The Chained Library of Zutphen

Occasionally, a library patron will try to check out a reference book. "Can't you make an exception for me?" "No," I say with a smile. At the Chained Library of Zutphen, the Netherlands, Sixteenth Century librarians found a way to get the point across. The library was open to everyone. To make sure that the books didn't walk off, the monks chained all of the books to the reading desks.

There are footprints in the bricks on the floor. Perhaps they're from an animal, but since at least the Nineteenth Century, monks attributed them to the Devil.


(Photos: Julie Somers)

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