Books seen by Samuel Ward 'In Bibliotheca regia' circa 1614
James P. Carley
As early as the 1530s the antiquary John Leland (1503?-1552) envisaged the establishment of some sort of royal library, designed as a repository for the manuscript collections being removed from their previous monastic homes. From the period in which Leland was gathering, there is one particularly valuable piece of evidence: a list of the 910 books found in the Upper Library at Westminster Palace in 1542. The list was arranged alphabetically and each book given an inventory number; this was then inscribed in the upper right margin of the first or second folio. At much the same time a second collection must have been inventoried, since there are at least 190 surviving manuscripts and approximately seventy-five printed books bearing inventory numbers from 911 to 1450. These books were also arranged in alphabetical order.
Books seen by Samuel Ward 'In Bibliotheca regia' circa 1614 (PDF format), 5.67MB