The history of libraries in Halifax & Huddersfield from the mid-sixteenth century to the coming of the public libraries
This thesis explores the development of libraries and associated subjects such as the book trade in Halifax and Huddersfield and their environs as defined by Halifax parish and Almondbury, Huddersfield, Kirkburton and Kirkheaton parishes. Chronologically it covers a period of over three centuries from the mid-sixteenth century to the coming of the public libraries in Halifax in 1882 and in Huddersfield in 1898. The Introduction outlines reasons for undertaking this study and includes a literature review. It is followed by six chapters. Chapter 1 describes the economic, religious and educational background to the area to 1830. Chapter 2 on writing, the book trade and libraries from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-eighteenth century covers the development of bookselling and printing, Church of England and nonconformist libraries and school libraries. Chapter 3 on the book trade and libraries from the mid-eighteenth century to 1830 comprises sections on bookselling and printing, reading and private collections, school libraries, book clubs, subscription libraries, newsrooms, commercial circulating libraries and libraries of churches, chapels and religious organisations. Chapter 4 continues with the economic, religious and educational background for the second part of this study 1830-c. 90. Chapter 5 on secular libraries from 1830 to the coming of the public libraries includes bookselling and printing, reading and private collections, school libraries, subscription libraries, literary and philosophical society libraries and other special libraries, mechanics' institute libraries, factory libraries, commercial circulating libraries, newsrooms and co-operative society libraries. Chapter 6 on libraries attached to churches, chapels and religious organisations for the same period comprises sections on libraries of the Church of England, nonconformist chapels, the Society of Friends and Sunday schools. An Epilogue describes the introduction of public libraries in Halifax and Huddersfield, but their subsequent history is excluded. The thesis ends with a Conclusion.