Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Saint Paul Cathedral Library

  Yep I was in this library.

What I really appreciated about our tour with Mr. Wisdom was that he shared his knowledge of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  For instance I did not know that the Whispering Gallery was created by accident and I never knew that people used to mount telescopes on staircases.  The whole experience was surreal because I realize that we were embarking on a tour that very few people get to experience.   I never felt like I was out of place during the tour.  St. Paul’s is obviously a sacred place; one in which I am normally not a part of but with Mr. Wisdom as our guide I felt a part of the whole overall experience.  I absolutely loved his humor.  I think that was what really made the tour so friendly and comfortable.   I became really excited when I saw an old large book near where I was standing.  According to the note card it was a German translation of Martin Luther’s version of the Holy Bible.  I do wish he would have gone over the reason for the book being there and how it was acquired.  Overall, this was a very surreal and rewarding visit because I was able to gain a perspective of St. Paul's from someone who lives, works and experiences it every day and who also had a brilliant sense of British humor.  Onwards and upwards as Mr. Wisdom would say!
My first glimpse of St. Paul's while crossing the bridge

·The construction of St. Paul’s Cathedral took 30 years under the one architect Charles Wren; a famous architect in England period.

·   A superb large scale model of the building was made by William Cleere and is held

·  ‘When Americans die they got to Paris.’ Henry James  A little joke and saying shared by Mr. Wisdom
·   Most of the collection was lost in the Great Fire of London

  During the 19th century there was an influx to the overall collection

· In the 1700s they did not see the importance in having duplicate copies of books

· There 23,000 bibliographic items in the collection and 10,000 volumes

· They only have a very limited digital collection

·The library used to only be open to clergy but is now open to those who are in need of its resources

· Most of the collection consists of theology and church history

·The books are shelved according to size; small at the top and large at the bottom.

I was fortunate enough to experience St. Paul's Cathedral in its entirety.  The previous day attended services.  It was so baffling to be sitting there in this gorgeous cathedral and sitting through a sermon and Holy Communion.  I realized that not only was it such a treasured sight to behold but normal everyday people come to St. Paul's to worship.  There is such grandeur and majesty within St. Paul's and it simply takes your breath away.   Below is a picture that I took myself.  Sadly no personal pictures are allowed but no picture would do the beauty inside justice. 

The library is just one small part of St. Paul’s Cathedral but no part is small and insignificant.  To get a feel of what the library is and what it is all about visit this link: http://www.stpauls.co.uk/Cathedral-History/The-Collections/The-Library
Of course the entire history of St. Paul’s Cathedral is a treat so I encourage you to visit this link to the website of St. Paul’s Cathedral: http://www.stpauls.co.uk/

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