Books and Blueprints: Building America's Public Libraries (Hardback)
  • Books and Blueprints: Building America's Public Libraries (Hardback)
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Books and Blueprints: Building America's Public Libraries (Hardback)

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£84.00
Hardback 200 Pages / Published: 11/12/1991
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The only comprehensive treatment of American library architecture, this work details the evolution of the modern public library from 1850 to the present. Donald E. Oehlerts provides a broad, historical perspective of the field of library architecture, examining the influences on the professions of public architecture and librarianship that shaped America's library buildings. Oehlerts examines the planning and construction of the largest public library buildings from 1850 through 1989, presenting the contributions that architects, librarians, and others have made to improvements in design and arrangement. He also explores the development of public architecture and librarianship to determine the sources of influence on these two emerging professions in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This work, which features illustrations of several important buildings, is valuable to professionals, students, and scholars of architecture and library management and facilities.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780313265709
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 459 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 12 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"In Books and Blueprints: Building America's Public Libraries, Donald Oehlerts provides us with some sound historical insights into the history of American public library architecture since 1850. The original version was, as might be expected, a dissertation; it was completed in 1974 and covers the subject from 1850 through 1940. Here, Oehlerts has polished the narrative and brought his history up to 1989. Strengths of his work are that he places the development of public library architecture into the perspective of American library history, provides a substantial amount of important statistical and tabular data (e.g., the costs of large public libraries built from 1850 to 1893), and summarizes what we now know about such important issues as the location and design of such buildings. There are also a substantial number of snapshot portraits of the construction of major individual libraries as well as several portraits of architects whose work is of special significance, like Edward L. Tilton, who gets a whole brief chapter. Much of that information is extremely brief and, thus, of lesser value. He offers, alas, few judgments, but the carefully assembled and well-organized data that he presents make this a substantial addition to the literature of library history. Moreover, his narrative highlights numerous areas--such as a study of the work of individual architects like William Patton, who designed at least twenty Carnegie libraries in Indiana--for further investigation by other library historians."-Wilson Library Bulletin
"This modest volume presents a useful and pleasant "grand tour" of the major public library buildings erected in this nation over almost a century and a half. It contains plentiful citations, frequent black-and-white half-tones, ample charts and tables, several appendixes, and a good index. It is thoroughly researched and well written in a straightforward style, and the text is completely edited. It is not likely to be superseded soon."-THE LIBRARY QUARTERLY
"Oehlerts chronicles the evolution of the public library building from 1850 to the present in four chapters on buildings of 1850-1893, 1894-1918, 1919-1945, and 1946-1989, respectively. (Libraries built with funding from Andrew Carnegie and Edward L. Tilton are treated separately.) Oehlerts documents how library construction related to the general history of the U.S. and to the changing needs of libraries, according the most detailed discussion to relatively large libraries, such as New York Public, without slighting smaller-community projects. Appended are an extensive bibliography of architecture and library history and another covering public library buildings geographically by city."-Booklist
?This modest volume presents a useful and pleasant "grand tour" of the major public library buildings erected in this nation over almost a century and a half. It contains plentiful citations, frequent black-and-white half-tones, ample charts and tables, several appendixes, and a good index. It is thoroughly researched and well written in a straightforward style, and the text is completely edited. It is not likely to be superseded soon.?-THE LIBRARY QUARTERLY
?Oehlerts chronicles the evolution of the public library building from 1850 to the present in four chapters on buildings of 1850-1893, 1894-1918, 1919-1945, and 1946-1989, respectively. (Libraries built with funding from Andrew Carnegie and Edward L. Tilton are treated separately.) Oehlerts documents how library construction related to the general history of the U.S. and to the changing needs of libraries, according the most detailed discussion to relatively large libraries, such as New York Public, without slighting smaller-community projects. Appended are an extensive bibliography of architecture and library history and another covering public library buildings geographically by city.?-Booklist
?In Books and Blueprints: Building America's Public Libraries, Donald Oehlerts provides us with some sound historical insights into the history of American public library architecture since 1850. The original version was, as might be expected, a dissertation; it was completed in 1974 and covers the subject from 1850 through 1940. Here, Oehlerts has polished the narrative and brought his history up to 1989. Strengths of his work are that he places the development of public library architecture into the perspective of American library history, provides a substantial amount of important statistical and tabular data (e.g., the costs of large public libraries built from 1850 to 1893), and summarizes what we now know about such important issues as the location and design of such buildings. There are also a substantial number of snapshot portraits of the construction of major individual libraries as well as several portraits of architects whose work is of special significance, like Edward L. Tilton, who gets a whole brief chapter. Much of that information is extremely brief and, thus, of lesser value. He offers, alas, few judgments, but the carefully assembled and well-organized data that he presents make this a substantial addition to the literature of library history. Moreover, his narrative highlights numerous areas--such as a study of the work of individual architects like William Patton, who designed at least twenty Carnegie libraries in Indiana--for further investigation by other library historians.?-Wilson Library Bulletin

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