International and Comparative Librarianship

S. R. Ranganathan, P. N. Kaula, R. N. Sharma, J. F. Harvey, D. J. Foskett, J. P. Danton, M. M. Jackson, etc.
This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Librarians in the Ancient Times (read as pre-modern age)

Extracts from: "If You Were a REAL LIBRARIAN, You Would Know": Information Professionals Without M.L.I.S. Degrees
By Jenkins, William L
Published on
In the ancient world, libraries were staffed by people whose training was often in another field.
  • The first librarian at the ancient library in Alexandria was Zenodotus of Ephesus,(1) an epic poet.
  • Zenodotus served as librarian between 284 and 260 B.C. (2) Zenodotus' successor at Alexandria was Demetrius of Phalerum, a philosopher and statesman. (3)
  • Demetrius' successor was Callimachus of Gyrene, a poet "who combined an ability to write creative poetry with a willingness to submit to the grinding drudgery of compiling hundreds of lists involving thousands of entries." (4)
  • Many call him the father of librarians. (5)
  • Callimachus was followed by still another poet, Appolonius of Rhodes. (6)

    These men were librarians, though their training came from other fields. What apparently made them worthy of service was their intelligence, management skills, cataloging and search talents, and incredible memories. In short, they had to be mental giants, persons of intellectual distinction.

    1 Lionel Casson, Libraries in the Ancient World, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001, p. 37.

    2 Eternal Egypt Web site, copyright 2005.

    3 The Dead Germans Project, loaded Spring 2004.

    4 Casson, Ibid., p. 38.

    5 Callimachus, site created Dec. 10, 2000.

    6 Eternal Egypt, Ibid.

    Continue reading: "If You Were a REAL LIBRARIAN, You Would Know": Information Professionals Without M.L.I.S. Degrees

  • On the same shelf:
  • See Ibn Nadim, the first Islamic Bibliographer in Book in the Islamic Civilization
  • The Life and fate of the ancient Library of Alexandria
  • Book in the Islamic world: The Written Word and Communication in the Middle East, George N. Atiyeh
  • A Bibliography of Scholars in Medieval Islam, 150-1000 AH., 750-1600 AD
  • Genius of Arab Civilization: Source of Renaissance
  • The Library: An Illustrated History, by Stuart Murray
  • Library: An Unquiet History, Matthew Battles
  • Foundations of Education for Librarianship (Information Science), Jesse Hauk Shera
  • Libraries in the Ancient World, Lionel Casson
  • Ancient History: Monuments and Documents (Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World), Charles W. Hedrick

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