Interesting Facts

Chained library

The Hereford Cathedral Library in Hereford, England, is the largest surviving chained library with its chains, rods and locks intact. Established in 1611, the library contains mainly old books in manuscript chained to their places, some of them fine specimens of ancient handwriting, containing beautiful illustrations in gold and colour.

Before the printing press made books cheap and easily available, books in the Middle Ages were incredibly scarce and precious.During the later middle ages, when publicly accessible libraries came into being, books were often chained to the shelves allowing the public to read, while at the same time safe-guarding the library’s valuable collection from potential thieves.