Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I Have Always Imagine That Paradise Will Be a Kind of Library

For our last class, we visited the British Library once again, this time to take a look at their Centre for Conservation.

We had three presenters: John, from Preventative Conservation; Caroline, from Preservation Advisory; and Robert, from the Conservation Studio. All three presenters gave us a little bit of info about their area of expertice in order to give the class a fairly broad view of the type of work that is done in the centre.

Here are a few of the things I learned:
  • The Centre for Conservation has been in its current location (an addition to the original British Library) since 2007.
  • The centre includes some rather interesting rooms like the Quarantine Room for materials suspected of infestation upon arrival and the Inergen Gas Store Room which is, essentially, a fire-safe room. 
  • As for the purpose of the centre- 'The principal role of our conservators is to treat damaged or deteriorated items to ensure that they are stable and accessible - both now and in the future - for exhibitions, public programmes and researchers.'
  • The Collection Care Department contains interventive conservators (digitization, exhibition, repairs), preventative conservators (storage, pest control, environmental monitoring), conservation scientists, and preservation advisory.
  • Preservation Advisory is mainly designed to support other libraries and archives in the area of preservation. They offer enquiry services, training events, preservation management and the like.
  • The Conservation Studios are where the magic happens! (In my opinion)
    • Conservation concerns, as well as running repairs are addressed and resolved here.
    • The studios contain sinks that run with the library's 'own' water- that is, water that is filtered through calcium to conteract acidity.
    • There are 38 employees on conservation teams-- only 4 of which are professional gold finishers!
After our tour of the Centre for Conservation, we got to check out the library's current exhibit 'Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands.' SOOOOO COOOOOOOL. Original manuscript of Jane Austen's Persuasion? Check. Original manuscript of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures Under Ground?' Check. Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Check. JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone? Check. Handwritten lyrics by John Lennon's In My Life? Check. This list could go on and on and on.

Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?

Now that we are back in London, it's time to get back to business! Today we visited the Royal Geographical Society to take a learn about their library and archives and to take a look at some of the gems in their collection.

Let me tell you, was I ever impressed! The librarian, Eugene, was absolutely brimming with geographical knowledge and it was apparent that he is deeply passionate about his field. Not only did he give us the background of the society and the collection they maintain, but he also presented us with some intriguing stories about early exploration, as well as some of the COOLEST things I have seen during this trip.

Here are some highlights:
  • The Royal Geographical Society, originally the Geographical Society of London was founded in 1830 and was granted its Royal Charter in 1859.
  • The society is housed in Lowther Lodge, which was built in the 1870s, and to which the society moved in 1912/13. Originally, all the collections were spread about the house, but are now in one central location in the Foyle Reading Room, which was added just a few years ago.
  • The group was formed in order to 'promote the advancement of geographical science' by collecting geographical knowledge and disseminating it to a wider audience. This was done mainly through the  encouragement of traveling (particularly to Africa, the Arctic, the Antarctic, and central Asia) and collecting data and it was through this data collection that the library was started.
  • The library contains:
    • maps
    • pictures
    • objects/souvenirs
    • personal effects
    • scientific instruments
    • archives
  • The collection is around 2 million items, including 1 million maps, 1/2 million images, 250,000 bound volumes, 1,000 metres of archive materials, and 1,500 objects in special collections.
  • 1/2 of the card catalogue is digitized.
  • Access to the collection is free for students, educators (including library professionals), and members of the society.
  • The last major expedition supported by the society was in 2000.

The hats of Livingstone and Stanley

George Mallory's boot from Mt. Everest- Mallory's body was mummified for 75 years before being discovered in 1999!

Other cool things we saw:
  • Food bags found with the bodies of Captain Scott and his men after their fatal exploration of the South Pole in 1912
  • Shackleton's helmet from 1903- it was Burberry!
  • Can of meat from the 1850s left by the HMS Resolute- the ship in which the wood for the resolute Desk in the White House came from
  • Other artifacts found with Mallory's body on Mt. Everest- wristwatch, fingerless glove, altimeter (did he ever reach the top??), tin of savory meat lozenges

Saturday, 21 July 2012

You Say It's Your Birthday...

Good morning, good morning!
If you picked up on these two Beatles references (there are most certainly more to come in this post) then you are on your way to being as much of a Beatles fanatic as I am. Thsi may also clue you in to the winning answer in this post's version of 'Where in the UK is Kate?' If you guessed Liverpool, then you are most certainly correct! The weather is gorgeous, the air is fresh, and it is, in fact, my birthday!
Celebratory drinks at the Cavern Club!

So anyway, we had the chance to do a lot of things in Liverpool (not a minute was spared!), but for the sake of the length of this post, I will discuss just one place we visited and highlight the others.

The Beatles Story is a permanent museum dedicated to any and all things Beatles. Located in the heart of Liverpool on Albert Dock, the museum is a super fun and interactive way to learn about one of history's greatest musical acts. The exhibits take you through their whirlwind rise to fame and the infamous careers that followed, from the very first days Paul met George, John met Paul, and George met John (and Ringo later joined the banc), to their solo work in the years that followed the break up of the band, to untimely deaths of two of the memebers.

As you wander through the museum, you can see original artifacts;

One of Paul's first guitars

Listen to audio clips;

Checking out The Beatles' latest tunes

And even add your own contributions to the collection;

Fan art from around the world

The result is a fantastic museum/archive that not only tells the story of The Beatles, but puts you right in the midst of their crazy world. So whether you are a walking Beatles encyclopedia or are just learning to differentiate John from Paul, The Beatles Story is a great place to learn about and celebrate these four lads from Liverpool.

Other things we checked out:
In other words, Liverpool has been a fantastic part of my time in England.

'There are places I'll remember/ All my life'

Monday, 16 July 2012

Let There Be Light!

Today's travels find us in Edinburgh, Scotland where the weather is a lot like the weather we had been experiencing in London; cold and gloomy. Only in Edinburgh, it's colder and gloomier. That being said, Scotland is a very beautiful place and is absolutely crawling with sheep!


**Fun Fact Alert! Edinburgh was named the first City of Literature by UNESCO in 2004. There are now five cities named, with Iowa City having been honored as the third!

But anyway, back to the task at hand. For class today, we took a look at not one, but two (!) very different information centers: the Central Library of Edinburgh and the National Archives of Scotland.

I will start with the Central Library where we visited with 3 staff members from various areas of the library who offered a lot of valuable information about the types of programs and services they offer. It was especially interesting to note those not available/offered in England. Particularly of interest to me was presentation by the library's 'Reading Champion' who works closely with children and young people living in  group homes, residential care, etc. to  get them interested and engaged in reading for pleasure.

Lots of other fun and exciting facts about the Central Library:
  • This Carnegie Library (the carving of 'let there be light' upon Carnegie's request) opened in 1890 and cost £50,000- which is roughly £45 million today.
  • It was designed by George Washington Brown (a Scottish architect) and was built on the site of a mansion owned by Sir Thomas Hope (an advocate of Charles I). Some of the original door frames and fireplace mantels were incorporated into the library building design.
  • The library currently houses around 1/2 million items, while welcoming 1/2 million visitors and adding around 8-10,000 new members each year.
  • Membership is free and open to anyone around the world! (They have lots of great online resources, too)
  • Their collection includes fiction, nonfiction, dvd, and audio- they are known for having the largest collection of audio resources in Scotland.
  • Although the Central Library was originally designed with only three areas (reference, lending, and newsroom), it now houses a variety of libraries within it including reference, fine arts, Edinburgh & Scottish, music, lending, and children's.
  • The Central Library also offers a mobile library service for those who don't have a library within one mile of their home or are in hospitals or prisons. In addition, they run a Read Aloud Project in the homes of elderly patrons.
  • The library is very advanced in terms of technological resources offering things like e-resources, e-books, mobile app, e-newsletters, and their library website which is, of course, available 24/7. Their goal is to create a genuine alternative to visiting the library in person.

Once again, the second location we visited today was the National Archives of Scotland (NAS). Here are some of the most interesting things we discussed:
  • The NAS has 3 buildings in Edinburgh. The General Register House was the original building designed to house the archives (another has since been added due to the constant increase in material). Construction  for this building began in 1774 and was finished in the 1820s.
  • History records the first person to be designated to look after records/archives in th 1280s- making archivist one of the oldest professions. Record keeping as we know it began in the late 18th century- right around the time of the construction of the Register House.
    • Now, the archives employ around 110 people
  • NAS houses a variety of official information from Scotland including church records, government records, and deeds, as well as personal papers.
    • NAS currently houses government records for Scotland dating back to the medieval period- the oldest document is from the 1140s!
    • NAS has wills and testaments from the years 1513-2000, including the will of Robert Burns.
      • 1/2 million are digitized, including 30,000 soldier's wills from WWI
  • Since 1847, access has been free for the majority of research. Most records are also available online, though they may cost to access.
  • The NAS offers an online cataloge that has approx. 3 million entries and can be searched by key words and dates.
  • As of April 2011, the NAS merged with the General Register Office of Scotland to become the National Records of Scotland.  
That's all for Scotland! Time to travel around the UK!

Friday, 13 July 2012

To All Studious and Curious Persons

Rounding out the week, we had a visit to the British Museum Archives.

This tour was unlike any of the others we have had thus far, and was, for me, absolutely fascinating- begs the question whether I should be studying to be an archivist....

In any matter, our tour guide Stephanie is, quite surprisingly, the ONLY archivist for the museum and has been working for them for the last 6 years sorting and sifting through the mounds of archival material that date back to the beginning of the museum. She so kindly took some time out of her day to show us around the bowels of the building and to give us a taste of what kinds of items she works with.
  • The museum was started in 1753 by Sir Hans Sloane (the same man who found the British Library, as both entities were housed in the same building until 1997), and was opened to the public in 1759
  • The museum was first held in a mansion called Montagu House, and the current building was constructed on the same site about 60 years after the museum's opening
  • The museum had its first archivist in the 1970s, around the same time construction of the British Library began down the street
  • Each of the museum's eight departments look after there own archives (which contain all things pertinent to that particular department), while the Central Archive looks after all information about the building and the museum itself
  • Central Archive houses (among other things):
    • Trustees' minutes
    • Staff records
    • Finances
    • Building records
    • Temporary exhibit books
    • Round Reading Room archives
  • There are approximately 6-7,000 photos in the Central Archives (with a lot more located within the other departments)
  • They get about 30 inquiries a week for information from the archives- anywhere from scholarly research for a book to personal family geneaology
Some cool items in the archives:
  • The bomb that hit the museum during WWII (amazingly, the museum stayed open throughout most of the war, although most items had been moved out- therefore, very little was destroyed)
  • Stereoscopic photos from the museum's first photographer who was hired in 1854 (and we got to look at them through a stereoscopic viewer!) 
  • Round Reading Room signature book that contains the signatures of Beatrix Potter, Virginia Woolf, TS Eliot and the like

Thursday, 12 July 2012

If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On

Our journey around England continued today with a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon to visit my dear friend Billy Bob Shakes. Stratford is a wonderfully gorgeous place with quaint shops and delicious food and, of course, more Shakespeare than you can shake a stick at!

I have decided to approach this post a little differently and present the day through pictures.
We commenced at Shakespeare's birthplace

Where we were regaled with a bit of Shakespearean prose

After which we discovered the library

And then satisfied our noontime hunger (with Shakespeare, himself!)

Before continuing our journey to his final resting place

Which was swiftly followed by a spot of tea (or two)

And aptly concluded with a production of 'Twelfth Night' with the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Phantom of the Opera Is There...

...Inside my mind! I still have the music stuck in my head after seeing The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre last night. It was, in a word, stunning.

But, anyway. Today's stop: National Art Library in the Victoria and Albert Museum!

We had a very nice visit with a couple of the librarians as they showed around their library and then gave us a chance to get up close and personal with a few of their items from special collections. The library itself is situated within the V&A Museum, but is not solely focused as a resource for the museum and anyone from the public can use its resources.

Read on for even more enthralling details:
  • National Art Library is one of 3 major reference libraries in the world and houses 1 million books.
  • The library was conceived of and set up in 1837 in conjunction with the Schools of Art and Design in an effort to educate the public more about those two areas. 
  • The V&A Museum was set up in 1852 and the library set up shop within it in 1884- it looks mostly the same as it did back then.
  • The books are ordered by size, not subject, which serves to maximize space. 
  • Like the London Library, they do not get rid of books, so they are constantly moving books around to accomodate new acquisitions.  
  • 1/2 the library's acquisitions are through donations, such as the Foster Collection, which includes original manuscripts from Charles Dickens, Charles V, and artist sketchbooks.
  • It is the largest department in the museum (library, archives, and prints, paintings, and drawings) and employs 40 staff.
  • Their special collections department contains books from the 14/15th centuries onward and include 3 of Leonardo DaVinci's manuscripts, a tortoise shell bound bible, and Dickens' original Bleak House manuscript. (I should mention the allowed us to look at, and gasp! flip through these items, as well- although we did look at a facsimile of the DaVinci manuscript and not the real thing).

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Lure of the Stacks

Today, after taking a little detour to 221b Baker Street to check out Sherlock Holmes' old stomping ground...

...we made our way to the London Library.

There, we were given a tour and got to look at some of the library's most interesting artifacts. Situated at the corner of St. James' Square, this library certainly has one of the most unique and diverse layout I have seen. What was of most interest to me was that the presentation about the London Library integrated the history of the library and its building with the history of English literature, as many famous writers (as well as other famous figures) have been members over time- Charles Dickens, TS Eliot, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie, to name a few.

The London Library owns one of the coolest things I have seen thus far: a book written by Henry VIII!

Here are some other tidbits I acquired on this tour:
  • The London Library was founded in 1841 by Thomas Carlyle, who was opposed to the reference setting of the British Museum and wanted people to be able to take books home to use.
  • The library is independent, which means it is funded by subscriptions, and currently boasts subscriptions from 7,000 individuals and 150 corporate and public library authorities. (Membership is open to all).
  • Their 1 million book collection (15 miles of shelving) is organized alphabetically by subject and is mainly arts and humanities, which covers around 50 languages and includes 30,000 rare books.
  • Amazingly, they do not weed their collection because they believe in each book's intrinsic value- they acquire around 8,000 books a year and the oldest books date back to the 16th century!
  • The building in which the books are housed was originally a 17th century townhouse that has been converted and reconstructed to hold all the books multiple times- There is much architectual history to be learned from each addtion to the library over time.
  • The library recently developed a new conservation room, which is currently being put to use repairing 3,211 books that were affected in an in-house flooding incident.
And probably the most important thing I learned all day:
  • The London Library is one of Robert Pattinson's favorite places.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Well, then, if you're British and Loyal you might enjoy Royal Marine

After a long weekend in France, I have returned to London. Sigh of relief.
We begin the week with a visit to Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum.

The exhibit within is entitled 'Power, Pageantry and The Thames,' and focuses on the ways in which the Thames River has impacted, supported, and represented London over the last 500 years. I really enjoyed this exhibit, as it blended the history and progression of the river with the history and progression of the royal family. They had some great artifacts (which we were unfortunately unable to photograph) and I learned a lot about the growth of the power of London.
Two of the coolest things in the exhibit:
  • Anne Boleyn's prayer book, which included a message to King Henry VIII: 'Be daly prove you shall me fynde/To be to you both lovynge and kynde'
  • John Snow's On the Mode of Communication of Cholera which published his findings about the spread of cholera during the outbreak in the 1850s
And now for your favorite part of my posts, the 'what I learned' section:
  • The Thames was considered 'London's grandest street.' 
  • By 1512, all of England's principal royal palaces were within reach of the Thames- the river served as a way to connect them all- but London Bridge was the only way of crossing the river
  • Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, the Thames was used as a stage to display royal power
  • The Greenwich Royal Hospital for Seamen was built on the Thames riverbank in 1696 and was designed by Christopher Wren, the same architect who designed St. Paul's Cathedral and a multitude of other locations. It was built on the site of Greenwich Palace, which was the birthplace of Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth I
  • By the 18th century, the Thames was used to provide both public recreation, as well as private entertainment
  • The 19th century witnessed a transformation of the river as more bridges and tunnels were added the Palace of Westminster was rebuilt after it burned in 1834, and sewers were installed to rid the city of 'The Great Stink.' 
  • The Thames linked London to the 'wider world,' serving as the site of royal departures, as well as arrivals- Princess Alexandra of Denmark arrived via the Thames before her wedding to Prince Albert

And now for a wonderful surprise- today is a double entry! Hooray!

In addition to the National Maritime Museum, I visited the museum on the Cutty Sark, the last remaining tea clipper in the world.

  • A clipper is a narrow ship designed to move 'at a clip,' or to move quickly through the water. The Cutty Sark set the record for fastest transport from Sydney to London in 1885- 73 days! 
  • A cutty sark, which is, by definition, a short undergarment for women, is also the nickname of the witch in the poem 'Tam o'Shanter' by Robert Burns. The figurehead was created to depict this character.  
  • The underside of the ship was covered with metal plates to prevent barnacles from attaching.
  • The Cutty Sark made its first tea voyage to China in 1870. Although it was originally meant to trnasport tea, in later years it transported a number of other cargoes, including wool.
  • It was sold to the Portuguese and renamed Ferriera in 1895, but was bought back and named the Cutty Sark again in 1922. 
  • The Cutty Sark has been permanently located in Greenwich since 1954, after the Duke of Edinburgh help to support the formation of The Cutty Sark Society.
  • Queen Elizabeth II opened the ship to the public in 1957.
  • Renovations on the ship began in 2006 to strengthen the framework of the boat, but was halted by a fire in 2007. The ship reopened to the public in April of this year and, remarkably, it was once again Queen Elizabeth II who christened the opening.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Nine and Three-Quarters? Think you're being funny, do ya?

After taking a trip to King's Cross Station to see if we could catch the Hogwart's Express...

Sadly, I had just missed the train.

...we found our way to the British Library, where our tour guide, Kevin, regaled us with stories and poor attempts at American accents. The library itself is a site to be seen, with its most stunning attraction, the King's Library, prominently displayed through the center of the building. As we toured the building, Kevin spouted information left and right about the construction of the building, its contents, and where all the books are.

Here are some highlights:
  • The British Museum (which is where the Britich Library got its start) was founded by Sir Hans Sloane in the mid-18 century with the idea that 'information should be shared freely.' He allowed people to come into his house to look at books and, upon his death, left his book collection to the British Museum. (Good ol' Hans was also the man who brough chocolate to the Western Hemisphere- still not sure which thing I would consider to be the pinnacle of his career...)
  • The current building, which was designed to look like a ship, was the brainchild of Sir Colin St. John Wilson, who had served in the Royal Navy.
  • It took 36 years and £450 million to construct-- and as the building sits now, it is only half of the original design. 
  • The books were moved from the British Museum and the British Library was opened in 1997.  
  • It was the first library designed with the preservation of the books in mind, which means that a lot of the books are stored underground in order to maintain the most preferential atmosphere (17 degrees C, 50% humidity)! Books not stored underground are located in a varitey of depositories.
  • The library has 800-900 miles of books and adds roughly 8 miles of books each year- roughly 8,000 items a day.
  • These books are looked after by 1700 employees.
  • They have digitized around 400,000 items.
  • In order to access the books, visitors must present proof of identity and request each specific item- browsing is impossible. Books are retrieved and brought to the visitor in their designated reading room.
  • One of the library's grandest attractions is the King's Library, which is a collection of 85,000 books in at least 16 languages acquired from King George III and displayed in a glass tower in the center of the building. The King demanded the books be displayed in such a manner that they would be seen by the public. 
  • Other attractions include the Magna Carta, the Gutenberg Bible, and Beatles memoribilia (guess which one was my favorite). 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

You're a Wizard, Harry!

Today we took a trip to Oxford, which is only about an hour train ride out of Paddington Station (the ride's a lot shorter if you nap through most of it). Oxford is absolutely gorgeous, as you may imagine, and the University itself is no exception. Gothic structures loom from every direction and if the buildings look like they are right out of a Harry Potter film, it's probably because many of them are!

Like this one:
The Divinity School, Oxford- used as the infirmary in the Harry Potter films

And this one: 
The stairs to the Great Hall in Christ Church- used as the stairs to the Great Hall in Hogwarts

But, back to the more serious library business. Our main stop in Oxford was The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. (Woot, woot- I figured out how to link things.)

These are the most mind-blowing tidbits I learned today:
  • The Bodleian Library was originally the Duke Humfrey Library, which was built in 1488 and was consequently destroyed 60-some years later during the Protestant Reformation
  • Fortunately, the library was rescued by Sir Thomas Bodley and was reopened in the early 1600s and contains the first examples of floor to ceiling bookshelves
  • Books used to be chained to the shelves! 
  • Since then, The Bodleian Library has obtained a copy of EVERY book published in England
  • It acquires roughly 3,000 books per week and currently touts approximately 11 million items in its collection- a New Bodleian Library was built in 1936-1948 to help house allllll the books and is currently being remodeled
  • It is not a lending library, but has 32 reading rooms available for students and scholars to use
  • All restoration of the books is done in house
  • The library is located directly above The Divinity School (pictured above), which is the reason for the flattened arches in the architectual design- the exceptional weight of the stacks of books could not be supported with the usual gothic design
  • Kenneth Grahame bequeathed the royalties from 'The Wind in the Willows' to The Bodleian Library
  • Sections of the library were used in, you guessed it, the Harry Potter films- I have stood where Daniel Radcliffe once stood. Swoon.
In addition to The Bodleian Library, we took a tour of Christ Church and its library, which was also a great treat. The library was, of course, breathtaking.  


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

We Built This City on...Plague Pits

Today we traversed across town to visit the Barbican Library situated in the Barbican Centre in the heart of the City of London. Fast fact: the actual City of London is only 1 square mile! Our tour was led by two of the Barbican's librarians, Jonathan and Geraldine, who so apparently enjoy their work, it was practically infectious. But anyway. Jonathan and Geraldine gave us the lowdown about the workings of the public libraries in England, known more commonly as lending libraries. Because of the library's proximity to a rather artsy community (there's a theatre within the Barbican Centre that hosts a variety of artistic performances), there are music and art libraries located within. In addition, the Barbican library houses a general library (fiction, non-fiction, etc), as well as a children's library, all of which house around 200,000 items.

It is time, once again, for some interesting facts:
  • Lending libraries developed in the 1960s in Britain
  • The Barbican is situated in an area that was bombed in WWII. One of the few things that had been left standing after the bombing was a church that is still located across the street which Shakespeare had attended in his time and is also the burial place for Milton.
  • Besides practically being an impenatrable fortress that is a maze to navigate, the Barbican is situated atop plague pits- ew!
  • Although basic public lending is free, there is a charge to check out specialty items like DVDs and CDs, with DVDs costing £1.50-£2.75/ per week and CDs costing 90p.
  • The oldest book that can be checked out is from the 1730s and is a part of the library's London Collection, which contains a variety of historical texts related to London
  • The music library, which recently won an Excellence award, has two pianos that allow patrons to pratice, with headphones, in the library for up to an hour a day!
  • At birth and three years, every child is issued a bag that contains a book and other materials in an effort to promote early literacy- a program that children in the US could definitely benefit from.
  • No fines on a child's library card!

Sidenote- The Barbican is hosting a James Bond exhibit. Check it out!


Monday, 2 July 2012

Early Each Day to the Steps of Saint Paul's

Our whirlwind library adventure has begun, and it has started off quite magnificently! After toodling around Baker Street for the morning, I met up with my class to check out St. Paul's Cathedral, where we not only got to tour the library, but also got a bit of a behind-the-scenes experience. Our guide, Mr. Wisdom, kept us thoroughly entertained with his interesting and often humorous tidbits from the very beginning, as we hiked up the million (give or take) stairs to the top of the church, all the way through to the end of the tour, where we ooh-ed and ahh-ed over one of the most gorgeous libraries I've ever seen. (I'm sure I will be using that expression quite a bit on this trip.) 

And now I will impart on you some fantastic knowledge:
  • The original St. Paul's burned in The Great Fire of London in 1666
  • St. Paul's, as it stands now, was designed by Christopher Wren in the 1670s and took 30 years to build 
  • Although two rooms were originally designated as libraries, only one has actually been used for that function
  • The Great Model, built to a 1:25 scale, served as a record of Wren's design during the construction of the Cathedral and is now stored/preserved in the room that was designed to be the second library (both the model and the room are, of course, beautiful)
  • The library, which is 'open to anyone who can make good use of it,' contains 23,000 bibliographic items, or 10,000 volumes, including anything and everything written about St. Paul's
  • 'Books were not designed to stand up; they were designed to lay down.'