The World’s First Mobile Library; A ‘Jacobean Kindle’ December 11, 2014 – Posted in: book arts, bookbinding, Content, mobile libraries, product design, Special Collections – Tags: Miniature books
The year was 1617. William Hakewill MP commissioned it to give as a gift to a friend. And it just might be the first mobile library.
The Jacobean miniature travelling library consisted of 50 gold-tooled vellum-bound miniature books contained in a wooden case that resembled a large folio.
Inside there were three shelves for the books. The inside cover was an illuminated table of contents. The subject matter covered history, poetry, theology and philosophy and included works by Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, Horace and Julius Caesar.
It was the perfect gift for a reader on the go and must of been a hit for within the next five years Hakewill had 3 others made.
The rare miniature travelling library is part of the Brotherton Collection of rare manuscripts, photographs and books housed at Leeds University and thanks to a £1.3m Heritage Lottery grant will go on display in late 2015 in a newly built gallery.
The three other known copies live at the British Library, the Huntington Library and the Toledo Museum of Art Ohio.
Story and more images at Daily Mail Online.