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August 12, 2017 AT 5:00 am

17th Century Traveling Library

Jacobean traveling library 4

This library inside a book is the cutest ancient kindle ever!

Via My Modern Met:

This 17th-century Jacobean traveling library is a beautifully crafted wooden case created to house a miniature book collection. According to the University of Leeds, the case was most likely commissioned by lawyer, and member of Parliament, William Hakewell in 1617 as New Year’s gift for a friend. Shaped in the form of a large book, the case houses 50 smaller books, creating a portable, traveling library. As Stella Butler, university librarian, reminds us, “It’s essentially a 17th-century e-book reader such as a Kindle.”

Jacobean traveling library 1

And this wasn’t the only traveling library Hakewell gifted. In fact, over the course of four or five years, he commissioned three others that still exist in collections at the British Library, the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio, proving that the gift of reading has long been held in high regard.

Jacobean traveling library 3

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