B is for…

Banned Books

Opening from Apologia pro Christiana religione (1631) which appeared on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum


The rise of printing correlated with the appearance of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. To own any of the titles listed in the Index risked punishment, but for a book collector, their appearance may have rendered such titles very attractive indeed. Archbishops King and Bolton began amassing their collections not long after the publication of the 1667 Madrid and Rome indices. How many of the works listed therein survived destruction as a direct result of the interest taken in them by the Bolton Library’s collectors?




A sheet of paper printed on one side, the broadsides of the Bolton Library, be they ballads, posters, proclamations or advertisements, usually appear in the form of bookbinders’ waste. Several of them, such as The gallant Grahams, here split and inserted into two separate bindings, are proving to be only known copies.