St. Paul’s is a Labirynth of awesome. We met some tour guides who gave a great history of the building and the architecture as well as the changes made throughout history. It was interesting to hear about the precautions made during WWII to protect the site and its’ treasures. There was a volunteer fire brigade housed in St. Paul’s and valuable items were taken elsewhere to protect them. The building suffered some damage from bombs but many missed or did not detonate.
We climbed a BUNCH of stairs to the second floor where the library is kept. The shelves are full of old books on topics such as theology, philosophy, dictionaries and topographic from travels of the holy land. The books were originally organized by size, small books on top and big books on bottom and then by author and still are.
Anyone can use the library that can make good use of it. They are able to read the books in the main library room with a librarian present. The database was lost so everything is not currently in one database anymore. There are other catalogues elsewhere that have certain parts of the collection catalogued such as a catalogue that has cathedral music.
This year the books will be removed from the library as cleaning will be done. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is an organization that promotes the protection of ancient buildings. They stand for protection and conservation rather than demolishion or restoration. According to the St. Paul’s Librarian their motto is “as much as is necessary and as little as possible.”
I loved St. Paul’s but I would have liked to spend more time in the library and seen some of the items in the collection.