“I love libraries”

Anthony Grafton würdigt die Ausstellung „The Newtonian Moment“ in der New York Public Library und nimmt das zum Anlass zu folgendem Bekenntnis:

I love libraries – their dust, their smell of noble rot, their seedy grandeur. Early in my career, I learned that the Princeton’s library staff had already labeled my a „heavy user“ – a phrase that sounded a little worrying in the 1970s. Work has taken me down into the vaults of the Vatican, where the smelly ghosts of thousands of slaughtered animals haunted the lovely codices made from their skins, and up into the remotest stacks of the Old Bibliothèque Nationale, where a layer of ash from the fires of the Paris Commune still covered untouched books. Every one of these libraries has its devotees. But none of them rivals the New York Public Library’s magnificent generosity, as expressed in its commitment to educate through public programs and to make its materials available to anyone with a legitimate reason for seeing them.

[The New York Review of Books 19/2004 S. 38]

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