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.

Proud to Celebrate Staff Talent

How many Cathedrals can boast two staff authors with new book releases? Both Cathedral Librarian, Kevin Spears, and Archivist Anne Crawford, have recently produced volumes, now on sale in the Cathedral shop.

An Illustrated History of the Books in the Chained Library of Wells Cathedral’, is available for £19.99.

Kevin Spears' book coverIn an accessible format, with many beautiful visual examples, it gives background notes on the history of the book, ranging from production of manuscripts and early printing, to literacy, copyright and censorship, bookbinding and more. The Chained Library of Wells Cathedral has manuscript and printed books produced between the years 1000-1800. Together with the modern Reading Room, it is a working library still occupying the same space created for it above the East Cloister in the mid-1400s.

 ‘The Vicars of Wells: A History of the College of Vicars Choral’ (2016), is available for £15.

The vicars choral of Wells have been singing in the Cathedral for more than nine centuries, generation after generation of dedicated musicians.  In 1348 Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury founded the College of Vicars Choral at Wells by charter.  They were the first group of vicars to be thus formally incorporated in the country.  The college as an institution lasted until 1931.  The college hall and the individual houses for each vicar, forming Vicars’ Close built by Bishop Ralph, have survived remarkably unchanged.

Both volumes come highly recommended.

Featured Library Book of the Month - July

SPON, Isaac     History of the City and State of Geneva   (1687)

Isaac (better known as Jacob) Spon (1647-1685) was a French medical doctor and antiquarian. He travelled extensively and was one of the first educated men to become familiar with the classical antiquities of Greece and Rome.

His first book was on the antiquities of Lyons where he practised as a doctor. He then wrote about his travels in Italy and Greece, where he accompanied Sir George Wheler. Spon came from a Calvinist family and Geneva became the subject of his third book.

His Protestant faith forced him to flee France for Switzerland after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, but the journey was difficult and he died of tuberculosis shortly after arriving in Zurich.

This book was presented by Bishop Ken.

OLN 175