All of the libraries in the world—whether small or large, public or
private—serve the same purpose: to preserve, cherish, or show off the
riches of human knowledge. Now, for the first time, an internationally
renowned photographer takes the reader on a journey to more than 20 of
the most historic of these magical places, all architectural treasures.
From the dramatic, baroque Library of the Institut de France in Paris,
to the splendid Vatican Library in Rome; from the majestic Royal Library
in El Escorial, Spain, to the famed New York Public Library, a
Beaux—Arts masterpiece—here are some of the most exquisite libraries of
the Western world. Included are national, scholarly, and religious
libraries from 12 countries, which have in common a distinguished
heritage and an architectural setting that emphasizes art and culture.
The accompanying text traces the history of libraries to the present
day, and describes how they came to serve famous personalities and men
of letters. Libraries must be counted among civilization's crowning
achievements; this elegant book is a fitting tribute to that