Library by Riou

The Library



emoís library contains twelve thousand books, although Aronnax initially guesses half as many.  Both Bob Farrell and Sylvain St-Pierre have done analysis to determine the shelf area needed to hold a collection that large. The professor describes the books as uniformly bound and indicates they are written in many languages, raising the possibility that Nemo had them specially printed and bound to fit.   

The library of the restored late 19th century Calhoun Mansion in Charleston, South Carolina, which Karen an I toured during a recent visit, has uniformly bound books with sets in several colors.  Iíve interpreted "uniformly" this way to provide additional visual interest. 

The partially finished library, looking aft to the dining room.
I have several small format books from the mid-nineteenth century.  Two volumes about Pompeii from The Library of Entertaining Knowledge are 2 cm thick and 16Ĺ high.  An un-illustrated Hetzel edition of Vingt Mille Lieues is just a little larger.  I assumed most of the books in this library are such a small format, but added shelves below the couches for some oversized volumes.

I've placed a small movable slat on each shelf to secure the books.  The shelf inlays are gold, rather than copper, a mistake I'm a bit too lazy to correct.  The Maltese motif of the inlays is my contribution, picked up in my travels. 

A view of the library from near the aft doorway.

The ceiling is high to fit the many shelves required, and I have restricted the couches to just one side of the room to provide more shelf area.  The room has the five meter length described by Aronnax.  I made it five meters wide and four meters high to accommodate the collection.    

The basic decor of the room, especially the ceiling, is based on details of the interior of the First Congregational Church in Binghamton, New York, built in the 1800s.

As pictured, the room contains about 11,000 volumes.  The shelves near the lights need to be filled and shelves will be added to the remaining bare wall area. 

I used a velvet texture for the couch upholstery, but I'm not satisfied with it.  I may try a brocade, more like that pictured in the woodcut.

More to come...

What do you think?  E-mail me


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Revised 18 Feb 01.