The Beautiful Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

In The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Douglas Adams argued that airports are inherently ugly. Libraries are, however, I think, innately beautiful. And some are more beautiful than others. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University is one such library. 

Link -via Twisted Sifter

(Photo: Lauren Manning)

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“... because real thoughts come from outside and travel with us like the noodle soup we take to work; in other words, inquisitors burn books in vain. If a book has anything to say, it burns with a quiet laugh, because any book worth its salt points up and out of itself.”

Bohumil Hrabal, "Too Loud a Solitude"
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Yes, containment was the primary goal, but the fire might also be deprived of oxygen if the seals held.

As for getting trapped in a burning room...I don't know. One would hope his fellow archivists would spare his life for a shelf or two of precious documents. Perhaps not. :p
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Interesting! Here in Charleston, SC we have our historic documents kept in the "Fireproof Building," built in the 1820s in the Palladian style. It's a masonry building with vaulted ceilings and metal doors and shutters, allowing rooms to be sealed off from one another in the event of a fire.
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