Claire Cock-Starkey is a writer, editor and researcher specialising in historical miscellanies and natural history. She has written many non-fiction books including, The Book Lovers’ Miscellany (2017) and Bodleianalia (2016). Her latest edition, A Library Miscellany (2018) is packed with unusual facts and statistics, making it the perfect volume for library enthusiasts, bibliophiles and readers everywhere.
What can be found in the Vatican’s Secret Archive? How many books did Charles Darwin’s library aboard the Beagle hold? Which library is home to a colony of bats? A Library Miscellany explores every aspect of the library and reveals everything there is to know about these remarkable institutions. From potted histories to quirky facts, this volume celebrates not only the books and architecture but also the authors and individuals behind the inspiring collections. Starkey singles out some of the greatest library treasures from collections around the world, like the real Winnie-the-Pooh and the first dated printed book.
A Library Miscellany covers institutions both old and new, from the ancient library at Alexandria to the smallest book depository housed in an old phone box in London. It also puts emphasis on the fact that not all libraries hold books, some specialise in other areas and collect objects such as coins, medals, maps, music and photographs. It even opens the door to unusual collections such as herbaria, art libraries, magic libraries and the library of smells. Published by the Bodleian Library this small book is a fun, interesting read.
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