Dr. James Campbell, an architect and architectural historian at Cambridge University, spent five years researching libraries around the world for the “first complete history of library buildings.” The result is The Library: A World History, which includes many beautiful photographs by Will Pryce, who travelled with Dr. Campbell to over 80 libraries in 20 countries. Dr. Campbell notes that
“In contrast, the internet, the main threat to public libraries, is quite undemocratic because to access it you need a computer and a connection. …A lot of people think books are on their way out but interestingly there are more books being printed now than ever before. …Public libraries might be being closed in Europe but in other parts of the world like China they are being built. …In fact, one of the first things any country wanting to establish itself does is build a national library.”
The Telegraph has a great review of this 320-page book. You can read more and see some of the stunning libraries that are featured here and here.
If you had unlimited funds, would you design the library of your dreams? This website is dedicated to the aesthetics of beautiful libraries and all types are represented. Curious what Karl Lagerfeld’s bookshelves look like? They’re here. Plenty of libraries ranging from small to enormous are featured, as well. Take a look at the “unusual” link–there are truly way-out methods of storing your literary treasures!
PS- Consider the impact of these impressive rooms and how they compare to a single e-reader, or perhaps a bunch. Technology’s wonderful, but can it create atmosphere?