Gatekeepers of Knowledge. A Consideration of the Library, by Margaret Zeegers

By Margaret Zeegers

All through its historical past, the Western library has performed an important position in bringing the ebook to the fingers of Western students. This publication analyses that historical past, studying constructs of librarianship, publishing and scholarship inside that background as gate holding entry to wisdom. Exploring major occasions within the box from the time of the Lyceum to the current day within the improvement of repositories of books and their entry by means of students. Gatekeepers of information engages in an research of these occasions from a viewpoint that makes obvious the ways that the creation, garage and entry of books, were privileged, whereas others were marginalised.

  • Examines its fabric as analyses of vital occasions within the improvement of libraries, books, and scholarship within the western world
  • Embeds these advancements in major political, monetary, social and cultural fields of specific eras
  • Ties scholarship to category constructions and linked protocols in its therapy of scholarship because the new release of knowledge

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Extra resources for Gatekeepers of Knowledge. A Consideration of the Library, the Book and the Scholar in the Western World

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There was no recognised right to borrow; it was a courtesy extended to monarchs, ecclesiasts, aristocrats, other libraries and scholars, perhaps. Lending and borrowing had their dangers for the integrity of a collection, though, and loans were given only where a pledge of security was given by the borrower. A book would be borrowed for the purposes of having it copied, which was the most common reason for borrowing. An exchange of books for mutual copying might be done. One monastery might send a copyist to another monastery to copy a certain book, which carries with it less danger for a collection, as would the execution of a commission to copy a book for another monastery.

Codex book production was a technology that allowed a shift from a focus on the oracy of the agora to one on scribes, writing materials and the written word. Portability was sacrificed in such a development, hence the library as conceived today. There was as yet no such technology as the printing press, which reduced the cost of production to an incredible degree. The printing press was an astonishing invention. Where a book may have been calculated at perhaps $400 to produce, a printed version was the equivalent of $1.

Out of this situation came the first copyright case in Western history. The Irish monk Columba (born in 521) found the abbot Finninan’s copy of Jerome’s translation of the Bible irresistible, but was denied permission to copy it. He did it anyway, surreptitiously, and was brought to court under Brehan law. King Diarmit famously awarded the case against Columba with the comment, ‘To every cow her calf; to every book its transcript’, with the resulting exile of Columba from Ireland to Iona (Casteleyn, 1984; Lerner, 1999).

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