It is big news in Seattle that federal budget cuts have caused cancellation of the Blue Angels’ annual visit to Seafair. In a similar vein, state budget cuts may impact another local institution: the Washington State Library. In recent decades, the library has been moved off of the Capitol campus. Budget constraints threaten additional changes. Read the Seattle Times article describing the budget maneuvering that has accompanied the library’s travails.
The Public Law Library of King County was already a great resource for those who need access to legal information. Physically located in the King County Courthouse in Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, the law library provides reference assistance, classes, and access to legal resources. The newly revamped website provides access to their excellent guides, podcasts, and information. Check it out and let them know what you think.
With over 2.65 million volumes, the Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library. Founded in 1832, the law library of Congress has continuously served as the official law library for both Congress and the Supreme Court.
Library interiors are often works of art in themselves. Flavorwire has published The 25 Most Beautiful College Libraries in the World. Check out the stunning photos.
Founded in 1475, the library at the Vatican is one of the world’s oldest continually operating libraries. The Vatican library houses a large collection, including 1.1 million printed books, 75,000 manuscripts and 8,500 incunabula (as pictured here, a hand-printed manuscript that was common in Europe prior to the invention of the printing press). Though closed to the public for several years of restoration, the Vatican library re-opened in September of 2010.
While many libraries in the ancient world pre-dated it, the library at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt has been continually running since about 565 AD. Constructed near the site of the burning bush, St. Catherine’s was difficult to access for many years, as it required a 10 day trip by camel. The library currently houses about 5000 early printed books and 2000 scrolls. Included in the collection are some of the earliest printed works of Plato and Homer, along with pieces of a bible from the 4th century. You can also find St. Catherine’s Monastery on the web.
With the advent of online indexes, library card catalogs are now virtually obsolete. Amazing to think that less than 30 years ago, you may have been confronted with a seemingly endless card catalog if you wanted to access the Library of Congress. Card catalogs also required a lot of maintenance. For some reason the online-library search seems a bit more accessible.
Of all of the ancient libraries, the library at Alexandria is likely the most famous. As a symbol of affluence in many societies, library buildings often involve the latest and greatest elements from the world of architecture. This certainly rings true for both the ancient and modern libraries at Alexandria. The ancient library of Alexandria disappeared after it was destroyed by fire in 48 BC. In 2002, Egypt completed construction of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, near the site of the ancient library. Images of the stunning architecture of Bibliotheca Alexandrina can be viewed by navigating through its homepage.
Stop by the library for candy. Check out the Library Blog for daily library trivia. View our READ poster exhibit. Learn why this year’s READ poster participants, Professor Natasha Martin and Dean Mark Niles, selected the books on display as ones that held special significance to them. For past READ poster participants and their selections, check out our READ Feed or take a look at our READ Retrospective Exhibit. The exhibits are located on the 2nd floor of the library.
If you’re looking to add to your collection, the Friends of Seattle Public Library book sale is coming up April 15-17. This is a great way to add variety to your shelves while helping support a great city resource.