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A Brief History of Libraries


A Brief History of Libraries Fall 2008 Purpose of Libraries: To meet the need to have society s records readily accessible to the citizenry. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Brief History of Libraries

A Brief History of Libraries
  • Fall 2008

Purpose of Libraries
  • To meet the need to have societys records
    readily accessible to the citizenry.
  • Libraries need
  • Centralization
  • Economic growth
  • Political stability

Sumerian temple libraries
  • Mesopotamia _at_ 3000 B.C.
  • Social, economic center of the community
  • Records commercial accounts, grammatical
    exercises, mathematical texts, treatises on
    medicine and astrology, collections of hymns,
    prayers, and incantations
  • Cuneiform writing
  • Administrative and practical business purposes
  • Overseen by Masters of the Books, Keepers of
    the Tablets

Egyptian libraries
  • _at_ 2400 B. C.
  • Religious, cultural centers
  • Libraries stored food, educated scribes,
    dispensed justice, served as historical archives
  • Used for learning practical, spiritual, and
    medical arts
  • Private collections of the wealthy
  • Hieroglyphics
  • Librarians were scribes

Library of Ashurbanipal
  • Assyria
  • Maintain archival records, current source of
    reference materials, contribute to the education
    of future generations
  • Scholars collected clay tablets from other lands
    and translated works into Assyrian
  • Collection Sumerian Babylonian materials,
    including literary texts, history, astronomical
    calculations, mathematical tables, grammatical
    and linguistic tables, and dictionaries
  • Commercial records and the law

Alexandrian library
  • Ptolemy Ptolemy Philadelphus
  • Mission collect the entirety of Greek literature
  • Gathered materials throughout the known world and
    translated them into Greek
  • Scholar Callimachus created a subject catalog of
    120 scrolls, 10 subject classes with
    subdivisions, Pinakes
  • Public records, general literature, religious

Roman Public Libraries
  • 4th century A. D.
  • Borrowing items was rare
  • Public forum for recitation of works by Roman
  • Imperial Library Constantinople- 353 A. D.
  • Christian, Latin, and Greek materials
  • Scholarly and religious mission

Royal Library
  • Damascus, Moslem empire
  • Collecting materials throughout the world on
    medicine, philosophy, history, literature
  • Moslem libraries had Arabic and Persian
    literature, Greek and Latin philosophy and science

Monastic libraries
  • Place for spiritual reflection, archive for
    religious texts, reproduce religious and secular
  • Monks read and copied books for ascetic purposes
  • Dominican friars established rules in accordance
    with the work of modern librarians

Cathedral libraries
  • Support the educational program of the cathedral
    and encourage study

Renaissance libraries
  • Private libraries show off personal wealth and

National libraries
  • Large collections
  • Preserve cultural heritage
  • Comprehensive collection of materials by and
    about the country
  • Books, manuscripts, documents, other records
  • Depository one copy of each item published in
    the country would go to the library

Printing Press
  • Ability to produce an authoritative version
  • Ability to produce more titles and copies
  • Ability to cover more subjects
  • Creation of new techniques for the organization
    of published materials
  • Stimulation of literacy and education for the
    general population

Social library
  • the social library was nothing more than a
    voluntary association of individuals who had
    contributed money toward a common fund to be used
    for the purchase of books
  • Emphasis on self-improvement the search for
  • Proprietary those who contributed actually
    owned the materials stockholders
  • Subscription fees contributed allowed them to
    use circulate the collection, but not ownership

Circulating library (rental library)
  • Satisfy public demands and popular tastes
  • Profit-making character, entertainment
  • Rented or paid membership fee
  • First to provide
  • Service to women
  • Newspapers magazines
  • Extended hours of service
  • Reading areas in the library itself
  • Outreach services

Commercial library
  • Promote the profitability of the company
  • Reference service provided to the organization

American Academic library
  • Emphasized theology, philosophy, history, trivium
    (grammar, rhetoric, logic)
  • Supported curriculum research

American School library
  • Curricular support
  • Centralized collection
  • Library instruction

American Public library
  • Supported by taxes
  • Governed by a board
  • Open to all
  • Voluntary
  • Established by state law
  • Provides services without charge to user
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