The Interesting History Behind a Traveling Library: How Bookstores Started

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Books
  • Post comments:1 Comment
The Interesting History Behind a Travelling Library: How Bookstores Started

The history behind the traveling library and the establishment of bookstores are very interesting. The concept of the traveling library initially started from the library of Melbourne in 1860. later in 1878, Oxford University stepped in and establish a library to share the knowledge among scholars and researchers. Later on, the University of Cambridge picked this idea for different subjects and courses. And then it settled a trend and other universities and research institutions also started their own libraries. Different governments also encouraged and funded educational institutions to establish libries.

How traveling libraries began

A traveling library is a small library attached to a steam-driven vehicle used to transport books. In 1860 the Library Society of Melbourne undertook to send a free traveling library from Melbourne to England as a means to promote its activities and provide a means of distribution of its free library materials in other parts of the world. The first car was a three-horse omnibus, drawn by a team of six geldings, and driven by a mechanic named Frank Williams. It left Melbourne on 22 June 1861 and arrived in London on 15 February 1862. The books were collected in Australia and transferred to the omnibus, which was carried on the mail boats to England. The traveling library then returned to Melbourne and resumed its journey, again in a mail boat.

The evolution of the traveling library

So how did traveling libraries develop? To begin with, the benefit of the traveling library was one of practicality.

In 1867, a traveling library from the University of Sydney for a country house club had cost only 1/8 of the sum to buy all the books they would have had to buy had they used a bookstall. After 1860, traveling libraries also began to provide a reading room for students. Students could go along to the library and, reading what was there, pick out books to take with them. Oxford University’s library started sending out traveling libraries in 1873 and Cambridge’s in 1874.

The future of the traveling library

Many countries began to think up ideas for mobile libraries and copy libraries in 1878. These models soon showed that book collections would eventually have to move with the times.

Library Kiosks

Libraries continued to evolve, and libraries evolved into kiosks and book vending machines. The first vending machines sold books in the early 20th century.

The Architecture of Our “Library”

Although today’s libraries are more than likely still standing, they are looking drastically different than the kiosks. The first libraries were open to the public and each house the books on shelves inside of the building.


At the end of this article, it can be said that modern bookstores had got close inspiration from traveling libraries. you will be convinced that we can rely on old and new technologies to promote a safe environment for children. In other words, bookmobiles are an intelligent tool for every child who is on the road, to benefit from bookmobiles.

Regardless of the age and reading level of the children, if they are well informed and they are motivated, they will get value from an actual library. The bookmobiles that are in the market today will act as a reminder to children to take books on the go. Moreover, the bookmobiles will facilitate the reading of the books because they are portable. Children who are enjoying an online bookmobile can take home a different book and can pick one on the go at any bookstore. The journey from traveling library to bookstores ended up ebooks. But with the advancement of modern technology, it will get even more advanced and efficient.

This Post Has One Comment

Leave a Reply