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Matthew Yeo

Chetham's Library, Manchester, was founded in 1655 by the bequest of the Manchester merchant, Humphrey Chetham (1580-1653). Drawing on recent debates about the methods of book history, this book is a detailed study of the way in which an early modern provincial library was created, stocked with books and administered. Using extensive archival research into the Library's acquisitions and the trade in books and ideas in the later seventeenth century, Yeo examines the motivations behind the Library's foundation, the beliefs of those responsible for the selection of books and the Library's relationship with the London bookseller Robert Littlebury. The result is a refreshing reinterpretation of provincial intellectual culture and the workings of the early modern trade in books and ideas.