"A Learned Congress": A Closer Look at Book and Manuscript Thieves

by Nathe, Margarite A.

Abstract (Summary)
Book thieves can be anyone from head librarians to high school dropouts. They steal for many reasons, including revenge, greed, desire, desperation, ignorance, and sometimes inexplicable compulsion. This paper is an attempt to explore the history of book theft, including the “sicknesses” that have become known as bibliomania and bibliokleptomania. In the introduction, there is some discussion of the supposed difference between biblioklepts and common book thieves. Nine different book thieves are discussed in detail. Twenty-eight others are discussed only briefly. Each entry seeks to answer the following questions: Who is the book thief? How did s/he get away with the crimes? How was s/he caught? Why did s/he steal? What, if any, was the punishment?
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Jerry Saye

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:book thefts thieves biography libraries security measures bibliomania history case studies


Date of Publication:04/14/2005

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