Public Spaces under Cover – People in the Library. Virtual lecture by Ulrich Johannes Schneider in the “Carte Blanche II” series

Modern libraries came into existence in 1851 when architect Henri Labrouste finished the Bibliothèque St. Geneviève in Paris. The two-story structure was the first library building with a central heating system and gaslight. Its reading room was open until 10 pm and seated 400 students. The reading room of the British Museum opened in 1857 and accommodated its regulars – among them Karl Marx – with an elaborate ventilation system. In 1858, Boston followed with its new public library.

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