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Private or personal libraries made up of written books (as opposed to the state or institutional records kept in archives) appeared in classical Greece in the 5th century BC.
The celebrated book collectors of Hellenistic Antiquity were listed in the late 2nd century in Deipnosophistae.
A library's collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, microform, CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audiobooks, databases, and other formats.
Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items.
The “libraries” were cataloged using colophons, which are a publisher’s imprint on the spine of a book, or in this case a tablet.
The colophons stated the series name, the title of the tablet, and any extra information the scribe needed to indicate.
Libraries were amenities suited to a villa, such as Cicero's at Tusculum, Maecenas's several villas, or Pliny the Younger's, all described in surviving letters.
It was the first to employ an architectural design that separated works into Greek and Latin.The earliest discovered private archives were kept at Ugarit; besides correspondence and inventories, texts of myths may have been standardized practice-texts for teaching new scribes.There is also evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 BC and those at Nineveh about 700 BC showing a library classification system.Eventually, the clay tablets were organized by subject and size.Unfortunately, due to limited to bookshelf space, once more tablets were added to the library, older ones were removed, which is why some tablets are missing from the excavated cities in Mesopotamia.