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  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: March 2008

15 - University libraries and book-sellers



It was in the university libraries that the standard texts, the embodiment of the received curricula, accumulated and it is against this background that the provision and use of books in the universities is best viewed. Until the last quarter of the fourteenth century, college libraries grew gradually usually given or bequeathed by Fellows. The less valuable books were made available on loan to the Fellows, and sometimes the Scholars, in order of seniority, at electiones. In the latter part of the fifteenth century, access to the communal libraries was a privilege of which many were glad to avail themselves. Changes in syllabus have seldom, until modern times, provided sufficient impetus for universities to undertake large-scale revision of statutes. The major transition, including from a medieval syllabus to a humanist one, took place largely independently of any formal declaration that these things should be. The chapter also talks about the facilities available to university book-sellers.
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