Wednesday 7 April 2010

Lovely libraries

What is it about libraries? I can't pass one by without feeling the pull into another world. It's something separate from my love of books because, as you can see the libraries shown here are either inaccessible to the public except at a distance, or full of tomes which wouldn't provide light bedtime reading even if they were in a language I understand.

The library at Winchester Cathedral which houses, amongst other things, the 12th century Winchester Bible.  One of the 17th century globes on the card shows California as an island.

The library at Fontainebleau holds 16,000 volumes from Napoleon's library.

The French National Archives in Paris.  There are 100 km of shelves here, with another 200 in a new building in Fontainebleau.  This year another building will open in Pierrefitte will provide a further 360 km of shelving.  The oldest document is from the 7th century.

The Reading Room in the Laurentian Library in Florence, where the books stay in place chained to a desk, and the reader must move to the appropriate desk to read it.

Four beautiful cards from four beautiful libraries.  I've been lucky enough to have visited these apart from the first.  I used to live five minutes away for the first, and so of course I could visit any time at all....

Do you love libraries?  Can you explain the hold they have over me?

L is for lots of lovely libraries.  A post for ABC Wednesday.

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  1. Great insight into these wondrous libraries! This fascinates me because I have only been in much smaller libraries!

  2. Looks like heaven. In a pinch, I love to go into Barnes and Noble and sit on the couches and browse through buy, of course!

  3. I love libraries. I really ought to ask the vicar if I can look in the library at Boston Stump.

  4. As an ex Librarian I do have a weakness for libraries. Working in a technical library I used to enjoy being sent on courses that took place in more esoteric (by contrast) ones. None though as beautiful as Fontainebleau.

  5. Libraries - where would we be without them. This is a gorgeous place. I'd love to sit there and observe!

  6. I share your love of libraries. They are wonderful places.

  7. Do you think it is the wonderful sense of history that draws you to these beautiful libraries? Such impressive buildings.

  8. I love libraries, the books they hold, the people that frequent them, the atmosphere... etc. :-)

    I'm also having fun looking through your recent posts. How fun it is that you're a postcard collector. I have been "forever!"

    Thanks for visiting me recently.

  9. Library and book can be so beautiful. Eight years ago, local medical school just finishing one major construction of a medical library. In three years, it became obsolete. Are we soon only have online library and no more beautiful libraries as those in your pictures.

  10. I can't explain why libraries have such a hold on you. Doubt if it's the food they serve. You are not chained to a desk, right? That would put a hold on you. :)

  11. I do love libraries!! I love books, and I love beautiful buildings, so the two together is bliss. I've said many times that the only problem with libraries is that they expect you to give the books back!

    On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday this week! :)

  12. This librarian approves!

    Lovely buildings with great uses.

    On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you!

  13. I love books and love reading too..Infact I am a voracious reader but surprisingly I do not like libaries so much..I would rather prefer to go to a nice bookstore and browse books or read them at leisure in my couch :)

  14. The library at Fontainebleau is truly incredible. So much history within the walls, and in the books of course.


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