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LIBRARIES
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[ Also see Authorship Books Literature Pen Reading Writing ]

Food for the soul.
  [Lat., Nutrimentum spiritus.]
      - Unattributed Author,
        inscription on the Berlin Royal Library

The medicine chest of the soul.
      - Unattributed Author,
        inscription of a library

The richest minds need not large libraries.
      - Amos Bronson Alcott, Table Talk
         (bk. I, Learning-Books)

Libraries are as the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed.
      - Francis Bacon, Libraries

That place that does contain
  My books, the best companions, is to me
    A glorious court, where hourly I converse
      With the old sages and philosophers;
        And sometimes, for variety, I confer
          With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels;
            Calling their victories, if unjustly got,
              Unto a strict account, and, in my fancy,
                Deface their ill-placed statues.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        The Elder Brother (act I, sc. 2, l. 177)

A library is a land of shadows.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

A library is but the soul's burial-ground. It is the land of shadows.
      - Henry Ward Beecher,
        Star Papers--Oxford--Bodleian Library

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.
      - Jorge Luis Borges

The closest you will ever come in this life to an orderly universe is a good library.
      - Ashleigh Brilliant

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

All round the room my silent servants wait,
  My friends in every season, bright and dim.
      - Barry Cornwall (pseudonym of Bryan Waller Procter),
        My Books

The great consulting-room of a wise man is a library.
      - Rev. George Dawson

A great library contains the diary of the human race.
      - Rev. George Dawson,
        Address on Opening the Birmingham Free Library

Libraries are the wardrobes of literature.
      - James Dyer

Consider what you have in the smallest chosen library. A company of the wisest and wittiest men that could be picked out of all civil countries, in a thousand years, have set in best order the results of their learning and wisdom. The men themselves were hid and inaccessible, solitary, impatient of interruption, fenced by etiquette; but the thought which they did not uncover to their bosom friend is here written out in transparent words to us, the strangers of another age.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is a vanity to persuade the world one hath much learning, by getting a great library.
      - Thomas Fuller (1),
        Holy and Profane States--Of Books
         (maxim 1)

He that revels in a well-chosen library has innumerable dishes, and all of admirable flavor.
      - William Godwin

Errors belong to libraries; truth, to the human mind.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Every library should try to be complete on something, if it were only the history of pinheads.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
        Poet at the Breakfast Table (VIII)

The first thing naturally when one enters a scholar's study or library, is to look at his books. One gets a notion very speedily of his tastes and the range of his pursuits by a glance round his book-shelves.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
        Poet at the Breakfast Table (VIII)

When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysic, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
      - David Hume,
        Concerning Human Understanding"
         (last paragraph)

Every library is an arsenal.
      - Robert Green Ingersoll

If I were not a king, I would be a university man; and if it were so that I must be a prisoner, if I might have my wish, I would desire to have no other prison than that library [the Bodleian].
      - James I of England (James VI of Scotland)

No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labours to these Bodleians were reposing here as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of those sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia),
        Essays of Elia--Oxford in the Vacation


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