DC -- Library of Congress -- Room: Main Reading Room (room itself):
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Description of Subject Matter: THE MAIN READING ROOM
Visitors should take the elevators to the third floor to view the Main Reading Room from the Visitors' Gallery, or walk up the two flights of marble stairs.
The Eight Symbolic Statues and Their Inscriptions:
From the Visitors' Gallery, eight large statues can be seen above the giant marble columns that surround the reading room. They represent eight categories of knowledge, each considered symbolic of civilized life and thought. Their titles are inscribed in gilt letters on a tablet in the frieze below them. Beginning with the figures on the east side of the room--from the perspective of the Visitor's Gallery--the symbolic statues are: Philosophy, by Bela Lyon Pratt; Art, by Francois M.L. Tonetti-Dozzi (after sketches by Augustus St. Gaudens); History, by Daniel Chester French; Commerce, by John Flanagan; Religion, by Theodore Baur; Science, by John Donoghue; Law, by Paul Wayland Bartlett; and Poetry, by John Quincy Adams Ward.
Above each statue is a large tablet bearing an inscription in gilt letters. Each of the eight inscriptions, appropriate to the subject of the statue below it, was chosen by Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot.
Above the figure of Philosophy:
THE INQUIRY, KNOWLEDGE, AND BELIEF OF TRUTH
IS THE SOVEREIGN GOOD OF HUMAN NATURE.
Bacon, Essays, "Of Truth"
Above the figure of Art:
AS ONE LAMP LIGHTS ANOTHER, NOR GROWS LESS,
SO NOBLENESS ENKINDLETH NOBLENESS.
Above the figure of History:
ONE GOD, ONE LAW, ONE ELEMENT, AND ONE FAR-OFF DIVINE EVENT,
TO WHICH THE WHOLE CREATION MOVES
Tennyson, In Memoriam
Above the figure of Commerce:
WE TASTE THE SPICES OF ARABIA YET NEVER FEEL
THE SCORCHING SUN WHICH BRINGS THEM FORTH.
Anon. [Dudley North, East India Trade]
Above the figure of Religion:
WHAT DOTH THE LORD REQUIRE OF THEE, BUT TO DO JUSTLY,
AND TO LOVE MERCY, AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH THY GOD?
Holy Bible, Micah 6:8
Above the figure of Science:
THE HEAVENS ...More...
Bigger photos? To save space on the server and because the modern camera images are so large, photos larger than 640x480 have not been loaded on this page. If you need the bigger sizes of selected photos, email me and I can email them back to you or I can re-load this page temporarily with the bigger versions restored.
2002 photos: Image quality isn't going to be very good for the first half of this year because these are scans of prints.
Equipment this year: I took the plunge and bought my first digital camera. It was October 2002 and I bought an Epson PhotoPC 3100Z. While a nice camera, it had some quirks and bumping it would result in it being totally out of focus until you manually shut it down -- something which blurred almost every picture I took in New York City one day.
Trips this year: Two weeks out west, one week in New York, and one week down south.
This was the year I started the photo web site. It started to come together in September, mostly as a way of allowing me to keep track of the pictures I was taking.