Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Library: A World History by James W.P. Campbell and Will Pryce

The Library: A World History
In May, I posted photographs from The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World (here) by Jacques Bosser and photographer Guillaume de Laubier. It is a book that I own and page through often.

Today, I found out about another gorgeous book full of photos of libraries, The Library: A World History by James W.P. Campbell and architectural photographer Will Pryce. The author and photographer visited 85 libraries in 21 countries to put together this glorious book.

There are libraries from the United States, Turkey, South Korea, Britain, Ireland, Japan, Italy, Austria, Portugal....

Here is a link to some of the photos in the book - The Library. I was excited to see an image of The Peabody Library in Baltimore, Maryland. If you remember, this library proved to be the downfall of Gilbert Bland, the map thief, in The Island of Lost Maps.

In America, The Library is published by The University of Chicago Press. In the UK, it is published by Thames and Hudson Ltd. If you follow this link, you will be able to see sample pages of the book on the UCP's website. The book is pricey - $75 (£48) - but one gets 320 pages, 275 color plates, and 17 halftones along with the written history. 

All libraries, all the time.


  1. I'll bet that's a beautiful book to page through. I love to see beautiful library spaces from around the world. We walked through the Boston Public Library when we were there, and that building is pretty amazing. I would love to go work in the reading room. Surely my prose would be enlivened by the beauty around me!

    1. Kathy, I almost always make a stop at the libraries - famous and not so famous - in towns that I visit. I think it is great to see how other cities treat their most precious assets! The atmosphere of the Boston Public Library would certainly enliven anyone's prose... if one could even write there. I think I would be too interested in the other patrons and the books!