The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

manuscripts and archives

I've been in three major archival libraries in the past three days: Columbia's Rare Books and Manuscripts collection in Butler (the library that doesn't have Alma Mater guarding the stairs), NYU's Tamiment Library in Bobst, and Yale's Manuscripts and Archives in Sterling. They're all nice, but man, does the Yale library beat them all. Sterling Memorial Library is, for my money, the most beautiful library in America, a massive Gothic pile with odd corners and secret rooms everywhere, and the Manuscripts and Archives collection is in a great old-fashioned room (unlike the more famous Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which is in a fantastic transluscent cube designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and built in 1960) that reminds you of the Morgan Library or of a scene from MY FAIR LADY.


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