Ambitious and wide-ranging, this is the first single volume to tell the story of the library as a distinct building type, all around the world and from the beginnings of writing to the present day. In its highest form the library is a total work of art, combining painting, sculpture, furniture and architecture. From their designs for the libraries of ancient Rome to those of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, architects have sought to outdo each other by producing ever more spectacular settings.
The author and photographer have travelled the globe, documenting some eighty libraries. Architectural historian James Campbell contributes an authoritative and highly readable account accompanied by photographs by Will Pryce, one of the world’s leading photographers of interiors and architecture. Arresting and technically flawless, his photographs are both lucid and deeply atmospheric.