The Library Book
Photographs by Thomas R. Schiff. Text by Alberto Manguel, Alberto Manguel, and Alberto Manguel.
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In pre–Revolutionary War America, libraries were member-driven collections for the elite; it was not until 1790 that Benjamin Franklin helped to establish the first public lending library. Throughout the subsequent centuries the library has evolved, but always remained central to the cultural life of the nation. Thomas R. Schiff’s photographs trace the history of the library through aesthetic and style while featuring legendary architects such as Charles F. McKim; Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge; and I. M. Pei.
The Library Book beautifully captures the shifting architectural styles and missions of the library in sweeping 360-degree panoramas—from the very earliest American libraries to the modernist masterpieces of Louis I. Kahn and others. In his introductory essay, acclaimed author and library lover Alberto Manguel considers the story of the library in America, its evolving architecture and cultural role, and how the American model reflects the archetypal idea of the universal library. Including brief descriptions of each unique library, this book brings bibliophiles into one hundred libraries across the nation.
Number of pages: 232
Number of images: 120
Publication date: 2017-04-01
Measurements: 14.5 x 11 x 1.1 inches
Thomas R. Schiff studied photography under Clarence White, Jr. and Arnold Gassan while earning a BBA degree from Ohio University in 1970. Schiff began experimenting with panoramic photography in the mid-1980s, making use of a Hulcherama 360 panoramic camera. He has published six books: Panoramic Cincinnati (2003), Panoramic Ohio (2002), Panoramic Parks (2005), Vegas 360 (2008), Wright Panorama (2010), and Prospect (2012). Schiff helped establish Images Center in Cincinnati in 1980 and he is the founder of FotoFocus, a lens-based art biennial held in Cincinnati. He has just completed a book about the architectural legacy of J. Irwin Miller and the city of Columbus, Indiana.