Modern libraries came into existence in 1851 when architect Henri Labrouste finished the Bibliothèque St. Geneviève in Paris. The two-story structure was the first library building with a central heating system and gaslight. Its reading room was open until 10 pm and seated 400 students. The reading room of the British Museum opened in 1857 and accommodated its regulars – among them Karl Marx – with an elaborate ventilation system. In 1858, Boston followed with its new public library.
Ever since the nineteenth century, libraries developed into social institutions, catering not only for books but also for people. From our present point of view, dedicating a specific space for reading and writing seems obvious and unimportant at the same time. However, rather than mere engineering of space, library architecture plays a larger role in global cultural history than even library lovers might suspect. (Text: Ulrich Johannes Schneider)
Ulrich Johannes Schneider, Leipzig University Library
Stefan Höhne, KWI
Julika Griem, KWI Director
Sabine Voßkamp, KWI Research Management
Organized by the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI)
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01/26/2021 18:00 - 01/26/2021 21:00
Scientists and scholars, all interested persons
Cultural sciences, Language / literature, Media and communication sciences
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URL of this event: http://idw-online.de/en/event67556
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