Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bibliotheca Alexandrina


My first stop in Alexandria was the library. I joked with my Cairo host that I would be in Alexandria for five days and every day I would be in the library.  This library is so amazing that I could spend weeks in her researching, studying, and writing!

Also, what is great is that it combines two of my favorite things: art and books.  The library itself has fifteen different exhibitions and four art galleries.  You can follow the art all the way to the Planetarium, which is full of factual scientific information. 

It was nice having an English tour of the library with factual information about the architecture of the building. The old Ancient library of Alexandria was the largest in the ancient world. Julius Caesar's fire in the Alexandrian war of 48BC burned the library down. It was rebuilt in its new location in 2002 and has been designed with a Greek and Roman influence.  The exterior ceiling is shaped in the form of eyes with eye lashes and eye lids with blue(symbolizing the ocean) and green(symbolizing plants and eco-environment).  The library space itself can hold over a million books and the library reading space is the largest in the world.  They have one of the top printers in the world-copying 500 plus pages of books, binding it, and even with the cover in under five minutes.  This is a book nerd's fantasy-wow! I just sat staring at the printer thinking of all the books I could have in just one hour!

Here is the link for their online library where over 20,000 digital books are available with many other features including: modern Egypt within the past two hundred years, the library and the world database, and information on Egypts political situation.

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