History Abridged: Libraries

Historian feature

By Paula Kitching, published 7th February 2022

History Abridged: Libraries

History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture.
See all History Abridged articles

The collecting of stories through written record is one of the most important methods societies have for understanding the past. Oral histories and physical historical evidence  are key ways of knowing about the past, however, having access to written records are fundamental in not just knowing what happened, but because they frequently shine a light on why things happened, what people believed and thought and how organisational systems were structured and enforced. That is why libraries and archives are often mixed together acting as a repository for records as well as a source of information for learning.

The earliest examples of a library are from the Middle East with some dating back to at least 1900 BCE with records collected on clay tablets... 

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