The googles of the past

Saturday 9 February 2008

In these modern times we are supposed to value the reach and speed of the Internet over the physical clumsiness of actual books. But the libraries pictured in Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries are really gorgeous. I’d love to visit any of them. A few are in Boston or nearby. I’ve seen the outside of the Boston Athenaeum, which has double doors, leather inside thick brass:

Front doors of the Boston Athenaeum

These libraries were the information treasures of their day, the Googles of their time. The difficulty of collecting the information made the libraries all the more valuable, and you can see that they were designed as treasure houses or cathedrals.

Today’s information is more accessible, so long as it is recent. These libraries still have a place for those that need access to the past. And they sure are beautiful.

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