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. From the great dome of the Library of Congress, to the white façade of the Seinäjoki Library in Finland, to the ancient ruins of the library of Pergamum in modern Turkey, the architecture of a library is a symbol of its time as well as of its builders’ wealth, culture, and learning.
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. Campbell’s authoritative yet readable text recounts the history of these libraries, while Pryce’s stunning photographs vividly capture each building’s structure and atmosphere.
Together, Campbell and Pryce have produced a landmark book—the definitive photographic history of the library and one that will be essential for the home libraries of book lovers and architecture devotees alike.
|Publisher:||University of Chicago Press|
|Product dimensions:||9.50(w) x 12.40(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
James W. P. Campbell is a fellow and director of studies in architecture and history of art at Queens’ College, Cambridge. His most recent books include Brick: A World History (also with Will Pryce) and Building St Paul’s. Will Pryce is an award-winning photographer based in London who originally trained as an architect. His previous books include World Architecture: The Masterworks, Big Shed, and The Architecture of Wood: A World History.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Library: A World History based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
The book is amazing. The pictures are fabulous. Great book. I purchased it as a gift for my son who is taking architecture. He LOVED it.
This is a beautiful book. Well written and with photographs that bring to life the narrative. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the atmosphere of timeless wisdom and knowledge one enjoys in a library - be it new, old, large or small. 4 Stars for the book. My only dissatisfaction/disappointment is with B&N, the book arrived with smashed corners from being poorly packaged for shipment. The book was inside a box larger than the book and without any packing materials to prevent the book from moving and shifting. 1 Star (reluctantly) for B&N.