LIBRARIES . A library (from
See also:book), in the
See also:modern sense, is a collection of printed or written literature . As such, it implies an advanced and elaborate
See also:civilization . If the
See also:term be extended to any considerable collection of written documents, it must be nearly as old as civilization itself . The earliest use to which the invention of inscribed or written signs was put was probably to record important religious and
See also:political trans-actions . These records would naturally be preserved in sacred places, and accordingly the earliest libraries of the
See also:world were probably temples, and the earliest librarians priests . And indeed before the extension of the arts of writing and
See also:reading the priests were the only persons who could perform such
See also:work as, xvi . 18e.g. the compilation of the Annales Maximi, which was the
See also:duty of the pontifices in
See also:ancient Rome . The beginnings of literature proper in the shape of
See also:ballads and songs may have continued to be conveyed orally only from one generation to another, long after the record of important religious or
See also:civil events was regularly committed to writing . The earliest collections of which we know anything, therefore, were collections of archives . Of this character appear to have been such famous collections as that of the Medians at
See also:Ecbatana, the Persians at Susa or the hieioglyphic archives of Knossos discovered by A . J .
See also:Evans (Scripta Minoa, 1909) of a date synchronizing with the XIIth
See also:dynasty . Itt is not until the development of arts and sciences, and the growth of a considerable written literature, and even of a distinct
See also:literary class, that we find collections of books which can be called libraries in our modern sense . It is of libraries in the modern sense, and not, except incidentally, of archives that we are to speak .
LIBRA (" THE BALANCE ")
LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONS AND
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