Monday, November 23, 2009

A Building to Behold: Yale’s Beinecke Library

I was visiting Yale University last weekend when I came across a building that blew me away. From the outside, it’s a formidably modern structure...

...that contrasts with the (literally) old-school architecture of a university founded in 1701.

Lest we judge a book by its cover, let’s look inside. In the middle of the interior is a six-story glass tower. It contains 180,000 rare books.

To protect the books from direct sunlight, the exterior panels are translucent white marble. During the day, subdued light filters through the veined marble.

The platform around the glass tower is an exhibit space that includes an original Gutenberg Bible from 1454.

If you are ever at Yale, visit this building. It is called the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. In form and function, it is an impressive monument to the preservation of human knowledge.

[The images are from Wikipedia’s Beinecke Library page. Clicking an image takes you to the original, full-size version from Wikimedia Commons.]

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