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The Secular Clergy in England, 1066–1216$
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Hugh M. Thomas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702566.001.0001

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Secular Clerics as Collectors and Donors of Books

Secular Clerics as Collectors and Donors of Books

Chapter:
(p.246) 11 Secular Clerics as Collectors and Donors of Books
Source:
The Secular Clergy in England, 1066–1216
Author(s):

Hugh M. Thomas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702566.003.0011

Though the libraries of cathedrals and collegiate churches staffed by the secular clergy could not collectively compare to the libraries of the regular clergy, from the middle third of the twelfth century the secular clerics began building private collections of books. The evidence is scattered but suggests that the number of manuscripts in private clerical libraries may have been very considerable by the early thirteenth century. The collections of the clergy tended to follow the intellectual trends of the period, and were particularly strong in areas such as glossed Bibles, the classics, books of contemporary theology, and works on the natural world. Secular clerics helped to update institutional libraries and to introduce the laity to the culture of the book, and contributed greatly to the development of the book trade in the decades around 1200.

Keywords:   secular clergy, books, manuscripts, bibliophiles, libraries, classics, glossed bibles

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