History of books and libraries

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history of books and libraries

History of books - Wikipedia

Part of a clay tablet, Neo-Assyrian. Credit: Public Domain. Located in Nineveh in modern day Iraq, the site included a trove of some 30, cuneiform tablets organized according to subject matter. Archaeologists later stumbled upon its ruins in the midth century, and the majority of its contents are now kept in the British Museum in London. Interestingly, even though Ashurbanipal acquired many of his tablets through plunder, he seems to have been particularly worried about theft.
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A Rare Collection: Lessons Learned from Dick Macksey

8 Legendary Ancient Libraries

The history of libraries began with the first efforts to organize collections of documents. Topics of interest include accessibility of the collection, acquisition of materials, arrangement and finding tools, the book trade, the influence of the physical properties of the different writing materials, language distribution, role in education, rates of literacy, budgets, staffing, libraries for specially targeted audiences, architectural merit, patterns of usage, and the role of libraries in a nation's cultural heritage, and the role of government, church or private sponsorship. Since the s, issues of computerization and digitization have arisen. Library history is the academic discipline devoted to the study of the history of libraries; it is a subfield of library science and of history. The first libraries consisted of archives of the earliest form of writing — the clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in temple rooms in Sumer , [1] [2] some dating back to BC. Mud-like clay was placed in the wooden frames, and the surface was smoothed for writing and allowed to dry until damp.

The history of books starts with the development of writing, and various other inventions such .. The libraries had copyist workshops, and the general organisation of books allowed for the following: Conservation of an example of each text.
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Libraries were a feature of larger cities across the ancient world with famous examples being those at Alexandria , Athens , Constantinople , Ephesus , and Nineveh. Rarely ever lending libraries, they were typically designed for visiting scholars to study and copy whatever they were most interested in. Not until the Roman period did genuinely public libraries allow all comers to come and read as they wished. Texts in ancient libraries were typically kept on papyrus or leather scrolls, inscribed on wax and clay tablets or bound in parchment codexes, and they covered everything from how to read omens to the letters sent between ancient rulers. Books were acquired through purchase, copying, and donations but were also one of the items taken away from cities by their conquerors; such was the value put on knowledge in antiquity. Libraries in antiquity were not always designed for the public to freely consult texts or take them off-site as libraries function today, although some did offer this service. Many libraries in the Near East and Egypt were attached to sacred temple sites or were part of an administrative or royal archive, while in the Greek and Roman worlds these types continued but private collections became much more common, too.

In earliest times there was no distinction between a record room or archive and a library, and in this sense libraries can be said to have existed for almost as long as records have been kept. A temple in the Babylonian town of Nippur , dating from the first half of the 3rd millennium bc , was found to have a number of rooms filled with clay tablets, suggesting a well-stocked archive or library. Similar collections of Assyrian clay tablets of the 2nd millennium bc were found at Tell el- Amarna in Egypt. Ashurbanipal reigned — c. Many collections of records were destroyed in the course of wars or were purposely purged when rulers were replaced or when governments fell.

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