Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "Her Book Not His": Women and Their Book Collections in Medieval And Early Modern Europe
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This paper examines book ownership by women in the medieval and early modern periods in Europe. The primary aim of this paper is to synthesize the diverse and fragmentary scholarship on women book collectors in an accessible single source. The secondary aim is to provide an historical overview of the changing social practices of European women who owned libraries, as those practices developed from the ninth to the eighteenth centuries. This paper summarizes existing research into a coherent narrative that describes and explains the histories and contexts of women book collectors throughout Europe, with a focus on the issues and problems of scholarship on book ownership. Topics discussed include the history of books, women's role in the growth of vernacular literature, how women accessed and acquired books, determining book ownership among women, women's literacy, and books written or produced for women. Specific examples and case studies are used to illustrate selected issues, problems, and topics.