Humanist Ideal, Social Glue And Now, Tourism Library Hotspot
Christian Lauersen (Danish librarian) and Marie Eiriksson (Danish librarian) founded Library Planet. An online library travel guide that is crowd source worldwide. Library Planet, according to them, is design to inspire travellers to open the amazing. Book that is our universe of libraries, cities, and countries.
The online project’s name is an intentional nod to Lonely Planet, which was create in Australia. It is easy to understand and powerful. The founders collect library photos and profiles from lovers. They then curate the posts and publish them.
Why should libraries be a focal point of travel? Libraries offer many benefits, both cultural and practical. Libraries are, for the most part, safe and welcoming spaces. They tell stories about people who built and appreciated them. Libraries are the foundation of civilisation. They provide windows into national souls. These libraries are a treasure trove of information. That can be use to trace the past and provide reassurance for the future.
Library Planet has many interesting profiles, including those from Burma and French Polynesia. One recent entry was about the Melbourne Cricket Club at MCG. This site is quickly becoming a favourite among the bibliographical subcultures. And communities of Instagram and Twitter such as #rarebooks and #amreading.
The Grand Tour Of Library
Library Planet is a new concept, but library tourism has existed for a long time. Italian humanists traveled to Europe’s abandoned monastic libraries in the Western Renaissance. To save unique manuscripts that had been left behind by the end of the Middle Ages. Old libraries were the focus of the Grand Tour in the 18th century. And became the subject of rich travel literature.
Some visits were not smooth. Friedrich Hirsching, historian and author, called the directors of Germany’s public libraries arrogant misanthropes that view their positions as sinecures. People still visited libraries well into the 19th century and still saved manuscripts. Obadiah Rich, a bibliographer, wrote an 1843 letter to Sir Thomas Phillipps, a bibliophile.
Ignorant people are more likely to destroy manuscripts than civil wars. One time, I saw a Madrid bookseller occupied with removing the parchment covers from a pile of old folios. He was selling them by weight to the grocers. I bought the entire collection (120 volumes) for two shillings each. You will not believe that one of them was a volume of original documents. About England during the reign of Philip the Second!
Biblio Treasure Hunt
Indiana-Jones-style, the era of the biblio treasure hunt lasted into the 20th century. Villagers were digging for fertiliser in the area of the Monastery of the Archangel Michael. That had been destroy, located in Egypt’s Fayyum oasis near Hamuli, in the spring of 1910. 60 Coptic manuscripts found in an old stone cistern by the villager. Evidently, monks had placed the entire monastery’s library in a safe. Place for safe keeping, just before the monastery was close.
The manuscripts were written in Sahidic, a Coptic dialect, and date back from 823 to 914 AD. They are the oldest and largest group of Coptic texts with one provenance.
The discovery was a delight for bibliographers and dealers alike. The manuscripts were soon purchase by J.P. Morgan, an American bibliophile and banker. They are now part of New York’s remarkable biblio-temple, which is the Morgan Library and Museum.
Modern Pilgrimage To Ancient Library
Fiona, my wife, and I followed the footsteps of some of the original library tourers in 2017. We visited libraries in Switzerland with our daughters, five-year-old and one year old. Including the stunning Abbey Library of St Gallen (Sankt Gallen), which was once a monastery. Also, we saw the beautiful Zentralbibliothek in Zurich. We visited the Bodleian Library in Britain, the Wellcome Library Lambeth Palace Library, University College Library, and the irreplaceable British Library.
We also visited North America, Asia and Oceania as well as major regional and state libraries in Australia. These were life-changing experiences that included visits to institutions such as the Morgan, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Libraries and Harvard’s Widener, Houghton, and Harvard libraries.