Friday, 28 November 2008

My favourite Library from the US

We visited many Libraries during our trip, public and academic, affluent and poorly funded. The New York Public Library was amazing for its scale and spirit, the large Academic Libraries like the University of Chicago and Vanderbilt were inspiring but this beautiful room is the Franke Reading Room, part of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago and it was my favourite.

The room is decorated with works of art from the collection of the Art Institute, which is Chicago's main gallery and has a great collection.
It isn't on the scale of the reading rooms of the New York Public Library or The State Library of Victoria, it felt much less grandiose and intimidating, and the rules were quite arcane (pencils only please!), but it was such a beautiful, intimate space I wished I had more time to sit down and study there.
More information here

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