Library

The 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. The earliest records of the Cathedral are housed in the Muniment Room at the southern end of the Library.

Featured Book of the Month : APRIL

PENNANT, Thomas   British Zoology (4 vols)  (Warrington, 1776)

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Thomas Pennant (1726-1798) was a Welsh naturalist and antiquary. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1767 shortly after the first part of his British Zoology was published, and he is regarded as the leading British zoologist before Darwin. We have the four volume set which is well illustrated with engravings of the birds, mammals and other creatures described. The work is not regarded as particularly original in its science, but it was fairly exhaustive in coverage. He helped inspire Gilbert White to write his Natural History of Selborne.

Pennant is also well regarded as a travel writer from his books about expeditions to catalogue antiquities and creatures. His work influenced Samuel Johnson who commented that Pennant was “the best travel writer I ever read; he observes more things than anyone else does.”

Vol 2 P 426 has an illustration of a Great Auk which became extinct in the British Isles in 1840 when the last one was killed on St. Kilda.

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