Library

The Cathedral Library was built in the mid-fifteenth century over the East Cloister.

It houses the book collection of the Chapter in two areas: the Chained Library and the Reading Room.

Featured Book of the Month : MAY

INDEX LIBRORUM PROHIBITORUM    (Madrid, 1628)

Chapter and Verse 005

The List of Prohibited Books was produced by the Roman Catholic Church to protect the faith and morals of its adherents by preventing the reading of immoral books or those containing theological errors.

The first such list was produced in the Netherlands in 1529, but the church in Rome published its authoritative list in 1559. This was particularly restrictive and was amended by the Council of Trent which led to the Tridentine Index of 1564. The list was added to over time until its final abolition only in 1966, by which time it included works by Graham Greene and D. H. Lawrence.

The list was made up of writers whose works were completely banned, such as Luther, Calvin and Melancthon, but the largest section was the Index Expurgatorius which listed books that were acceptable provided the often very long list of amendments were made. The Index Expurgatorius included works by Erasmus, Polydore Vergil and even William Camden’s Britannia.

Our copy is of the 1612 list and was printed in Madrid. It was given to the library by Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1685-91.

OLN 131