360 -Degree Photographs Invite You Inside America’s Most Majestic Libraries

Whether or not you consider yourself an avid reader, there is something undeniably magical about entering a library. Perhaps its the shawl of silence blanketing the space, which amplifies the voice of every flipping page and muffled whispering. Maybe its the majestic architecture that transforms the public spaces into literary temples, or the subconscious be thought that an infinite wealth of knowledge is at your fingertips.

If perchance you are not in the immediate vicinity of a corridor of volumes, fret not; Thomas R. Schiff will bring the library to you. The photographers series The Library Exhibition features a selection of 360 -degree, panoramic photo that simulated the feeling of entering an expansive library space. And the most part is, theres no library card necessary.

Thomas R Schiff Thomas R. Schiff, George Peabody Library, Baltimore, 2010; from The Library Book( Aperture, 2017)

Schiff, who has previously photographed modernist homes and cathedral ceilings with the same panoramic style, captured the image of 38 libraries around the country, from Thomas Jeffersons Monticello library to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale. Because Schiff captures the spaces before the libraries open to the public, few people are seen roaming the book-laden vestibules, allowing the eye to focus on the myriad architectural details and structural differences.

The photographs come together to show the history of the library in America, a space traditionally designated for community and learning. There have been, however, significant changes to the library model over period. For example, prior to the late 18 th century, libraries were spaces reserved for the elites; not until Benjamin Franklin opened the first American lending library in 1790 were the spaces open to the public.

Are such ideological switchings evident in the buildings stained-glass windows, gale staircases, and looming chandeliers? Take a brief tours through Schiffs favorite libraries and come to your own conclusion.

Thomas R. Schiffs The Library Exhibition is on view fromMarch 15 until April 20 atAperture Gallery, New York .

Thomas R Schiff

Thomas R. Schiff, Boston Athenaeum, 2010; from The Library Book( Aperture, 2017)

Thomas R Schiff

Thomas R. Schiff, State Library of Iowa Law Library, Des Moines, 2011; from The Library Book( Aperture, 2017)

Thomas R Schiff

Thomas R. Schiff, Herb Caen Magazines and Newspapers Center, San Francisco Public Library, 2010; from The Library Book( Aperture, 2017)

Thomas R Schiff

Thomas R. Schiff, Historical Society of Pennsylvannia Library, Philadelphia, 2011; from The Library Book( Aperture, 2017)

Thomas R Schiff

Thomas R. Schiff, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, from The Library Book( Aperture, 2017)

Thomas R Schiff

Thomas R. Schiff, Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, University of Chicago, from The Library Book( Aperture, 2017)

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