By Henry Benjamin Wheatley
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:March 2012
Original Publication Year:1886
Subjects: Printing and publishing history , English literature: general interest
Henry Benjamin Wheatley (1838–1917) was a prolific writer on bibliography, literature and the arts. As founder of the Index Society, and editor of The Bibliographer, he was also involved in the foundation of the Library Association. In that context he wrote several works on library topics. How to Form a Library was published in 1886, when libraries were spreading rapidly throughout England. The book provides advice on the selection of material for different kinds of libraries and audiences, and suggests a list of core works. Although the choices reflect the period in which it was written - a point Wheatley makes about earlier lists - it nonetheless has a value in giving insight into the intellectual interests of the day. He was firmly against librarians acting as moral censors, and although his list of required reading is unlikely to be followed today, the book contains much valuable information on library history.
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