bibliotaph

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French bibliotaphe, from biblio- + Ancient Greek τάφος (táphos, burial, tomb).

Noun[edit]

bibliotaph (plural bibliotaphs)

  1. (rare) One who "buries" books by hiding them, locking them away, or otherwise shutting them up and keeping them from use
    • 1866, The Bookseller, 31 Aug 1866:
      He was, by his knowledge of the intellectual value of his store, a little bit of a bibliotaph: we have reason to think he had this feeling to an extent he knew nothing of himself.
    • 1888, William Blades, Enemies of Books:
      The late Sir Thomas Phillipps, of Middle Hill, was a remarkable instance of a bibliotaph. He bought bibliographical treasures simply to bury them.
    • 1950, Holbrook Jackson, The Anatomy of Bibliomania, page 534:
      the vast collection of State-papers [...] were found only when they accidentally fell out of a false ceiling of his chambers in Lincoln's Inn; but doubtless he was a purposeful bibliotaph, otherwise those documents might not have survived those revolutionary times.

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