A Conceptual Approach to Library History

Towards a History of Open Science

in Quaerendo
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This article argues that Library History ought to be guided by well-contextualized questions of cultural history. It proposes one such question: that which asks after the ways in which repositories of knowledge were created, organized and used in the past. The examples that are discussed in this article suggest that within the social context of the Republic of Letters an ideal of sharing knowledge was developed, which informed later, eighteenth-century, attempts at making repositories and libraries widely available. Modern ideals of collecting and sharing knowledge are not as new as they would appear to be. This is to say that the ideal of ‘Open Science’ has a history.

A Conceptual Approach to Library History

Towards a History of Open Science

in Quaerendo




J.-S. Venema‘Omslag bij Universiteitsbieb: wifi en stopcontact centraal’Algemeen Dagblad (Rotterdam 8 August 2015).


M. Fumaroli‘The Republic of Letters’Diogenes143 (1988) pp. 129-54.


Saada art. cit. (n. 22) p. 244.


W.A. Wiegand‘The “Amherst Method”. The Origins of the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme’Libraries & Culture33 (1998) pp. 175-94.


Ibid. p. 15.


Ibid. p. 426 (s.v. Leyde): ‘est hic magna commoditas Bibliothecae ut studiosi possint studere’.


W. Scase‘Reginald Pecock, John Carpenter and John Colop’s “Common-Profit” Books: Aspects of Book Ownership and Circulation in Fifteenth-Century London’Medium Aevum61 (1992) pp. 261-74 (261).


J. Mokyr‘The Commons of Knowledge: A Historical Perspective’The Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations4 (2011-2) pp. 29-44.

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