Category: Royal Grammar School Chained Library


Royal Grammar School Chained Library, Guildford, England

A chained library is a library where the books are attached to their bookcase by a chain, which is sufficiently long to allow the books to be taken from their shelves and read, but not removed from the library itself. This would prevent theft of the library’s materials. The Royal Grammar School in Guildford, England has a small chained library but is notable for being one of the last chained libraries in a school. The library is now the Headmaster’s Study. Most of the chained books were left to the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, England, by the Bishop of Norwich in his will. While they were endangered by a fire in the 1960s, the books still survive in their locks, although kept in the Headmaster’s Study. Now the books with their age and rarity are just as valuable, if not more so, as when they were first cuffed into place, and it’s likely the confining chains had something to do with their preservation.