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The most beautiful libraries in the world /
photographs by Guillaume de Laubier ; text by Jacques Bosser ; foreword by James H. Billington ; translated from the French by Laurel Hirsch.
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2003.
247, [1] p. : col. ill.
More Details
added author
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2003.
local note
Inforum copy has bookplate: "Presented to the Inforum by Mary McDiarmid in appreciation of the support of Professor Ethel Auster & Professor Joan Cherry on the completion of her Master of Information Studies Thesis, January 2004".
catalogue key
Gift; Pearce J. Carefoote; 2011; RB293303.
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Guillaume de Laubier is one of France's foremost photographers of interior design. He has undertaken countless projects all over the world for magazines such as Elle Decoration, Architectural Digest, and Madame Figaro Jacques Bosser, journalist and translator, has written for Architectural Digest and Connaissance des Arts as well as contributing to Le Dictionnaire international des arts appliques et du design and Le Dictionnaire international du bijou
Flap Copy
Housing the World's Collective Knowledge, within which reside the milestones of human intellectual achievement, libraries are perhaps the richest of all cultural institutions. Often architectural treasures in themselves, they were constructed in styles that befitted the riches they stored, from Neoclassical temples to Baroque palaces to Jeffersonian athseneums. Both public in purpose and intensely private in feel, they have served the noble role of preserving and disseminating that key cultural artifact of mankind-the book-and in doing so, their role has been central to the nourishment and development of the world's great civilizations. To this day the great libraries of the world remain extraordinary environments for scholarship and enlightenment. Here, for the first time, renowned architectural photographer Guillaume de Laubier takes the reader on a privileged tour of twenty-three of the world's most historic libraries, representing twelve countries and ranging from the great national monuments to scholarly, religious, and private libraries: the baroque splendor of the Institut de France in Paris; the Renaissance treasure-trove of the Riccardiana Library in Florence; the majestic Royal Monastery in El Escorial, Spain; the hallowed halls of Oxford's Bodleian Library; and the New York Public Library, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece. Also included are the smaller abbey and monastic libraries-often overlooked on tourist itineraries-each containing its own equally important collections of religious and philosophical writings, manuscripts, and church history. Through gorgeous color photography one can marvel at the grandeur of the great public libraries while relishing the rare glimpses inside scholars-only private archives. The accompanying text by journalist and translator Jacques Bosser traces the history of libraries from the Renaissance to the present day, vividly describing how they came to serve the famous men of letters of centuries past and the general public of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, shares a personal association with libraries in his foreword. As repositories of history, ever growing and fed upon by hungry minds, libraries continue to occupy a central place in our civilization-and this sumptuous volume of photographs pays fitting tribute to that tradition.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-11-15:
The profession's crown jewels are on display in this engaging pictorial tour of 23 libraries in Europe and the United States, yielding what could be the most beautiful photography book ever on libraries. Opulent Baroque and monastic libraries in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Spain are followed by famous institutions such as Oxford's Bodleian Library; the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge; the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England; and Dublin's Trinity College Library. Noteworthy additions to the expected pantheon are the national libraries of Russia, the Czech Republic, and Portugal. U.S. libraries honored by inclusion are the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Boston Athenaeum. Introductions to each library relate its history, collection treasures, art, and architectural aesthetics. This is a French production, written by journalist and critic Bosser and graced with a foreword by James Billington, Librarian of Congress. The 200 full-page and foldout color plates by Laubier, a prominent interior design photographer, not only capture in national and religious context each library's stunning, perfect beauty (never a book out of place, let alone a wayward user) but also convey the civilizing and educational power of manuscripts and printed books in historic settings. Recommended for larger libraries and for all librarians as a splendid counterpoint to our increasingly digital and virtual world; equally valuable for architectural collections.ARussell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, November 2003
Reference & Research Book News, February 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
Now, for the first time, an internationally renowned photographer takes the reader on a journey to more than 20 of the most historic of these magical places, all architectural treasures. Included are national, scholarly, and religious libraries from 12 countries.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. 6
Introductionp. 8
Vienna, Austria - National Library of Austriap. 12
Admont, Austria - The Benedictine Abbey Library of Admontp. 22
Ulm, Germany - The Monastic Library at Wiblingenp. 32
Metten, Germany - The Benedictine Abbey Library of Mettenp. 42
Weimar, Germany - The Herzogin Anna Amalia Libraryp. 52
Rome, Italy - The Vatican Libraryp. 60
Florence, Italy - Riccardiana Libraryp. 74
Paris, France - The Mazarine Libraryp. 82
Paris, France - The Institute Libraryp. 90
Paris, France - The Senate Libraryp. 98
Chantilly, France - The Cabinet Des Livres of the Duc D'Aumalep. 110
Saint Gall, Switzerland - The Abbey Library of Saint Gallp. 122
Oxford, England - Bodleian Libraryp. 136
Cambridge, England - Wren Library, Trinity Collegep. 146
Manchester, England - The John Rylands Libraryp. 156
Dublin, Ireland - Trinity College Libraryp. 168
Prague, The Czech Republic - The National Libraryp. 176
San Lorenzo del Escorial, Spain - The Library of the Royal Monastery of El Escorialp. 188
Mafra, Portugal - The National Palace Library in Mafrap. 198
Boston, United States of America - Boston Athenaeump. 206
Washington, DC, United States of America - The Library of Congressp. 216
New York, United States of America - The New York Public Libraryp. 226
Saint Petersburg, Russia - The National Library of Russiap. 236
Bibliographyp. 246
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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