Thursday, October 21, 2010

Post 10: Final Report

The research projects main aim was to collect information on the most prominent libraries with an early date of opening. These all needed to be located in Britain as this a compulsory requirement of the research brief. This was to evaluate and examine differences in libraries services, collection policies and information resources throughout differing time periods.  Conclusions were made on historic developments within the library industry and the features of operation of early public libraries in Britain. The project was aimed at acquiring information in accordance to the outline of the research brief. The research brief also reflected the type’s research methods and scope of resources that would be consulted in relation to the research contemplative.  

Public libraries in Britain had been in operation from the 17th century where procedures have altered significantly for the overall improvement of the information services. Libraries offered information resources as anticipated by the vast community expectations of libraries services.  The libraries in the early time periods had collected valuable and expensive manuscripts but lacked funding and openness to allow residents to take advantage of these educational resources. This report provides an overview of the prolonged development which finally allowed equality in terms of access to a library service with incurring further costs. This is covered further in depth with the discussion of the public library act 1850.
This research report is an interesting insight into the coping mechanisms and logic behind libraries operation. Much speculation has halted the availability to a repository early operation of libraries within the locality of the United Kingdom. Many early libraries had been established in accordance to the viewpoint that education was necessary and should be made available to all. However associated taxes and lack of legislation permitted a fraction of the populace to access information resources. The report highlights the necessity of a library service within the community as the provision of knowledge has been required since early civilisations. Public Libraries allow for lingering problems to be conquered along with poor information literacy and unacceptable crime rates. The availability of the public library allows history and culture to be appreciated and evaluated at greater depth "The Library is a temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars of history.” .  This is supported by arguments that illustrate the role of a public library is more prominent and fundamental than meeting an individual’s leisure interests but ensuring an educated and literate population which is an essential tool to be further cultivated for future generations “It is, however, not to the museum, or the lecture-room, or the drawing-school, but to the library, that we must go for the completion of our humanity. It is books that bear from age to age the intellectual wealth of the world.”.

Methods and Materials
The methods with the acquisition of key information for the research project Early British Libraries incorporated research strategies and tools. For example a research strategy was to use the advanced search option to enable for specific information to be used in an advantageous manner to quicken accession of information. Another search strategy was evaluating and assessing information in reference to the research brief as deviation from the outlined guidelines would hinder the goals of the research task.
 Methods were highlighted with the addition of a personal comment as continuous improvement was cultivated throughout the progression of the 6 week project.  The research brief was inclusive of using at least three differing information resources, thus increasing the probability of making available thought provoking material to enhance the interest of the readers as a range of sources had been utilized. Another consideration when compiling research was to avoid unnecessary repetition as this is easily an element that can be deleted as it is counterproductive. This strategy was highlighted with different material introduced in every subsequent blog meeting this requirement of the research brief.  I had provided links to adjoining websites and YouTube videos to accommodate a technology savvy audience.  Harvard referencing was used for every individual blog as a professional method of avoiding plagiarism charges due to inadequate referencing technique.

I will further expand on the research techniques cultivated throughout the project. This includes using the advance search options on Googles you can restrict search results by searching within one website, searching by subject and changing language preferences (if neccesary)
The areas to be covered as outlined in the research brief were fully incorporated throughout the nine blog postings. I had described and analysed famous historical libraries in England and covered adjoining subjects such as library architecture, social aspects and the significance of these older libraries today.  My technique included accessing the internet and using credible research sources with the addition of visual to make the blog appear more user friendly.

The research cultivated in the project had been divided into distinct sub topics through blogs. These distinct themes comprised of the following: The British Library, The architecture of the British Library, The Bodleian library, Chetham’s library, King’s library, Francis Trigge Chained library, changes in libraries between time periods, the public library act 1850 and the significance of the public library today. The details of the research compilation will be discussed below.
As listing every individual detail of the research findings here is far too extensive. I am summarising the detailed findings to allow the findings to be expressed in an informative and straightforward consuetude.

1.       The British Library was established in 1973. This is the leading library of the United Kingdom having approximately 15 million items in its collection. The available manuscripts are inclusive of Original Beatle manuscripts, Magna Carta, Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo da Vinci's Notebook, The Times first edition from 18 March 1788. Material over 3,000 years old (Chinese oracle bones) - and today's newspapers, 310,000 manuscript volumes, Over 4 million maps and over 260,000 journal titles.
2.       The architecture of the British library was designed by Colin St John Wilson. The fundamental features include principles of 19th century architecture, a gothic theme, special interior and features of balconies, stairs and escalators. The architecture is made significant with the feelings that are inflicted on those standing in the enclosure.
3.       The Bodleian library is a reference library used at the University of Oxford. The library has over 11 million items collectively and Manuscript collections: The Ashmole Manuscripts, The Carte Manuscripts, The Douce Manuscripts, The Laud Manuscripts, the letters of the famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Individual manuscripts: The Codex Bodley, The Codex Ebnerianus,The Codex Laudianus, The Codex Laud, The Codex Mendoza, The Codex Tischendorfianus III, The Codex Tischendorfianus IV, The Huntington MS 17, the oldest manuscript with complete text of the four Gospels in Bohairic (Coptic), The Magna Carta ,The Song of Roland, The Vernon Manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Eng. poet.a.1). The beautiful architecture is featured in the first Harry Potter film.
4.       The Chetham’s library was founded in 1653. Henry Chetham’s vision for the foundation if the library was for scholars to progress with their education to a higher level. Books had been chained as an extra security measure before gates were initiated.  The library has an impressive collection overall. This is due to the valuable contents and cultural significance of the collections. This includes broadsides, ephemera, monographs, journals and magazines. Medieval manuscripts featuring thirteenth-century Flores Historiarum of Matthew Paris – a chronicle of world and English history; a fifteenth-century Aulus Gellius, bound for Matthias Corvinus and King of Hungary. Photographs, prints and drawings including William Hogarth, Phelps Collection and the Asheton Tonge Collection. Belle Vue collection, black letter ballads from the sixteenth century, fragments of famous medieval manuscripts and historical songs and music from 1680 to 1750. The strong significance is the amount of materials retained in the collection acquired before 1851.
5.       George III had established the King library with his belief in education and seeing a necessity in making libraries publically available. The King was also solely responsible for Collection development. The libraries information resources encompassed pamphlets made during the World War, Joseph Smith, British consul in Venice and material from the Commonwealth periods. The King also added his preferred materials of paintings, prints and drawings into the collection. The Kings favourite subjects also were well represented within the collection; these subject areas covered Astronomy, science and agriculture. The library’s collection consisted of 19,000 pamphlets and 65,000 volumes of printed books by 1820.
6.       The Francis Trigge Chained library was established by the Rector of Welbourne in 1598. The collections include two volumes of the church, medical works published from 1528, Cambridge Platonist, Cartesian Henry More Peter Lombards four books of Sentences, Duns Scotos commentary on the Sentences with much discussion and analysis of theology.
7.        Changes in libraries between time periods. The 17th century libraries received minimal funding, were dependant on sponsors, restricted access as in most cases passes were required but patrons frequently did get much opportunity to spend much time in the library. In the 18th century the Chetham library was the only free library in England during that time period. The upper and middle class relied on subscription libraries. Subscription libraries were popular due to the expense of books and availability of popular fiction. There was a strong push to open more libraries due to the wealth and educational developments within the country.  The 19th century the public library act was passed in 1850 and libraries increased their standards.  20th century to present libraries acquired more reliable services with the expansion of convenient digital tools and government funding.
8.       The public library act enabled the United Kingdom gave power to authorise a free public library service. This resulted in increased taxes, decreased crime and increased literacy levels. (which had previously been inadequate)
9.       The significance of the public library today shows the important role of a library to the community. This includes providing the public for a quiet space to read and study, appreciation of history and culture, enabling learning of those of various ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. The all-important freedom and access to information. Libraries are crucial and essential to society especially in regards to education.  This is point is featured with the use of quotes relating to a libraries prominent importance verified by many famous and influential persons. My argument is strengthened as it is supported by evidence.
The most influential libraries have retained collections that are unavailable to the commonality.  These 5 libraries shared recurring characteristics such as architectural splendour and expanse of material available. The quality and quantity are an important component of what separated these libraries from the common public library. The history and cultivation of a library can also be an important fundamental reason why they retain their famous reputation. The history of public libraries showed the continuous struggle for libraries in Britain’s history to reach the sufficient standards that are currently present in 21st century libraries.  These developments particularly throughout the 18th and 19th century showed how much financial input is required to successfully achieve the information goals that a library seeks to provide, funding is required so the full benefits of a library can manifest.  Security procedures were limited in stark contrast to the current electronic variations of reliable security measures including video cameras and password codes.  In earlier time periods the main motivation for opening libraries for to provide for the provision of education, however current libraries expand this further to more than just education. But one of leisure, fast service, recreational reading, entertainment value and social benefits. Libraries have significantly expanded in their versatility to accommodate a large portion of society instead of a minute division of lucky individuals.
The research aim was to investigate early public libraries in Britain. The above discussion highlights how the required research criteria outline was meet via research. The major libraries all shared the uttermost importance of preservation of historical materials and manuscripts. This directly relates to current principles that can be found in collection development polices to acquire materials of historical and cultural significance. As libraries form a repository of knowledge, the future also will benefit greatly from this essential contribution.  An understanding of these libraries foundation help anyone understand why accelerate the improvement with the provision of library services was necessary. Before the commencement of the 18th century libraries had difficult and stagnant obstacles needed to be overtaken to allow all citizens to prosper in the pursuit of information acquisition. 

Welch and Lomholt, 2006, British Library Building : Information + Photos, E-architect, viewed 20 August 2010,
British Library, 2010, British Library, Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, viewed 20 August 2010,
The British Library, London 2008, The British Library, London, Galinsky, viewed 20 August 2010, < >
Stonehouse & Stromberg, 2004, The Architecture of the British Library at St. Pancras, Routledge, United States, <>
Bodleian Library, 2010, Bodleian Library, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, viewed 3 September 2010, < >.
Chetham's Library, 2010, Chetham's Library, Chetham's Library, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
Wikipedia, 2010, Chetham's Library, The Wikimedia Foundation, viewed 1 October, <'s_Library>
Wikipedia,  2010, King’s Library , The Wikimedia Foundation, viewed 1 October 2010, <'s_Library>
Kings Library, 2010, Kings Library, Trustees of the British Museum, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
M. Door, The King's Library at The British Museum : An Exemplar of the 18th Century Enlightenment, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
George III Collection: the King's Library, 2010, George III Collection: the King's Library, The British Library Board, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
Wikipedia, 2010, Public Library, The Wikimedia Foundation, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
Timeline 2010, Timeline, Google, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
History Magazine, 2010, Survivor: The History of the Library, History Magazine, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
 Twait, 2001, Favourite Library Quotes, Gustavus Adolphus College, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
Woodhead, 2010, The incalculable cultural significance of The Library, MeanLand, viewed 1 October 2010, <>
Francis Trigge Chained Library 2010, Francis Trigge Chained Library, Wikimedia Foundation, viewed 12 October 2010, <>
The Public Libraries Act 1850, 2010, The Public Libraries Act 1850, Wikimedia Foundation, viewed 12 October 2010, <>

In-text References

1. Refers to the library as a temple of learning. (Rowan 2000)
2. An inspirational quote which refers libraries as important on a world wide scale. (Meredith 2010)


  1. Good finish to the blogging experience Justyna. The structure and organisation of the report is good and it is presented well. There are some issues around the language used and correct grammar. This would imply that you may not have acknowledged your sources in all instances. This is further compounded when using quotes in the body of the report where you must also include an in-text reference to the source material. Images should be linked to source pages also.

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