Thursday, February 19, 2009

Library



I had interesting ideas about what to do and post for this Thursday's Theme, but I ran out of time and steam.

But this is a photo of the old British Library reading room, which used to be at the British Museum. I spent some time studying there during a year's temping in London, when I was preparing to become a postgraduate student. How I wish now that I could go back and take photos of the stereotypically eccentric and often creaky old gents who used to study there. I always felt self-conscious not only for being so young, but also for being female. Significantly in the minority on both counts.

I remember wearing dungarees and probably looked about 15.

Sometimes there would be a long wait while the little old men (as I remember them...) brought the books you'd requested up from the stacks, and delivered them on trolleys to your desk.

I expect its changed quite a bit now, and not only because of its new location near Kings Cross.


And here are some library pictures from New York:














First photo found here (where there are some other fab. library pictures) and on other websites, but I couldn't find an attribution for this one. There are some similar (possibly better) here.

Other photos - NYC public library, taken by me, July/August 2008.

23 comments:

Dumdad said...

I haven't been to a library for years. I used to be a member of Fulham library when I lived there (lived in Fulham, that is, not in the library). I love being in the quiet of libraries, surrounded by books and other readers.

tut-tut said...

Hello Lettuce: Great photos. I remember studying in the Bodleian in Oxford during one of my college years. You had to sign a paper stating you wouldn't light any fires before you could get a card.

Brian Miller said...

Nice pics! Especially the first one of the reading room.

willow said...

Fabulous library pix!

Candie Bracci said...

I agree with Willow.
Very beautiful pictures.

The Clever Pup said...

Thanks for sharing these images.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I can just picture some eccentric little old man delivering you your requested titles! delightful post!

libraries are such holy places! I can't believe I didn't wander into a library when I visited london - well I must remedy that....I'm focusing on making it happen in 2010! more to come on that!

Reya Mellicker said...

The pictures are incredible!

Is that Steve in the phone booth in the last pic?

lettuce said...

oops sorry, i should clarify, I didn't take the first picture. Sorry.

(and don't imagine cameras would have been allowed in there. not much was)

The others in NYC are mine.

thanks for nice comments. No Reya, its not Steve.

Barbara said...

Libraries are such AWESOME places!

R.L. Bourges said...

Lovely. And thanks for the link at the bottom of the post. the flickr photos are a treat indeed.

Loved the image of the lone young woman in that huge room of elderly scholars. (Did you encounter the ghost of Karl Marx while you were there? Once met an...interesting person who claimed to have had a fascinating conversation with said ghost. I forgot to ask if it was in English or in German.)

Marianna said...

Oh I think I remember this Library in the British Museum. Is it the round room in the centre, where people like C. Marx used to study?

Great post!

take care
peace and love
xoxo

runmotman said...

i think reading in these ill lit rooms would be bad for your eyes...at least that's what my mamma used to tell me.

Cuppa Jo said...

Holy crap! Those are a lot of books! I've only been to the British Museum once and I only had time for a quick look so I went to the American history part for some reason, only to see a photograph of an American Indian whom I actually met while camping in Yosemite as a child. Fascinating. I had no clue about this library-thingy they have going on! I gotta get myself back there and quick!

Megan said...

I like the one of the two folks sitting under the window.

Neat!

Anonymous said...

what a vivid picture in my mind of you in that library studying.

xxxoooxxxooosquirrel

Kris said...

And no sign of Karl Marx!

Mrsupole said...

Loved the pics.

Lucky you to have the old men bring you your books in that way.

Thank you.

lettuce said...

they are Barbara, aren't they?

rlb, I didn't to my knowledge, but many of those old scholars could actually have been ghosts...

it is Marianna. Tho the Library itself is now moved elsewhere.

runmotman, that could be true. But wearing glasses makes one look so intellectual, don't you think?

its quite a phenomenon, Cuppa Joe. 14 million books alone
pfft. makes my head spin

thanks Megan, I was pleased with that pic.

hi squirrel. xoxo

nope Kris, none at all.

It was certainly an experience Mrsupole (kind of an experience of antiquatedness)

KLC said...

Why does everything there just look better?

Shammickite said...

That reminds me, I have to go to the library next week, I've run out of reading material, not that I have much time to read at the moment. Our library is housed in the same building as the local swimming pool, once there was a leak and some of the books got rather wet!!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Gorgeous images, Lettuce. There's something so deeply evocative and mysterious and magical about libraries, particularly the old, grand ones. I remember so well the smell of books in the Trinity College Library, and the serious air that hovered in nooks and crannies in the Bodleian Library. Hmmm...

Shammickite said...

I see what you mean about Callum's resemblance to Andy Pandy. I'm ashamed to say I had to look AP's picture up on the internet, it's been a very long time since I watched "Children's Hour" on the telly.