Five Days in Boston- A good read between some impressive marble covers, The Boston Library.

LibraryshsThey say never judge a book by its cover so how do I judge the Boston Library? What a stunning place to study, to learn, or to just spend a few hours perusing the books. As a library, like with a book, until you get stuck into it, only then you find out how good it is. I did not have the chance to do any research in the library itself, so for now, the British Library is the best I have found. But what a surprise and stunning glory this library in Boston is.  When I stepped inside the doors I couldn’t believe my eyes.

A stunning display of marble and light greets the  library user.

A stunning display of marble and light greets the library user.

The library with its murals, marble, stunning statues, and glorious lighting is a treat beyond treats. It was established 1848 and was the first library in the States to open to the public and allow people to borrow books and take them home. The building I was in was the McKim building which opened in 1895 and was proclaimed a palace for the people. What a palace indeed! It was the first to have a children’s room, and displays rare works. I did spend some time checking out the old maps of Boston and was awed by the detailed penmanship in the pen and ink drawing of Old Boston. What skill!

An Old Map shot through the glass.

An Old Map shot through the glass.

I have to say I spent a few hours just taking in the stone work, and the magnificent stairs. I  secretly  longed to be sitting down at the long tables hard at work doing some research. How I would have loved that!

Somewhere is my chair and lamp...

Somewhere is my chair and lamp…

There where quite a few places off-limits to me,  but I did wander about without too much trouble. I so would have loved to have these stairs in my home.


Sadly these stairs where clearly marked staff only and in case I wasn’t able to comprehend that warning, a chain was securely fastened. ( I know, I tested it.) But by now,  I had spent far too much time indoors, and desperately needed a cup of tea.  In search of that emergency cup of tea I stumbled out into this courtyard.


I found a chair to sit on and that cup of tea was erased from my mind.  An apple in my pocket was my companion as I sat and lost an hour, watching the sun play with shadows, and with the sound of water from the fountain washing away any sense of time or urgency.

Hours spent with sound and light

Hours spent with sound and light

It was only when a large cloud passed overhead blocking out the sun that I stirred and  headed back out from a world within worlds to say goodbye to a small universe of books.

Boston's Library Lights

Boston’s Library Lights

As I departed the Boston Library, I couldn’t help but think what a place to read, take a midday work break, or just step away from the noise of the city. Truly a palace for the people.

About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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16 Responses to Five Days in Boston- A good read between some impressive marble covers, The Boston Library.

  1. reasonedandy says:

    Reblogged this on The Boston Harbor Picayune and commented:
    My first experience in the Boston Library, as a book lover, was almost a spiritual experience.

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    I always think of how great it would be to spend the night in a place like that when everyone else was gone. Then I would have used those stairs for sure!

  3. Now that is an impressive library, Susan.
    I tend to have an ‘urge’ to get out of libraries, for some illogical reason, but I think I could spend quite a few comfortable hours there!

    • Hi Tom, some library’s I don’t even consider proper libraries as they are so censored, it isn’t funny. This one, I would love to go back and do some research work in! It just had an amazing aura about it.

  4. Cameron says:

    Most of my time there has been spent in the Margaret and H.A. Rey children’s library with the kiddos. Sometimes, I forget about all the wonderful places in the rest of the library.

  5. Chris says:

    Often libraries are remarked as a place of words and boring literature- but in truth its an adventure waiting to be opened, a voices of many kind waiting to be heard in a way. 🙂

  6. Posky says:

    This library looks pretty haunted. I would like to take the time to visit sometime soon.

  7. What a wonderful place, Susan. Very steampunk 😀 I love the print of Boston from above.

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