The Chained Library
The Chained Library is notable as one of the
few original chained libraries remaining in a school.
The practice of chaining books to shelves traditionally
allowed important or valuable books to be placed in communal areas for public
perusal rather than being locked away; this paved the way for the public
John Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich (1560 – 75),
was born in Guildford and left in his will, "the most parte of all my
Latten bookes whereof shall be made a catalogue as shortelie as I may God
sendinge me lief." Most of the
books reached the School and were housed in the newly-completed gallery where
they still remain. The gallery was enlarged
in 1650 by Arthur Onslow and the present bookcases date from 1897. The oldest book in the library was printed in
Venice circa 1480. The oldest English
book was printed circa 1500 with the imprint of Wynkyn de Worde. It escaped the fire of 1962 with some damage
and was restored in 1965. The library contains two early editions of Sir
Isaac Newton's Principia.
Library is now the Headmaster's Study and was recently placed at number nine in
online article on Unique World Libraries.