By Melissa Rayner
Libraries mean so much to so many people. For me, personally, the library represents a place of belonging and comfort, a place of endless possibilities, and a dream. My mother took me to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in theaters for my seventh birthday. Being that I was always a shy, imaginative child, books had already become my best friends and most constant of companions by then. So, it should be no surprise that my young heart fell irrevocably in love with the Beast the moment he gifted Belle his colossal castle library.
In the more than 20 years since my first viewing of this film, my dream has not wavered once. I still crave that library for myself, and I’m still searching for the perfect house that has just the right layout–and more than enough space–to integrate a huge home library.
To honor National Library Week (a holiday of the utmost importance in my book!), I’d like to share a series of other dream-making libraries. Like Belle’s, some of them do live within castles, others reside in government quarters, and still others are closed to the public. I’ve scoured Gale’s historical archives via Gale Artemis: Primary Sources in order to find the most luxurious and the most special libraries, and now I’d like to share them with you. Enjoy!