New! A vintage slice of literary heaven - HBD NYPL 🎂
Paging all word nerds! Our newest Vintage Edition is STACKED, literally. Sectional view of the New York Public Library is a slice of literary heaven, dissecting the seven tiers of library stacks in carefully plotted detail. This diagrammatic delight has something for everyone from bibliophiles to architecture admirers, engineering enthusiasts to the organizationally obsessed.
Originally published on the cover of Scientific American on May 27, 1911, Sectional view accompanied an article celebrating the architectural, mechanical, and design strategy of the recently finished Main Building of the New York Public Library. The building opened on May 23, 1911 to much fanfare on Fifth Avenue. The largest marble structure in the country at the time, the branch housed 3.5 million volumes spread over 375,000 square feet and was hailed as a feat of urban planning designed to meet the needs of a variety of visitors.
Sectional view displays the seven main floors of bookstacks in the heart of the library, freely perused by wandering readers. Above sits the main reading room. Contrary to usual library practice with the ground floor serving as the main reading space, the NYPL reversed orientation for improved light and ventilation. And at the center is the new building’s pièce de résistance: a complex system of elevator pulleys and pneumatic tubes moving a steady stream of books up and down through the mammoth structure. Now that’s what we call a circulating library!
While the NYPL system has grown and evolved over the years, visitors from all over the world still marvel at the sight of the Beaux-Arts monument. Sectional view was drawn up as a salute to what this new structure meant for the future of libraries, and this month the NYPL turns 127! Who needs a birthday cake when you’ve got this seven-layer stunner?