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Books About Libraries


What are libraries? How have they evolved over time? How were they built and destroyed? What about the library at Alexandria? Discover the history and mystery of libraries through history. Read on.

1. Library

by Matthew Battles. Thomson Gale. Matthew Battles is a rare-book librarian, who discusses censorship, book burning, and other destructive fates of books and libraries. Read more about the history of books and libraries.
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2. Patience & Fortitude

by Nicholas A. Basbanes. HarperCollins. In "Patience and Fortitude," Nicholas Basbanes takes us through his discoveries of some of the greatest libraries of the world--from Alexandria to Glastonbury--and then on to the Vatican,Wolfenbüttel, and erudite universities.
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3. Libraries Through the Ages

by Frederick Andrew Lerner. Continuum International Publishing Group. Based on his earlier book, "Story of Libraries," this book offers extensive illustrations in addition to the history of book collecting and more.
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4. History of Libraries of the Western World

by Michael H. Harris. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. A substantial revision of the earlier edition, this book also incorporates recent scholarship on libraries, along with bibliographies and more.
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5. The Origins of the English Library

by Raymond Irwin. Greenwood Publishing Group. This book discusses the history of libraries--from classical times. Also, discover the influences libraries have had on the building of our culture.
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6. The Memory of Mankind: The Story of Libraries Since the Dawn of History

by Don Heinrich Tolzmann, Alfred Hessel, and Reuben Peiss. Oak Knoll Press. From the publisher: "'The Memory of Mankind' is an illustrated history of the unique role libraries have played in the history of civilization. From the clay tablets of Ancient Sumer to the Internet, this work provides an introductory survey of the historical development of libraries from its earliest beginnings to the modern day."
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7. International Dictionary of Library Histories

by David H. Stam (Editor). Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. This dictionary of library histories features 34 essays of library types, 13 geographical essays, and histories of 224 libraries.
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8. The Story of Libraries

by Fred Lerner. Continuum International Publishing Group. From the publisher: "This book, which includes fourteen well-chosen illustrations, describes the crucial role libraries have played throughout history: in ancient Egypt, China, the classical Western world, Islam, and medieval and Renaissance Europe."
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9. Books and Libraries

by Jack Knowlton. HarperCollins. Learn about the evolution of writing, the development of printing, and the history of libraries--from the earliest forms to the Library of Congress.
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