5.0536 Plutarch in the Colonies (1/20)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 17 Dec 1991 23:27:48 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0536. Tuesday, 17 Dec 1991.

Date: Tue, 17 Dec 91 09:17:17 CST
From: Mark Olsen <mark@gide.uchicago.edu>
Subject: Negative results

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0532. Monday, 16 Dec 1991.
>Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1991 20:30:20 -0500
>From: warkent@epas.utoronto.ca (Germaine Warkentin)
>Subject: "Sic semper tyrannis"
>Owen Cramer suggests that Plutarch's _Lives_ may not have been much read
>in the colonies. Quite the contrary, I suspect [...]

I am currently coding the circulation records for Harvard College
Library, 1773-1800. So far, we have entered about 2000 cases of
borrowings by Harvard overseers, tutors, etc. and have not had
a single instance of Plutarch. This, of course, does not mean
that the _students_ were not reading P. (since we are coding
their records later) or that the tutors etc. did not own the
volume. I am, from this preliminary sample, surprised at the
degree to which classical authors were not borrowed. This does
not mean they were not read, and may well have been the kind of
works that scholars purchased.

Mark Olsen
University of Chicago