Book Week | Libraries of the World
Cathedrals of Knowledge
Duchess Anna Amalia Library, Weimar Germany; photographed by Candida Höfer via
I really enjoyed our unofficial 'Bee Week' on the Pure Green blog last week. In fact, it's inspired a little more themed posting - as part of our 'Best of 2011' series this week I'm sharing our photo shoot with Don Taylor, a bookbinder from Toronto - and I'd like to welcome you to the unofficial 'Book Week' here on Pure Green! Today's post on inspiring libraries from around the world is a predicate to tomorrow's post on Don Taylor and his craft - and the entire week is a celebration of books. In a day and age when we are slowly moving away from the printed page (which is also inspring a few die-hards, like me, to renew their love of books) I often get asked what's greener - e-books (and e-readers) or actual books. Truthfully the question is hard to answer definitively, but it's a great question that I'll elaborate on later this week. One thing to consider is that many printers are now making super valiant and admirable efforts to be very green (we painstakingly researched every aspect of printing Pure Green Mag, as an example. It is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper that's both recycled AND made in Canada and powered by biofuel. It's printed waterlessly in Toronto with vegetable based ink. I'm finding more and more of these types of efforts in the printing industry these days, which is super encouraging!). One of the greenest aspects of print books, however, is sharing - libraries are the epitome of that as each book may have hundreds of readers during it's lifetime in the stacks. And libraries can be incredibly inspiring spaces - when we began research for post I didn't know what we would find, and honestly the imagery, architecture and inspiration is limitless. Am I surprised? No. Libraries have played a monumental role in our history and culture around the world and it makes sense that they are revered - these collected images are quite literally cathedrals of knowledge. I couldn't imagine a better homage to the printed word!
Biblioteca Uffizi Firenze II, Italy; photographed by Candida Höfer via Look See Now (You'll notice there's quite a few shots by Candida )
The Law Library of Munich; via knstrct
Admont Abbey, Monastic Library, built in 1776, Austria; Joseph Hueber, architect; photographed by Rafel Neff, via Look See Now
Trinity College Library, Dublin; photographed by Candida Höfer via Skylark Studio
Abbey Library of St. Gall, Switzerland - UNESCO World Heritage site; photographed by Patrick Hauri
Biblioteca Marucelliana di Firenze, Florence, Italy; photographed by Candida Höfer via Inganni Ad Arte
Stacks at The Queen's College, Oxford; photographed by Martin Beek via Flickr
Sorbonne Library, Paris; photographed by Candida Höfer via Poul Webb
I could go on, and on. This leaves me feeling so very inspired, as I hope it will you! Are you reading something inspiring right now? A design book, a gripping thriller, a non-fiction... whatever it is, share it with us by leaving a comment. And be sure to check back tomorrow for our visit with Don Taylor, the man who inspired this post.
NOTE: This was post was written by PGM Editor Celine MacKay with photo research by Emily Blackman, who you'll start to see around the Pure Green blog a lot more - she has a fresh perspective that you are going to love!