Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Pillage Continues...

Cardiff City Council are planning to sell off some of the rarest and most interesting books in its Central Library - up to 18,000 volumes - because the Council claims it cannot afford to look after them. The books earmarked for possible sale include early atlases, incunabula (ie books printed before 1500) private press publications, books with special bindings, limited editions and rare book collections, including a substantial collection of scarce political tracts from the Civil War and rare books on natural history and geography. It is estimated that some of the books will sell for up to £40,000 each.

Dr Wyn James, a member of the rapidly formed action group to prevent the sale, who is also secretary of Cardiff Welsh Bibliographical Society, told the BBC:

"In the past the council has not invested in these books and did not include them on the electronic catalogue, which means that the majority of people did not know they were there.
"But rather than ensuring that these valuable collections be catalogued, and exploiting these assets in a way that would substantially enhance Cardiff's prestige as a city of culture and learning, the council has decided to sell them."

The full story is on the BBC website: