London: The Bibliographical Society, 2004.
Buckram, royal octavo, 490 p., with 42 illustrations.
ISBN: 0948170 13 1. £60.00.
A directory of parochial libraries of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, past and present, founded up to c.1900, together with a broad sample of desk-libraries, accompanied by an updated historical introduction, tables by date and county, appendices of MS and printed documents, expanded catalogues of libraries, recommendations on care, and summaries of reports on parochial libraries to date.
The late Michael Perkin was formerly Curator of Special Collections, Liverpool University Library, and worked subsequently on a part-time basis in Reading University Library, Special Collections and Department of Typography; and on a voluntary basis in Winchester Cathedral Library; and on free-lance bibliographical and editorial work.
Because of the unauthorised sale, loss or deteriorating condition of parochial libraries in the 1930s and 1940s a postal survey of surviving collections was undertaken which resulted in a detailed report and directory finally published under the general editorship of Neil Ker by the Faith Press in 1959. The present book is a thorough revision of that work and incorporates much of its apparatus while reflecting new discoveries and recent research. The Directory in particular has been greatly expanded to include libraries established up to c. 1900, and other categories excluded from the first edition, such as the later Bray Trustees and Associates libraries, and SPCK libraries, established in England and Wales up to c. 1900, and especially a broad sample of what have come to be known as desk-libraries, with one or more pre-1700 prescribed books. Many of the reports, documents and tables, including the historical introduction, have been reprinted in this new edition, which has been edited and modified to take account of new developments and findings. A Postscript, 2000 briefly outlines research in this field over the last 50 years or so, and there are a number of new lists and tables, one including statistical information. The Index is a key to the whole book and should be especially consulted for references to former owners and donors and subject strengths.
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