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Sir Francis Leicester's ‘Good Library’ at Nether Tabley

Webb, Sarah and Reid, Peter H (2018) Sir Francis Leicester's ‘Good Library’ at Nether Tabley. Library and Information History, 34 (1). ISSN 1758-3497


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This article examines the book collection of Sir Francis Leicester (1674–1742) of Nether Tabley Hall, Cheshire. It charts the genesis of his collection; from an initial collection inherited from his grandfather Sir Peter Leicester to one directed by the interests of Sir Francis Leicester himself. The kind of collection Sir Francis assembled and whether it had a particular kind of identity is examined. The connections between this collection and those owned by other members of the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century elite are considered. Whether national and local scholars knew about his books and were granted access is explored. Evidence is provided for access having been granted by Sir Francis to non-elite readers from a variety of professional backgrounds. These potential readers are identified.

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