Thursday, 23 July 2009

National Art Library

Wednesday, we took a tour of the National Art Library. It is a reference library only, the books may not be checked out. It is a neat library, it has one of every art book that is published, and like many other libraries in the London area, they are running out of room. That is not a good thing because it is hard to find more space for these materials. The Art Library receives it's funding from the Victoria and Albert Museum. In order to access the materials from the library, one has to become a member of the library. It is quick and easy and has to be done even if the patron only wants to use the library one time. The Art Library has about 250 manuscript items. It holds three of Shakespeare's first folios and one of these is very nearly complete. There are also quite a few books from Charles Dickens and some that were a rough draft that he marked through and wrote corrections in. Those were from their fascinating rare collection. I was very interested in those books, I wanted to take them home and read them, if only! The holdings of the library fall into two categories: General Collections and Special Collections. The general collections include books on art, architecture and books that are decorated on the outside. The special collections are the books like the Dickens books and the Shakespeare folios. My class is so lucky to be able to partake in these tours and get special behind the scenes look at the libraries we visit. (This picture was obtained from

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