Originally posted on History Of The Ancient World:
The most celebrated library of the ancient world was established in Alexandria, Egypt, in the first half of the third century BCE, during the reigns of Ptolemy I Soter and Ptolemy II Philadelphus, king of Egypt 322-246 BCE. The library was part o a museum, which included a garden, a common dining room, a reading room, lecture theatres and meeting rooms, creating a model for the modern university campus.
Attempt were made to gather together all the knowledge of the known world. Messengers were sent to buy items at the book fairs of Rhodes and Athens. International scholars came on funded visits. According to Galen, all ships visiting Alexandria were obliged to surrender their books for immediate copying – the owners received a copy, but the pharaohs kept the originals in their museum. The Alexandria library collection included the best available texts of Greek authors and also of non-Greek works…
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