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Christian Works : Lund Library Catalogue

Christian Works

<p style='text-align: justify;'>A manuscript catalogue of the library in the church at Lund (in the East Riding of Yorkshire), made in 1676, listing c. 1900 titles given by Sir Thomas Remington, (c. 1612‒1681). The volume begins with Remington’s 'designe' for the library and goes on to discuss the use of the library, advising readers <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(6);return false;'>'to take notice of the tablet that hands up, wheare he shall finde a catalogue of all the bookes in the library with directions wheare to finde any of them'</a>. It is also recommended that every book should be left <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(7);return false;'>'in its proper place after the use of it'</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Although the manuscript comes from Yorkshire, it has – both in its provenance and its contents – several links to Cambridge and to the University Library. Remington studied at Peterhouse (where he was admitted a Fellow Commoner in 1627), and is likely to have acquired books while at Cambridge which he later gifted to the church in Lund. The manuscript later passed into the hands of Thomas Kerrich (1748‒1828), from 1797 Protobibliothecarius of the University Library. Furthermore, several church libraries like that once at Lund are now preserved among the collections of the University Library, including the parish libraries of Bassingbourn (Cambridgeshire) and Broughton (Huntingdonshire) and the cathedral libraries of Ely and Peterborough.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The church of All Saints at Lund was built in the fifteenth century, but was rebuilt in the mid-nineteenth century, and no trace of the library, which must have sat in a second-storey room above the north aisle, survives. The library had evidently been dispersed by at least the 1860s, according to the accompanying correspondence.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The books listed show an incredible breadth of subjects, and we find works of history and travel (including Hakluyt's 'Sea voyages' and Contarini's history of Venice), science (Copernicus' <i>De revolutionibus</i>, an extraordinary find in a parish library, and Sacrobosco's <i>Sphaera mundi</i>), and literature (Herbert’s <i>The temple</i> along with Rabelais' <i>Gargantua and Pantagruell</i>), alongside works of law, dictionaries, sermons, Bibles, and at least three fifteenth-century printed books. Quite simply the catalogue is the most comprehensive and voluminous of its kind hitherto recorded for a seventeenth-century parish library, and provides a unique view onto a long-dispersed public collection which began – as so many church libraries did – in private ownership.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Liam Sims<br /> Rare Books Department<br /> Cambridge University Library</p>

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