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The Chained Library in Wimbourne Minster

The Chained Library above Wimbourne Minster in Dorset was built over 600 years ago. Although small, this collection of chained artifacts dates back 300 years, contains some unique historical documents and is in itself of historical significance. The rare items comprise the second largest Chained Library in the UK and also represents one of the first Public Libraries in the UK.

Left-handed people are always slightly bemused by the use of the word sinister. The word sinister also occurs in certain artefacts in the Wimbourne Chained Library including the fact that the staircase spiral was reversed in the ecclesiastical manner to deter swordsmen ascending to what was the old Treasury sadly ransacked by Henry VIII.

The shelves of the library are weighed down by over 350 volumes many of which are leather-clad. An interesting aspect of the shelves is the fact that the chained items are reversed with their spines facing inwards. Unlike other such libraries there are no shelves on which visitors can rest the books as the library was originally created for the Revd Stone to relocate his collection. He moved the collection down from Oxford after the restitution of the monarchy partly because he suspected that the collection of “Fathers and Commentators” that is relating to the early Christian Church, would have been considered the possessions of a papist and burnt by the public hangman at a place of execution despite Stone’s status as Protestant scholar. The remainder of Stone’s library was sold and the funds used, amongst other things, to pay for a Hospital for the poor and sick, now known as Stone’s Court in St. Clements, Oxford.

The languages contained within the collection include Greek, Latin and Hebrew – sometimes all at once, such as in the Polyglot Bible in which the pages are divided up into regions for the different languages (try suggesting that to a publisher today). This was at a time when few amongst the local population would have even been able to read English.

It is hard for us in an age of instant printing presses and digital reproduction and file sharing to fully appreciate the uniqueness of the items contained here. The early printing presses were nothing short of revolutionary in the way that they changed the persistence and portability of knowledge. The books present here were printed on these very printing presses that were emerging in the 16th and 17th centuries and are also first editions in many cases. Thus, the four great Western or Latin Fathers are present: Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo, Jerome and Gregory. Also present, three of the four great Eastern or African Fathers: Basil, Gregory of Nazianus and Chrysostom. With a strong possibility of the fourth, in the form of Theophylact’s commentaries which he may have considered, as Erasmus did, to be the writings of Athanasius.

At a later date others such as Roger Gillingham added to the library through their bequests. Gillingham’s bequest was referred to as being typical of a gentleman’s library of the Restoration period with books on politics, gardening, geography, husbandry, etiquette and winemaking. These further additions were also chained in many cases, in order to protect them from the gentry and others who felt able to help themselves from such libraries. The 1708 Act of Parliament protected Parish Libraries though chaining but the Wimbourne Library falls outside such protection.

The chaining of books has going on for many centuries for a number of reasons ranging from simple theft to protection due to their scarcity or their controversial themes. Reference libraries would have been needed by those attending Universities in the 16th and 17th centuries. Books would be consulted by standing or using benches adjacent to the book shelves. Readers were restricted to an hour of access if another person was waiting. This was just as well as the oldest book in the library dates from 1343, the Regimen Animarum which means the Guiding of the Souls and advices on how we can avoid the Spiritual Dangers. The words are written on vellum in inks produced from oak apples and iron sulphate as well as red lead or mercuric sulphide.

As printing took off during the latter part of the 18th century the need for chained libraries diminished. By the 19th century most chains had been removed from books in libraries. However, what fascinates me about this insight in to the collecting of books is the strength of purpose and courage that went into the process. Even leaving aside the efforts of the printers, illustrators, copyists as well as the children who may have worn out their eyes and fingers making the chains, we should remember and thank the collectors.

With respect to libraries today, some comfort can be drawn from the fact that issues surrounding security, reproducibility and even borrowing and sharing are not new. We now face fewer conflicts over intolerance, bigotry and misunderstanding. However, such issues are still present and we do well to remember that as we seek to understand the world around us preserve such complexity for future generations to disentangle.

Library Subscriptions – For People Who Like To Read

If you like to read a lot like I do, and if you’re the kind of person who is interested in periodicals, then you should consider library subscriptions as an option. Doing so you can simply walk over to your next library and look through all the shelves for the magazines you like to read most. I’m the type of person who reads through every title which falls into my hands – and I have found a site on the web, where all avid readers are granted unlimited access to their favourite titles online. You can access these magazine subscriptions just the way you can do this in your library around the corner.

Many online subscriptions sites have appeared in recent years. As the numbers of online readers increase, so do the number of online subscription sites. Readers who were formerly limited to take a trip to the local shop for books and magazines are now spending their time surfing for the scores of titles available online. The convenience and selection of subscription services and online materials has changed the reader’s world.

There are a variety of library subscription services on the Internet. These services provide access to books, newspapers and magazines online. Such services are very popular but income is made by this subscriptions model primarily when the services utilize individually-issued magazine coupons. These coupons allow the assigned, registered candidates to join reader groups and access books and periodicals from which they can select and read at their convenience. Magazine coupons specify the number of items that can be accessed during the assigned validity period.

These library subscriptions services gives an access to business libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, public libraries, universities, medical and science libraries and many others too. Getting an access to these magazines and titles worldwide gives the reader an independence to read his taste of magazines anytime and anywhere.

There are many different subscription models, including monthly, weekly and yearly subscriptions. Any user can create a subscription plan for themselves that allows them access to the titles they have selected. With these subscriptions, the user can not only read the magazines they’ve selected, they can also save time and money by getting access to all of their periodicals in one place.

In addition to the reading services provided to individual readers, these subscriptions are also available to organizations. Government agencies, corporations, schools, and even non-profits can benefit from these subscriptions. All clients are serviced with advanced order management and tracking capabilities, which lead to a happy reading experience for all customers.

For making payments, the library who orders subscriptions can pay generally with major debit cards, credit cards, checks and money orders and even PayPal or Google Checkout or a purchase order. Hence readers can choose from thousands of books, magazines, journals and newspapers of various tastes, interests and age groups.

The Best Lawn Care Business Books You Should Read

The best way to grow your lawn care business is by reading. There are simply no shortcuts to it. You need to read about what works and what doesn’t so you can cut down the amount of time you spend experimenting. Without reading, you are going to find yourself blindly feeling your way down a darkened path. Lawn care business books will share with you insights and experiences other entrepreneurs have had. They will tell you where success was found and what pitfalls to look out for.

The first thing you need to know when choosing which books to read is that you want to stay away from authors that have only written one book within that specific industry. Usually if they have only written one book, you will find it is going to contain generic information that will offer little to no help.

The second key you need to remember is to avoid any and all business books whose titles are similar to ‘How To Start a Lawn Care Business.’ You will find many books with such similar titles. These books are usually full of generic information that is re-edited and re-printed for many different trades. Such books will have nothing to offer you either.

What you do want to look for is books that deal with industry specific issues. Such issues as why 90% of mowing businesses fail in their first year, or how to get new landscaping customers, or how to get commercial lawn care customers. There are even books that are available that can offer you a large collection of lawn care marketing ideas which you can use to build up your customer base.

As your business book library expands, so will your business. This is when you need to research books on lawn care business software and management principles that can help your company scale up and handle all the customers you attract. Without a proper foundation, you can not grow your company. In fact, the more customers you have, the more challenges your business will face and the greater chances there are for implosion. All of these topics are covered in books that are readily available to you.

If you can spend 30 minutes to an hour each day reading about trade specific industry books, you will greatly improve your chances for success. If you would like to harness the time you spend online, there are many lawn care business forums and blogs you can read to learn new insights. In fact, there are many lawn care business blogs that can teach you specific topics you may not even have considered to learn about yet.

When you are finished reading this article, spend a little time searching out these different resources and get to reading. As my father would always tell me remember to dream it, build it, gopher it!