The Library (Hardback)

A Fragile History

Arthur der Weduwen, Andrew Pettegree

Princes, collectors, bookworms and thieves: the extraordinary story of the library, from Alexandria to the age of Google

'A sweeping, absorbing history, deeply researched, of that extraordinary and enduring phenomenon: the library' - Richard Ovenden, author of Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge under Attack

Famed across the known world, jealously guarded by private collectors, built up over centuries, destroyed in a single day, ornamented with gold leaf and frescoes or filled with bean bags and children's drawings - the history of the library is rich, varied and stuffed full of incident.

In this, the first major history of its kind, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen explore the contested and dramatic history of the library, from the famous collections of the ancient world to the embattled public resources we cherish today. Along the way, they introduce us to the antiquarians and philanthropists who shaped the world's great collections, trace the rise and fall of fashions and tastes, and reveal the high crimes and misdemeanours committed in pursuit of rare and valuable manuscripts.

Publication date: 14/10/2021

£25.00

ISBN: 9781788163422

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature, History & Classics

The Library (Ebook)

A Fragile History

Arthur der Weduwen, Andrew Pettegree

Preorder from

Princes, collectors, bookworms and thieves: the extraordinary story of the library, from Alexandria to the age of Google

'A sweeping, absorbing history, deeply researched, of that extraordinary and enduring phenomenon: the library' - Richard Ovenden, author of Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge under Attack

Famed across the known world, jealously guarded by private collectors, built up over centuries, destroyed in a single day, ornamented with gold leaf and frescoes or filled with bean bags and children's drawings - the history of the library is rich, varied and stuffed full of incident.

In this, the first major history of its kind, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen explore the contested and dramatic history of the library, from the famous collections of the ancient world to the embattled public resources we cherish today. Along the way, they introduce us to the antiquarians and philanthropists who shaped the world's great collections, trace the rise and fall of fashions and tastes, and reveal the high crimes and misdemeanours committed in pursuit of rare and valuable manuscripts.

Publication date: 14/10/2021

£15.99

ISBN: 9781788163446

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B08SPSS6H2

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature, History & Classics

The Library (Audiobook)

A Fragile History

Arthur der Weduwen, Andrew Pettegree

Preorder from

Princes, collectors, bookworms and thieves: the extraordinary story of the library, from Alexandria to the age of Google

'A sweeping, absorbing history, deeply researched, of that extraordinary and enduring phenomenon: the library' – Richard Ovenden, author of Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge under Attack

Famed across the known world, jealously guarded by private collectors, built up over centuries, destroyed in a single day, ornamented with gold leaf and frescoes or filled with bean bags and children's drawings – the history of the library is rich, varied and stuffed full of incident.

In this, the first major history of its kind, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen explore the contested and dramatic history of the library, from the famous collections of the ancient world to the embattled public resources we cherish today. Along the way, they introduce us to the antiquarians and philanthropists who shaped the world's great collections, trace the rise and fall of fashions and tastes, and reveal the high crimes and misdemeanours committed in pursuit of rare and valuable manuscripts.

Publication date: 14/10/2021

£19.99

ISBN: 9781782839477

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B09DQ8F8XM

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature, History & Classics

Reviews for The Library

'A sweeping, absorbing history, deeply researched, of that extraordinary and enduring phenomenon: the library'

Richard Ovenden, author Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack

'What is a 'library'? Is it a mute display of personal wealth and power, or of a humble devotion to God? A routine community resource, or a waste of taxpayers' money? In The Library, we are led nimbly through the centuries, seeing how it has been all of these things and more, as the authors place on the shelf a cornucopia of bookish history.'

Judith Flanders, author of A Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order 

'Comprehensive without being miscellaneous, lively without being anecdotal, this sweeping history of libraries shows how central this institution has been to every aspect of human culture. At a time when libraries and librarians are proving themselves to be more important and more resilient than ever before, this whirlwind tour of the different forms that libraries have taken at different times and places will educate and inspire in equal measure.'

Leah Price, founder of the Rutgers Book Initiative at Rutgers University and author, What We Talk About When We Talk About Books

Arthur der Weduwen

Arthur der Weduwen

Arthur De Weduwen is associate editor of the Universal Short Title Catalogue project at St Andrews. This is his first book.

Andrew Pettegree

Andrew Pettegree

Andrew Pettegree is one of the leading experts on Europe during the Reformation. He currently holds a professorship at St Andrews University where he is the director of the Universal Short Title Catalogue Project. He is the author of The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself (winner of the Goldsmith Prize) and Brand Luther: 1517, Printing and the making of the Reformation, among other publications.