Library an unquiet history
by Battles, Michael
pub. by W.W. Norton, NY. 2003       isbn 0 393 020290 - - Acknowledgments p. ix-x - - Notes on Sources p. 215-227 - - Index p. 229-245 - - 245 p. total

This book was a a much better read than Battles later book Palimpsest. He is on much more familiar ground as he is a librarian in one of the great libraries of the world at Harvard Universithy.

  Chapters -
    Reading the Library
        Much about the universal library, a library containing books on a wide vareity of subjects.
        A little on organizing and cataloging in America.
        Emphasis on the Widner library where the author works.

    Burning Alexandria
        Interesting details on the great library of Alexandria and how/when it was destroyed,
        or partially stolen away. Also about Chinese libraries and their distruction.
        Some on distruction of Aztec libraries in the New World.
        Finally Roman libraries and how they were mostly personal and often had books translated from Greek to Latin storing them in separate rooms.
        Roman libraries - Palatine and Octavian destroyed and rebuilt.
        From the scroll to the codex in the Christian era. Easier to read and store.
        Techniques invented to read the charred remains of books.

    The House of Wisdom
        The wax tablet (wax in a carved out board) and those boards fastened together developed into the codex.
        English word book comes from Anglo Saxon word for beech (boc) the favored material for those wooden panels with wax in indentations.
        Cassiodorus library vivarium.
        Rise of Islamic libraries - 1004 AD House of Wisdom diminished later as the society became more conservative.
        The great Medici library Florence in 1444 AD
        Sorbonne library first general catalog written in 1290 AD
        Vatican library organized - a catalog produced 1475 AD

    The Battle of the Books
        As the numbers of books produced rapidly expanded the library became a battleground for contesting idealogies.
        Francis Bacon (English) All human knowledge is either Memory. Wisdom. or Imagination.
        The origins of the British Library - W Temple vs J Swift the battle of the books old vs. new

    Books for All
        Books published for every tast and need.
        Melville Dewey and efficiency - his cataloging scheme.
        The library in service to the masses.

    Knowledge on Fire
        Twentieth Century library destruction - 1914 Louvain destruction and again in 1940 - Nazi book burning 1933 etc.
        Libraries in the ghetto in Poland.
        Library access limitations to colored people in the American south.
        Library destruction in Sarajevo (Vijecnica) by Serbians

    Lost in the Stacks
        The rescue of books from the Jewish Geniza in Cairo, Egypt.
        The American public library movement and new formats including digital.

~ 2016-07-03 ~

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