As we have seen in previous chapters, the idea of a round reading room was far from new. What was revolutionary was the scale, Panizzi’s idea of having the librarians at the centre and the readers rangedaround them, and placing huge stacks adjacent to the reading room on the same level. The Bibliothèque Nationale took up the latter idea and went one stage further: since its stacks were visible from the reading room, it made the act of fetching the books into aspectacle. The round reading room became a theme that occurred again and again in the following century in libraries such as the Picton Library in Liverpool,(1879), the Library of Parliament, Ottawa (1880), the Königliche Bibliothek in Berlin (1914), Stockholm City Library (1924) and Manchester Central Library (1934). The most famous library inspired by Panizzi’s round reading room is the Library of Congress in Washington DC.
About the book: A library is not just a collection of books, but also the buildings that house them. As varied and inventive as the volumes they hold, such buildings can be much more than the dusty, dark wooden shelves found in mystery stories or the catacombs of stacks in the basements of academia. From the great dome of the Library of Congress, to the white façade of the Seinäjoki Library in Finland, to the ancient ruins of the library of Pergamum in modern Turkey, the architecture of a library is a symbol of its time as well as of its builders’ wealth, culture, and learning.
Architectural historian James Campbell and photographer Will Pryce traveled the globe together, visiting and documenting over eighty libraries that exemplify the many different approaches to thinking about and designing libraries. The result of their travels, The Library: A World History is one of the first books to tell the story of library architecture around the world and through time in a single volume, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern China and from the beginnings of writing to the present day. As these beautiful and striking photos reveal, each age and culture has reinvented the library, molding it to reflect their priorities and preoccupations—and in turn mirroring the history of civilization itself. Campbell’s authoritative yet readable text recounts the history of these libraries, while Pryce’s stunning photographs vividly capture each building’s structure and atmosphere. To read about the Author, click hereWhat others say about the book:
1. Lost Beginnings: Libraries in the Ancient World
2. Cloisters, Codices, and Chests: Libraries in the Middle Ages
3. Cupboards, Chains, and Stalls: Libraries in the 16th Century
4. Walls, Domes, and Alcoves: Libraries in the 17th Century
5. Angels, Frescoes, and Secret Doors: Libraries in the 18th Century
6. Iron Stacks, Gaslights, and Card Catalogues: Libraries in the 19th Century
7. Electricity, Concrete, and Steel: Libraries in the 20th Century
8. The Future of Libraries in the Electronic Age
Pictures of sixteen libraries, info courtesy: Bookwyrme's Lair: "This article in The Telegraph, "The Most Spectacular Libraries in the World" has some of the images with brief descriptions of the libraries in question."
See also books by James W. P. Campbell :
- Brick: A World History by James W. P. Campbell
- Building St Paul's by James W.P. Campbell
- Staircases: History, Repair and Conservation by James W. P. Campbell
- Burning Books and Leveling Libraries by Prof. Rebe...
- Better by Design(library buildings) by Ayub Khan
- Browsing the Toronto Public Library stacks for inspiration
- Among the world's most beautiful library buildings, two are Canadian, eh? @ mentalfloss.com
The Best Bottomline of the Year 2009 by Dan Lett --(library buildings) includes: Vancouver Public Library / Winnipeg Public Library – Millennium Library
Librarians at the gate-- includes the Toronto Reference Library