Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Would You Like Something To Read?

In regards to a question from yesterday, yes, there were no problems at all with photography while I was in here, so the rules must have been changed at some point. Incidentally, the rules against photography over at our National Gallery have also been relaxed, so I'll have to get on over there sometime.

The detail of the woodworking here in the Library of Parliament shows exquisite craftmanship.

This reading room and the archives associated it with are a primary resource for parliamentarians and staff.

The collection belonging to the library numbers around six hundred thousand items, ranging over hundreds of years. 

The most valuable book in the collection is a personal copy of Audobon's Birds Of America, dating back to the 1840s; the guide said it's valued in the millions.

 Obviously the visitor is not allowed to borrow it.

At the heart of the whole room is this statue of Queen Victoria, our Queen in 1867 when Confederation came into being.


  1. I love the beautiful craftmanship on the wood! Beautiful and warm, welcoming place!

  2. Darn...been looking for that Audobon's book to check out.... :)

    In reply to your comment on my post today, yes, it is a church: Saint Marko's.

  3. I wouldn't be able to read there. I'd spend all my time looking at that gorgeous wood.

  4. My favourite places above all others are wonder libraries like these. Are you able to read the books in designated reading rooms?

  5. A warm and serene place that offers so much for those that like to read or need to do research. I'm wondering if any or all of the collection has been digitized? I do like the statue of the queen also!

  6. I'd love to know the meaning behind the carvings...or were they purely artistic?
    Jane x

  7. Linda: it certainly is.

    Bibi: I wouldn't mind getting my hands on it. Thanks fot the info!

    Ciel: quite so!

    Stuart: you wouldn't be the only one like that.

    Mo: it is generally meant for parliamentarians and staff. Access for others would no doubt involve a good deal of filing formal requests.

    Lowell: I know that the national library and archives are in the process of digitizing. I imagine the same is happening here.

    Luis: it is!

  8. I really must get there sometime! What a wonderful room.

  9. How long must it have taken to build....

  10. All these wonderful shots made me think about the National Library in Washington DC. I really wanted to take a photo in the reading room there but it isn't allowed. I'm not sure I understand why. I don't think the National Library has quite as much carved wood in it as this gorgeous room but I wish I could have gotten a picture anyway.
    To answer your question on my site yesterday, yes that is the home of that notorious sheriff, the one with the ego so big it defies description.

  11. @Jane and Chris: some are stylistic, but others definitely represent symbols of the country, such as plants or animals, or elements of history. And every once in awhile you see something odd. I've got something carved into the wood in a shot from the Senate that's like that.

    @Furry Gnome: I suggest a weekend, if you want to take pics, just in case the rules apply during the working week.

    @Tex: it definitely is.

    @Norma: and then you contrast this to what passes for architecture today.

    @Sharon: sometimes the rules about photography are understandable... other times you wonder what they were thinking.

    @Inna: thank you!

    @Linda: and yet not over the top, I think.

  12. As I said yesterday, I could live there and never emerge.

  13. Another nice serie of photos of this wonderful building with its great collection of books.

  14. Everything in here is so beautiful. I love all the details. Glad you got to take photos and share. :)

  15. For some reason, this makes me think of the Librarian movies!

  16. Beautiful and impressive library. I love books so I could spent hours there---well probably days and months. MB

  17. As I said yesterday.... great!

  18. I've been enjoying your photos - I must go back. Last time I was there, I was overwhelmed at looking at everything and neglected to take the time for getting good pictures (I had to keep up with the guide, too!) And we also couldn't take any photos in the library, which was a shame as it is by far my favourite room.

  19. Amazing photographs, thanks William!

  20. @Mari: I know the feeling!

    @Jan: thank you!

    @Halcyon: my pleasure!

    @Cheryl: I have not seen those.

    @MB: I think Parliamentary personnel would be tossing us out sooner or later.

    @Karl: thanks!

    @VioletSky: I do wonder if, because it was an off day and no one was working in there, that we were permitted, or if the rules have changed completely. I was lucky to get the shots.

    @RedPat: it is.

    @Denise: you're welcome!

  21. I could spend days just wandering around in that library! I would love to get a look at that Audobon book.

  22. I wonder when the last time was someone looked at that Audubon?!

  23. When you think of the craft of hand-carving, it's just monumental.

  24. Wow! The woodwork here is dazzling. Thanks for showing it.

    My sister gave me a book about the life of Audubon. We see the beautiful plates but have NO idea about how difficult it was to travel around the eastern United States in the 1820s through 1840s as Audubon worked on his paintings. It was brutal. He was on the brink of bankruptcy multiple times.

  25. I knew at your first photo that I would love this post. The details are incredible and the architecture is uniquely designed to hold this wonderful collection of books. I will have to find the book Jack mentioned about Audubon. We have a very large format book of his work, but certainly not valued in the millions - hah!

    Thank you for showing this library and reading room.


  26. Beautiful woodwork. We will never have anything like this built again.

  27. @Lois: so would I!

    @Hamilton: I doubt they take it out of protective storage that often...

    @Petrea: yes, it is.

    @Jack: his work endures all these decades later, so he'll carry on that way.

    @Genie: you're most welcome!

    @Joan: not at all likely.