Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Great Libraries from Around the World...

Just as your local library is closing down...

The Rijksmuseum library in Amsterdam has the largest art history collection in the Netherlands. It has been open to the public since renovation work was completed in April 2013


Stunning libraries from around the world – in pictures
'Without libraries we have no past and no future,' said Ray Bradbury. A new book celebrates the most innovative library buildings. Take a whirlwind tour with our gallery

Nikki Hatchett
Monday 24 March 2014

Seattle Central library, Washington, USA. The top-floor reading room offers views of Puget Sound and the surrounding mountains. Designed by OMA/LMN, completed in 2004. 

Interior, Seattle Central library. 

Sir Duncan Rice library, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. A building inspired by 'the ice and light of the north', with eight storeys housing 13km of bookshelves. Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, 2012. 

John à Lasco library, Emden, Germany. This 16th-century church was bombed in the second world war and remained a ruin until the 1990s, when it was incorporated into a new library building. Jochen Bunse, 1995.

Johannes A. Lasco Bibliothek, Emden - Alte Kirche Emden Architekt: Jochen Bunse (Bj.1995).
John à Lasco library

Sainte-Geneviève library, Paris, France. The use of iron for the Ionic columns, highly innovative in its day, made it possible to do without cumbersome masonry. Henri Labrouste, 1851. 

Vennesla library and culture house, Norway. The 'whale skeleton' structure and generous use of glass make this a bright, striking library that has become part of the urban fabric. Helen & Hard, 2011. 

Vennesla library interior. 

Luckenwalde library, Germany: a converted railway building on the Berlin-Dresden line. FF Architekten and Martina Wronna, 2008. 

Children and young people's section, Luckenwalde library. 


Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society, where you can usually find several core and fringe members of the FNB waiting for the previous night's alcohol-induced haze to clear on  Saturday morning,

Long Room, Trinity College Library — Dublin, Ireland
Long Room, Trinity College Library, Dublin

Library hall, Admont Abbey — Admont, Austria
This is the largest monastic library in the world.
→ [meagannnn-reblog, thepaisleypony, gatekeeper, ryannjoy & apassingfeeling]
Library Hall, Admont Abbey, Admont, Austria

Tama Art University Library — Tokyo, Japan
→ [subtilitas]
Tama Art University Library, Tokyo, Japan

British Museum Library photo
The British Library Reading Room inside the British Museum, Bloomsbury, before the move of the British Library to its current location at St.Pancras.


A few more:

Millicent Library; Fairhaven, Massachusetts, 1994. In 1894, Mark Twain wrote a letter calling this library “ideal”: “Books are the liberated spirits of men, and should be bestowed in a heaven of light and grace and harmonious color and sumptuous comfort, like this, instead of in the customary kind of public library, with its depressing austerities and severities of form and furniture and decoration. A public library is the most enduring of memorials…. All other things which I have seen today must pass away and be forgotten; but there will still be a Millicent Library when by the mutations of language the books that are in it now will speak in a lost tongue to your posterity.”

In the course of eighteen years, beginning in 1994, the California-based photographer Robert Dawson took pictures of hundreds of public libraries across the United States. The results are collected in his new book, “The Public Library: A Photographic Essay,” to be released next month. Many writers have written eloquently about the role of libraries in American life (see Mark Twain’s impassioned praise of Fairhaven, Massachusetts’ Millicent Library, in the third slide above), but Dawson’s project makes a powerful case for how public libraries serve communities in every corner of the country. In the introduction, he writes, “Public libraries are worth fighting for, and this book is my way of fighting.”

A library built by former slaves; Allensworth, California, 1995. Allen Allensworth was born into slavery, in Kentucky, in 1842. He later became a petty officer in the U.S. Navy, a Baptist minister, and a chaplain in the U.S. Army, and he founded the colony of Allensworth in Tulare County, California, in the early part of the twentieth century. This library is a re-creation of the original, in what is now called Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Richard F. Boi Memorial Library, the first Little Free Library; Hudson, Wisconsin, 2012. Todd Boi started the Little Free Library movement as a tribute to his mother, who was a book lover and a schoolteacher, by mounting a wooden container designed to look like a schoolhouse on a post on his lawn. Library owners can create their own boxes, usually about the size of a dollhouse, or purchase one from the movement’s Web site (littlefreelibrary.org).


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