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...
Impressive photographs....all of them. I'd like to have that Audobon folio. Actually, I'd take a copy of the Bible, too. That I would sell, and pay off the mortgage and really turn into a collector of fine cameras.
>> That I would sell, and pay off the mortgage and really turn into a collector of fine cameras.

Heh. Yes, are you aware of how true this statement is? I did some research... the two bibles pictured here are actually one Bible in two volumes. Here is some information about the worth of a Gutenberg...

By most expert's standards the rarest book of all is the Gutenberg Bible. It was the first book ever printed back in 1456, and although several hundred copies were originally printed finding a complete first edition would net you $25-$35 million. In today's market single pages alone go for $25,000 each, and several years ago just 1 volume (it's a 2 volume set) sold for $5.5 million.

So yes, you would have the opportunity to truly become a collector of fine cameras...

The Audubon... well... On 6 December 2010, a complete copy of the first edition double elephant folio Birds of America was sold in London at Sotheby's for £7,321,250 - approximately $11.5 million.

While I just made a Borg reference in another photograph's comments and don't always have The Collective on my brain I can't help but notice how Borg Cube-like the core looks... and it is an assimilation of knowledge.

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Single in January 2012
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