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British Parliamentary Libraries: History, International Comparisons, and Some Lessons for Tomorrow’s Legislature Libraries

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Title: British Parliamentary Libraries: History, International Comparisons, and Some Lessons for Tomorrow’s Legislature Libraries
Author(s): Murphy, Christopher
Subject(s): Legislative libraries Great Britain Great Britain. Parliament
Abstract: Britain’s House of Commons and House of Lords Libraries have a lengthy history beginning with small collections of books and papers in the eighteenth century and evolving into today’s large organizations offering a sophisticated range of services. The central theme of this article is the conservatism of these institutions over most of their history, with the creation of modern library facilities only beginning in 1945 for the Commons Library (a process that did not accelerate until some three decades later) and in 1976 for the Lords. By way of comparison I will discuss: the U.S. Library of Congress (founded in 1800); Japan’s National Diet Library (created in the postwar reconstruction in 1948); and, to offer an example of a smaller country, Ireland’s Oireachtas Library. In summarizing the history of the British parliamentary libraries, I have also tried to indicate some ways in which we might draw upon this historical experience to identify fruitful new future directions for libraries supporting legislatures throughout the world.
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info: In Library trends 58(4) Spring 2010: 472-485.
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16682
ISSN: 0024-2594
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-08-10
 

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