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THOMAS A KEMPIS. OPERA. NUREMBERG, 1494. FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY: THIS VOLUME, ONE OF A VERY FEW EXISTING EXAMPLES OF A CHAIN BINDING, STILL RETAINS THE REMNANT OF THE HAND-WROUGHT CHAIN WHICH FASTENED IT SECURELY TO A SHELF. AT THE TIME OF THE PUBLICATION OF THIS BOOK IN THE 1490S, BOOKS WERE SO VALUABLE THAT THEY WERE OFTEN CHAINED IN PLACE TO FOIL THIEVES.

European Chained libraries. Starting in the 1500's, books in libraries were chained in such a way that they could be read, but not removed. #Renaissance #Libraries

A round book, ca. 1590, come dono al Principe e Vescovo Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn (1545-1617) (University Library, Würzburg, Germany)

Antique prayer book in sterling silver. I appreciate the thought, care, and love of good craftsmanship that goes into stuff like this. Are we so utilitarian that we assume not to have the time to care about crafting and loving beautiful things?

“Library in the monastery of the San Francisco Church [Lima, Peru]” Dating from the early 17th century - one of the oldest still preserved libraries in the Americas. (Photo Jason Pearce)