Edwards dreams of Alexandria

Library history in the service of public library activism

Authors

  • Sebastian Modrow Syracuse University
  • Melissa Smith Syracuse University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29173/cais1239

Keywords:

library history, library science, library economy, Public Library Movement, Britain, Edward Edwards

Abstract

Our paper explores the relationship between Edward Edwards’s Memoirs of Libraries: Including a Handbook of Library Economy (1859) and 19th-century Britain’s Public Library Movement, especially the Public Library Acts of 1850 and 1855. Focusing on the instrumentalization of library history for the movement’s agenda, we show how Edwards projects the roots of this movement deep into antiquity and rhetorically creates a narrative of British deficiency set purposefully at odds with British patriotic and colonial sentiments, deriving from this vertical and horizontal comparison his arguments and advice for the establishment of municipal public libraries.

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Published

2022-08-06

How to Cite

Modrow, S., & Smith, M. (2022). Edwards dreams of Alexandria: Library history in the service of public library activism. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of CAIS / Actes Du congrès Annuel De l’ACSI. https://doi.org/10.29173/cais1239

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Section

Articles