If a stranger entered the library he had to be accompanied by the religious who admitted him. If this was impossible, another religious was required to take his place. In 1436 Prior General Gerard of Rimini O.S.A. (not to be confused with Gregory of Rimini O.S.A. in the following century) warned that those who did not carry out this order "are to be deprived of their exemptions, if they are Doctors; if Bachelors or Lectors, they shall lose active and passive voice for three years; and if simple conventuals (members of the community), they shall spend two years incarcerated in the community jail.”
The holdings of a library were increased through the work done in the scriptorium and by the incorporation of books received from deceased religious or as a result of donation from prelates and benefactors of the Order. There is extant documentation for the scriptoria of Paris, Avignon, York, Erfurt and a few other libraries.
It is quite certain that, given the prosperity of the times, there were scriptoria also in the major houses of Italy, central Europe, France, England, and the Iberian Peninsula, and that a number of these continued in operation until the last quarter of the fifteenth century, when the printed book completely replaced the manuscript.
The incorporation of the books of deceased friars and donations made by benefactors of the Order left these libraries very often with duplicates of the same work. This is evidenced by the numerous dispositions given by the priors general to permit these duplicates to be sold.
The following letter, sent by Prior General Gregory of Rimini O.S.A. in March of 1358 to the house at Ratisbon, serves as a case in point: "Although our laws prohibit the sale of any book in the conventual (i.e. community) library, it is not against the law to exchange duplicates for codices which are more useful for the community.
This is always to be done with the authorization of the superior of the Order.” The only condition stipulated by Gregory was that any money obtained by such sales be employed for the benefit of the library, a condition often repeated by his successors.
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