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Cathedral of Books

Occasionally, I'll look forward to a trip so much that the reality of it couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. Like Anne Shirley, I frequently suffer from the agonies of anticipation, and when it came to visiting the George Peabody Library in Baltimore, Maryland, I was definitely in agonies. Even though Baltimore is only a short drive away, it took me over a year to finally make it inside this incredible library. I even made it into the building itself last summer, but a wedding was taking place inside the library so all I could see was this spiral staircase off the lobby (it was a pretty nice staircase, though, and I did get to shamelessly creep on the wedding party's outfits, so it wasn't a complete loss!). Part of the reason it took me so long to make it inside was that the library has such unpredictable hours. Since it's a popular venue for weddings and special events, half of the times I made it there before it was supposed to close, the library would be blocked off for a private party. After trying to visit the Peabody for so long I was sure that it wouldn't be that spectacular, but it honestly blew this bibliophile's mind. I left a little piece of my heart in this building, but that's alright - I'll just have to go visit it as much as I can! I hope you enjoy the photos (I'd just gotten a new lens, so I took a lot of them) and scroll down to read about the history of the Peabody.

About the Library

Described by its architect, Edmund G. Lind, as a "cathedral of books", the George Peabody Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Peabody, a local businessman and philanthropist, first gained a charter for the library in 1857, but due to the Civil War and other construction delays it didn't open its doors to the public until 1878. It originally consisted of a free public library, a lecture series, a music conservatory, and an art collection, all of which have been incorporated into Johns Hopkins University. As part of Johns Hopkins University, the library is part of the Sheridan Libraries Special Collections and is housed in the same building as the world-famous Peabody Institute of Music. It contains over 300,000 books and manuscripts on a variety of subjects dating from the 19th and 20th centuries and is still an active research library. It is open Tuesday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Are you planning a visit to the Peabody Library? What are some of your favorite libraries and bookstores? And have you ever built up a trip or place so much that you were afraid you'd be let down when you finally went? Let me know in the comments and I hope you enjoyed this post! 

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