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Chapter Summary

This concluding chapter picks up some of the main historical and theoretical issues that have been aired in the different texts on the topic of collecting and into the antiquarian culture of early modern Britain. It focuses on the case of the Kentish churchman and collector of curiosities, John Bargrave (1610-80). Until Bargravean Museum's historical significance was discovered in the nineteenth century, the collection was simply retained and stored. Like Bargrave, Elias Ashmole took over and considerably added to an existing collection of curiosities. The Humphrey Chetham's Library survives to this day, with its stacks, furniture and the great part of its book holdings, as a remarkable testimony to the collection as it developed in its early years. This tenuous family connection between a great museum and an innovative library prompts one last thought about 'what is kept, what is discarded'.

Keywords: antiquarian culture; curiosities; early modern Britain; Elias Ashmole; Humphrey Chetham's Library; John Bargrave

10.1163/9789004262164_019
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