Devin's Reviews > Free to All: Carnegie Libraries & American Culture, 1890-1920

Free to All by Abigail A. Van Slyck
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Oct 04, 2011

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Read on October 04, 2011

Well-researched explication of the Carnegie library program in the US, including copious illustrations and floor plans of libraries. Appreciated the author's treatment of various library issues in urban and rural contexts. Van Slyck proposes the interesting thesis that the classicism in library design during the early 20th century was generated, in part, by the need of the field of architecture to establish itself as a viable profession, with designs that it was possible to measure the success of in concrete terms. Classical architecture offered a range of measurable design elements, which could be standardized and taught.

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