SIJ - Day 12:  Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

SIJ - Day 12: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

This is the interior of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. This does not do the sheer expanse of this building justice. Even at 11mm, what you are looking at is not entirely clear. I will take the next three days to show you this remarkable building.

Beinecke Library contains the rare books and literary manuscripts of Yale University. One of the largest buildings in the world devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts, the library has room in the central tower for 180,000 volumes and in the underground book stacks for over 600,000 volumes; it now contains about 500,000 volumes and several million manuscripts.

The building is constructed of Vermont marble and granite, bronze and glass, was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, of the firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Work began on the building in 1960 and was completed in 1963.

The white, gray-veined marble panes of the exterior are one and one-quarter inches thick and are framed by shaped light gray Vermont Woodbury granite. These marble panels allow light to enter the interior of the building, but filter it such that rare materials can be displayed without damage. Look at the exterior wall to the right. You can see that light from outside is being transmitted through the walls.

The central core that you are looking at stands six stories high in all. It is climate controlled of course. This is truly an amazing building, and you will see from the exterior tomorrow that it actually looks smaller than it is.

This is one of the few museums/libraries I have ever been in that allows flash photography. The cases use glass that precludes damage and people are actually encouraged to photograph in the building. I did not use flash, but the mixed lighting makes it difficult to get white balance correct.

At the moment there are not many exhibits active on the main exhibit floor from which this was taken. Just two Gutenberg Bibles and two copies of the double elephant folio of Birds of America by Audubon...
Gutenberg Bible

Audubon Folio

Looks like the sweetest nectar stored away in the heart of the beehive.

Great mood and lighting here Seeain!
great shot, sounds like a really special building! All these photos and your accompanying stories make me wish I studied at Yale, even if it was just for the atmosphere! :p
I want to live there!

Stunning image, Seaain - what an awe inspiring place this must be. Heavenly for us bibliophiles!
Thank you for the Picture of the Gutenberg Bible. It stands as one of the major landmarks in the history of our Bible. And it well done, to have been taken through glass in that environment.
I love all the different shapes and angles and the light through the wall is lovely.

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Single in January 2012
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