The Reformed Librarie-Keeper (1650) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 37 pages of information about The Reformed Librarie-Keeper (1650).

The DNB notes that Dury’s life was “an incessant round of journeyings, colloquies, correspondence, and publications.”  The account might also have added that, sadly, it was a life of many failures and frustrations, since his visionary scheme for the wholeness of life was so out of touch with the jealousies and rivalries of those he encountered.  But if the larger vision that underlay The Reformed Librarie-Keeper is now merely a historical curiosity, the specific reforms that Dury advocated, as seemingly impractical in his own time as his other schemes, proved to be of lasting importance.  Shorn of the millenarian vision that gave them their point in Dury’s own day, his ideas have become the accepted standards of modern librarianship.  Dury himself would not have been heartened by his secular acceptance:  “...  For except Sciences bee reformed in order to this Scope [of the Christian and millenarian vision], the increas of knowledg will increas nothing but strife, pride and confusion, from whence our sorrows will bee multiplied and propagated unto posteritie....” (p. 31).

Thomas F. Wright William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


[Footnote 1:  For Dury’s biography, see J. Minton Batten, John Dury, Advocate of Christian Reunion (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1944).]

[Footnote 2:  On the relation of Dury, Hartlib, and Comenius, see G.H.  Turnbull, Hartlib, Dury and Comenius (Liverpool:  University Press of Liverpool, 1947).]

[Footnote 3:  Hugh Trevor-Roper, “Three Foreigners:  The Philosophers of the Puritan Revolution,” in his Religion, the Reformation, and Social Change, and Other Essays, 2d ed. (London:  Macmillan, 1972), 240.]

[Footnote 4:  On the philosophical and theological theories of Dury, Hartlib, and Comenius, see Richard H. Popkin, “The Third Force in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, Scepticism, Science, and Biblical Prophecy,” Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres (Spring 1983), and Charles Webster, The Great Instauration:  Science, Medicine, and Reform, 1626-1660 (London:  Duckworth, 1975).]

[Footnote 5:  Quoted in Turnbull, 257.]

[Footnote 6:  Athenae Oxonienses, vol. 2 (London, 1692), col. 400.]

[Footnote 7:  The omitted works are An Idea of Mathematicks by John Pell (pp. 33-46) and The description of one of the chiefest Libraries which is in Germanie, attributed either to Julius Scheurl or J. Schwartzkopf (pp. [47]-65, in Latin).  This seems to be the first printing of The description, which was published separately at Wolfenbuttel in 1653.  John Pell’s essay was written around 1630-34 and was prepared for publication in 1634 by Hartlib, but was only actually published as an addition to The Reformed Librarie-Keeper.  It was of some importance in making mathematics better known at the time.]

Project Gutenberg
The Reformed Librarie-Keeper (1650) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook