Library: An Unquiet History

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 17, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 256 pages
101 Reviews

"Splendidly articulate, informative and provoking....A book to be savored and gone back to."—Baltimore Sun

On the survival and destruction of knowledge, from Alexandria to the Internet. Through the ages, libraries have not only accumulated and preserved but also shaped, inspired, and obliterated knowledge. Matthew Battles, a rare books librarian and a gifted narrator, takes us on a spirited foray from Boston to Baghdad, from classical scriptoria to medieval monasteries, from the Vatican to the British Library, from socialist reading rooms and rural home libraries to the Information Age.

He explores how libraries are built and how they are destroyed, from the decay of the great Alexandrian library to scroll burnings in ancient China to the destruction of Aztec books by the Spanish—and in our own time, the burning of libraries in Europe and Bosnia.

Encyclopedic in its breadth and novelistic in its telling, this volume will occupy a treasured place on the bookshelf next to Baker's Double Fold, Basbanes's A Gentle Madness, Manguel's A History of Reading, and Winchester's The Professor and the Madman.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
9
4 stars
30
3 stars
40
2 stars
19
1 star
3

Review: Library: An Unquiet History

User Review  - Doc Kinne - Goodreads

This book covers much of the same as other histories but its a very readable introduction. It did concentrate on some intriguing areas, especially around the areas of libraries destroyed during WWII. Read full review

Review: Library: An Unquiet History

User Review  - Adam Carlson - Goodreads

Couldn't finish this book. Which almost never happens. It was just an academic librarian being snooty and spending the entire book trying to prove to you how much smarter he was than you. I learned a ... Read full review

Related books

Selected pages

Contents

READING THE LIBRARY
3
BURNING ALEXANDRIA
22
THE HOUSE OF WISDOM
56
THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS
82
BOOKS FOR ALL
117
KNOWLEDGE ON FIRE
156
LOST IN THE STACKS
192
NOTES ON SOURCES
215
INDEX
229
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

References from web pages

ricklibrarian: Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles
I am a bit surprised by Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles. The author writes a well balanced history until he reaches the twentieth century, ...
ricklibrarian.blogspot.com/ 2005/ 12/ library-unquiet-history-by-matthew.html

Battles, Matthew
Library: An Unquiet History. New York: ww Norton & Co., 2003. 245 pp. ISBN 0393020290. $24.95. In the Eighteenth Century, Jonathan Swift penned, ...
libres.curtin.edu.au/ libres13n2/ reviews.htm

Harvard Gazette: Writer Battles' unusual muse is a library
"Library: An Unquiet History" explores the creation of libraries, beginning with the clay-tablets of ancient Mesopotamia, and proceeds to the destruction of ...
www.hno.harvard.edu/ gazette/ 2003/ 08.21/ 26-battle.html

Ex Libris--an E-Zine for Librarians and Information Junkies ...
LIBRARY: AN UNQUIET HISTORY: A REVIEW. Matthew Battles. Norton, 2003, 0-393-02029-0. $24.95. Reviewed by Marylaine Block. My primary reactions to this book ...
marylaine.com/ exlibris/ xlib188.html

Library – An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles p. 8 The Old ...
Library – An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles. p. 8 The Old Librarian’s Almanack – a literary hoax. http://www.cyberussr.com/hcunn/q-librarian.html ...
www.saviowong.com/ books/ library_unquiet.pdf

Kliatt: Library: an Unquiet History
LIBRARY: AN UNQUIET HISTORY. Matthew Battles. 2003. Read by Grover Gardner. 6 cds, No time listed, Books on Tape. 0-73669835-3. $72.00. ...
findarticles.com/ p/ articles/ mi_m0PBX/ is_4_38/ ai_n6124477/ print

An Often-Tumultuous Saga of Books and Book-Places in the World
Library: An Unquiet History chronicles the library at Alexandria, ... There are additional works of value to be read along with Library: An Unquiet History, ...
southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/ content/ v04n03/ Sherman_d01.htm

Library: An Unquiet History | Matthew Battles | readingsocial ...
Facebook User said the following about Library: An Unquiet History. about 1 month ago. read it for school a couple weeks ago. it was a decent introduction ...
readers.livingsocial.com/ books/ 129222/ matthew-battles/ library-an-unquiet-history

ipac2.0
Library : an unquiet history / Matthew Battles. by Battles, Matthew. View full image. New York : ww Norton, 2004, c2003. Subjects, Libraries -- History. ...
catalog.pioneer.lib.ok.us/ ipac20/ ipac.jsp?& profile=pls& uri=link=3100006~!486005~!3100001~!3100002& aspect=subtab126& m...

Our Public Intellectual--Matthew Battles - 3/15/2004 - Library Journal
After 'Lost in the Stacks' appeared in Harper's he was invited to expand the article into Library: An Unquiet History (Norton, 2003). ...
www.libraryjournal.com/ article/ CA385858.html

About the author (2004)

Matthew Battles is a Curatorial Fellow with metaLAB, a project of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information