Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Boston Public Library

The main branch on the Boston Public Library (BPL) in Copley Square is a nice place to visit. It has excellent research facilities and a large rare book collection. The McKim building, which is the older part of the library, features large murals on the third floor by John Singer Sargent, and rotating art and rare book exhibits. Free art and architecture tours are led by volunteers at various times during the week. Today I saw sheet music and librettos of Mozart's music from the late eighteenth Century and early to mid nineteenth Century. There was a much larger exhibit of vintage and antique items and memorabilia relating to Joan of Arc. For anybody with an interest in her story and the later embellishments, it is a must see. Since nobody knows what she looked like, the pictures of her run the gamut from childlike and very feminine to strong and courageous. The collection was a donation to the BPL from Cardinal John Joseph Wright who used to shelve books in that very library. Who says that library work cannot lead to bigger things?


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