After the last post which featured lots of exterior architecture photos, it would be remiss of me not to give you a glimpse inside one of the buildings at the very least and I was saving this particular one for just this occasion.
Standing opposite Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower, there is always an air of excitement but that is probably me just projecting, although the street market (which had plenty of foods from around the world) that popped up on one of the many trips past may have helped. There was also a man serenading the library with opera on at least two instances rather bizarrely.
Just outside the entrance is an inspiring list of artists that whet the appetite for the creative endeavours that await in the library. A vast collection that impressed me with the size and scope of its book choice (23 million items including maps, manuscripts and musical, including various first folios of Shakespeare as well as original scores from Prokofiev amongst others), I felt like I was being spoilt wandering the corridors and fully appreciating the air conditioning.
Passing through the main entrance and up a grand marble stairway, with its lions, columns and wonderful art work really sets the tone for the experience, the ideas and scholarship brought together is intoxicating as well as cementing the ‘knowledge is power’ quote firmly in mind. I spent a good fifteen minutes just appreciating this approach to the main reading hall.
Knowing that all this is free as well is the source of much pleasure, 3.7 million people took advantage of that fact last year alone. Having the greatest concepts and literary endeavours at your fingertips and knowing that they are yours to enjoy in comfort for nothing. How much of a bargain is that?
Intriguingly there are many beautiful rooms left empty that one can pootle around and if you do find yourself wandering rooms with empty shelves you will no doubt gravitate to the rare books section. Sadly my photos didn’t come out for that due to the low lighting and my avoidance of a flash but it does not disappoint with so many amazing old books lining the walls in glass cases and protected. It really is true history, just looking at how each is bound and its pages are cut, staring at each unique copy was eye-opening bliss.
There is a wonderful courtyard – with shading under a fancy colonnade – replete with tables and a fountain, the soundtrack of which relaxes the mind and makes for a wonderful atmosphere in which to read or hop online with the free Wi-Fi as well. All in all it is a place I would be happy to spend all my free time in, were I a local.
You may have noticed a lack of actual books in this post but as ever I got distracted by their proximity and failed in my task of actually documenting them.. The building itself was fascinating and on the first day where everything is possible, I vowed to come back again and finish my exploration with more photos. Now I will save it for a future trip.