beinecke rare book & manuscript library

anonymous asked:

He y arqui! Tienes algunas bibliotecas que te gusten en particular? Estoy buscando referentes. Gracias!

Las bibliotecas son de mis edificios favoritos, tengo demasiadas en mente. Para esta lista voy a ignorar bibliotecas clásicas como Trinity College en Irlanda o El Escorial en España y me enfocare en algunas mas recientes.

You can see previous posts about libraries following this link. Here is a very small selection of my favorite contemporary libraries:

Library at the Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum Tadao Ando

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Deep inside Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library lies a 240 page tome. Recently carbon dated to around 1420, its pages feature looping handwriting and hand drawn images seemingly stolen from a dream. It is called the Voynich manuscript, and it’s one of history’s biggest unsolved mysteries. The reason why? No one can figure out what it says. 

A recent theory surfaced this past month, claiming that it was a ‘mostly plagiarized guide to women’s health’, but it was quickly debunked.

Watch the TED-Ed Lesson to learn more about this mysterious book and how scholars have been picking it apart for decades here: The world’s most mysterious book - Stephen Bax

Animation by TED-Ed


It took at least 14 full cow skins to make the Voynich Manuscript. Here is some of the rest of what we know about this mysterious book.

If you stand just past High School Hill on Route 9 in Irvington, N.Y., and look west toward the Hudson River, you’ll see a beautiful white house with lots of columns and terra cotta tiles that evoke a Mediterranean elegance. It is one of many mansions nestled on these leafy green streets; memories carved in stone from a time when this suburban town was the jewel of the “Hudson Riviera.” Kykuit, Shadowbrook, and Nuits, Sunnyside, Hillside, and Strawberry Hill — these were the homes of robber barons and writers, judges and doctors, the 1 percent of the Gilded Age and the early 20th century.

But Villa Lewaro, that white house, was unique. It was built by Madam C. J. Walker, who was born Sarah Breedlove in 1867, one of six children and the first born free. Walker rose to prominence as the first nationally successful black female business magnate in the country. She and her daughter, A'Lelia, were the hair care queens of black America. By the time she began building Villa Lewaro in 1917, the New York Times Magazine estimated her net worth at “a cool million” (a fact that didn’t stop some of the neighbors from being appalled that a black woman was moving into town). 

Until recently, the Walker legacy was treated somewhat poorly by history. The house itself was nearly torn down in 1976. A'Lelia is rarely remembered at all, and when she is, it is as the prodigal daughter under whom the Walker hair care empire shrunk drastically. Or, as historian Eric Garber put it in his essay A Spectacle in Color, while “Madam Walker had been civic-minded, donating thousands of dollars to charity, A'Lelia used most of her inheritance to throw lavish parties.”

It’s easy to dismiss these events as fluff and folderol. But Walker’s parties, both in Irvington and at her Manhattan salon, The Dark Tower, played a crucial, if invisible role in the Harlem Renaissance: They provided a safe, welcoming environment for queer people at a time when there were few other social options available. While she herself was not known to be lesbian or bisexual, Walker’s parties were places where anyone could express their sexuality however they pleased.

Remembering A'Lelia Walker, Who Made A Ritzy Space For Harlem’s Queer Black Artists

Photo: A'lelia Walker. Credit: Carl Van Vechten/Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Bricktop - born Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louisa Virginia Smith in what she called “West-by-God” Virginia in 1894 to a former slave and a barber, took on her famous nickname in homage to her bright red hair. In 1924, she met Langston Hughes, then a starving artist, on her first night in Paris. Accustomed to playing big clubs, she literally cried when she saw the small size of Le Grand Duc, the club she was to play in the French capital. Hughes was a waiter at the club and assured her that most clubs in Montmartre were just as tiny. “Bricktop was simply a good old girl of the kind folks call regular,” Hughes once said of his friend who was able to attract demigods like Noel Coward, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Cole Porter when she opened her first club in 1924. Even the Prince of Wales was a friend and he hosted the opening night for one of her later clubs. Cole Porter gave her the idea to name her club “Bricktop’s” and asked her to teach him and his friends the ‘Charleston’. She was also the inspiration behind one of the most famous songs by the great composer, “Miss Otis Regrets,” after she relayed the story of man who had been recently lynched in the South, ending with the line, “Well, that man won’t lunch tomorrow.” Photo: Carl Van Vechten (1939) Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library


The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum in the book pages has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance.The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912.

The pages of the codex are vellum. Some of the pages are missing, but about 240 remain. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams.

The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British code breakers from both World War I and World War II.No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography.

The Voynich manuscript was donated by Hans P. Kraus to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1969, where it is cataloged under call number MS 408.


El Lissitzky. Had Gadya (A Single Kid). Kultur-Lige. 1919.

El Lissitzky illustrated this avant-garde version of the Passover song “Had gadya” early in his career, while immersed in the Jewish cultural renaissance that flourished in Russia from roughly 1912 to the early 1920s. Lithographs with Yiddish text, this is one of only a few copies known to exist. -Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library