Loughborough University
Thesis-1981-Griffiths.pdf (3.88 MB)

W.H. Smith and Son's circulating library

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posted on 2019-11-18, 11:52 authored by Linda M. Griffiths
The role played by the circulating libraries in the history of library provision is unique to Britain. There was no similar development on a comparable scale in either Europe or America. The circulating libraries bridged the gap from the period when books were almost the exclusive province of the rich to the present situation of a national free public library service. During this transitional period there were great social, economic and political changes which reflected upon and were reflected by the progress of the circulating libraries. The literature on these libraries has tended to be dominated by the 'leviathan', Charles Mudie's 'Select Library', whilst comparatively scant attention has been paid to W.H. Smith and Son's library. This has resulted in a neglect of the major and unique contribution made by this library to library history. The aim of this study is to rectify that situation.



  • Science


  • Information Science


Loughborough University

Rights holder

© Linda M. Griffiths

Publication date



A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Library Studies of the Loughborough University of Technology.


  • en


James G. Ollé

Qualification name

  • MSc

Qualification level

  • Masters