Liverpool's central library is awesome. I have missed English language libraries so very much. Since I have family and friends who are librarians, and I probably would have been one in another life, I thought that I would use today's blog post to showcase it.
The Main part of the library was completed in 1860, with the Picton Reading Room (see below added in 1879 and the Hornby Library (also see below) added in 1906. Then the library was bombed in a blitz in 1941. Most of the building needed to be rebuilt, and then between 2010-2013 they rebuilt parts of it again. The result is a mix of modern and old, and it is charming in the extreme. Plus there is a cafe on the ground floor.
The outside of the building looks very historic.
The entrance is a touch more modern with a wide walk wide walkway with the titles of famous books.
This is what you see when you walk inside. A beautiful dome and floating stairways.
One of my favorite parts is the Picton Reading room. It looks like something out of a historic novel. I wish I had a better picture of it, but it is a quiet zone and every sound is reflected back by the dome. That lotus lamp is massive, I doubt that I could stretch my arms to touch either side. and there are three floors of leather bounds books which you can get to by little iron spiral staircases.
If you walk through the Picton Reading room (built 1879) you can come to the Oak room, where directly in the center of the room in a massive display case is an original Birds of North America by John James Audubon. The book must be a meter/yard tall!
The history of this particular edition, and ties between Audubon and Liverpool are interesting.
The walls of the Oak room have display cases where huge leather bound books are kept. Can you see that I took this picture as a tribute to Madrid?
The Hornby Library is also off of the Oak room, and it is a little library museum with rotating displays. When I took this photo there was a display to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Liverpool Philharmonic.
But when we visited in early January to look at houses, there were first edition Charles Dickens books, including amusing hand written correspondence (click to enlarge).
If you love libraries, be sure to give this one a visit. I am sure that I have only just started to explore it (I haven't been above the first floor yet, I hear that there is a roof top terrace.)
We are all doing well, I hope you are too.