bookporn #11: Seeley Historical Library, Cambridge

Seeley Historical Library, Cambridge

Seeley Historical Library, Cambridge

From the pictures, you might suppose the library swept around in a large circle, with the shelves fanning out radially from the atrium-like center. Alas not. The only circular library I know of is the reading room at the British Museum, which I discovered, much to my chagrin, is currently closed until c. September (FYI, after which it will feature an exhibition on the Chinese Terracotta Army until April 2008).

I sometimes imagine that a universal/total library, either in the Laßwitzian or Borgesian sense, would be a concentric set of circular shelves, in a circular library for which there would be no center or circumference, and whose radius is the measure of infinity


5 responses to “bookporn #11: Seeley Historical Library, Cambridge

  • Gavin Robinson

    The Brotherton Library at Leeds University has a round reading room similar to the old British Library, and on the basement levels the shelves fan out from the centre like the spokes of a wheel.

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    […] points in the past, been the original University Library, the University Law Library and even the Seeley Historical Library before all three moved to their new premises, and Gonville & Caius College took it over in the […]

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  • Duke

    The Betty and Gordon Moore Library at the CMS, Cambridge is circular with radial shelves (from what I have seen of it through the windows), although like the rest of the CMS it is all new and shiny. On the subject of new and shiny, the Jesus library (officially called the Quincentenary Library) is quite fancy and complete with weird modern art, (I am slightly biased towards it, though).

    Also, I have a wierd memory of the Queens’ library being quite fancy (and invloving an old spiral staircase), but I am not sure.

  • Rachel

    I’ll certainly have to investigate — I can proudly say that I have, in fact, been all the way out to the CMS, but never into their library, and I will certainly try to make it into the Quincentenary at some point this summer, if I am not, as I was at Pembroke, forcibly ejected from the premises for not being an indigenous student. Thanks for the tips🙂

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