492] Henderson's _History_, p. 237.

[493] _Voy. Litt._, ed. 1724, Vol. III. p. 24.



While in England we were struggling with the difficulties of adapting
medieval forms of libraries and bookcases to the ever-increasing number of
volumes, a new system was initiated on the continent, which I propose to
call the wall-system.

It seems so natural to us to set our bookshelves against a wall instead of
at right angles to it, that it is difficult to realize that there was a
time when such an arrangement was an innovation. Such however was the
case. I believe that this principle was first introduced into a library at
the Escõrial, which Philip the Second of Spain began in 1563, and
completed 13 September, 1584. I do not mean by this sentence that nobody
ever set bookshelves against a wall before the third quarter of the
sixteenth century. I have shewn above, when discussing the catalogue of
Dover Priory[494], that the books stood on pieces of furniture which were
probably so treated; and it is not uncommon in illuminated manuscripts to
see a writer's books standing on one or more shelves set against the wall
near his desk. Further, in the accounts of the library arranged in the
Vatican by Sixtus IV., shelves set against the wall of one of the four
rooms are specially mentioned[495]; and in the description of the library
of the Dukes of Urbino, it is expressly stated that "the shelves for the
books are set against the walls (_le scanzie de' libri sono accostate alle
mura_)[496]." What I wish to enforce is that before the Escõrial was
built, no important library was fitted up in that manner from the
beginning by the architect.

[Illustration: Fig. 118. Bookcases in the Library of the Escõrial on an
enlarged scale.]

[Illustration: Fig. 117. General view of the Library of the Escõrial,
looking north.]

The library of the Escõrial[497] occupies a commanding position over the
portico through which the building is entered. It is 212 ft. long, by 35
ft. broad and about 36 ft. high. The roof is a barrel-vault, gorgeously
painted in fresco, as are the wall-spaces above the bookcases, and the
semicircular lunettes at the ends of the room. In that at the north end is
Philosophy, in that at the south end is Theology, while between them are
personifications of Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Music, etc. On the walls,
forming a gigantic frieze, are various historical scenes, and figures of
celebrated persons real and imaginary, as for instance, the first Nicene
Council, the School of Athens, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Cicero,
David, Orpheus, etc. The general appearance of this splendid room will be
understood from the view (fig. 117). It is lighted by five windows on the
east side and seven on the west side, to which is added on the east side a
range of five smaller windows just under the vault. The principal windows
are quite different from those of any other library I have been
considering, for they are nearly 13 ft. high, and extend down to the

The wall-spaces between each pair of windows have bookcases fitted to
them, of a very original and striking design. They are divided into
compartments by fluted Doric columns supporting an entablature with
projecting cornice, above which again is a sort of second entablature. The
bases of the columns rest upon an extremely lofty plinth, intersected, at
about three-quarters of its height from the ground, by a shelf, behind
which is a sloping desk. The material used for these cases is mahogany,
inlaid with ebony, cedar, and other woods. They were designed by Juan de
Herrera, the architect of the building, in 1584, and I am assured that
they have escaped alteration, or serious damage from the numerous fires
which have occurred in the palace.

In order to exhibit the distinctive peculiarities of these remarkable
cases as clearly as possible, I give (fig. 118) an enlargement of part of
the former view; and further, an elevation of one of them drawn accurately
to scale (fig. 119), for which I have to thank a Spanish architect, Don
Ricardo Velasquez.

These bookcases have a total height of rather more than 12 ft, measured
from the floor to the top of the cornice. The desks are 2 ft. 7 in. from
the floor, a height which corresponds with that of an ordinary table, and
suggests that they must have been intended for the use of seated readers,
though seats are not provided in the library at present. The section of
the shelf and desk placed beside the elevation shews that there is a
convenient slope to lay the books against. The uppermost of the four
shelves is at a height of 9 ft. from the ground, so that a ladder is
required to reach the books. The two photographs which I have reproduced
(figs. 117, 118) shew that they have the fore-edge turned outwards,
according to what is, I am informed, the usual custom in Spain.

[Illustration: Fig. 119. Elevation of a bookcase, and section of a desk in
the Library of the Escõrial.]

[Illustration: Fig. 121. Interior of the Ambrosian Library at Milan.

From a photograph taken in 1899.]

I believe that the work done in the Escõrial had a very definite effect on
library-fittings elsewhere; but, like other important inventions, the
scheme of setting shelves against a wall instead of at right angles to it
occurred to more than one person at about the same period; and therefore I
cannot construct a genealogical tree, as I once thought I could, with the
Escõrial at the root, and a numerous progeny on the branches.

Between 1603 and 1609--only 25 years afterwards--Cardinal Federigo
Borromeo built, endowed, and furnished the Biblioteca Ambrosiana at Milan.
A plain Ionic portico, on the cornice of which are the words BIBLIOTHECA
AMBROSIANA, gives access to a single hall, on the ground floor, 74 ft.
long by 29 ft. broad (fig. 120). The walls are lined with bookcases about
13 ft. high, separated, not by columns, but by flat pilasters, and
protected by wire-work of an unusually large mesh, said to be original. At
each corner of the hall is a staircase, leading to a gallery, 2 ft. 6 in.
wide. The cases in this gallery are about 8 ft. 6 in. high. Above them
again is a frieze consisting of a series of portraits of saints in oblong
frames. The roof is a barrel-vault, ornamented with plaster-work. Light is
admitted through two enormous semi-circular windows at each end of the
room. No alteration, I was informed when I visited the library in 1898,
has been permitted. Even the floor of plain tiles, with four tables (one
at each corner), and a central brazier, is left as the Cardinal arranged

[Illustration: Fig. 120. Ground-plan of the Ambrosian Library at Milan.

Reduced from that given by P. P. Boscha.]

A good idea of the appearance of this noble room will be obtained from the
general view (fig. 121)[498]. The way in which the books were arranged
was evidently thought remarkable at the time, for a contemporary writer
says of it "the room is not blocked with desks to which the books are tied
with iron chains after the fashion of the libraries which are common in
monasteries, but it is surrounded with lofty shelves on which the books
are sorted according to size[499]."

This library was part of a larger scheme which included a college of
doctors, a school of art, a museum, and a botanic garden; all of which
were amply endowed. The library was to be open not merely to members of
the college, but to the citizens of Milan and all strangers who came to
study there; but the severest penalties awaited those who stole a volume,
or even touched it with soiled hands; and only the Pope himself could
absolve them from such crimes[500].

Before many years were over these novelties in library arrangement and
library administration found a ready welcome in France, where Cardinal
Mazarin was engaged in the formation of a vast collection of books
intended to surpass that of his predecessor Richelieu[501]. Even then his
library was public; all who chose to come might work in it on Thursdays
from 8 to 11 in the morning, and from 2 to 5 in the afternoon. At a later
period of his life, when he had removed to a palace now included in the
Bibliothèque Nationale, he was able to build a library in accordance with
his magnificent ideas. An accident of construction placed this room over
the stables, a conjunction which afforded endless amusement to the
pamphleteers of the time. It was finished at the end of 1647; and in the
following year the Cardinal threw it open, the first public library given
to Paris. _Publicè patere voluit, censu perpetuo dotavit, posteritati
commendavit_, said the inscription which he placed over the door of
entrance. I need not attempt to recover from the somewhat conflicting
accounts of admiring contemporaries the exact dimensions and arrangements
of this gallery, for the bookcases still exist almost unaltered in the
Bibliothèque Mazarine. One detail deserves notice because it may have been
borrowed from the Ambrosian Library. There is said to have been a
staircase in each of the four corners of the room by which access to a
gallery was obtained[502].

[Illustration: Fig. 122. Bookcases in the Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris.

From a photograph by Dujardin, 1898.]

Mazarin died in 1661, and, in accordance with his will, a college, to be
called _Le Collège des Quatre Nations_, was founded and endowed, and the
library was removed into it. The college was suppressed at the Revolution,
and the buildings are now occupied by the _Institut de France_, but the
library remains practically intact. It occupies two rooms at right angles
to each other with a united length of about 158 ft., and a width of 27 ft.
They are admirably lighted by 17 large windows.

The bookcases (fig. 122), from the original library in the Palais Mazarin,
were placed round the new room. At first they terminated with the cornice,
surmounted by the balustrade which protected the gallery mentioned above,
and the roof was arched. In 1739, when additional shelf-room was required,
and the roof was in need of repair, it was agreed to construct the present
flat ceiling, and to gain thereby wall-space of sufficient height to
accommodate 20,000 additional books. The gallery thus formed is approached
by two staircases constructed at the same time[503].

If the elevation of these cases (fig. 123) be compared with that of the
cases in the Escõrial (fig. 119), I feel sure that my readers will agree
with me in admitting that the French example was copied from the Spanish.
The general arrangement is the same, and especially the really distinctive
features, namely, the division by columns, and the presence of a desk. It
will be observed that the French example is the larger of the two, being
18 ft. high from the floor to the top of the cornice. The desk, moreover,
is 4 ft. from the floor, so that it was evidently intended to be used

I am aware that Naudé, the librarian employed by Mazarin to collect books
for him, did not visit Spain, nor was Mazarin himself ever in that
country. There is therefore no evidence to connect his library with that
of Philip II., but in justification of my theory I submit that the
resemblance is too close to be accidental, and that in all probability the
library at the Escõrial had been much talked of in the world of letters.

[Illustration: Fig. 123. Elevation of a bookcase and section of a desk in
the Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris.]

The convenience of placing book-shelves against a wall was soon accepted
in England, but at first in a somewhat half-hearted fashion. The earliest
instance of this, so far as I know, is to be met with in the Bodleian
Library, Oxford, where the first stone of the eastern wing was laid in
1610, and completed, with the fittings, in 1612[504].

[Illustration: Fig. 124. A portion of the bookcases set up in the eastern
wing of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, built 1610-1612.

From Loggan's _Oxonia Illustrata_, 1675.]

Advantage was taken of the whole of the wall-space provided by this
extension, and it was lined with a bookcase extending from floor to
ceiling. In order to provide easy access to the upper shelves, a light
gallery was provided, the pillars of which were utilised to support a seat
for the readers, because, the books being still chained, desks and seats
were indispensable. These cases still exist almost unaltered, but their
appearance as first constructed has been preserved to us in Loggan's
print, taken about 1675, part of which is here reproduced (fig. 124).

In 1634 (13 May) the first stone was laid of the enlargement of the
library towards the west, corresponding exactly to the wing at the
opposite end erected twenty-four years before[505]. The fittings were on
the same plan, but of a more elaborate and highly finished design, the
plain supports of the former work being replaced by Ionic columns
supporting arches with frieze and cornice, and a heavy balustrade for the
gallery above.

I now come to the influence exercised upon the architecture and fittings
of libraries by Sir Christopher Wren, and I shall be able to shew that
though he did not actually introduce the wall-system into England, he
developed it, adapted it to our requirements, and by the force of his
genius shewed what structural changes were necessary in order to meet the
increased number of books to be accommodated. Wren never visited Italy,
but in 1665 he spent about six months in Paris, where he made the
acquaintance of the best painters, sculptors, and architects, among whom
was the Italian Bernini. From him he might easily obtain information of
what was passing in Italy, though he describes him as "the old reserved
Italian" who would hardly allow him a glimpse of a design for which, says
Wren, "I would have given my skin." French work he studied
enthusiastically, and after giving a list of places he had visited says,
"that I might not lose the impressions of them I shall bring you almost
all France in paper." Among other things he specially records his
admiration for what he terms "the masculine furniture of the Palais
Mazarin," though he does not specially mention the library; but, as
Mazarin had died four years before, his palace would have been practically
dismantled, and the only furniture likely to attract Wren's attention
would have been his bookcases[506].

[Illustration: Fig. 125. Entrance to Wren's Library at Lincoln Cathedral,
with part of the bookcase which lines the north wall.]

The first piece of library work executed by Wren in England was at Lincoln
Cathedral, 1674, where after the Restoration a new library was required.
Dr Michael Honywood, who had been appointed Dean in 1660, offered to build
one at his own cost, and to present to it the books which he had collected
in Holland. The site selected was that formerly occupied by the north
alley of the cloister, which, through faulty construction, had fallen
down, and lain in ruins for a long period.

The building consists of an arcade of nine semicircular arches supported
on eight Doric columns. The upper storey, containing the library, has
eleven windows in a similar classical style, and above there is a bold
entablature ornamented with acanthus leaves. The library is 104 ft. long
by 17 ft. 6 in. wide and 14 ft. high; the ceiling is flat and perfectly
plain. In addition to the windows above mentioned there is another at the
west end. The entrance is at the east end through a richly ornamented door
(fig. 125). The shield in the centre of the pediment bears the arms of
Dean Honywood.

Wren placed a continuous bookcase along the north wall of this room,
extending from floor to ceiling. At the base there is a plinth (fig. 125),
which may have originally contained cupboards, but is now fitted with
shelves; and at the top, close to the ceiling, there is a heavy
entablature decorated with acanthus leaves and classical moldings above a
plain cornice, which bears at intervals oblong tablets inscribed with the
subjects of the books beneath. The shelves are disposed in compartments,
alternately wide and narrow, the former being set slightly in advance of
the latter, so as to break the monotony of a bookcase of uniform width
extending the whole length of a long room.

While this work was proceeding Wren planned the New Library for Trinity
College, Cambridge[507], begun 23 February, 1675-6. His design is
accompanied by an explanation, contained in a rough draught of a letter to
some gentleman of Trinity College, probably the Master. It is not signed,
but internal evidence shews that it must have been written or dictated by

This library was placed on a cloister, open both to the east and to the
west, at the end of Nevile's Court. The level of the library floor was
made to correspond with that of the first floor of the chambers on the
north and south sides of the court. This is shewn in Wren's design, part
of which is here reproduced (fig. 126), and explained in the following
passage of his memoir.

[Illustration: Fig. 126. Part of Wren's elevation of the east side of the
Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, with a section of the north range
of Nevile's Court, shewing the door to the Library from the first floor.]

    [The design] shewes the face of the building next the
    court with the pavillions for the stairecases and the
    Sections of the old buildings where they joyne to the

    I haue given the appearance of arches as the Order
    required fair and lofty: but I haue layd the floor of
    the Library upon the impostes, which answar (_sic_) to
    the pillars in the cloister and the levells of the old
    floores, and haue filled the Arches with relieues of
    stone, of which I haue seen the effect abroad in good
    building, and I assure you where porches are lowe with
    flat ceelings is infinitely more gracefull then lowe
    arches would be and is much more open and pleasant, nor
    need the mason freare (_sic_) the performance because
    the Arch discharges the weight, and I shall direct him
    in a firme manner of executing the designe.

[Illustration: Fig. 127. Elevation of one bay on the east side of the
Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, drawn to scale from the existing

    By this contrivance the windowes of the Library rise
    high and giue place for the deskes against the walls,
    and being high may be afforded to be large, and being
    wide may haue stone mullions and the glasse pointed,
    which after all inventions is the only durable way in
    our Climate for a publique building, where care must be
    had that snowe driue not in....

The general design seems to have been borrowed from that of the Library of
S. Mark at Venice, begun by Sansovino in 1536. The Italian architect, like
Sir Christopher Wren, raised his library on a cloister, which is in the
Doric style, while the superstructure is Ionic. The Venetian example is
more ornate, and there are statues upon every pier of the balustrade. The
arcades are left open, because there was not the same necessity for
accommodating the level of the floor to that of older buildings, and also
because the wall opposite to the windows had to be left blank on account
of the proximity of other structures. No consideration for fittings such
as influenced Wren could have influenced the Italian architect.

The style of Wren's work will be understood from the elevation of a bay on
the east side (fig. 127), drawn to scale from the existing building. If
this be compared with the original design (fig. 126), it will be seen that
the style there indicated has been closely followed.

We will now consider the fittings. A long stretch of blank wall having
been provided both along the sides and at the ends of the room, Wren
proceeded to design a masterly combination of the old and new methods of
arranging bookcases. As he says in another passage of the same memoir,
when describing this part of his design:

    The disposition of the shelues both along the walls and
    breaking out from the walls ... must needes proue very
    convenient and gracefull, and the best way for the
    students will be to haue a litle square table in each
    Celle with 2 chaires. The necessity of bringing windowes
    and dores to answer to the old building leaues two
    squarer places at the endes and 4 lesser Celles not to
    study in, but to be shut up with some neat Lattice dores
    for archives.

The bookcases, designed by himself, were executed under his direction by
Cornelius Austin, a Cambridge workman. My illustration (fig. 128) shews
one of the "4 lesser Celles" with one of its doors open, and next to it a
"Celle" for students with table, revolving desk, and two stools. These
pieces of furniture were also designed by Wren.

[Illustration: Fig. 128. Interior of the north-east corner of the Library
of Trinity College, Cambridge, shewing the bookcases, table, desk and
chairs, as designed by Sir C. Wren.]

The cases are 11 ft. 10 in. high, and the wooden floor upon which they
stand is raised higher than that of the library. The great depth of the
plinth, which Wren utilised for cupboards, recalls the plan of some of the
older cases, and there is the little cupboard to contain the catalogue at
the end of each standard; but, with these exceptions, there is nothing
medieval about them except their position. On the top of each case is a
square pedestal of wood on which Wren intended to place a statue, but this
part of his scheme was not carried out. The celebrated Grinling Gibbons
supplied the busts which take the place of Wren's statues, and also the
coats of arms and wreaths of flowers and fruit with which the ends of the
cases are decorated.

It is difficult to decide the source from which an architect so great as
Wren derived any feature of his buildings, but it seems to me reasonable
to ascribe to foreign influence his use of the side-walls at Trinity
College library; and his scheme for combining a lofty internal wall with
beauty of external design, and a complete system of lighting, must always
command admiration. In the next example of his library work foreign
influence may be more directly traced, for I feel that the library of S.
Paul's Cathedral suggests reminiscences of the Ambrosian library at Milan.

Wren placed the library of his new cathedral in the western transept, with
an ingenuity of contrivance and a dignity of conception peculiarly his
own. On the level of what in a Gothic church would have been the
triforium, he constructed, both on the north and south side, a large and
lofty room. It was his intention that each of these rooms should be used
as a library, and that they should be connected by means of the gallery
which crosses the west end of the nave. Access to them was to be obtained
from the exterior, without entering the church, by a circular staircase in
the south-west corner of the façade. This plan has not been fully carried
out, and the southern library only has been fitted up. It is now usually
reached by means of the staircase leading to the dome.

These arrangements will be understood from the ground-plan (fig.
129)[508]. This plan shews very clearly the library itself, the two
circular staircases at the west end, leading up to the gallery, the wide
geometrical staircase leading down to the portico, the corridor into which
this staircase opens, and from which a visitor could either ascend by a
flight of stairs to the gallery crossing the nave, or, turning to his
right, either enter the library, or pass eastwards towards the dome.

[Illustration: Fig. 129, Ground plan of Library and adjacent parts of S.
Paul's Cathedral, London.]

[Illustration: Fig. 130. Sir Christopher Wren's Library at S. Paul's
Cathedral, London, looking north-east.]

The library (fig. 130) is a well-lighted room, with an area measuring 53
ft. by 32 ft, and of sufficient height to admit of the introduction of a
gallery under the vault. A massive stone pier projects into the room at
each corner, so as to break the formal regularity of the design in a very
pleasing manner. The gallery, together with the bookcases, which stand
against the walls, both in the gallery and below it, were either
designed by Wren himself, or placed there with his approval. The Building
Accounts[509] contain many valuable pieces of information respecting the
history of the room and its fittings. The floor "in the south library" was
laid down in July, 1708, as was also that in the gallery; the windows "in
the north and south library," words which shew very clearly that the
corresponding room on the north side was also intended for a library, were
painted in December, 1708; and the ornamental woodwork was supplied in
March, 1708-9. From the entries referring to these works I will quote the
following, as it particularises the most striking feature in the room,
namely, the large ornamental brackets which appear to support the gallery:

    To Jonathan Maine Carver in the South Library, viz. For
    carving 32 Trusses or Cantalivers under the Gallary, 3
    ft. 8 in. long, and 3 ft. 8 in. deep and 7 in. thick
    with Leather worke cut through and a Leaf in the front
    and a drop hanging down with fruit and flowers etc. at
    6^l. 10^s. each.


The words "leather work," used in the above entry, are singularly
suitable, for the whole composition looks more like something molded out
of leather or plaster than cut out of a solid piece of wood. The vertical
portion, applied to the pilasters, consists of a bunch of flowers, hops,
and corn, somewhat in the manner of Grinling Gibbons, who has been often
named as the artist. The above-mentioned pilasters divide the wall-space
into 33 compartments, each of which is from 3 ft. 6 in. to 4 ft. wide, and
9 ft. high, exclusive of the plinth and cornice, and fitted with six
shelves, which are apparently at the original levels.

The gallery is approached by a staircase contrived in the thickness of the
south-west pier. It is 5 ft. wide, and fitted with bookcases ranged
against the wall in the same manner as those below, but they are loftier,
and of plainer design. The balustrade, a molded cornice of wood, supported
on pilasters of the same material, which recall those separating the
compartments below, and the great stone piers, enriched with a broad band
of fruit, flowers, and other ornaments set in a sunk panel, are striking
features of this gallery.

The material used throughout for the fittings is oak, which fortunately
has never been painted, and has assumed a mellow tone through age which
produces a singularly beautiful effect.

If we now return to Cambridge, we shall find that the influence of Wren
can easily be traced in all the library fittings put up in the course of
the 18th century. The first work of this kind undertaken was the provision
of additional fittings to the library of Emmanuel College[510] between
1702 and 1707. The tall cases, set up at right angles to the walls in
1679, were moved forward, and shelves in continuation of them were placed
against the side-walls. The same influence is more distinctly seen in the
library of S. Catharine's Hall[511], which was fitted up, according to
tradition, at the expense of Thomas Sherlock, D.D., probably while Master,
an office which he held from 1714 to 1719. The room is 63 ft. 6 in. long
by 22 ft. 10 in. wide; and it is divided by partitions into a central
portion, about 39 ft. long, and a narrow room at each end, 12 ft. long.
Each of these latter is lighted by windows in the north and south walls;
the former has windows in the south wall only. The central portion is
divided into three compartments by bookcases which line the walls, and
project from them at right angles; in the two smaller rooms the cases only
line the walls, the space being too narrow for any other treatment.

When the building of the new Senate House had set free the room called the
Regent House, in which the University had been in the habit of meeting
from very early times, it was fitted up, between 1731 and 1734, as part of
the University Library[512]. Wren's example was followed as far as the
nature of the room would permit. Wherever a blank wall could be found, it
was lined with shelves, and the cases placed at right angles to the
side-walls were continued over the narrow spaces left between their ends
and the windows. One of these cases, from the south side of the room, is
here shewn (fig. 131). The shelves under the windows were added
subsequently. A similar arrangement was adopted for the east room in

At Clare College, at about the same date, the new library over the kitchen
was fitted up with shelves placed against the walls. These fittings are
excellent specimens, ornamented with fluted Ionic pilasters, an elaborate
cornice, and pediments above the doors. It is worth noting, as evidence of
the slowness with which new fashions are accepted, that the antiquary
William Cole, writing in 1742, calls this library "a very large
well-proportion'd Room à la moderne, w^th ye Books rang'd all round it &
not in Classes as in most of y^e rest of y^e Libraries in other

[Illustration: Fig. 131. Bookcase in the north room of the University
Library, Cambridge, designed by James Essex, 1731-1734.]

The fashion of which I have been tracing the progress in England had been
accepted during the same period in France, where some beautiful specimens
of it may still be seen. I presume that the example was set by the wealthy
convents, most of which had been rebuilt, at least in part, in the then
fashionable classical style, during the seventeenth century[514]. At
Rheims a library fitted up by the Benedictines of Saint Remi in 1784 now
does duty as the chapel of the Hôtel-Dieu. Fluted Corinthian columns
supporting an elaborate cornice divide the walls into compartments, in
which the books are ranged on open shelves. The room is 120 ft. long, by
31 ft. broad, with four windows on each side. With this may be compared
the public library at Alençon, the fittings of which are said to have been
brought from the abbey of the Val Dieu near Mortain at the Revolution. The
room is 70 ft. long by 25 ft. wide. Against the walls are 26 compartments
or presses, alternately open and closed. Each of these terminates in an
ogee arch enriched with scrolls and a central shield. The whole series is
surmounted by a cornice divided by console brackets, between which are
shields, probably intended originally to carry the names of the subjects
of the books.

[Illustration: Fig. 132. Interior of the Library of the Jesuits at Rheims,
now the _Lingerie de l'Hôpital Général_.]

Lastly, I must mention the libraries of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette at
Versailles. The walls are lined with a double row of presses, each closed
by glass doors. The lower row is about four feet high, the upper row about
ten feet high. The wood-work is painted white, and enriched with wreaths
of leaves in ormolu. As a general rule the books are hidden from view by
curtains of pleated silk.

I mentioned in a previous chapter[515] that additional space was provided
for the library in a French monastery by raising the roof of an existing
building, putting in dormer windows, and converting the triangular space
so gained into a library by placing in it bookcases of a convenient
height, and connecting them together by a ceiling. I have fortunately
discovered one such library still in existence at Rheims. It belonged
originally to the Jesuits, who had constructed it about 1678, and when the
Order was expelled from France in 1764, and their House became the
workhouse (_hôpital général_) of the town, it was fortunately made use of
as the _lingerie_, or linen-room, without any material change. Even the
table has been preserved. The view here presented of the interior (fig.
132) may serve to give a general idea, not merely of this library, but of
others of the same class. The decoration of the ceiling is coarse but
effective. On the coved portion of it, within the shields, are written the
subjects of the books on the shelves beneath. I made a list of these and
have printed them on the margin of my ground-plan (fig. 133). This plan
also shews the arrangement of the bookcases. They are placed at a distance
of five feet from the walls, and are returned to meet each window, thus
forming convenient bays for private study. The space between the bookcases
and the wall was used as a store-room[516].

[Illustration: Fig. 133. Ground-plan of the Library of the Jesuits at

The Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, at Paris, offered originally a splendid
example of a library arranged in this manner. It consisted of two
galleries, at right angles to each other, fitted up in the same style as
the library at Rheims. The longest of these galleries was 147 ft. long by
24 ft. wide. The guidebooks prepared for the use of visitors to Paris in
the middle of the 18th century dwell with enthusiasm on the convenience
and beauty of this room. The books were protected by wire-work; between
each pair of cases was a bust of a Roman emperor or an ancient
philosopher; at the crossing of the two galleries was a dome which seemed
to be supported on a palm-tree in plaster-work at each corner, out of the
foliage of which peered the heads of cherubs; while the convenience of
readers was consulted by the liberality with which the library was thrown
open on three days in every week, and furnished with tables, chairs, a
ladder to reach the upper shelves, and a pair of globes[517]. This library
was begun in 1675, and placed, like that at Rheims, directly under the
roof. The second gallery, which is shorter than the first, was added in
1726. It was not disturbed at the Revolution, nor under the Empire, though
the rest of the abbey-buildings became the Lycée Napoléon. After the
Restoration, when this school became the College Henri IV., the presence
of the library was found to be inconvenient, and in 1850 it was removed to
a new building close to the Pantheon. The galleries are now used as a
dormitory for the school-boys, but the dome, with some of its decorations,
still survives.

Another example of this arrangement, which seems to have been peculiarly
French, is afforded by the library of Saint Germain-des-Près, the gradual
extension of which I have already described[518]. The books were contained
in oak presses set against the walls. Above them was a series of portraits
representing the most important personages in the Order of S. Benedict.
This library was open to the public daily from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 3 to
5 p.m.[519]

I will conclude this chapter with a few words on the library of the most
famous of all European monasteries, namely Monte Cassino, the foundation
of which was undoubtedly laid by S. Benedict himself. I confess that I had
hoped to find there a library which might either by its position or its
fittings recall the early days of monasticism; but unfortunately the piety
of the Benedictine Order has induced them to rebuild their parent house in
a classical style, and to obliterate nearly every trace of the primitive
building. The library, to which I was obligingly conducted by the Prior,
is 60 ft. long by 30 ft. broad, with two large windows at the end opposite
to the door. The side-walls are lined with bookcases divided by columns
into four compartments on each side, after the fashion of Cardinal
Mazarin's library. These columns support a heavy cornice with handsome
ornaments. A band of woodwork divides the cases into an upper and lower
range, but there is no trace of a desk. I could not learn the date at
which these fittings had been constructed, but from their style I should
assign them to the middle of the seventeenth century[520].


[494] See above, p. 196.

[495] See above, p. 224.

[496] See above, p. 233.

[497] For the history of the Escõrial, see Ford, _Handbook for Spain_, Ed.
1855, pp. 749-763, and _Descripcion ... del Escorial_, Fra de los Santos,
fol. Madrid, 1657, with the English translation by G. Thompson, 4to.
London, 1760.

[498] I have to thank the librarian, Monsignore Ceriani, for kindly
allowing this photograph to be taken for my use.

[499] _Gli Istituti Scientifici etc. di Milano._ 8vo. Milan, 1880, p. 123,

[500] Boscha, _De Origine et statu Bibl. Ambros._ p. 19; _ap._ Grævius,
_Thes. Ant. et Hist. Italiæ_, Vol. IX. part 6; see also the Bull of Paul
V, dated 7 July 1608, approving the foundation and rehearsing the
statutes, in _Magnum Bullarium Romanum_, 4to. Turin, 1867, Vol. xi. p.

[501] For the history of the Bibliothèque Mazarine see Franklin, _Anc.
Bibl. de Paris_, Vol. III. pp. 37-160.

[502] Franklin, _Anc. Bibl. de Paris_, Vol. III. pp. 55-6.

[503] The minute of the conservators of the library authorising this
change is printed by Franklin, _ut supra_, p. 117.

[504] Macray, _Annals_, ut supra, p. 37.

[505] Macray, _ut supra_, p. 80.

[506] Elmes. _Life of Sir C. Wren_, pp. 180-184. _Parentalia_, p. 261.

[507] The history of this library has been fully narrated in the _Arch.
Hist._, ut supra, Vol. II. pp. 531-551. Wren's Memoir quoted below has
been collated with the original in the library of All Souls' College,
Oxford, where his designs are also preserved.

[508] This plan has been reduced from one on a larger scale kindly sent to
me by my friend Mr F. C. Penrose, architect to the Cathedral.

[509] I have to thank the Dean and Chapter for leave to study these
Accounts, and to have a photograph taken of the library.

[510] _Arch. Hist._ Vol. II. p. 710. Vol. III. p. 468.

[511] _ib._ Vol. III. p. 468.

[512] _ib._ Vol. III. pp. 74, 470.

[513] _Arch. Hist._ Vol. I. p. 113.

[514] See the set of views of French Religious Houses called _Le
Monasticon Gallicanum_, 4to. Paris, 1882. The plates were drawn by Dom
Germain 1645-1694.

[515] See above, pp. 106, 114.

[516] Jadart, _Les Anciennes Bibliothèques de Reims_, 8vo. Reims, 1891, p.

[517] Franklin, _Anc. Bibl. de Paris_, Vol. I. pp. 71-99. He gives a view
of the interior of the library from a print dated 1773.

[518] See above, p. 114.

[519] Franklin, _ut supra_, I. pp. 107-134.

[520] I visited Monte Cassino 13 April, 1898.



In the previous chapters I have sketched the history of library-fittings
from the earliest times to the end of the eighteenth century. The
libraries to which these fittings belonged were, for the most part,
public, or as good as public. But, as in history we have recognised the
important fact that a record of battles and sieges and enactments in
Parliament gives an imperfect conception of the life of a people, so I
should feel that this archeological subject had been insufficiently
treated if I made no attempt to shew how private scholars disposed their
books, or with what appliances they used them. For instance, in what sort
of chair was the author of the _Philobiblon_ sitting when he wrote the
last words of his treatise, 24 January, 1345, and how was his study in his
palace at Auckland furnished? Further, how were private students bestowed
in the fifteenth century, when a love of letters had become general?
Lastly, how were libraries fitted up for private use in the succeeding
century, when the great people of the earth, like the wealthy Romans of
imperial times, added the pursuit of literature to their other fashions,
and considered a library to be indispensable in their luxurious palaces?

In the hope of obtaining reliable information on these interesting
questions, I have for some years past let no opportunity slip of examining
illuminated manuscripts. I have gone through a large number in the British
Museum, where research is aided by an excellent list of the subjects
illustrated; in the _Bibliothèque Nationale_, Paris; and in the
_Bibliothèque Royale_, Brussels, where the manuscripts are for the most
part those which once belonged to the Dukes of Burgundy. I have been
somewhat disappointed in this search, for, with the single exception of
the illustration from Boethius (fig. 63), I have not found any library,
properly so called. This is no doubt strange, having regard to the great
variety of scenes depicted. It must be remembered, however, that these are
used for the most part to illustrate some action that is going forward,
for which a library would be a singularly inappropriate background. Single
figures, on the other hand, are frequently shewn with their books about
them, either reading or writing. Such illustrations most frequently occur
in _Books of Hours_, in representations of the Evangelists; or in
portraits of S. Jerome, who is painted as a scholar at his desk surrounded
by piles of books and papers; and I think we may safely take these as
representations of ordinary scholars, because, by the beginning of the
fifteenth century, when most of the pictures to which I refer were drawn,
it had become the custom to surround even the most sacred personages with
the attributes of common life.

In the twelfth century, when books were few, they were kept in chests, and
the owners seem to have used the edge as a desk to lean their book on. My
illustration (fig. 134) shews Simon, Abbat of S. Albans 1167-1183, seated
in front of his book-chest[521]. The chest is set on a frame, so as to
raise it to a convenient height; and the Abbat is seated on one of those
folding wooden chairs which are not uncommon at the present day. Simon was
a great collector of books: "their number," writes his chronicler, "it
would take too long to name; but those who desire to see them can find
them in the painted aumbry in the church, placed as he specially directed
against the tomb of Roger the hermit[522]."

Chests, as we have seen above at the Vatican library, were used for the
permanent storage of books in the fifteenth century; and a book-chest
frequently formed part of the travelling luggage of a king. For example,
when Charles V. of France died, 16 September, 1380, at the Château de
Beauté-sur-Marne, thirty-one volumes were found in his chamber "in a chest
resting on two supports, which chest is by the window, near the fireplace,
and it has a double cover, and in one of the divisions of the said chest
were the volumes that follow." His son, Charles VI., kept the thirteen
volumes which he carried about with him in a carved chest, within which
was an inlaid box (_escrin marqueté_) to contain the more precious

[Illustration: Fig. 134. Simon, Abbat of S. Albans (1167-1183), seated at
his book-chest.

From MSS. Cotton.]

The earliest information about the furniture of a medieval private library
that I have as yet discovered is contained in a fragment of an
account-book recording the cost of fitting up a tower in the Louvre in
1367 and 1368, to contain the books belonging to Charles V. of France.
Certain pieces of woodwork in the older library in the palace on the Isle
de la Cité are to be taken down and altered, and set up in the new room.
Two carpenters are paid (14 March, 1367) for "having taken to pieces all
the cases (_bancs_) and two wheels (_roes_), which were in the king's
library in the palace, and transported them to the Louvre with the desks
(_lettrins_), and the aforesaid wheels, each made smaller by a foot all
round; and for having put all together again, and hung up the desks
(_lettrins_) in the two upper stages of the tower that looks toward the
Falconry, to put the king's books in; and for having panelled the first of
those two stories all round on the inside with wood from 'Illande,' at a
total cost of fifty francs of gold. Next, because the seats were too old,
they were remade of new timber which the aforesaid carpenters brought.
Also [they were paid] for two strong doors for the said two stories 7 ft.
high, 3 ft. broad, and 3 fingers thick." In the following year (4 May,
1368), a wire-worker (_cagetier_) is paid "for having made trellises of
wire in front of two casements and two windows ... to keep out birds and
other beasts (_oyscaux et autres bestes_), by reason of, and protection
for, the books that shall be placed there." The ceiling is said to have
been panelled in cypress wood ornamented with carvings[524].

The "tower that looks toward the Falconry" mentioned in the above
description has been identified with the north-west tower of the old
Louvre. The rooms fitted up as a library were circular, and about 14 feet
in diameter[525].

The above description of a library will be best explained by an
illumination (fig. 135) contained in Boccacio's _Livre des cas des
malheureux nobles hommes et femmes_, written and illuminated in Flanders
for King Henry the Seventh, and now in the British Museum[526]. Two
gentlemen are studying at a revolving desk, which can be raised or lowered
by a central screw. This is evidently the "wheel" of the French King's
library. Behind are their books, either resting on a desk hung against the
wall, which is panelled, or lying on a shelf beneath the desk. This piece
of furniture would be properly described either as a _banc_ or a
_lettrin_. It should be noted that care has been taken to keep the wheel
steady by supporting it on a solid base, beneath which are two strong
cross-pieces of timber, which also serve as a foot-rest for the readers.
The books on the desk set against the wall are richly bound, with bosses
of metal. Chaining was evidently not thought of, indeed I doubt if it was
ever used in a private library. The window is glazed throughout. In other
examples which I shall figure below we shall find a wire trellis used
instead of glass for part at least of the window.

My next illustration (fig. 136), also Flemish, is of the same date, from a
copy of the _Miroir historial_[527]. It represents a Carmelite monk,
probably the author of the book, writing in his study. Behind him are
three desks, one above the other, hung against the wall along two sides of
the room, with books bound and ornamented as in the former picture,
resting upon them, and beneath the lowest is a flat shelf or bench on
which a book rests upon its side. The desk he is using is not uncommon in
these illustrations. It is fixed on a solid base, which is further
strengthened, as in the example of the wheel-desk, by massive planks, to
guard against the slightest vibration; and it can be turned aside by means
of a limb--apparently of iron--which is first vertical, then horizontal,
then vertical again. The Carmelite holds in his left hand an instrument
for keeping the page perfectly flat. This instrument has usually a sharp
point with which any roughness on the page can be readily removed. The
volume he is using is kept open by two strings, to each of which a weight
is attached. Behind the desk, covered with a cloth, is a chest secured by
two locks. On this stands an object which appears to be a large magnifying

Sometimes the desk was carried round three sides of the room, with no
curtain to keep off dust, and with no shelf beneath it. The illustration
(fig. 137) is from a French translation of Valerius Maximus (1430-75) in
the Harleian Collection[528].

I now pass to a series of pictures which illustrate the daily life of a
scholar or a writer who had few books, but who could live in a certain
ease--allowing himself a chair and a desk. Of these desks there is an
infinite variety, dictated, I imagine, by the fashion prevalent in
particular places at particular times. I have tried to arrange them in

[Illustration: Fig. 136. A Carmelite in his study.

From a MS. of _Le Miroir Historial_ in the British Museum.]

[Illustration: Fig. 137. Three musicians in a library.

From a MS. of a French translation of _Valerius Maximus_, in the British

In the first place the chair is usually a rather elaborate piece of
furniture, with arms, a straight back, and, very frequently, a canopy. A
cushion to sit upon is sometimes permitted, but, as a general rule, these
chairs are destitute of stuffing, tapestry, or other device to conceal the
material of which they are made. Occasionally the canopy is richly carved
or painted in a pattern.

The commonest form of desk is a modification of the lectern-system. It
consists of a double lectern, beneath which is a row of cupboards, or
rather a shelf protected by several doors, one of which is always at the
end of the piece of furniture. The triangular space under the lectern is
also used for books. This device is specially commended by Richard de Bury
in the _Philobiblon_[529]. "Moses," says he, "the gentlest of men, teaches
us to make bookcases most neatly, wherein they may be protected from any
injury: _Take_, he says, _this book of the law, and put it in the side of
the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God_." My illustration (fig. 138)
is taken from an edition of the _Ship of Fools_, printed at Basle by
Nicolas Lamparter in 1507. In this example the desk with its cupboards
stands on a plinth, and this again on a broad step. Both are probably
introduced to ensure steadiness.

[Illustration: Fig. 138. A bibliomaniac at his desk.

From the _Ship of Fools_.]

The seated figure represents a bibliomaniac who treats his books as mere
curiosities from which he derives no mental improvement. He has put on his
spectacles and wielded his feather-brush, in order to dust the leaves of a
folio with greater care. Under the cut are the following explanatory

  Qui libros tyriis vestit honoribus
  Et blattas abijt puluerulentulas
  Nec discens animum litterulis colit:
  Mercatur nimia stultieiam stipe.

I append a rough translation:

  Who clothes his books in Tyrian dyes,
  Then brushes off the dust and flies,
  Nor reads one line to make him wise,
  Spends lavish gold and--FOLLY buys.

Such a desk as this was used in the succeeding century in at least two
libraries belonging to ladies of high rank. The first belonged to Margaret
of Austria, daughter of Maximilian, Emperor of Germany. She had been the
wife of Philibert II., Duke of Savoy, and after his death, 10 September,
1504, her father made her regent of the Netherlands. She died at Malines
30 November, 1530, at the age of fifty. She seems to have been a liberal
patroness of literature and the arts, and the beautiful church that she
built at Brou in memory of her husband bears witness to her architectural
taste and skill.

The inventory, out of which I hope to reconstruct her library, is dated 20
April, 1524[530]. It is headed: "Library," and begins with the following
entry: "The first desk (_pourpitre_) begins over the door, and goes all
round up to the fireplace." On this desk or shelf are enumerated fifty-two
volumes, all bound in velvet with gilt bosses. This entry is succeeded by:
"here follow the Books of Hours, being on a desk high up in continuation
of the preceding one between the windows and the fireplace." This desk
contains twenty-six volumes bound in velvet, red satin, or cloth of gold,
with gilt bosses.

We come next to "the first desk below (_d'ambas_) beginning near the door
at the first seat." This desk carries nine books, presumably on the
sloping portion, because we presently come to a paragraph headed "here
follow the books covered with leather &c., which are underneath the desks
beginning near the door." The author of the inventory then returns to the
first desk, and enumerates eleven volumes. He next goes round to "the
other side of the said desk," and enumerates thirteen volumes. In this
way six desks are gone through. All have books bound in black, blue,
crimson, or violet, velvet laid out upon them, while those in plainer
dress are consigned to the shelves beneath. It should be added that the
fourth desk is described as being near the fireplace (_empres la

The desks having been gone through, we come to "the books which are within
the iron trellis beginning near the door." This piece of furniture
contained twenty-seven volumes.

The number of books accommodated in the whole room was as follows:

  First shelf                              52
  Second shelf                             26   78
  First desk (sloping portion)         9
  Under desk: one side           11
  "     "     other side         13   24   33
  Second desk                         21
                                 10   21   42
  Third   "    "                      26
                                 10   23   49
  Fourth  "    "                      15
                                 14   32   47
  Fifth   "    "                      19
                                 10   21   40
  Sixth   "    "                      20
                                 10   19   39   250
  Within the trellis-work                        27

We will next try to form some idea of the way in which this library was
arranged; and first of the two shelves which begin "over the door." A
shelf in this position is shewn in Carpaccio's well-known picture of S.
Jerome in his study. It is set deskwise against the wall supported on iron
brackets. As a large proportion of the fifty-two volumes on our shelf are
described as of large size (_grant_), we shall be justified in assuming
that each was 10 in. broad. The total therefore would occupy 520 in. or
say 43 ft. at least, not allowing for intervals between them. This shelf
extended from the door round the room to the fireplace, by which I suppose
we are to understand that it began on the wall which contained the door,
and was carried round the corner of the room up to the fireplace.

The second shelf, at the same height as the preceding, contained only
twenty-six volumes, fifteen of which are described as small (_petit_). A
space of thirteen feet or even less will therefore be amply sufficient to
contain them.

The six desks which stood on the floor were, I imagine, constructed in
some such way as that which I have figured above from the _Ship of Fools_.
It is evident that books in velvet bindings and adorned with gilt bosses
would be set out where they could be seen, and for such a purpose what
could be better than a lectern? The table I have given above shews that
there were 110 volumes thus disposed, or an average of say 18 to each
desk. A careful analysis of the inventory, where the size of each book is
always set down, shews me that there were very few small books in this
part of the library, but that they were divided between large (_grant_)
and medium size (_moien_). If we allow 8 in. for each book, we get an
average of 144 in. = 12 ft. for each desk, that is, as the desk was
double, the piece of furniture was 6 ft. long. Under the sloping portion
it had a shelf on each side. Four such desks stood between the door and
the fireplace, and two between the fireplace and the window, which seems
to have been opposite the door.

We are not told where the "trellis of iron" was. I suppose these words
mean some shelves set against the wall with ironwork in front of them. As
the enumeration of the books begins "near the door" the piece of furniture
may be placed on the side of the door opposite to the former desks.

The inventory further shews that this library did duty as a museum. It was
in fact filled with rare and beautiful objects, and must have presented a
singularly rich appearance. In the middle of the hood over the fireplace
was a stag's head and horns bearing a crucifix. There was a bust of the
Duke of Savoy, in white marble, forming a pendant to one of the Duchess
Margaret herself, and in the same material a statuette of a boy extracting
a thorn from his foot, probably a copy of the antique in the Ducal Gallery
at Florence. There were also twenty oil paintings in the room, some of
which were hung round the hood of the fireplace. Besides these works of
art there were several pieces of furniture, as, for instance, a large
press containing a complete set of armour, a sideboard "à la mode
d'Italie," given as a present by the viceroy of Naples; a square table of
inlaid work; a smaller table bearing the arms of Burgundy and Spain; three
mirrors; a number of objects in rock-crystal; and lastly some feather
dresses from India (S. America?), presented by the Emperor.

It is provoking that the inventory, minute as it is, should desert us at
the most important point, and give insufficient data for estimating the
size of the room. I conjecture that it was about 46 ft. long from the
following considerations. In the first place, I allow 2 ft. for the width
of each desk. Of these there were four between the door and the fireplace
= 8 ft. Secondly, I allow 3 ft. each for the five intervals = 15 ft., or a
total of 23 ft. from the door to the fireplace. For the fireplace itself I
allow 10 ft. Between the fireplace and the wall containing the window or
windows, there were two desks and three intervals = 13 ft. I pointed out
above that 43 ft. at least might be allowed for the shelf extending from
the door to the fireplace. Of this I have absorbed 23 ft., leaving 20 ft.
for the distance from the door to the corner of the room. As we are not
told anything about the position of the door my estimate of the size of
the room cannot be carried further.

A similar arrangement obtained in the library of Anne de France, daughter
of Louis XI., or as she is usually called Anne de Beaujeu[531]. Her
catalogue made 19 September, 1523, records 314 titles, which I need hardly
say represent a far larger number of books. They were arranged like those
of the Duchess Margaret, on eleven desks (_poulpitres_). These were set
round a room, with the exception of two which were placed in the middle of
it. It is interesting to note respecting one of these, that it had a
cupboard at the end, for the contents are entered as follows: _au bout
dudit poulpitre sont enclos les livres qui s'ensuivent_, and sixteen
volumes are enumerated. There was also a shelf set against the wall,
described as _le plus hault poulpitre le long de la dite muraille_, which
contained fifty-five volumes. This desk was probably high up, like the
one in the library of the Duchess Margaret. The books upon it are noted as
being all covered with red velvet, and ornamented with clasps, bosses, and
corner-pieces of metal. There were also in this library an astrolabe, and
a sphere with the signs of the Zodiac.

[Illustration: Fig. 139. S. John writing his Gospel.

From a MS. _Hours_ in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.]

A desk, similar in general character to that figured in the _Ship of
Fools_, but of a curiously modern type, occurs in an Hours in the
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, executed about 1445 for Isabel, Duchess of
Brittany. The picture (fig. 139) represents S. John writing his Gospel.

A modification of this form of desk was common in Italy. It is often used
by painters of the fifteenth century in pictures of the Annunciation,
where it does duty as a prie-dieu. The example I have selected (fig. 140)
is from a painting by Benedetto Bonfigli, in the church of S. Peter at
Perugia. It represents S. Jerome writing. A small circular revolving desk,
at the left-hand corner of the larger desk, holds the work he is copying
or referring to. On the desk near the inkstand lies the pointed _stylus_
mentioned above. Below the cupboard containing books is a drawer.
Projecting from the top of the revolving desk, there is a vertical rod of
iron with a long horizontal arm. This is no doubt intended to carry a
lantern. I shall shortly give an example of one in such a position.

[Illustration: Fig. 141. Circular book-desk.

From a MS. of _Fais et Gestes du Roi Alexandre_, in the British Museum.]

[Illustration: Fig. 140. S. Jerome writing.

From an oil painting by Benedetto Bonfigli, in the Church of S. Peter at

I now return to the wheel-desk, of which I have already figured one
specimen (fig. 135). A piece of furniture consisting of one or more tables
which could be raised or depressed by means of a central screw, was very
generally used by scholars in the Middle Ages. I shall present a few of
the most common forms.

[Illustration: Fig. 142. S. Luke writing his Gospel.

From the Dunois _Horæ_, a MS. in the possession of H. Y. Thompson, Esq.]

My first specimen is from a manuscript in the British Museum, written and
illuminated in England in the middle of the fifteenth century. It is
called _Fais et Gestes du Roi Alexandre_[532]. The picture (fig. 141)
represents Alexander as a little child, standing in front of his tutor,
who is seated in one of the chairs I described above. On the learned man's
right is his book-desk. A circular table with a rim round it to prevent
the books falling off, is supported on a central pedestal, which contains
the screw. The top of the said screw is concealed by the little Gothic
turret in the centre of the table. This turret also supports the book
which the reader has in use.

[Illustration: Fig. 143. A lady seated in her chair reading.

From a MS. written in France, early in the fifteenth century.]

My next example is from a miniature in a volume of Hours known as the
Dunois _Horæ_, also written in the middle of the fifteenth century. It has
been slightly enlarged in order to bring out the details more clearly. The
subject is S. Luke writing his Gospel, but the background represents a
scholar's room. There is a bookcase of a very modern type, a table with
two folio volumes lying upon it, and in the centre a hexagonal book-desk,
with a little Gothic turret as in the last example. Round the screw under
the table are four cylindrical supports, the use of which I fail to
understand, but they occur frequently on desks of this type. The whole
piece of furniture rests on a heavy cylindrical base, and that again on a
square platform.

I now pass to a variety of the screw-desk, which has a small book-rest
above the table. The whole structure rests upon a prolongation of the
solid platform on which the reader's chair is placed, so that it is really
exactly in front of the reader. My illustration (fig. 143) is from "The
booke of the noble ladyes in frensh," a work by Boccacio; it was written
in France early in the fifteenth century[533].

[Illustration: Fig. 144. Screw-desk.

From a fifteenth century MS. in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris.]

[Illustration: Fig. 145. Hexagonal desk, with central spike, probably for
a candle.

From a French MS. of _Le Miroir Historial_.]

These double desks are exceedingly common, and I might fill a large number
of pages with figures and descriptions of the variety which the ingenuity
of the cabinet-makers of the fifteenth century managed to impart to
combinations of a screw and two or more tables. I will content myself
with one more example (fig. 144) which shews the screw exceedingly well,
and the two tables above it. The uppermost of these serves as a ledge to
rest the books on, as does also the hexagonal block above it which
conceals the top of the screw[534].

We meet occasionally with a solid desk, by which I mean one the level of
which cannot be altered. In the example here given (fig. 145) from a
French MS. of _Le Miroir Historial_, there is a central spike which I
suspect to have been intended to carry a candle[535].

In some examples of these book-desks the pedestal is utilized as a
book-cupboard (fig. 146). The picture which I have selected as shewing a
desk of this peculiarity is singularly beautiful, and finished in the
highest style of art available at the end of the fifteenth century in
France. It forms half of the frontispiece to a fine manuscript of
Boccacio's _Livre des cas des malheureux nobles hommes et femmes_[536].
The central figure is apparently lecturing on that moving theme, for in
front of him, in the other half of the picture, is a crowd of men
exhibiting their interest by the violence of their gestures. On his left
is the desk I mentioned; it stands on an unusually firm base, and one side
of the vertical portion is pierced by an arch, so as to make the central
cavity available for putting books in. From the centre of the table rises
a tall spike, apparently of iron, to which is attached a horizontal arm,
bearing a lighted lantern. On the table, in addition to three books, is an
inkstand and pen-case. In front of the lecturer is a carved chest,
probably one of those book-coffers which I have already mentioned. The
chair and canopy are richly carved, and the back of the seat is partially
covered by a piece of tapestry. Further, the lecturer is allowed the
unusual luxury of a cushion.

I will next deal with the appliances for reading and writing directly
connected with the chairs in which scholars sat, and I will begin with the

[Illustration: Fig. 146. A lecturer addressing an audience.

From a MS. of _Livre des cas des malheureux nobles hommes et femmes_,
written in France at end of fifteenth century.]

[Illustration: Fig. 148. The author of _The Chronicles of Hainault_ in his
study (1446).]

[Illustration: Fig. 150. A writer with his desk and table.

From a MS. of _Le Livre des Propriétés des Choses_ in the British

The simplest form of desk is a plain board, set at a suitable angle by
means of a chain or cord extending from one of its corners to the back of
the chair, while the opposite corner rests against a peg driven into the
arm of the chair. This arrangement, variously modified, occurs very
frequently; sometimes there are two pegs and two chains, but what I may
term the normal form is shewn in my illustration (fig. 147)[537]. It is
difficult to understand how the desk was kept steady.

[Illustration: Fig. 147. S. Mark writing his Gospel.

From a MS. _Hours_ written in France in the fifteenth century.]

The author whose study I shall figure next (fig. 148) is engaged in
writing the Chronicles of Hainault[538]. His desk rests securely on two
irons fastened to the arms of his chair. On his right is a plain lectern
with an open volume on each side of it, and behind are two or more shelves
set against the wall with books lying on their sides. On his left is a
chest, presumably a book-chest, with books lying on its closed lid. One of
these is open. He has prudently placed his chair near the window in such a
position that the light falls upon his work from the left. It should be
noted that the upper part of the window only is glazed, the lower part
being closed by shutters. When these are thrown back, the lights are seen
to be filled to half their height with a trellis, such as was ordered for
the French king's library.

My third example of a chair fitted with a desk (fig. 149) is taken from
_Les Miracles de Notre Dame_[539], a manuscript which belonged to Philip
the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and was written for him at the Hague in 1456.
The illustration represents S. Jerome seated in his study. From arm to arm
of the chair extends a desk of a very firm and solid construction. The
ends of this desk apparently drop into the heads of the small columns with
which the arms of the chair terminate. The saint has in his left hand a
pointed _stylus_, and in his right a pen, which he is holding up to the
light. On the desk beside the manuscript lies an ink-horn. To the right of
the saint's chair is a hexagonal table with a high ledge round it. There
is no evidence that this table has a screw; but the small subsidiary desk
above it seems to be provided with one. It will be observed that the
support of this desk is not directly over that of the table beneath it.
The desk is provided with two slits--an ingenious contrivance for dealing
with a roll. On the table, besides an open book, are a pair of spectacles,
four pens, a small box which may contain French chalk for pouncing, and
what looks like a piece of sponge.

[Illustration: Fig. 149. S. Jerome in his study.

From _Les Miracle de Nostre Dame_, written at the Hague in 1456.]

I now figure two different sets of library appliances. The first (fig.
150) is from a manuscript of the _Livre des Propriétés des Choses_, in the
British Museum, written in the fifteenth century[540]. The writer is
seated in one of those low chairs which occur very frequently in
miniatures, and look as if they were cut out of a single block of wood.
His desk, which is quite independent of the chair, is of the simplest
design, consisting of a piece of wood supported at an angle on two carved
uprights. On his left stands a very elegant piece of furniture, a table
with a desk at a considerable height above it--so high, in fact, that it
could only be used standing. This upper desk is fitted with a little door
as though it served as a receptacle for small objects.

[Illustration: Fig. 151. S. Luke writing his Gospel.

MSS. Douce, Bodl. Lib. Oxf., No. 381.]

The second example (fig. 151) shews S. Luke sitting on a bench writing at
a table[541]. The top, which is very massive, rests on four legs, morticed
into a frame. In front of this table is a desk of peculiar form; the lower
part resembles a reversed cone, and the upper part a second cone of
smaller diameter, so as to leave space enough between the two bases for a
ledge to rest books on. Round the base of the desk three quaint lions do
duty as feet. These lions occur again beneath the frame of the picture,
and may be connected with a former possessor of the manuscript. The
pedestal of the desk is a twisted column, which, like the base, and indeed
the whole structure, looks as though it were made of brass.

[Illustration: Fig. 152. S. Augustine at his desk.

From a painting by Fra Filippo Lippi at Florence.]

[Illustration: Fig. 153. S. Jerome reading.

From an oil painting by Catena, in the National Gallery, London.]

[Illustration: Fig. 154. A writer at work.

From a French translation of Valerius Maximus, written and illuminated in
Flanders in 1479, for King Edward IV.]

I now pass to a totally different way of fitting up a study, which seems
to have been common in Italy, to judge by the number of paintings in which
it occurs. It consists of a massive desk of wood, one part of which is set
at right angles to the other, and is connected in various ways with
shelves, drawers, pigeon-holes, and other contrivances for holding books
and papers. In the example I here figure (fig. 152), from a painting by
Fra Filippo Lippi (1412-1469) representing S. Augustine's vision of the
Trinity, there are two small recesses above the desk on the saint's right,
both containing books, and behind the shorter portion of the desk, three
shelves also with books on them. Attached to the end of the desk is a
small tray, probably to contain pens.

A similar desk occurs in the beautiful picture by Catena in the National
Gallery[542], representing S. Jerome reading, of which I give a
reproduction on a reduced scale (fig. 153). This picture also contains an
excellent example of a cupboard in the thickness of the wall, a
contrivance for taking care of books as common in the Middle Ages as it
had been in Roman times[543].

Cupboards in the thickness of the wall are also to be seen in the
frontispiece (fig. 154) to a copy of a French translation of Valerius
Maximus[544], written in Flanders in 1479 for King Edward IV. The
writer--probably intended for the author or the translator of the book--is
seated at a desk, consisting of a plank set at an angle and capable of
being turned aside by means of a central bracket, like that used by the
Carmelite (fig. 136). Observe the two weights hanging over the edge of the
desk and the ends of the two horns, intended to hold ink, projecting
through it. The window, as in the picture representing the author of the
Chronicles of Hainault at work, is glazed in the upper part only, while in
the lower are two framed trellises of wire-work. Behind the writer are two
cupboards in the thickness of the wall. One of these is open, and shews
books lying on their sides, upon which are some pomegranates. I cannot
suggest any reason for the introduction of these fruits, except that from
their colour they make a pleasing variety; but I ought to mention that
they occur very frequently in miniatures representing a writer at work. On
the other side of the window is a small hanging cupboard. Here again a
fruit is introduced on the lowest shelf. Round the room is a settle,
raised above the floor on blocks at intervals. The seat is probably a
chest, as in the settles described above in the Vatican Library.

The last picture (fig. 155) in this series of illustrations represents
what I like to call a scholar's room, at the beginning of the fifteenth
century[545]. The owner of the apartment is busily writing at a desk
supported on a trestle-table. He holds a _stylus_ in his left hand, and a
pen in his right. The ink-horn he is using is inserted into the desk.
Above it are holes for two others, in case he should require ink of
different colours. Above the inkstand is a pen stuck in a hole, with
vacant holes beside it. The page on the desk is kept flat by a weight.
Above this desk is a second desk, of nearly equal size, on which lies an
open book, kept open by a large weight, extending over two-thirds of the
open pages. Behind the writer's chair is his book-chest. The background
represents a well-appointed chamber. The floor is paved with encaustic
tiles; a bright fire is burning on the hearth; the window, on the same
plan as that described in the last picture, is open; a comfortable--not to
say luxurious--bed invites repose. The walls are unplastered, but there is
a hanging under the window and over the head of the bed.

With this simple room, containing a scholar's necessaries and no more, I
will contrast the study of the Duke of Urbino.

This beautiful room, which still exists as the Duke left it, is on an
upper floor of the castle, commanding from its balcony, which faces the
south, an extensive view of the approach to the Castle, the city, and the
country beyond, backed by the Apennines. It is of small size, measuring
only 11 ft. 6 in. by 13 ft. 4 in., and is somewhat irregular in shape. It
is entered by a door from the Duke's private apartment. The floor is paved
with rough tiles set in patterns. The walls are panelled to a height of
about eight feet. The bare space between the top of the panel-work and the
ceiling was probably hung with tapestry. The ceiling is a beautiful
specimen of the most elaborate plaster-work, disposed in octagonal panels.
The decoration of the panel-work begins with a representation of a bench,
on which various objects are lying executed in intarsia work. Above this
bench is a row of small panels, above which again is a row of large
panels, each containing a subject in the finest intarsia, as for example a
portrait of Duke Frederick, figures of Faith, Hope, and other virtues, a
pile of books, musical instruments, armour, a parrot in a cage, etc. In
the cornice above these is the word FEDERICO, and the date 1476.

[Illustration: Fig. 155. A scholar's room in the fifteenth century.

From a MS. in the Royal Library at Brussels.]

Opposite the window there is a small cupboard, and on the opposite side of
the projection containing it there are a few shelves. These are the only
receptacles for books in the room. From its small size it could have
contained but little furniture, and was probably intended for the purpose
traditionally ascribed to it, namely as a place of retirement for the Duke
when he wished to be alone.

Another specimen of a library so arranged as to provide a peaceful retreat
is afforded a century later by that of Montaigne, of which he has
fortunately left a minute description.

    [My library is] in the third story of a Tower, of which
    the Ground-room is my Chappel, the second story an
    Apartment with a withdrawing Room and Closet, where I
    often lie to be more retired. Above it is a great
    Wardrobe, which formerly was the most useless part of
    the House. I there pass away both the most of the Days
    of my Life, and most of the Hours of those Days. In the
    Night I am never there. There is within it a Cabinet
    handsome and neat enough, with a Fire-place very
    commodiously contriv'd, and Light very finely fitted.
    And was I not more afraid of the Trouble than the
    Expence, the Trouble that frights me from all Business,
    I could very easily adjoyn on either side, and on the
    same Floor, a Gallery of an hundred paces long, and
    twelve broad, having found Walls already rais'd for some
    other Design, to the requisite height. Every place of
    retirement requires a Walk. My Thoughts sleep if I sit
    still; my Fancy does not go by itself, as when my Legs
    move it: and all those who study without a Book are in
    the same Condition.

    The figure of my Study is round, and has no more flat
    Wall than what is taken up by my Table, and my Chairs;
    so that the remaining parts of the Circle present me a
    view of all my books at once, set up upon five degrees
    of Shelves round about me. It has three noble and free
    Prospects, and is sixteen paces[546] Diameter. I am not
    so continually there in Winter; for my House is built
    upon an Eminence, as its Name imports, and no part of it
    is so much expos'd to the Wind and Weather as that,
    which pleases me the better, for being of a painful
    access, and a little remote, as well upon the account of
    Exercise, as being also there more retir'd from the
    Crowd. 'Tis there that I am in my Kingdom, as we say,
    and there I endeavour to make myself an absolute
    Monarch, and so sequester this one Corner from all
    Society both Conjugal, Filial, and Civil[547].

The notices of libraries which I have collected have brought me to the end
of the sixteenth century, by which time most of the appliances in use in
the Middle Ages had been given up. I hope that I have not exhausted the
patience of my readers by presenting too long a series of illustrations
extracted from manuscripts. I love, as I look at them, to picture to
myself the medieval man of letters, laboriously penning voluminous
treatises in the writing room of a monastery, or in his own study, with
his scanty collection of books within his reach, on shelves, or in a
chest, or lying on a table. We sometimes call the ages dark in which he
lived, but the mechanical ingenuity displayed in the devices by which his
studies were assisted might put to shame the cabinet-makers of our own

As the fashion of collecting books, and of having them bound at a lavish
expense, increased, it was obvious that they must be laid out so as to be
seen and consulted without the danger of spoiling their costly covers.
Hence the development of the lectern-system in private houses, and the
arrangement of a room such as the Duchess Margaret possessed at Malines.
Gradually, however, as books multiplied, and came into the possession of
persons who could not afford costly bindings, lecterns were abandoned, and
books were ranged on shelves against the wall, as in the public libraries
which I described in the last chapter.

There is still in existence, on an upper floor in the Palazzo Barberini at
Rome, a library of this description, which has probably not been altered
in any way since it was fitted up by Cardinal Francesco Barberini about
1630. The room is 105 ft. long by 28 ft. broad, and is admirably lighted
by two windows in the south wall, and seven in the gallery. The shelves
are set round three sides of the room at a short distance from the wall,
so as to leave space for a gallery and the stairs to it. The cases are
divided into compartments by fluted Ionic columns 5 ft. high. These rest
upon a flat shelf 14 in. wide, beneath which are drawers for papers and a
row of folios. This part of the structure is 3 ft. high from the floor to
the base of the columns. Above the columns is a cornice, part of which is
utilized for books; and above this again is the gallery, where the
arrangement of the shelves is a repetition of what I have described in the
lower part of the room. Dwarf cases in a plainer style and of later date
are set along the sides and ends of the room. Upon these are desks for the
catalogue, a pair of globes, some astronomical instruments, and some
sepulchral urns found at Præneste. The older woodwork in this library has
never been painted or varnished, and the whole aspect of the room is
singularly old-world and delightful.

[Illustration: Fig. 156 Dean Boys in his Library, 1622.]

Another instance is afforded by the sketch of the library of John Boys,
Dean of Canterbury, who died in 1625. It occurs on the title-page of his
works dated 1622, and I may add on his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral also.
He clung to ancient fashions so far as to set his books with their
fore-edge outwards, but in other respects his book-shelves are of a modern

       *       *       *       *       *

I have now reached the limit which I imposed upon myself when I began this
essay. But before I conclude let me say a few last words. I wish to point
out that collectors and builders in the Middle Ages did not guard their
manuscripts with jealous care merely because they had paid a high price to
have them written; they recognised what I may call the personal element in
them; they invested them with the senses and the feelings of human
beings; and bestowed them like guests whom they delighted to honour. No
one who reads the _Philobiblon_ can fail to see that every page of it is
pervaded by this sentiment; and this I think explains the elaborate
precautions against theft; the equally elaborate care taken to arrange a
library in so orderly a fashion that each book might be accessible with
the least difficulty and the least delay; and the exuberant gratitude with
which the arrival of a new book was welcomed.

In my present work I have looked at libraries from the technical side
exclusively. It would have been useless to try to combine fire and water,
sentiment and fact. But let me remind my readers that we are not so far
removed from the medieval standpoint as some of us perhaps would wish.
When we enter the library of Queens' College, or the older part of the
University Library, at Cambridge, where there has been continuity from the
fifteenth century to the present day, are we not moved by feelings such as
I have tried to indicate, such in fact as moved John Leland when he saw
the library at Glastonbury for the first time?

Moreover, there is another sentiment closely allied to this by which
members of a College or a University are more deeply moved than others--I
mean the sentiment of association. The most prosaic among them cannot fail
to remember that the very floors were trodden by the feet of the great
scholars of the past; that Erasmus may have sat at that window on that
bench, and read the very book which we are ourselves about to borrow.

But in these collections the present is not forgotten; the authors of
to-day are taking their places beside the authors of the past, and are
being treated with the same care. On all sides we see progress: the
lecterns and the stalls are still in use and keep green the memory of old
fashions; while near them the plain shelving of the twentieth century
bears witness to the ever-present need for more space to hold the invading
hordes of books that represent the literature of to-day. On the one hand,
we see the past; on the other, the present; and both are animated by full,
vigorous life.


[521] MSS. Mus. Brit., MSS. Cotton, Claudius E. 4, part 1. fol. 124. I
have to thank my friend, Mr Hubert Hall, of the Public Record Office, for
drawing my attention to this illustration.

[522] _Gesta Abbatum_, ed. Rolls series, I. p. 184. I owe this reference
and its translation to the Reverend F. A. Gasquet, _Medieval Monastic
Libraries_, p. 89, in _Downside Review_, 1891, Vol. X. No. 2.

[523] Henri Havard, _Dict. de l' Ameublement_, s. v. Librairie. The first
chest is described in the following words: "Livres estans en la grant
chambre dudit Seigneur, en ung escrin assiz sur deux crampons, lequel est
à la fenestre emprès la cheminée de ladite chambre, et est a deux
couvescles, en l'une des parties dequel coffre estoient les parties qui
s'ensuivent." See also J. Labarle: _Inventaire du Mobilier de Charles V._
4to. Paris, 1879, p. 336.

[524] Franklin, _Anc. Bibl. de Paris_, Vol. II. p. 112. A copy of this
account is in the _Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal_, No. 6362. This I have
collated with M. Franklin's text. The most important passage is the
following: A Jacques du Parvis et Jean Grosbois, huchiers, pour leur peine
d'avoir dessemblé tous les bancs et deux roes qui estoient en la librairie
du Roy au palais, et iceux faict venir audit Louvre, avec les lettrins et
icelles roes estrécies chacune d'un pied tout autour; et tout rassemblé et
pendu les lettrins es deux derraines estages de la tour, devers la
Fauconnerie, pour mettre les livres du Roy; et lambroissié de bort
d'Illande le premier d'iceux deux estages tout autour par dedans, au pris
de L. francs d'or, par marché faict à eux par ledit maistre Jacques, XIV^e
jour de mars 1367.

[525] A. Berty, _Topographie historique du vieux Paris_, 4to. Paris, 1866,
Vol. I. pp. 143-146. He considers that the "bort d'Illande" was Dutch oak,
480 pieces of which had been given to the king by the officer called
Sénéchal of Hainault.

[526] MSS. Mus. Brit. 14 E. V.

[527] MSS. Mus. Brit. 14 E. 1. This miniature has been reproduced by
Father Gasquet in the paper quoted above.

[528] MSS. Mus. Brit., MSS. Harl. 4375, f. 151 _b_.

[529] _The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury_: ed. E. C. Thomas, London,

[530] Printed in _Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des
Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses_, Band III. 4to. Wien, 1885.

[531] Lerou de Lincey, _Mélanges de la Société des Bibliophiles_, 1850, p.

[532] MSS. Mus. Brit. 15 E. VI.

[533] MS. Mus. Brit. 20 C. V.

[534] Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, MS. 5193, fol. 311. Boccacio: _Cas
des malheureux nobles hommes et femmes_.

[535] Paris, Bibl. Nat., MSS. Français, 50, _Le Miroir Historial_, by
Vincent de Beauvais, fol. 340. Probably written in cent. XV.

[536] MSS. Mus. Brit. Add. 35321. MSS. Waddesdon, No. 12. Bequeathed by
Baron Ferdinand Rothschild.

[537] MSS. Bodl. Lib. Oxf., MSS. Rawl. Liturg. e. 24, fol. 17 _b_.

[538] MSS. Bibliothèque Royale de Bruxelles, No. 9242. _Chroniques de
Hainaut_, Pt. I. fol. 2, 1446.

[539] MSS. Bibl. Nat. Paris, MSS. Fran. 9198. See _Miracles de Nostre
Dame_, by J. Mielot, Roxburghe Club, 1885; with introduction by G. F.
Warner, M.A.

[540] MSS. Cotton, Augustus, VI. fol. 213 _b_. There is a beautiful
example of a table and desk on this plan in a MS. of _La Cité des Dames_,
from the old Royal Library of France in the Bibl. Nat., MSS. Fran. 1177.

[541] MSS. Bodl. Lib. Oxf., MSS. Douce, No. 381, fol. 159. A second
example occurs in the same MS., fol. 160.

[542] I have to thank my friend Sidney Colvin, M.A., for drawing my
attention to this picture.

[543] See above, pp. 37, 38.

[544] MSS. Mus. Brit. 18 E. IV.

[545] _Le Débat de l'honneur entre trois Princes chevalereux_. Bibil. Roy.
Bruxelles, No. 9278, fol. 10. The MS. is from the library of the Dukes of
Burgundy, and may be dated in the second third of the fifteenth century.

[546] The original words are 'seize pas de vuide.' The substantive 'pas'
must I think mean a foot, the length a foot makes when set upon the
ground. The word pace, the length of which is 2 ft. 6 in. or 3 ft., is
inapplicable here.

[547] _Essays of Michael Seigneur de Montaigne._ Made English by Ch.
Cotton, Vol. III. pp. 53, 54. 8vo. London, 1741. I have to thank my friend
Mr A. F. Sieveking for this reference.


  Abingdon, Berks, Benedictine House at:
    customs in force respecting books, 68;
    carrells set up, 98

  Abingdon: School library, 262

  Actor and masks: relief representing in Lateran Museum, Rome, 36

  Agapetus, pope: his intended college and library, 44

  Albans (S.): form of curse used, 78;
    endowment of _scriptorium_, 80;
    library built 1452-3, 108;
    stained glass, 241

  Alençon: town library, 287

  Alexandria: account of libraries, 6;
    in museum, _ibid._;
    in temple of Serapis, 7

  All Souls' Coll., Oxf.: library statute, 137;
    special provisions, 138

  Ambrosian Library, Milan: description, 271;
    may have been copied by Wren at S. Paul's, London, 282

  _analogium_: a book-desk, 105, 197, 243

  Anne de Beaujeu: her library, 302

  Antony, Mark: gives library at Pergamon to Cleopatra, 8

  Apollo: temple and area on Palatine Hill at Rome, 14;
    composition of the library, 18, 19;
    allusions to, by Ovid and Horace, _ibid._

  Apollonius Thyaneus: commemorated in Roman library, 23

  Apse, triple: how treated in early times, 63;
    De Rossi's theory, _ibid._;
    description by Paulinus of Nola, _ibid._;
    view of Lenoir, 64, _note_

  Aristotle: said to have been a book-collector, 5;
    his methods adopted by the Ptolemies, _ibid._

  Ark: desk on pattern of, 297

  armarium: in Ulpian library, 20;
    described by Nibby, 37;
    to contain _codices_, _ibid._;
    held by jurist Ulpian to be part of the library, _ibid._;
    description by Pliny of one sunk in wall of a room, 38;
    on sarcophagus in Museo Nazionale, Rome, with shoemaker at work,
    on do. in Villa Balestra, Rome, with physician reading, _ibid._;
    on tomb of Galla Placidia, 39;
    in Jewish synagogues, _ibid._ note;
    in Codex Amiatinus, 40, 41;
    verses composed for his own presses by Isidore, Bp of Seville, 45;
    called _fenestra_ by Pachomius, 64, 65, _note_;
    alluded to by S. Benedict, 66;
    word used for a library by the Cluniacs, 67;
    placed in charge of precentor, who is called also _armarius_, _ibid._;
    same provisions in force at Abingdon, 68;
    at Evesham, 69;
    word used for a library by the Carthusians, 69;
    described in Augustinian Customs, 71;
    what this piece of furniture was, 81-96;
    the _armarium commune_, 82;
    this described and figured at Fossa Nuova, _ibid._;
    Worcester Cathedral, 84;
    Kirkstall, 85;
    Meaux, 86;
    at Titchfield, 87;
    Durham, 93;
    book-presses in cloister at Durham and Westminster, 90-94;
    in France, 94;
    examples of presses at Bayeux, Obazine, and S. Germain l'Auxerrois,
    supervision of press at S. Augustine's, Canterbury, 99

  _armarius_ (who is also Precentor):
    has charge of library in Cluniac Houses, 67, 73;
    in Augustinian, 71;
    provides for borrowing as well as lending books among the
        Premonstratensians, 72

  Arts: books required for course in, at Cambridge, 147

  Assisi: library at, catalogued 1381, 73;
    analysis of this, 206, 207

  Assur-bani-pal, King of Nineveh: library in his palace, 2

  Astrolabe: in library of Anne de Beaujeu, 303

  Athens: notices of ancient libraries at, 5;
    library built by Hadrian, 6, 16

  Attalus, King: note on his stoa at Athens, 11, _note_

  Augustine (S.): directions about church library at Hippo, 63

  Augustine (S.), Benedictine House at Canterbury:
    extract from custumary on care of MSS., 76;
    rules for use of carrells, 99;
    organisation of library in cloister, _ibid._

  Augustinians: rules for books in force among, 71

  Augustus: builds libraries in Rome, 12;
    porticus Octaviæ, _ibid._;
    temple and area of Apollo Palatinus, 14;
    their organisation, 18

  Autun, Collège d', Paris: library at, 166

  Bale, John, laments loss of monastic libraries, 246

  Bamberg: chained book from monastery, 159

  _banca_ or _bancus_: meaning discussed, 242

  Bancroft, Abp, his library brought to Cambridge, 253

  Barber Surgeons, Lond.: books in their library chained 1639, 265

  Barberini: library in their palace at Rome, 316

  Bateman, Will., Bp of Norwich: his library statute for Trinity Hall, 136;
    division of his library, 144

  Bayeux, Cathedral: press called _Le Chartrier_ described and figured, 94;
    library at, 125

  Beaulieu, Cistercian Abbey: book-room, 86;
    book-recesses in wall of cloister, 89

  Benedict (S.): passage in his Rule respecting study, 66

    decrees given to English monks of the Order by Abp Lanfranc, 67;
    customs in force at S. Benoit-sur-Loire, 68, _note_;
    at Abingdon, Berks, _ibid._;
    at Evesham, Worcestershire, 69;
    their books bestowed in wooden presses, 84;
    arrangement adopted at Durham, 90

  Benoit (S.)-sur-Loire: customs quoted, 68, _note_;
    endowment of library, 79

  Bicester: school library, 262

  Bobbio: library, 102

  Bodleian Library, Oxf.: description, as fitted up by Sir T. Bodley, 185;
    chains taken off 1757, 266;
    inconvenience of chaining, 266;
    new bookcases on wall-system, 275

  Boethius: decoration of his library, 41;
    view of a library in MS. of his _Cons. of Phil._, 163, 164

  Bolton, Lanc.: school, 264

  Book-room: in Cistercian Houses, 84-89;
    at Fossa Nuova, 83

  Boys, John: his library, 317

  Brandolini, A.: epigram on library of Sixtus IV., 211

  Brasenose Coll., Oxf.: library statute, 137;
    chains taken off 1780, 266

  _breve_ or _brevis_ = a book-ticket: in Cluniac Customs, 67;
    in Lanfranc's decrees for Benedictines, 68

  Brewster, Will.: bequeathes books to All Saints' Ch., Hereford, 262

  Budge, Dr Wallis: note on Mesopotamian discoveries, 4

  Bury, Lanc.: library in school, 263

  Bury S. Edmunds: use of carrells, 98;
    cloister glazed with stained glass, 100;
    library built 1429-45, 108

  Busts in Roman libraries: _see_ Portraits

  Cæsar, Julius: intends to build public library in Rome, 12

  Cæsarea: library, 62

  Calder Abbey: portion of book-room, 88

  Canterbury; _see_ Christ Church, Canterbury

  Canterbury Coll., Oxf.:
    library furnished from Christ Church, Canterbury, 143

  _capsa_; box for carrying rolls, 30

  Cardinal Coll., Oxf.; library statute, 137

  Carols: _see_ Carrells

  Carpenter, John (Bp of Worcester): his library foundation, 126

  Carpet: books to be laid out on, in Chapter House for annual audit
    in Cluniac Houses, 67;
    in Benedictine, 68

  Carrells: in cloister at Durham, 90;
    detailed account of, with ground plan of a window, 96;
    at Westminster Abbey, 92, 93;
    series of, in stone, at Gloucester, 96-98;
    general considerations as to arrangement, 98;
    instances of their use in various houses, _ibid._;
    by whom to be used, 99

  Carthusians: rules for books in force among, 69

  Cartmel, Lanc.: books to be chained in churchwarden's pew, 258

  Cassiodorus: his _Codex grandior_ mentioned, 40;
    intended college in Rome, 44;
    monastery, library, and _scriptorium_ at Vivarium, _ibid._

  Catharine (S.) Coll., Camb.: number of books in library, 145;
    new cases, 285

  Cedar: _see_ Citrus

  Cesena: description of library, 199-203

  Chaining: books chained in S. Mary's Ch., Oxf., cent, xiii., 132;
    at Peterhouse, Camb., 135, 145;
    Trinity Hall, 136, 168;
    New Coll., Oxf., 137;
    indiscriminate chaining forbidden, 138;
    system in use at Zutphen explained, 153-159;
    in Stadtbibliothek at Nuremberg, 163;
    at Sorbonne, Paris, 164;
    Collège d'Autun, 166;
    S. Victor, _ibid._;
    inconvenience of, at Oxf., 172;
    at Hereford described, 174-8;
    at Merton Coll., Oxf., 181, 182;
    traces of, at S. John's Coll., Oxf., 185;
    at Cathedral Library, Wells, 189;
    at Cesena, 203;
    on printed book from Hungary now at Ghent, 204;
    chains bought for Vatican Library, 219;
    at Medicean library, Florence, 238-240;
    at Grantham, 257;
    Cartmel, 258;
    Gorton, 259;
    Chetham library, Manchester, 260;
    Wimborne, 261;
    Denchworth, 262;
    All Saints', Hereford, _ibid._;
    Abingdon, Berks, _ibid._;
    Bicester, _ibid._;
    Guildford, 263;
    instances of late use of chaining, 264;
    Faculty of Medicine, Paris, _ibid._;
    Corpus Christi Coll., Camb., _ibid._;
    Gray's Inn, _ibid._;
    S. John's Coll., Gonville and Caius Coll.,
        Peterhouse, Trinity Coll., Camb., 265;
    Library of Barber Surgeons, _ibid._;
    wills of Sir M. Hale and M. Scrivener, _ibid._;
    chains taken off at various places, 266;
    inconvenience of, at Bodleian, _ibid._, note

  Chair with desk: figured in MSS., 309-312

    spaces divided off at west end for book-rooms in monasteries, 87-89;
    books read in neighbourhood of, 89

  Charles V., King of France: book-chest, 293;
    fits up library in Louvre, _ibid._

  Chest for books: bought for Vatican Library, 218;
    used by Simon, Abbat of S. Albans, 292;
    in France, 293

  Chester Cathedral: arches in cloister, possibly used for books, 89

  Chetham, Humphry: provisions of will, 259;
    library in Manchester, 260

  Chichele, Abp: builds library at Canterbury, 106;
    account of this, 190

  Christ Church, Canterbury: curse from a MS., 78;
    library-walk of cloister, 91;
    sets of nine holes, 92;
    carrells in use, 99;
    glass in cloister, 100;
    catalogue, saec. xii., 102;
    library, 106;
    probable extent and arrangement of this described, 190-194;
    Howley-Harrison library, 256

  Christopher Le Stocks (S.), Lond.: library, 244

  Christ's Hospital, Lond.: library, 108

  Churches: libraries built in or near, 61, 64

  Cirta: library, 62

  Cistercians: rules for books, 70;
    evolution of book-room, 84-89;
    plan of this at Fossa Nuova, 85;
    Kirkstall, _ibid._;
    arrangement of books in, at Meaux, 86;
    Titchfield, 87;
    book-rooms at west end of Chapter House, Furness, _ibid._;
    Calder Abbey, 88;
    Fountains, _ibid._;
    Beaulieu, 89;
    Hayles _ibid._;
    Chester Cathedral, _ibid._

  Citeaux: books chained near Chapter House, 89;
    arrangement of books, saec. xv., 103-106;
    permanent library, 109-112

  Citrus: identification of tree so called, 22, _note_;
    used to preserve rolls, 29

  Clairvaux: curse used, 78;
    books chained near Chapter House, 89;
    library, 112-4;
    catalogue of this discussed, 196-8;
    nature of fittings, 198

  Clare Coll., Camb.: account of old library, 186;
    new cases put up 1627,
    their plan discussed, 187;
    new library fitted up, 285

  _class_: meaning of word discussed, 243

  _claustrum sine armario_ etc., 75

  Cleopatra: receives library of Pergamon from Antony, 8

  Cloister: the centre of monastic life, 80;
    work interrupted by cold and bad weather, _ibid._;
    activity at S. Martin's, Tournai, 81;
    arrangements at Durham described, 90;
    illustrated by reference to Westminster Abbey, 91-94;
    was glazed at Durham, 90;
    in other Houses, 100

  Cluniacs: regulations in their Customs respecting books, 67;
    date of these Customs, 68, _note_;
    book-room in their priory at Much Wenlock, 87

  Cobham, Thomas: library, Oxf., 148-151;
    stained glass in windows, 242

  Codex, a book: how accommodated, 36, 37;
    figured on tomb of Galla Placidia, 39

  Codex Amiatinus: representation of _armarium_ described, 40

  Cold, in cloister, 80

  _columpna_: a set of shelves, 87

  _communes libri_; meaning of term, 82

  Corbie: note from MS. once belonging to, 75, _note_;
    injunction to use a MS. at, carefully, 77 and _note_;
    endowment of library, 79

  _cornua_: used for the knobs of a roll, 28

  Corpus Christi Coll., Camb.: books chained 1523, 264

  Corpus Christi Coll., Oxf.: library statute, 137, 138;
    provisions against indiscriminate chaining, 138;
    fittings supplied 1517, 172;
    a type of the stall-system, _ibid._;
    elevation of one bookcase, 173

  Cosma e Damiano: church of, in Rome, 25, 26

  Crates (of Mallus): his visit to Rome and influence there, 14

  Creighton, Rob., Bp of Wells: fits up cathedral library, 188

  Croxden, Cistercian Abbey: book-room, 86

  Cruas, on the Rhone: book-press in the church, 94

  Cupboards: in thickness of wall, 313

  Curses, on those who steal or damage MSS., 77

  Cuthbert, Abbat of Wearmouth: his scribes paralysed with cold, 80

  Damasus, Pope: his archivum or Record Office, 42

  _demonstratio_: meaning discussed, 243

  Demosthenes: statue of, to shew way of holding roll, 27;
    replica of his statue at Knowle Park, _ibid._, note

  Denchworth: library in church, 262

  De Rossi: theory respecting S. Lorenzo in Damaso, 42;
    of the use of a triple apse, 63

  Derr: library at, explored by Dr W. Budge, 4

  _descus_: meaning discussed, 242

  _distinctio_: word used in catalogue of Dover Priory, 194-196;
    meaning discussed, 196, 243

  [Greek: Diphthera] = cover of a roll, 29;
    coloured purple, 29

  Dolci, Giovannino dei: supplies bookcases to Vatican Library, 218

  _domuncula_: a compartment of a bookcase, 244

  Dover, Priory of S. Martin at: introduction to catalogue translated, 194

  Durham: description of the book-presses and carrells in the cloister, 90;
    _armarium commune_, 93;
    plan of window and account of carrells, 96-99;
    library at, saec. xii., 102;
    enumeration of books at, saec. xiv., 103;
    library at, built 1446, 107;
    library fitted up by Dean Sudbury, saec. xvii., 189

  Durham Coll., Oxf.: library, 142

  Ely: endowment of _scriptorium_ at, 79

  Emmanuel Coll., Camb.: bookcases at, 54;
    new cases in library, 285

  Endowment of libraries: at Corbie, 79;
    S. Martin des Champs, _ibid._;
    S. Benoit-sur-Loire (Fleury), _ibid._;
    at Ely, _ibid._

  Entreaties to use books carefully, 76

  [Greek: Epistulion]: use of word explained, 32, _note_

  Escõrial: built by Philip II., 267;
    description of library, 268;
    of bookcases, 269;
    cases copied at Bibliothèque Mazarine, 273

  Eton College: stained glass in Election Hall, 242;
    chains taken off 1719, 266

  Eucherius, Bp of Lyons: describes a private library, 43

  Euripides: said to have been a book-collector, 5;
    lines from the _Frogs_ about him quoted, _ibid._

  Euthydemus, follower of Socrates: his library, 5

  Evesham, Benedictine House in Worcestershire:
    customs respecting books, 69;
    carrells, 99

  _fenestra_ = cupboard: in rule of S. Pachomius, 64;
    meaning of word discussed, 65, note

  Fleury, Abbey at: _see_ Benoit (S.)-sur-Loire

  _forulus_ = cell: receptacle for rolls in Roman libraries, 31

  Fossa Nuova: book-press at, described and figured, 82;
    plan and description of book-room, 85

  Fountains Abbey: position of book-rooms at, 89

  foxtails: bought to dust Vatican Library, 232

  Francis (S.): reproves a brother who asked for a psalter, 72, _note_

  Franciscans: provisions respecting books, 72;
    their libraries described in the _Philobiblon_, _ibid._

  Froidmont: glass in library, 242

  _frons_: used for the edge of a roll, 28;
    was evidently visible, 34

  Furness Abbey: book-rooms at west end of chapter-house, 87

  Gall (S.): library at, 102

  Galla Placidia: book-press on her tomb, 39

  Gatien, S., Tours, church of: chained library at, 1718, 266

  Geneviève, S., Paris: description of library, 289

  Germain (S.) des Près, Paris: library open to strangers, 75;
    expansion of library at, 114-6;
    fittings described, 289

  Germain (S.) l'Auxerrois, church of: wooden press in, described, 95

  Ghirlandajo, the brothers: engaged to decorate Vatican Library, 211;
    their work described, 213

  Glass: in certain cloisters, 100

  Glastonbury: feelings of Leland on entering Library, 194

  Globes: in Vatican Library, 229;
    in library of S. Geneviève, 289

  Gloucester Cathedral: library-walk of cloister, 91;
    sets of nine holes, 92;
    stone carrells described and figured, 96-98;
    library, 107

  Gonville Hall, Camb.: curse from breviary used at, 79

  Gonville and Caius Coll., Camb.: bookcases at, 254;
    chaining of books bequeathed by Dr Caius, 265

  Gorton: bookcase, 259

  _gradus_ = a shelf, 87, _note_;
    used with same meaning at Dover Priory, 194-196;
    a side of a lectern, 167

  Grammar Schools: _see_ Libraries

  Grantham: library, 257

  Gray's Inn: bequest of books to be chained, 264

  Gregory (S.) the Great: notice of his monastery at Rome, 44

  Grönendaal: library, 108

  Guildford: chain in library of Grammar School, 157;
    further account of this, 263

  Hadrian: library built by him in Athens, 16-18;
    similarity of plan between it and Pergamon, 18

  Hale, Sir Matt.: his books given to Lincoln's Inn 1676 to be chained, 265

  Hawkesmoore, N.:
    builds library and bookcases at Queen's College, Oxford, 256

  Hayles, Cistercian Abbey: book-room, 86;
    arches possibly used as book-recesses, 89

  Herculaneum: library, 23-25

  Hereford, All Saints' Ch.: library, 262

  Hereford Chapter Library: notes on, 174;
    chaining described, 174-8

  Hippo: library, 63

  Hobart, Nich.: his bookcase at King's College, Cambridge, 254

  Honywood, Mich.: builds library at Lincoln Cathedral, 276

  Hook, to hold up desk, 179

  Horace: advice to his friend Celsus respecting the Palatine library, 19

  Howley-Harrison Library, Canterbury, 256

  Humphrey, D. of Gloucester: his MSS. at Oxford, 247

  _index_ = ticket bearing the title of a roll, 28;
    of some bright colour, 29;
    used in Cicero's library, 33

  Isidore, Bp of Seville: on library of Pollio at Rome, 12;
    on decoration of libraries, 41;
    account of his own library, 45, 46

  Ivory: books written on, 20

  Jerome (S.): advises consultation of church-libraries, 62;
    on library at Cæsarea, _ibid._;
    collated there MSS. used by Origen, _ibid._

  Jerusalem: library, 62

  Jervaulx, Cistercian Abbey: book-room, 86

  Jesus Coll., Camb.: equidistant windows of library, 148;
    glass in library, 242;
    bookcases, 254

  Jews: used _armaria_ in synagogues to contain the rolls of the law, 39,

  John (S.) the Baptist, Coll., Oxf.: library statute at, 137;
    library described, 185;

  John (S.) the Evangelist, Coll., Camb.:
    equidistant windows in old library, 148;
    contract for desks, 160;
    book chained at, 1564, 265;
    library built 1623-1628, 248-251

  Jumièges: curse from MS. at, 78

  Juniper: bought to fumigate Vatican Library, 232

  Kederminster, Sir John: founds library at Langley, 258

  Kempis, Thomas à:
    quotation from, on desolate condition of priest and convent without
        books, 75;
    injunction to use MSS. carefully, 77

  King's Coll., Camb.: library statute, 137;
    number of books in library 1453, 145;
    bookcase by bequest from N. Hobart, 254;
    Cole's account of library, 255;
    chains taken off 1777, 266

  Kirkstall Abbey: the _armarium commune_, 85

  Kouyunjik: library, discovered by Layard, 2;
    criticised by Dr W. Budge, 4

  Lanciani. R.: discovers a private library in Rome, 22;
    describes record-house of Vespasian, 26

  Lanfranc, Abp: decree respecting use of books, 67

  Langley Marye: library, 258

  Lateran Museum, Rome: sculpture representing actor with masks, 36

  Layard: library discovered by him at Kouyunjik, 2

  Leaver, James: gives press to Bolton school, Lancashire, 264

  Lectern-system: fittings in early libraries so named, 151-153;
    at Zutphen, 153-159;
    Queens' Coll., Camb., 151, 159;
    Pembroke Coll., S. John's Coll., Peterhouse, Camb., 160;
    Lincoln Cathedral, 161;
    MS. Mus. Brit., 162;
    Nuremberg, 163;
    the Sorbonne, Paris, 164;
    the Collège d'Autun, Paris, 166;
    Monastery of S. Victor, Paris, 166;
    Trinity Hall, Camb., 168;
    MS. Fitzwilliam Mus., 169;
    at University of Leyden, 170;
    Cesena, 199-203;
    S. Mark, Florence, 203;
    Monte Oliveto, _ibid._;
    Assisi, 206;
    Vatican, 225;
    Medicean Library, Florence, 235-240;
    in private houses, 297-301

  _lectrinum_ = desk, 161

  Leland, John: his feelings on entering library at Glastonbury, 194

  Lepidus, Domitius: temple built by him in Rome, 13

  _liber_ = book: decision of the jurist Ulpian as to what is included
    under this category, 37

  Librarian: _see_ Precentor--Armarius

  LIBRARIES, Assyrian: at Kouyunjik, discovered by Layard, 2-4;
    at Derr, 4

  Libraries of Cathedrals: 116-128;
    Lincoln, 117, 161;
    Salisbury, 121;
    Old S. Paul's, 122;
    Wells, 123;
    Lichfield, 123;
    Noyon, 124;
    Bayeux, 125;
    York, 125;
    Troyes, 126;
    Worcester, 126;
    Rouen, 128

  Libraries, Christian: situated in or near churches, 61;
    at Jerusalem, 62;
    at Cæsarea, _ibid._;
    at Cirta, _ibid._;
    at Hippo, 63;
    use of the triple apse, 63

  Libraries of Colleges: statutes of Merton Coll., Oxford, 133;
    University, 133;
    Oriel, 133;
    Peterhouse, Cambridge, 134;
    Trinity Hall, 136;
    New Coll., Oxford, 137;
    All Souls', 137;
    Magdalen Coll., Oxford, 138;
    Corpus Christi Coll., Oxford, 137, 138;
    Pembroke Coll., Cambridge, 139;
    résumé of regulations, _ibid._;
    loan of books from, 140;
    rules copied from monasteries, 141;
    a real library an after-thought, 143;
    characteristics of this, 143;
    number of books, 143-148;
    divided into lending and reference departments, 145;
    examples of such libraries, 148;
    Bp Cobham's library, Oxf., _ibid._;
    Queens' Coll., Camb., a type, 151, 159;
    fittings at Pembroke and other Coll., 160;
    S. John's Coll., Camb., 248-250;
    at Peterhouse, 251;
    at Gonville and Caius, Emmanuel, Jesus, Pembroke, 254;
    King's Coll., Camb., _ibid._;
    Queen's Coll., Oxf., 255

  Libraries, Greek: notices of, in Athens and elsewhere, 4, 5;
    at Alexandria, 6;
    at Pergamon, 7-12

  Libraries, medieval: general characteristics, 240-244

  Libraries, monastic: rule of Pachomius, 64;
    general considerations 65;
    Benedictine Rule, 66;
    Cluniac Customs, _ibid._;
    decrees given to English Benedictines by Lanfranc, 67;
    Customs of Benedictine Houses, 68;
    of Carthusians, 69;
    of Cistercians, 70;
    of Augustinians, _ibid._;
    of Premonstratensians, 72;
    of Mendicants, _ibid._;
    general conclusions, 73;
    divided into library of reference and library for lending, 74;
    open to strangers, 75;
    books a necessary possession, _ibid._;
    protection of books, 76;
    curses, 77;
    endowment of libraries, 79;
    work done and books kept in the cloister, 80;
    furniture used, 81;
    _armarium commune_, 82;
    at Fossa Nuova, _ibid._;
    at Worcester, 84;
    evolution of Cistercian book-room, 84-89;
    arrangements in Benedictine Houses, 90;
    at Westminster Abbey, 91-94;
    supervision at S. Augustine's, Canterbury, 99;
    decoration, 100;
    growth of, 101;
    at S. Riquier, S. Gall, Bobbio, Lorsch, Durham, Canterbury, 102;
    construction of a special library, 106;
    at Canterbury, _ibid._;
    Durham and Gloucester, 107;
    Winchester, S. Albans, Worcester, Bury S. Edmunds, S. Victor, Paris,
        Franciscans of London, 108;
    Citeaux, 109-112;
    Clairvaux, 112-114;
    S. Germain des Près, Paris, 114;
    destruction in England, 246;
    extension of their libraries in France in 17th cent., 287;
    library of Jesuits at Rheims, 287-289;
    of S. Geneviève, Paris, 289;
    S. Germain des Près, _ibid._;
    Monte Cassino, 290

  Libraries, parochial: at Grantham, 257;
    at Langley Marye, 258;
    Cartmel, _ibid._;
    will of H. Chetham, 259;
    Gorton, _ibid._;
    Turton, _ibid._;
    Wimborne Minster, 261;
    Denchworth, 262;
    All Saints', Hereford, _ibid._;
    Abingdon, _ibid._

  Libraries, private: books kept in chests, 292;
    tower in Louvre fitted up as library, 293;
    illustration of this, 294;
    a Carmelite in his study, 296;
    a scholar's chair, 297;
    lectern, 297-9;
    _Ship of Fools_, 298;
    library of Margaret of Austria, 299-302;
    of Anne de Beaujeu, 302;
    Italian lectern, 304;
    wheel-desk, 304-8;
    chairs with desk, 309-312;
    desks used in Italy, 312;
    wall-cupboards, 313;
    scholar's room, 314;
    study of Duke of Urbino, _ibid._;
    of Montaigne, 315;
    Palazzo Barberini, 316;
    library of Dean Boys, 317

  Libraries, Roman (B.C.):
    intention of Julius Cæsar to build a library, 12;
    library of C. Asinius Pollio, _ibid._;
    decorated with busts of departed authors, _ibid._;
    works of Augustus, _ibid._;
    Porticus Octaviæ, 12-14;
    temple and area of Apollo, 14;
    other public libraries, 15;
    of Tiberius, Vespasian, Trajan, _ibid._;
    of Hadrian at Athens, 16-18;
    organisation of Roman libraries, 18;
    composition of Palatine library, _ibid._;
    description by Ovid, _ibid._;
    advice of Horace respecting, 19;
    library of Tiberius, _ibid._;
    of Vespasian in templo Pacis, _ibid._;
    of Trajan (bibliotheca Ulpia), _ibid._;
    loan of books from public collections, 20;
    fittings, 36;
    private libraries: of Lucullus, 20, 21;
    fashion for book-collecting denounced by Seneca, 21;
    library in Via dello Statuto discovered by Lanciani, 22;
    at Herculaneum, 23;
    near Rome, as described by Martial, 31;
    record-house of Vespasian, 26, 27;
    contents of Roman libraries, 27-30;
    fittings of Roman libraries: discussion of words used, 30-33;
    what the furniture so designated was, 34, 35;
    representation found at Neumagen, 35;
    desk for rolls in Lateran Museum, 36;
    presses (_armaria_), 36-41

  Libraries, Roman (A.D.): decoration mentioned by Boethius, 41;
    by Isidore, 41, 42;
    library described by Eucherius, 43;
    of pope Agapetus, 44;
    of Isidore, Bp of Seville, 45;
    summary of pagan conception of a library, 47;
    illustrated by Vatican Library of Sixtus V., 47-60

  Libraries of Schools: Abingdon, 262;
    Bicester, _ibid._;
    Rivington, _ibid._;
    Guildford, 263;
    Bury, _ibid._;
    Bolton, 264

  _Library_ = bookcase, 244

  Lichfield Cathedral: library, 123

  Lincoln Cathedral: library, 117;
    desks described, 161

  _linea_: a shelf for books, 105, _note_;
    at Saint Ouen, 244

  Linen: books written on, 20

  L'Isle, Roger: gives books to Oxford, 132

  Loan of books: from public libraries in Rome, 20

  Loan of books (for external use): allowed at Abingdon, 68;
    Evesham, 69;
    among Carthusians, 70;
    Augustinians, 71;
    Premonstratensians, 72;
    enjoined on monks by Council of Paris 1212, 74;
    books bequeathed that they may be lent, 75;
    one House lent to another, _ibid._;
    to Oxford scholars, 132;
    prescribed in College Statutes, 133-137;
    instances of, at Merton Coll., 140;
    from Vatican Library, 230-1

  Loan of books (to brethren on written attestation): among Cluniacs, 67;
    Benedictines, 68;
    Augustinians, 71;
    probable meaning of this provision, 74, note

  _loculamentum_ = pigeon-hole:
      receptacle for rolls in Roman libraries, 31, 32

  _lora_ = straps to keep rolls closed, 29

  Lorenzo in Damaso: church, 42

  Lorsch: library, 102

  Louvre: library fitted up, 293

  Lucullus: library described, 20, 21

  _Lumen animae_: chained book so called, 203

  Magdalen Coll., Oxf.: library statute at, 137

  Margaret of Austria: library described, 299-302

  Mark, S., Florence, Dominican Convent of: library, 205

  Martin (S.) des Champs, Paris: endowment of library, 79

  Martin (S.), at Tournai: literary work in cloister, 81

  Mary (S.) Church in Oxf.: books chained, 132

  Matthew (S.): Hebrew original of his Gospel at Cæsarea, 62

  Mazarin, Cardinal, library of: described, 272-274;
    furniture noted by Wren, 276

  Meaux, in Holderness: book-room at, and arrangement, 86

  Medicean Library, Florence: described, 234-240

  Medicine, Faculty of, Paris: books chained in library 1509, 264

  Melozzo da Forli: engaged to paint in Vatican Library, 212;
    his work described, 214

  Mendicants: libraries, 72

  Merton Coll., Oxf.: library statute, 133;
    choice and loan of books, 140;
    reception of a gift, 141;
    description of library, 178-185;
    history, 183;
    sale of old bookcases, _ibid._;
    new cases supplied to south library 1623, 184;
    chains taken off 1792, 266

  Mesmin (Saint): curse from MS., 77, 78, and _note_

  Metellus, Quintus: share in building the Porticus Octaviæ, 13;
    plan may have been derived from Pergamon, 14

    builds Medicean Library, 234;
    his sketch for the bookcases, 236

  Micklethwaite, J. T.: his plan of Westminster Abbey, 91

  Monastic influence at Oxf. and Camb., 142

  Montaigne: visits Vatican Library 6 March, 1581, 230;
    describes his own library, 315

  Monte Cassino: library described, 290

  Monte Oliveto, Benedictine Convent of: library, 205

  Much Wenlock, Cluniac Priory: book-room, 87

  Navarre, Collège de: library, 165

  Netley, Cistercian Abbey: book-room, 86

  Neumagen near Trèves:
    representation of a library found at, 34, and _note_

  New College, Oxford: library statute, 137

  _nidus_ = pigeon-hole: receptacle for rolls in Roman libraries, 30, 31

  Noyon Cathedral: library, 124

  Nuremberg: chained books in Stadtbibliothek, 163

  Nuzio, Matteo: builds library at Cesena, 199

  Obazine, in Central France: book-press described and figured, 95

  Odo, Abbat of S. Martin at Tournai: promotes work in cloister, 81

  Ordericus Vitalis: his work stopped by cold, 80

  _ordo_: a shelf, 244

  Oriel Coll., Oxf.: library statute, 133-134

  Ouen, Saint: library, 244

  Ovid: lines from the _Tristia_ describing Palatine library, 18

  Oxford: destruction of MSS. 1549, 247

  Pachomius (S.): provisions of his rule, 64, 65, _note_

  Palatine library, Rome: _see_ Apollo

  Pamphilus: founds library at Cæsarea, 62

  Parchment: story of its invention at Pergamon, 8

  Parkhurst, Bp John: bequeathes books to Guildford school, 263

  Paul, S., London, Cathedral: library, 122;
    library built by Wren, 282-4

  Paulinus, Bp of Nola:
    describes use of apse in basilica built by himself, 63

  Peace, library in Temple of, at Rome: _see_ Vespasian

  _pegmata_ = shelves: use and meaning discussed, 32;
    in Cicero's library, 33;
    conclusion respecting, 34

  Peisistratus, tyrant of Athens: said to have collected a library, 5

  Pembroke Coll., Camb.: library statute, 139;
    library fittings, 160;
    bookcases at, 254

  Peñiscola: library of Boniface XIII., 244

  Pergamon: description of site, 7;
    foundation of library by Eumenes II., 8;
    given to Cleopatra by Antony, _ibid._;
    plan of temple and precinct of Athena, 9;
    account of German exploration, 9-11;
    plan possibly copied at Rome by Q. Metellus, 14;
    described to Romans by Crates of Mallus, _ibid._;
    copied by Hadrian at Athens, 18;
    by Pope Damasus at Rome, 42

  Peter (S.), Liverpool, Ch. of:
    books bequeathed by John Fells, mariner, 1815, to be chained, 266

  Peterborough: cloister windows glazed, 100

  Peterhouse, Camb.: library statutes, 134-136;
    discussion of catalogue dated 1418, 145-148;
    lecterns in old library, 160;
    bookcases put up between 1641 and 1648, 251;
    chaining of books bequeathed by Dr Perne 1588, 265

  Peter (S.) Mancroft, Norwich: wooden press in vestry, 96, _note_

  Philobiblon: description of libraries of Mendicants quoted from, 72;
    injunction to handle MSS. carefully, 76, _note_;
    book-chest prescribed in, 297

  Pigeon-hole system: used in Roman libraries, 47

  Pilkington, Bp James: statutes for school at Rivington, 262

  Platina, Bartolommeo: appointed librarian of Vatican, 208;
    engages a binder, 209;
    writes inscription in Latin library, 215;
    rooms for himself and his assistants, 216;
    orders desks for Latin library, 217;
    selects subjects for frescoes in Ospedale di Santo Spirito, 225;
    his assistants, 231-2;
    provides all articles required for maintenance, 232

  Pliny (the younger): describes _armarium_ sunk in wall of his bedroom, 38

  _pluteus_ = shelf: use of word discussed and illustrated, 32, 33, 34

  Pollio, C. Asinius:
    builds a library and an _atrium libertatis_ in Rome B.C. 39, 12

  Polycrates, tyrant of Samos: said to have collected a library, 4

  Pompeii: reproduction of fresco shewing way to hold roll, 27

  Pontis, Wm.: builds staircase in Rouen Cathedral, 129

  Porticus Octaviæ, 12-14

  Portraits of departed authors used to decorate libraries:
    at Pergamon, 11;
    by C. Asinius Pollio, 12;
    by Augustus, 14;
    in private libraries, 35;
    inscriptions accompanying them, _ibid._;
    described by Eucherius, Bp of Lyons, in a private library, 43;
    in library designed by pope Agapetus, 44

  Precentor: called also _armarius_ and entrusted with care of books by
      Cluniacs, 67;
    Benedictines, 68;
    Augustinians, 71;
    Premonstratensians, 72;
    supervises use of press at S. Augustine's, Canterbury, 99

  Premonstratensians: rules for books among, 72

  _Procurator bibliothecarum_: officer appointed by Augustus, 18

  Protection of MSS.: rule for holding a MS., 76;
    hands to be clean, _ibid._;
    handkerchiefs to be wrapped round, _ibid._;
    entreaties to use carefully, _ibid._;
    curses on those who damage or steal, 77

  Queens' Coll., Camb.: number of books in library 1472, 145;
    equidistant windows of library, 148;
    library selected as type, 151;
    analysis of catalogue dated 1472, 167

  Queen's Coll., Oxf.: library built by Hawkesmoore, 255

  Ramsey Abbey, Hunts: bad weather in cloister at, 80

  Remi, S., at Rheims: library belonging to, 286

  Reserved library: in collegiate libraries, 145;
    at Assisi, 207;
    at Vatican, 211

  Rheims: library of S. Remi, 286; of the Jesuits, 287

  Riquier (S.): library, 102

  Rivington: school library, 262;
    Bp Pilkington's statute for, _ibid._

  Roche, Cistercian Abbey: book-room, 86

  _roe_, a wheel = a book-desk, 294;
    explained, 295;
    illustrated, 304-308

  Rolls: dimensions, use, etc., 27;
    fastened to stick, 28;
    this decorated with knobs (_cornua_), _ibid._;
    edges (_frontes_) of roll cut, _ibid._;
    ticket (_index_) appended, 29;
    closed with straps (_lora_), _ibid._;
    wrapped in covers, _ibid._;
    carried in a _capsa_ or _scrinium_, 30;
    receptacles for, 30-34;
    desk for reading, 36;
    _armarium_ to contain, 37

  Rome: _see_ Libraries, Roman

  Rouen: Cathedral library, 128-130

  Salisbury: Cathedral library, 121

    in Mus. Naz., Rome, with shoemaker at work in front of a press, 38;
    in Villa Balestra, with physician reading, _ibid._

  _scrinium_: box for carrying rolls, 30

  Scriptorium: endowment, at Ely, 79;
    at S. Albans, 80

  Scrivener, Matt.:
    bequeathes £50 to Univ. Library, Camb., 1687, to buy chains, 265

  _sedile_: meaning discussed, 243

  Sellyng, Prior, at Canterbury: sets up carrells in the cloister, 99;
    glazes the windows, 100;
    fits up library, 106

  Seneca: denounces fashion for book-collecting, 21

  _Ship of Fools_: lectern used in, 297

  Shiryngton, Walt.: builds library at Old S. Paul's Cathedral, 122

  [Greek: sillibos] = ticket bearing the name of a roll, 29;
    used in Cicero's library, 33

  Simon, abbat of S. Albans: book-chest, 292

  _solarium_ = press, 207

  Sorbonne: library, 164;
    glass in windows of library, 242

  _spalera_ or _spalliera_: a settle, 228

  Stained glass: instances of, in libraries, 241

  _stalla_ or _stallum_: meaning discussed, 242

  Stall-system: term explained, 172;
    type at Corp. Chr. Coll., Oxf., _ibid._;
    description of these cases, 173;
    chaining used, 174-8;
    fittings at Merton Coll., Oxf., 178-185;
    at S. John the Baptist Coll., Trinity Coll.,
      Bodl. Library, Oxford, 185;
    at Clare Coll., Camb., 186;
    Westminster Abbey, 187;
    Wells Cathedral, 188;
    Durham Cath., 189;
    origin probably monastic, 190;
    Christ Church, Cant., 190-4;
    Clairvaux, 196-8;
    Howley-Harrison library at Canterbury, 256

  Student-monks: at Oxf. and Camb., 142

  Sudbury, John, dean of Durham: fits up Frater as library, 189

  _tabula_, board covered with wax and parchment to record loan of
      books, 139

  _textus_ = bookshelf: at Ch. Ch., Canterbury, 192, 243

  _theca_: a shelf or cupboard, 87, _note_

  Theodmarus Cassinensis: his letter to Charlemagne quoted, 76 and _note_

  Tiberius, Emperor: his library in Rome, 15, 16;
    this mentioned by Aulus Gellius, 19;
    contained public records, _ibid._

  Tibur = Tivoli: story of library in temple of Hercules, 20

  Tintern, Cistercian Abbey: book-room, 86

  Titchfield: book-room and arrangement, 87

  _titulus_ = ticket bearing the name of a roll, 28

  Tournai: _see_ Martin (S.)

  Trajan: library in his forum in Rome, 15;
    statements of Aulus Gellius and Vopiscus respecting, 19;
    described by Nibby, 37

  _trichora_; applied to a triple apse, 63;
    use of the word by Dioscorides, 64

  Trigg, Fra.: founds library at Grantham, 257

  Trinity Coll., Camb.: chaining of books given in 1601, 265;
    Wren's library built, 277-281

  Trinity Hall, Camb.: library statute, 136;
    library described, 168

  Troyes: library in Cathedral, 126

  Turton: library, 259

  Udine, Giovanni da: supplies stained glass to Medicean Library, 235

  Ulpian, jurist: decisions respecting libraries and their furniture, 37

  Ulpian library, at Rome: _see_ Trajan

  _umbilicus_ = stick to which roll was fastened, 28

  Universities: visited by Commissioners of Edward VI., 247

  University Coll., Oxf.: library statute, 133

  University Library, Camb.: subjects of books catalogued 1424, 144;
    ditto 1473, 145;
    bookcases supplied to, 1731-4, 285

  Urbino: account of library, 233;
    private study of Duke, 314

  Varro, M. Terentius:
    employed by C. Julius Cæsar to collect books for his intended
        library, 12;
    his bust admitted into Pollio's library, _ibid._

  Vatican Library of Sixtus IV.: description of, 208-32;
    appointment of Platina as librarian, 208;
    selection of site, 209;
    fourfold division, 211;
    purchase of materials, _ibid._;
    engagement of artists, _ibid._;
    door of entrance made, 212;
    Latin Library described, _ibid._;
    its decoration, 213;
    Greek Library described, _ibid._;
    its decoration, 215;
    Bibliotheca secreta described, _ibid._;
    Bibliotheca pontificia, _ibid._;
    glazing of the windows, 216;
    rooms for librarians, _ibid._;
    bookcases for Latin library ordered, 217;
    for _Bibliotheca secreta_, _ibid._;
    catalogue-frames and coffers ordered, 218;
    cases for _Bibliotheca pontificia_ ordered, _ibid._;
    chains bought, 219;
    information derived from catalogues, 220-4;
    contemporary fresco representing library, 225;
    arrangement of cases in the four rooms, 226-9;
    globes and brazier, 229;
    rule for good behaviour in, 1513, _ibid._;
    visit of Montaigne, 230;
    loans from, 230-1;
    staff of library, 231;
    maintenance of, 232

  Vatican Library of Sixtus V.: type of an ancient Roman library, 47;
    summary account of decoration, 48;
    detailed do., 49-60

  Versailles: libraries of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, 287

  Verses: by Martial, to be placed under his own portrait, 35;
    by Isidore of Seville, for the presses in his library, 45

  Vespasian: his library in Rome _in templo Paris_, 15;
    statement of Aulus Gellius respecting, 19;
    his record-office, now church of SS. Cosma e Damiano, 25

  Victor (S.), Paris: books bequeathed to, on condition of loan, 75;
    library open to strangers, _ibid._;
    lines from MSS. at, admonishing readers to be careful, 76;
    curse habitually used at, 77, _note_;
    library built at, 1501-8, 108;
    catalogue of library analysed, 166-7

  Villa Balestra, Rome: sarcophagus, 38

  Vivarium, near Squillace: monastery of Cassiodorus near, 44

  _volumen_ = roll, 27-30;
    box for, 30;
    fittings of libraries adapted to, 34;
    representation of one of these, 35

  Wall-system: name proposed, 267;
    library of Escõrial, 267-270;
    Ambrosian Library at Milan, 271;
    Bibliothèque Mazarine, 272-274

  Wells Cathedral: library at, 123;
    described, 188

  Wessyngton, Prior: builds library at Durham, 107

  Westminster Abbey: plan of cloister at, 91;
    account of library in, 91-94;
    carrells, 92, 93;
    resemblance to Gloucester, 98;
    library fitted up 1623-4, 187

  Wheel-desk: _see_ roe

  Whethamstede, John: builds library at S. Albans, 108;
    at Gloucester House, Oxf., 142

  Whittington, Sir R.: builds library at Christ's Hospital 1421, 108

  Williams, John, Bp of Lincoln:
    fits up dorter at Westminster Abbey as library 1623-4, 187;
    builds library at S. John's Coll., Camb., 248-251

  Wimborne: Minster library, 261

  Winchester: position of library, 108

  Winckelmann, J. J.: description of library at Herculaneum, 25

  Wings, attached to bookcases: at Peterhouse, Camb., 252;
    at University Library, 253;
    at Pembroke Coll., 254

  Worcester Cathedral: book-recesses in cloister at, 84;
    library at, 108;
    Bishop Carpenter's library-foundation, 126-8

  Wren, Sir C.: visits Paris, 276;
    builds library at Lincoln Cathedral, 277;
    at Trinity College, Cambridge, 277-281;
    at S. Paul's Cathedral, London, 282-4

  Wren, Matt.: account of Pembroke Coll. library, 139, 160

  York: Cathedral library, 125

  Zutphen: library described, 153-159


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+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.