Three more days at work for me before I call two blissful months my own. One of the perks of teaching. And this summer I have decided to visit as many of the great libraries in my part of the world as possible. And share a little. In the hopes that some of you might do the same. Temples of knowledge. Inspiring places that celebrate the life of the mind. Retreats. Simple but effective suppliers of required information. Whatever your tack, entry point, motivation. Just run with it.
Last weekend I found myself in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood of Baltimore at The Peabody Institute for Guitar Day. In between sessions, we wandered around a bit, and out of nowhere, around a corner and through a spare and elegant entry gallery was one of the most amazing libraries that I have ever seen (and I have seen some good ones). The description from the website says it all:
"The George Peabody Library is a remarkable research library housed in a remarkable building. The goal of the Peabody Library's first librarian was to build a library that contained the best and latest literature in all branches of knowledge except law and medicine.
Begun in 1860, the library collection contains over 300,000 volumes largely from the 18th and 19th centuries. Notable collection strengths are archaeology, British art and architecture, British and American history, biography, English and American literature, Romance languages and literature, Greek and Latin classics, history of science, geography, and exploration and travel including a large map collection. The collection also includes some bound manuscripts. View more information on the history of the Peabody Library.
The George Peabody Library is part of the Sheridan Libraries Special Collections. A portion of the collection is represented on-line in the JHU Catalog. The most complete access to the collection is contained in the library's pioneering printed catalog, Catalog of the Library of the Peabody Institute. Issued in 1883 and 1896, these detailed dictionary catalogs described books as well as articles within journals held by the library. Copies are available on site and in many research libraries. An overview of the Peabody Library strengths is contained in the Collections and Holdings page."