Report on the Progress of Library Architecture

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1882 - Library architecture - 16 pages
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Page 11 - No elegant edifice is to be designed in which the books are to be deposited in conformity to the architectural or ornamental structure of the building; but it should be erected over the books, the arrangement and classification of which for convenience of use must determine the form and details of its great hall in which they must necessarily be stored, and thus outline the walls of the building. The other conditions of the library can be easily fashioned to conform with this first necessity.
Page 8 - ... intolerable.' In the library I speak of, moreover, there is only the injury resulting from the rising heat to which the books are subjected, since no gas is burned. When to the fearful and almost incandescent heat that gathers under every ceiling is added the wellknown destructive influence of coal-gas burned through many hours of each day, the effects upon the books and bindings are simply deplorable.
Page 14 - Newberry fund, which must eventually be applied to the establishment in Chicago of the Newberry Public Library, are still pending in the Supreme Court of Illinois. When this great fund of three or four million dollars becomes available for a library of reference — as it doubtless will be — one of the most interesting problems in library construction which have occurred in this country will then present itself. The most encouraging feature in the progress of library architecture during the past...
Page 4 - Resolved, That, in the opinion of the Association, the time has come for a radical modification of the prevailing typical style of library building, and the adoption of a style of construction better suited to economy and practical utility." This resolution could not be regarded as an indorsement of any specific plans which had been under discussion ; but it was a significant indication that the whole library profession is in arms against the absurd, extravagant, combustible, and inconvenient library...
Page 8 - It has often occurred to me that if these warped and shrivelled and overheated volumes were not inanimate beings, if they could only speak, they would cry out with one voice to their custodians: "Our sufferings are intolerable.
Page 16 - Resolved, That the plans submitted to this Association at the Washington meeting, by Mr. JL Smithmeyer, and adopted by the joint committee of Congress, embody principles of construction which are now regarded as faulty by the whole library profession ; and, therefore, as members of the American Library Association, we protest against the erection of the building for the library of Congress upon those principles. Resolved, That...
Page 10 - Cannot the Government do as much for a book ? We can make no reasonable guess as to which of the books and pamphlets of our day will be rare and priceless two hundred years hence ; but of this we may rest assured — they will be publications which we now regard as trifles or trash. As we all have a deep interest in the welfare of the Library of Congress ; as the present is an important crisis in its history ; and as our colleague, the accomplished librarian, cannot be present and speak to us in...
Page 10 - ... hire a cheap storehouse, and pack them away, like so many redherring. They need not be catalogued or placed on shelves, for nobody will ever ask to see them. This is a cheerful view of American literature ! The estimate is so absurd it needs no comment, for it carries its refutation upon its face. and preservation of every book and pamphlet publicly and privately issued in the country, whether copyrighted or not. No institution, except it be under the auspices of the government, could do this....
Page 4 - ... Public Library, were about to erect new buildings of a size and with requirements such as we have had no experience with. Their old buildings, which were erected less than thirty years ago, are in the conventional ecclesiastical style of the fourteenth century, and faulty in every respect. They cannot be enlarged ; the books are in inaccessible galleries, where they perish from heat ; readers have insufficient accommodations for study, and the administrative force of the library has no proper...
Page 12 - ... passage-way, and three instead of six galleries or floors, — all of which changes are improvements. The first floor is of stone, and the second and third floors of hammered glass, except the passageways, which are of stone. The height of stories is seven feet six inches. The building which encloses the stack is in its exterior measure 55.6 by 43.4 feet. A passage-way three feet six inches wide surrounds the stack. Mr. Winsor is the advocate and defender of the stack system ; and, as I am not...

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