A great number of books borrowed (2)

The wonderful resources afforded by Moore’s collection were immediately of interest to scholars, and the University’s Grace Books record permissions granted for fellows to borrow items within a few years of their arrival. Unfortunately, they were not always brought back so quickly, and in 1732 a call was issued for all borrowed items to be returned so that the Library could be ‘put into order’. The first methodical Library inspection took place in 1748, and a broadside published identifying recalcitrant borrowers. Amongst these ne’er-do-wells were such eminent figures as the poet Christopher Smart, and Conyers Middleton and Thomas Parne, custodians of the Library (Parne himself was a signatory to the document). After this inspection the Library instituted a system of quarterly book returns which continued in essentially the same form until the late twentieth century.

UA CUR 31.1.21

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