Abingdon Parish Library

Reference: Uncatalogued collection, handlist available at Special CollectionsDate: 1600sExtent: Includes 35 theological and ecclesiastical works in 12 volumes, all English

A chained library from the Church of St Helen, Abingdon, Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire).

Many items are in poor condition, and most are imperfect to some extent. W. Blades noted their bad condition in Books in chains (1892, p. 29-30), having been placed in an aisle beneath a defective roof. B.H. Streeter recorded 11 volumes in glass cases, in poor condition, in The chained library (1931, p. 290).

The books have been cleaned, treated and boxed, but no comprehensive restoration has been undertaken. Some chains remain.

Abingdon 6 and 7 are almost certainly an edition of A collection of cases and other discourses, lately written to recover dissenters, lacking the general titlepages.

The library was transferred to the University of Reading Library, via the Bodleian Library, on permanent deposit, June 1962. The books were possibly the gift of Laurence Stevenson (died 1623-4). Two Bibles, one with chains, remained in the church.

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