In every great abbey there was a large room called the Scriptorium, where several writers made it their whole business to transcribe books for the use of the library. They sometimes indeed wrote the ledger books of the house, and the missals, and other books used in divine service; but they generally were upon other works, viz. the the Fathers, Classics, Histories, etc. John Whethamsted, abbot of St. Alban's, caused above eighty books to be thus transcribed during his abbacy. Fifty eight were transcribed by the care of one abbot at Glastonbury and so zealous were the monks in general for this work, that they often got lands given, and churches appropriated for the carrying of it on. In all the greater abbeys, there were also persons appointed to take notice of the principal occurrences of the kingdom, and at the end of every year to digest them into annals.
Bishop Tanner also recounted the disadvantages and problems with the monasteries throughout the centuries, but it must be said that his listing of them is short in comparison with the work and charity--not to mention the prayer and worship--of the monasteries detailed above. He also discusses their relative decline in the sixteenth century, a decline they had no opportunity to recover from as they had in earlier ages (N.B., the tenth century!). The "corrodies" referred to above are the lifetime provisions of food, lodging, and clothing by the monasteries, providing a kind of retirement plan for royal and noble servants--thus saving the monarch from having to grant pensions to his former servants. More on Bishop Tanner here.