contributor.author: Beatrice Beech, Western Michigan University

title.none: Salda, La Bibliotheque de Francois I

identifier.other: baj9928.9611.005 96.11.05

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: Beatrice Beech, Western Michigan University, beechb@wmich.edu

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 1996

identifier.citation: Salda, Michael N. La Bibliothèque de François I au Château de Blois. Bibliothèque Municipale, Château: Les Amis de la Bibliothèque de Blois, 1994. Pp. 47. $. ISBN: ISBN 0986-475 x.

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: Bryn Mawr Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 96.11.05

Salda, Michael N. La Bibliothèque de François I au Château de Blois. Bibliothèque Municipale, Château: Les Amis de la Bibliothèque de Blois, 1994. Pp. 47. $. ISBN: ISBN 0986-475 x.

Reviewed by:

Beatrice Beech, Western Michigan University
beechb@wmich.edu

T his is a study of the library assembled at the Chàteau of Blois by Louis XII and François Ier, although a few manuscripts date from the time of Valentine Visconti, the grandmother of Louis XII. The library was transferred to Fontainebleau in the sixteenth century and eventually formed the basis of the Bibliothèque Nationale. The main part of the book is a listing of 131 books out of a total of 404 manuscripts which the author identified as being the same manuscripts as listed in an inventory of 1518. From the markings on the books he has been able to reconstruct where the volumes were placed in the library. The importance of such a study lies in the fact that the organization of a library may reflect the knowledge and values of the particular place and time. Other than the fact that some books were shelved according to binding, velour or not, or value (the grand heures of the duke de Berry was placed in a locked chest), his reconstruction of the placement of the books demonstrates that the books of the Arthurian legend were placed in a unique category and not with history. This finding would not support the accepted generalization that readers at the end of the fifteenth century thought that Arthur was a historical personage. From this, he concludes that manuscript studies should include not only the other titles bound in a particular volume but also where the volume was placed in the library. This recommendation may not be practical for researchers working on the history of other libraries which were much smaller or not organized in a rational subject approach. For example, books can be organized by size, accession number or convenience of the readers. Recommended for any library which has a collection on the history of libraries or the place of libraries in the intellectual world of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.