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Natural Philosophy And ‘Useful’ Texts

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns itself with the Library's acquisition of scientific texts in the latter part of the seventeenth century. It seeks to combine the study of distribution and reception, which raises questions about early modern scientific enquiry and its relationship with the book trade and print culture. Neither account thinks widely enough about issues of textual distribution and reception, as understood and outlined in this study of the acquisition and reception of books and other materials at Chetham's Library. Second, neither party is as confident or as clear on the history of the book trade as such studies deserve. This chapter pays the most attention, and it turns to intellectual and material cultures and the reciprocity in the book trade that surrounded the Library's acquisition of scientific titles between 1661 and 1700. The content and form of Natural Philosophy were hotly contested throughout the seventeenth century.

Keywords: Chetham's Library; Library's acquisition; Natural Philosophy; scientific texts; seventeenth century

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