Cover of: Library | Matthew Battles


an unquiet history

1st ed.

  • 2 Want to read

Published by W.W. Norton in New York .
Written in English.

About the Book

On the survival and destruction of knowledge, from Alexandria to the Internet. Through the ages, libraries have not only accumulated and preserved but also shaped, inspired, and obliterated knowledge.Matthew Battles, a rare books librarian and a gifted narrator, takes us on a spirited foray from Boston to Baghdad, from classical scriptoria to medieval monasteries, from the Vatican to the british Library, from socialist reading rooms and rural home libraries to the Information Age. He explores how libraries are built and how they are destroyed, from the decay of the great Alexandrian library to scroll burnings in ancient China to the destruction of Aztec books by the Spanish--and in our own time, the burning of libraries in Europe and Bosnia. Encyclopedic in its breadth and novelistic in its telling, this volume will occupy a treasured place on the bookshelf next to Baker's Double Fold, Bashanes's A Gentle Madness, Manguel's A History of Reading, and Winchester's The Professor and the Madman.

Table of Contents

Reading the library
Burning Alexandria
The house of wisdom
The battle of the books
Books for all
Knowledge on fire
Lost in the stacks.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Dewey Decimal Class 027/.009
Library of Congress Z721 .B28 2003

The Physical Object

Pagination x, 245 p. :
Number of pages 245

ID Numbers

Open Library OL3578397M
Internet Archive libraryunquiethi00batt
ISBN 10 0393020290
LC Control Number 2002156439
Library Thing 9299
Goodreads 1391300

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July 31, 2014 Edited by ImportBot import new book
July 31, 2014 Edited by Michal Edited without comment.
April 5, 2014 Edited by ImportBot Added IA ID.
August 2, 2010 Edited by IdentifierBot added LibraryThing ID
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Initial record created, from Scriblio MARC record.