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.'

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