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Gorgeous libraries from around the world

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, 1850. Paris, France. The library is 83.5m (274ft) long and 21m (69ft) wide and its famous iron roof is supported on sixteen iron columns. (Photo by Will Pryce)

Gorgeous libraries around the world

A library is not just a collection of books, but also the buildings that house them.

As varied and inventive as the volumes they hold, such buildings can be

much more than the dusty, dark wooden shelves found in mystery stories

or the catacombs of stacks in the basements of academia. Architectural

historian James Campbell and photographer Will Pryce traveled the globe

together, visiting and documenting over eighty libraries that exemplify

the many different approaches to thinking about and designing libraries.

The result of their travels, The Library: A World History

is one of the first books to tell the story of library architecture

around the world and through time in a single volume, from ancient

Mesopotamia to modern China and from the beginnings of writing to the

present day.

As these beautiful and striking photos reveal, each age and culture has

reinvented the library, molding it to reflect their priorities and

preoccupations - and in turn mirroring the history of civilization

itself. (Yahoo News)