Because of the unauthorized sale, loss, or deteriorating condition of parochial libraries in the 1930s and 1940s, a postal survey of surviving collections was undertaken which resulted in a detailed report and directory finally published under theMoreBecause of the unauthorized sale, loss, or deteriorating condition of parochial libraries in the 1930s and 1940s, a postal survey of surviving collections was undertaken which resulted in a detailed report and directory finally published under the general editorship of Neil Ker as TheParochial Libraries of the Church of England: Report of a Committee appointed by the Central Council for the Care of Churches to Investigate the Number and Condition of Parochial Libraries belonging to the Church of England, with a Historical Introduction, Notes on Early Printed Books and their Careand an Alphabetical List of Parochial Libraries Past and Present, by Faith Press in 1959.
This book is a thorough revision of that work and incorporates much of its apparatus while reflecting new discoveries and recent research. The Directory in particular has been greatly expanded to include libraries established up to c. 1900, and, especially, a broad sample of what have come to be known as desk-libraries, with one or more pre-1700 prescribed books. Many of the reports, documents, and tables, including the historical introduction, have been reprinted in this new edition, edited and modified to take account of new developments and findings.
A Postscript, 2000 briefly outlines research in this field over the last 50 years or so, and there are a number of new lists and tables, one including statistical information. The index is a key to the whole book and should be especially consulted for references to former owners and donors and subject strengths.