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High Street Entrance [plate facing page 57]
 HIGH STREET ENTRANCE [plate facing p. 57]
 
 

Page 57

THE YALE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
GAZETTE
VOLUME V        APRIL 1931      NUMBER IV


THE STERLING MEMORIAL 
LIBRARY
 
THE essence of a library is the bookstack, tier upon tier 
of self-supporting shelves with long slits of windows lighting  narrow aisles. In the evolution of the modern library, it 
has become almost a matter of course to treat this structure as 
something to be subordinated in the exterior design. Not 
infrequently it becomes the rear façade, obscured behind a 
screen of monumental rooms. In the design of the Sterling 
Memorial Library, one of the first principles was the placing 
of the stack in the most accessible and important position on 
the site and its direct expression as the dominating feature of 
the facade. The great book tower is the first glimpse one gets 
of the library from any approach. It is so placed that it will 
be the terminating feature of the cross campus when Berkeley 
Oval is gone. This external expression of the functional 
core of the building gives the library a structural dignity 
and direct symbolism in the tradition of the great monuments 
of the past.
        The site selected, one which is as nearly as possible the 
center of the University, gives the library a dominant position 
in a group of new buildings similar in style and material. 
The placing of the book tower on the plot determined 
the disposition of the other elements. The great Reading 
Room adjoins the stack on the south and faces the central 
court of the Sterling Quadrangle. At the base of the tower 
and in front of it, the main hall provides a dignified entrance
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