Buildings for books. Libraries from Antiquity until today.

Lecturers: Dr. Lothar Schmitt, Gregory Grämiger
Time: Fri., 08.00–09.00 a.m
Location: HIL E1

Books, when gathered in a great number, will inevitably characterise the room surrounding them. Ever since practical aspects of storage and categorical order defined the architecture of rooms for books. The more books were in stock the more urgent the need of efficient storage and usability. However, the development from desk-libraries, over wall-libraries to stack-libraries show how difficult it was and is to meet all requirements and induced severe clashes of interest.
A historically developed process of an effective and even politically relevant public dialogue between a book and his reader led to alternating perceptions of what a library should be built like, particularly since the early modern period. Perceptions depending on who was the reader, what his intentions were and wether or not he should be granted access. Therefore not only architectural but also functional and social aspects are the dicisive factors / are of crucial importance when building a library. The architecture of a library can be weight against pervasive changes of thinking about the value of knowledge for the community.


PD Dr. Lothar Schmitt
Dr. Gregory Grämiger