Portable libraries have quite a lengthy history, with aristocrats. Very popular in England and France during the 18th and early 19th century, they often saw use on the European Grand Tour, and were also fairly commonplace among military and naval officers (frequently very well educated, at least in England.)
One of the most elegant is this Louis Vuitton’s combination steamer trunk and portable library.
This is a huanghuali wood traveling bookcase dates from the early 1600s. The stain really brings out the wood grain, and it look like the doors were cut from the same board. The metal work is also very simple, but together they make a very elegant package. Inside it contains two small drawers and a single shelf.
Lighthouses were often time located in remote areas and as such had no access to city services such as libraries. One of the items the tender supplied was a library box on each visit as pictured to the left. Library boxes were filled with books and switched from station to station to supply different reading materials to the families.