One book leads to another...

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Common Places - Y


Communal Places for Literary Enthusiasts

Y   The architecture alone is enough to invoke a gasp of awe. Perched on four corner piers, the six-story windowless building appears to hover just above ground level. Walls of translucent marble provide subdued yet sufficient light for viewing while assuring the preservation of the precious documents contained within. And that’s only the beginning.

As the second-largest academic library in North America, Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library goes to unimaginable lengths to protect its treasured books. It is not only under constant video surveillance; in the case of a fire, you have 30 seconds to evacuate before a lethal fire-suppressing gas floods the area. Any other threat to the priceless collection will cause the glass and metal cube structure they are encased in to drop into an underground vault which sucks all the oxygen from the air as it descends.  I’m not sure I could bring myself to touch anything, but what a magical place!


   “Walking the stacks in a library, running your fingers across the spines, it’s hard not to feel the presence of sleeping spirits.” ~ Robin Sloan                       


  1. Oh my, imagine walking around and someone decides to light a cigaret. Oh no.
    That is an amazing repository. I imagine you have to wear white gloves going in and don another pair on top to exam a book. I can only imagine you are escorted into a room where the book you have selected is brought in.

    I did get to see the Book of Kells in Ireland. You are in a crowd and you have to get your look and feels real quick. Something like that needs a chair with a bit of sunlight lofting through the room.

    1. Hi Ann!

      Interesting that the building is as remarkable as the books contained within. Notice I forgot to mention any of the precious documents? That's how awestruck I was ;-)

      Oh my gosh! You've been to Trinity College?! How incredibly fortunate you are! I never get tired of reading or hearing about all things Irish.


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