Monday, 5 July 2010

St. Paul's Cathedral Library

Today the class went and visited the St. Paul's Cathedral Library, which is located upstairs in St. Paul's Cathedral and ran by the Cathedral itself. This St. Paul's Cathedral was built by Sir Christopher Wren between 1675 to 1710 after the church was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. There has been a St. Paul's Cathdral since the early 600's on this site and a total of four churches have been built. Because of the 1666 fire, all the books were lost in the Cathedral Library. The books that are seen in this picture of the Cathedral Library were donated since the Cathedral was rebuilt.

What was awesome about this tour was that the librarian, Joseph Wisdom, showed us more than just the Cathedral Library. We went in the back rooms where parts of the original Cathedrals were kept and more. We saw the room that was intended to be the original library, but instead houses the first model Sir Christopher Wren built for his design of the Cathedral. It was rejected because the model looked too much like St. Peters. We walked across the back of the Cathedral where the BBC is posted high above for when a special service is being held. One of my favorites (along with the library), we saw the spiral stair case that was in the third Harry Potter movies.

The library itself is actually small since it had to rebuild the collection after the 1666 fire. People, such as Henry Compton, donated over 2,000 books to add to the collection. People can still donate to the Cathedral Library, but the library is interested in books about Sir Wren, people that are alumni currently living or dead, and so on. Also, people can still make an appointment to visit the library.

Just looking around, I was surprised to see some of the titles I did, such as The Odyessy and books on Greek Philosophers. I know the library is interested in more theological books, but maybe the books were donated. I also liked how Joseph Wisdom said there was a method to their madness. There were many books and documents out on the tables, which was nice for us to see, but Mr. Wisdom knew where everything was. It would of been nice if we had more time to spend in the Cathedral Library, but since the library is small and we were such a big group, it wouldn't of worked out. But, I can say I have been in St. Paul's Cathedral Library and not many people can say that they have been. :)

To learn more about St. Paul's Cathedral Library, visit

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