Postprint version. Published in Information & Culture, Volume 47, Issue 1, January 1, 2012, pages 4-17.
The seventh chapter of François Rabelais’s Pantagruel concludes with a list of books attributed to the Abbey of Saint-Victor. The chapter’s brief narrative foregrounds the catalog by touching on aspects of intellectual life in Paris, mentioning both the “great University of Paris” and the “seven liberal arts.” It is not surprising, then, that critics have viewed the catalog as a broad critique of scholasticism. Evidence presented here warrants the addition of a further layer of nuance to this critique that is directly related to this abbey’s contributions to education, reading, textual organization, and library classification.
Library and Information Science
This is a pre-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Information & Culture following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available through the University of Texas Press.