Tag Archives: buildings

More Beautiful Libraries (This Time We’ll Do the U.K.)

The second part involves libraries from Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland

The first one is the Long Room from the The Library of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. I saw this library last summer and it knocked my socks off! The photo just does not do it justice! It’s the largest research library in Ireland and its biggest draw is the famous Book of Kells, which is well worth seeing if you make it there!

The Book of Kells, created by Monks in 800

The National Library of Ireland is also found in Dublin and is a reference library (i.e. no borrowing privileges)

The Theology Room at St. Deiniol’s library in Wales is seen below and is considered the largest residential library in the U.K. It has over 250,000 books.

The Glasgow School of Art has the Charles Rennie Macintosh Library in Scotland. Wish I’d seen it while I was there but only had time for a tattoo…ah me, priorities…anyway, the library carries the name of Charles Rennie Macintosh as he was the architect of the school and library. He’s famous for his art nouveau style in art and furniture design.

The Signet Library in Edinburgh, Scotland was visited by King George IV who described the upper library as “the finest drawing room in Europe”.

This is the Duke of Humphrey’s Library at Oxford University in England. It’s the main research library of the University of Oxford and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe (established in 1602, making it 408 years old!).

The Hereford Cathedral Chained Library is an interesting one! The practice of chaining books was the normal practice for reference libraries starting in the Middle Ages until the 18th century. The Chained Library has been around since the 1100’s (making it close to a 1000 years old!).

Next is the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England. It’s a Victorian Gothic building and holds many illuminated manuscripts including a copy of the Gutenberg Bible.

Lastly, we have the Old British Reading Room in the British Museum, London, England. The British Museum is the oldest museum in the world (1753) and features the Rosetta Stone. The Reading Room only opened to the general public for the first time in 2000. The Reading Room sits at the heart of the Great Court and has been used by the likes of Karl Marx, Rudyard Kipling, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, and Mahatma Gandhi.

That’s it for this part…next is Europe. That one will take me while!

Thanks again for reading. Please let me know if you’re enjoying this blog or if you know of other libraries you should like me to add!

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Beautiful Libraries (or, I Wish I Worked There!)

I seem to really like making lists…so here’s another one! I thought I would pull together photos of some of the beautiful libraries in North America.

The Library of Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario looks gorgeous! I shall have to get there some day! Its picture is on our $10 bill…

This picture was taken the day after a fire burnt down the building next the the library which was untouched in 1916.

The Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at the University of Toronto has an ugly exterior but is beautiful inside. I was lucky enough to take a class right in the middle of this library and was surrounded by these beautiful, rare books every week! It contains some Egyptian papyrus manuscript fragments from 245 B.C. as well as Darwin’s proof copy with annotations of On the Origin of  Species (both of which I had a chance to see).

The next are from the U.S. This first one is, of course, the Library of Congress in Washington. It’s the largest library in the world with 22 million catalogued books!

Here we have the Library of the Boston Anthenaeum. It was established in 1807,making it just over 200 years old!

Next is the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, which has the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works. Funny, you’d think you’d find that in England!

This is the Law Library…in Iowa! I love the spiral staircase! It’s apparently five stories.

Here is the New York City Public Library. It’s one of the largest public library systems in the U.S. and the one of the largest research libraries in the world. It’s been featured in many movies, such as Spider-Man, The Wiz, and of course, Ghostbusters.

This is the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and contains everything from Leonardo Da Vinci prints/drawings to Bob Dylan’s notes of Blowin’ in the Wind.

And lastly, the Suzzallo Library is a part of the University of Washington libraries in Seattle. I probably like it as it was built in the Gothic style…

These are just a few of the libraries in North America…I could do this all day! But, that would be boring. I will put up a few more posts on this topic…next will be the libraries in the UK and then in Europe (which in itself will probably need to be a two-parter!).

These libraries have made me realise that I need to travel more! Nothing can make me happier than seeing these libraries in person (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration…eating a hot fudge sundae would make me pretty happy!)