The Enemies of Books
By William Blades
Revised and Enlarged by the Author
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN LONDON
Libraries destroyed by Fire.—Alexandrian.—St. Paul’s destruction of MSS., Value of.—Christian books destroyed by Heathens.—Heathen books destroyed by Christians.—Hebrew books burnt at Cremona.—Arabic books at Grenada.—Monastic libraries.—Colton library.—Birmingham riots.—Dr. Priestley’s library.—Lord Mansfield’s books.—Cowper. Strasbourg library bombarded.—Offor Collection burnt.—Dutch Church library damaged.—Library of Corporation of London.
Heer Hudde’s library lost at sea.—Pinelli’s library captured by Corsairs.—MSS. destroyed by Mohammed II—Books damaged by rain.—Woffenbuttel.—Vapour and Mould.—Brown stains.—Dr. Dibdin.—Hot water pipes.—Asbestos fire.—Glass doors to bookcases.
Effects of Gas on leather.—Necessitates re-binding.—Bookbinders.—Electric light.—British Museum.—Treatment of books.—Legend of Friars and their books.
Books should have gilt tops.—Old libraries were neglected.—Instance of a College library.—Clothes brushed in it.—Abuses in French libraries.—Derome’s account of them.—Boccaccio’s story of library at the Convent of Mount Cassin.
Destruction of Books at the Reformation.—Mazarin library.—Caxton used to light the fire.—Library at French Protestant Church, St. Martin’s-le-Grand.—Books stolen.—Story of books from Thonock Hall.—Boke of St. Albans.—Recollet Monks of Antwerp.—Shakespearian “find.”—Black-letter books used in W.C.—Gesta Romanorum.—Lansdowne collection.—Warburton.—Tradesman and rare book.—Parish Register.—Story of Bigotry by M. Muller.—Clergymen destroy books.—Patent Office sell books for waste.
Doraston.—Not so destructive as of yore.—Worm won’t eat parchment.—Pierre Petit’s poem.—Hooke’s account and image.—Its natural history neglected.—Various sorts—Attempts to breed Bookworms.—Greek worm.—Havoc made by worms.—Bodleian and Dr. Bandinel.—“Dermestes.”—Worm won’t eat modern paper.—America comparatively free.—Worm-hole at Philadelphia.
Black-beetle in American libraries.—germanica.—Bug Bible.—Lepisma. Codfish.—Skeletons of Rats in Abbey library, Westminster.—Niptus hololeucos.—Tomicus Typographicus.—House flies injure books.
A good binding gives pleasure.—Deadly effects of the “plough” as used by binders.—Not confined to bye-gone times.—Instances of injury.—De Rome, a good binder but a great cropper.—Books “hacked.”—Bad lettering—Treasures in book-covers.—Books washed, sized, and mended.—“Cases” often Preferable to re-binding.
Bagford the biblioclast.—Illustrations torn from MSS.—Title-pages torn from books.—Rubens, his engraved titles.—Colophons torn out of books.—Lincoln Cathedral—Dr. Dibdin’s Nosegay.—Theurdanck.—Fragments of MSS.-Some libraries almost useless.—Pepysian.—Teylerian.—Sir Thomas Phillipps.
Library invaded for the purpose of dusting.—Spring clean.—Dust to be got rid of.—Ways of doing so.—Carefulness praised.—Bad nature of certain books—Metal clasps and rivets.—How to dust.—Children often injure books.—Examples.—Story of boys in a country library.
Anecdote of book-sale in Derbyshire.
The care that should be taken of books.—Enjoyment derived from them.