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