In 1901 Cambridge University historian and antiquary John Willis Clark
issued from Cambridge University Press The Care of Books: An Essay on the Development of Libraries and their Fittings, from the earliest times to the end of the Eighteenth Century.
This 451-page book concerned the history of the material culture of libraries, describing what was known about the earliest rooms for housing collections of texts in Assyria, Greece, and Rome, and focusing on the medieval libraries of Europe. The "care' of books included their preservation by regulation as well as by physical organization in cabinets, on desks, and on shelves. To write this pathbreaking work Clark drew on archival, architectural and archaeological sources. As I wrote in 2020, the text of Clark's work remained in some ways unsuperceded, while, of course, there were many publications with superior illustrations, especially in color. For its time Clark's book was very well illustrated with 158 plates and text illustrations, all in black and white. Clark issued a second edition with some additional illustrations in 1902.