By K. Lesley Knieriem
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Extra info for Book-Fools of the Renaissance
And for that most of the same wrytynges and recordes so kept in the Monasteries, are nowe come to the possession of sundry priuate persons, and so partly remayne obscure and unknowne: in which sayde recordes be mentioned such historicall matters and monumentes of antiquitie, both for the state ecclesiasticall and civile gouernement. "310 Parker's library was not just a personal indulgence, for he opened it to the use of scholars. 31' He gave numerous books, as well as other gifts, to the collegial libraries at Cambridge, including bequeathing his own magnificent personal collection to Corpus Christi.
In 1492 Trithemius was asked to write a treatise justifying and encouraging this practice, which became known as De Laude Scriptorum. Ironically, most of the surviving copies of this work are in printed form. "Trithemius knew very well that a printed book was bound to reach a much larger audience than a manuscript. " 244 In this work, his love of the handwritten text is evident. He did not restrict the sacred nature of this work to religious texts alone. Indeed, one "should exclude no discipline from his library, except heretical books.
Leland had entreated Cromwell to extend his commission so that he might collect manuscripts as well as describe them. In his opinion, nothing less than the national honor was at stake. 273 Leland did not obtain the blanket permission he sought, but his tour still considerably enriched the royal library. "274 Leland himself testified that he had "conservid many good autors, the which other wise had beene like to have perischid to no smaul incommodite of good letters, of the whiche parte remayne yn the moste magnificent libraries of yowr royal Palacis.