Category: Libraries

The Library Traveler

The big Daddy of all libraries

Storage has always been a problem at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Ever since it started collecting books in the early 19th century and became the depository of every copyrighted book in the United States, it has been running out…

Shakespeare’s American home

For all things Shakespeare in England, scholars and devotees go to Stratford-Upon-Avon or London (see The Shakespeare Globe experience). But in the United States, they come to Washington, DC, to the Folger Shakespeare Library, situated behind the Library of Congress. A gift…

Washington walkabout

On a recent visit to Washington, DC, I discovered it to be a very walkable city. Laid out in a radial system in the early 1800s, the wide, ample avenues crisscross each other making it easy to find one’s bearings. Even…

Hometown Carnegie

When you visit Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you will see the name of Carnegie on a lot of buildings: Carnegie-Mellon University, Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. They are all named after Andrew Carnegie, a wealthy industrialist, who made…

You know you’re a book lover when…

…you get really excited when you go to a new library you’ve never been to before.

 

– Unknown author

 

Restored to bookish glory

In the mid 1990s, the Multnomah County Central Library in Portland, Oregon began to experience serious structural issues and subsequently underwent extensive renovations. With a complete overhaul of the structure, both inside and out, the 1913 Georgian Revival building was restored…

Library as work of art

Seattle Central Library is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and is very different from any library I have visited on my travels. Although there was a lot of public input, the design is mostly the work of Dutch architect Rem…

King’s books on show at British Library

If the architects of the British Library in London, England were aiming for grandeur and impressiveness in their design of the 1998 national library building, they definitely succeeded. Especially striking is the six-storey King’s Library in the middle of the atrium. The free-standing glass tower contains 65,000…

Of swords, cigars, and books

If you were an 18th century officer in the British Empire posted to the rock of Gibraltar, besides your military duties, you wouldn’t have a lot to do. So to keep his troops out of mischief, Colonel John Drinkwater created the…

Hidden treasures

The New York Public Library is one of the biggest libraries in the world, with a vast branch system offering circulating materials to millions of people and a series of comprehensive research collections that scholars from around the world come to…