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The Anglo-Saxon Library$
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Michael Lapidge

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239696

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239696.001.0001

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Vanished Libraries of Anglo-Saxon England

Vanished Libraries of Anglo-Saxon England

(p.31) 2 Vanished Libraries of Anglo-Saxon England
The Anglo-Saxon Library

Michael Lapidge

Oxford University Press

From the time of the conversion to Christianity of Anglo-Saxons, in the wake of the Gregorian mission in England in 597, libraries of various kinds began to be assembled in England. In the first instance, before English scriptoria and scriptorial practice had been established, books had to be imported from the Continent. Books from late antiquity's Mediterranean libraries formed part of the holdings of the earliest Anglo-Saxon libraries, but the matter cannot be adequately evaluated because Anglo-Saxon libraries themselves are no longer intact. However, it is possible to ascertain the existence of a significant number of well-stocked libraries in England during the centuries between the 7th and the 11th. This chapter presents a brief sketch of vanished Anglo-Saxon libraries.

Keywords:   Mediterranean libraries, Anglo-Saxon libraries, ancient libraries, Christianity

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