The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

XIX. The Foundation of Libraries

§ 9. Sion College, London

In 1630, Sion college was founded, as a corporation of all ministers and curates within London and its suburbs; and, during the Commonwealth, it gave shelter to the library of old St. Paul’s when the latter was menaced with confiscation. With the Restoration, a portion of the collection went back to the cathedral, but only to be consumed in the Great Fire. Of the portion that remained in the college, not a few of the volumes are of great rarity; while, in the reign of queen Anne, the library was admitted to share in the privilege which had been granted in 1662–3, whereby every printer was required to

  • reserve three printed copies of the best and largest paper of every book new printed … and before any publick vending of the said book bring them to the Master of the Company of Stationers, and deliver them to him, one whereof shall be delivered to the Keeper of His Majesties library, and the other two to be sent to the vice-chancellors of the two universities respectively, for the use of the publick libraries of the said universities.