January 25, 2014

The university library in Leuven/Louvain


 A visit to Leuven always feels like coming home since I spent a lot of time there as a student. I always like an excuse to go back.
 Above, the University Library at  Mgr. Ladeuzeplein. In picture 2 you also see the bug on the needle. I have talked about Jan Fabre's bug before: 
http://whatisbelgium.blogspot.be/2011/11/bug-on-needle-in-leuven.html

Wikipedia says the following on the subject of the Library:
"It was designed by the American architect Whitney Warren in a neo-Flemish-Renaissance style, and built between 1921 and 1928. Its monumental size is a reflection of the Allied victory against Germany, and it is one of the largest university buildings in the city. The library's collections were rebuilt with donations from all around the world, outraged by the barbaric act which it had suffered. In 1940, during the second German invasion of Leuven, the building largely burnt down, including its 900,000 manuscripts and books. The blaze is thought to have started in an exchange of fire between the two armies, rather than a deliberate act. The building was rebuilt after the war in accordance with Warren's design.The library's collections were again restored after the war, and by the fission in 1968 had approximately four million books. The split of the university into separate French-language and Dutch-language institutions in 1968 entailed a division of the central library holdings. This was done on the basis of alternate shelfmarks (except in cases where a work clearly belonged to one section or the other, e.g. was written by a member of faculty or bequeathed by an alumnus whose linguistic allegiance was clear). This gave rise to the factoid that encyclopedias and runs of periodicals were divided by volume between the two universities, but actually such series bear single shelfmarks".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_University_of_Leuven_(1834–1968)