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TitleThe meaning of the library : a cultural history
Author edited by Alice Crawford
ImprintPrinceton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 2015
Descript xxix, 300 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm


From Greek and Roman times to the digital era, the library has remained central to knowledge, scholarship, and the imagination. Generously illustrated, "The Meaning of the Library" examines this key institution of Western culture. Tracing what the library has meant since its beginning, examining how its significance has shifted, and pondering its importance in the twenty-first century, contributors -- including the librarian of the Congress and the former executive director of the HathiTrust -- present a cultural history of the library. Whether relishing an account of the Alexandrian Library or a look at the stylish railway libraries of nineteenth-century England, readers will find a survey of the library through time. Here, too, are the imagined libraries of fiction, poetry, and film, from Scheherazade's stories to "The Name of the Rose" and beyond


Introduction / Alice Crawford -- Part 1. The Library through Time. Adventures in ancient Greek and Roman libraries / Edith Hall -- The image of the medieval library / Richard Gameson -- The Renaissance library and the challenge of print / Andrew Pettegree -- From printing shop to bookshelves:How books began the journey to Enlightenment libraries / Robert Darnton -- "The advantages of literature": The subscription library in Georgian Britain / David Allan -- Literature and the library in the nineteenth century / John Sutherland -- Part 2. The Library in Imagination. The library in fiction / Marina Warner -- The library in poetry / Robert Crawford -- The library in film: Order and mystery / Laura Marcus -- Part 3. The Library Now and in the Future. "Casting and gathering": Libraries, archives, and the modern writer / Stephen Enniss -- Meanings of the library today / John P. Wilkin -- The modern library and global democracy / James H. Billington

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