Ware’s library

Published in Early Modern History (1500–1700), Features, Issue 2(March/April 2012), Volume 20

Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher—Ware’s library was surpassed only by Ussher’s, described by Ware as ‘the most extensive’. (National Portrait Gallery, London)

Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher—Ware’s library was surpassed only by Ussher’s, described by Ware as ‘the most extensive’. (National Portrait Gallery, London)

Ware’s accumulation of manuscripts is significant not only because of its scale but also because it reveals the breadth of his scholarly interests. In 1648 he published Librorum manuscriptorum in bibliotheca Jacobi Waræi equities aur. catalogus—apparently the only book printed in Dublin in that year—which details many of the documents that were in his personal collection. Covering a sizeable 22 pages, he divided the catalogue into five sections: theology; history, politics and geography; law; poetry; and, finally, philosophy, medicine and mathematics. These, in turn, were broken down into various subsections: 25 for theology, 55 for history, politics and geography, five for law, two for poetry and 135 for philosophy, medicine and mathematics. That it was the first printed catalogue of a private manuscript library is highly significant, and it is likely that his library possessed one of the largest collections in Ireland, surpassed only by that of Ussher’s—‘the most extensive library’, according to Ware.

'


Copyright © 2022 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568