The duties and qualifications of a librarian (in the 17th & 18th centuries)

Highlighting an excellent post from one of our cataloguers, featuring advice on customer care, cataloguing and collection management… from a 17th century librarian!


During my stint last week in SCOLAR cataloguing some of the Rare Books Collection, I catalogued a couple of books from the “Literature of libraries in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries series”, published by A. C. McClurg, and printed by the Merrymount Press in 1906.  Just thought I would share some of the pearls of wisdom and advice that shone out from these texts.

From, The duties & qualifications of a librarian: a discourse pronounced in the general assembly of the Sorbonne, December 23, 1780 by Jean Baptiste Cotton des Houssayes.

Being helpful to users…

“He will never seek to steal away from the notice of all into some solitary or unknown retreat.  Neither cold nor heat, nor his multiplied occupations, will ever be to him a pretext for evading the obligation he has contracted to be a friendly and intelligent guide to all the scholars who may visit him.”…

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