May 23, 2022

Article: “Do Not Read: Restricted Collections in Remarkable Libraries”

From Lapham’s Quarterly:

In the nineteenth century some librarians became preoccupied with the morality or lack thereof displayed in some of their texts. Consequently a number of libraries created special shelf marks or locations for restricted books to ensure that only readers with a proper academic purpose might access them. Below is a summary of some of the methods used to categorize restricted titles in libraries.

Items found in the following libraries are discussed:

  • The British Library
  • The Vatican Library
  • Bibliothèque Nationale de France
  • New York Public Library
  • Bodleian Library
  • Widener Library

Read the Complete Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.