St. Paul’s Cathedral Library

My first glimpse of St. Paul’s was the first Sunday that we were in London.  I went to the optional morning service, and was in awe of the cathedral.  I was even more amazed when we got to tour the archives.  The cathedral itself was founded in 604.  The collections were almost completely destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.  Sir Christopher Wren was brought in to design the new cathedral.  He was Britain’s most famous architect, although he thought of himself as more as a mathematician or geometrician.   He also had a strong interest in astrology.

St. Paul’s Cathedral opened for its first service since the Great Fire of London in 1697. Above the entrance door, there is a heart and book.  This symbolizes “In all we do, we do with love.”  The collections at the cathedral include anything related to the cathedral, including the construction.  There is an actual model of the original design of the cathedral, although the design was not used.

Our tour was given by the librarian, whose name was Joe Wisdom.  After performing a short song, Mr. Wisdom gave us instructions on how to properly pull a book off the shelf.  The books are arranged by size, and then are organized alphabetically.  The largest of the books are at the bottom, while smaller books are on the top.

As part of our tour, we were able to see the geometric staircase that leads up to the library. While we were touring the library, the BBC was setting up to broadcast the next days service to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the bombing. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to see the collections that “live” in the cathedral library. I also enjoyed meeting the interesting and knowledgeable librarian that works with these collections.



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