978-0-8264-1114-3 / 9780826411143

The Story of Libraries: From the Invention of Writing to the Computer Age


Publisher:Continuum Intl Pub Group



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About the book:

Libraries are significant on many levels. Their existence shows the depth and history of a people, culture, and nation, while their inclusiveness highlights the level of democracy that exists there. Fred Lerner's overview of the history of libraries sheds light on an invaluable part of human life often taken for granted:

Though writing may have been invented to record land ownership and keep track of debts, it was not long before poets, priests, and prophets found other uses for it. My aim ... is to trace the evolution of libraries and to explore the role they played in society, from the invention of writing to our own day and beyond.
He considers the Afro-Asian origins of the earliest libraries in Mesopotamia and in ancient Egypt, leading up to the glory of the Alexandria library. The book moves on, through classical Greece and the medieval institutions of Europe's Dark Ages to the Renaissance, in which Europeans benefited greatly from the collected scholarship of Islamic and Asian civilizations. Modern libraries like the United States Library of Congress, the British Library, and France's Bibliothèque Nationale are also examined, as well as the technological advances of the computer and the Internet, which will undoubtedly transform and expand the function of the library in the 21st century and beyond. -- Eugene Holley Jr.

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