National Geographic : 1951 Sep
418 Folger's Binder Specializes in Matching Centuries-old Book Covers Glancing at rare volumes on library shelves, only experts can tell which have their original boards and which were bound in 1951. When Robert Lunow finishes rebinding this copy of Sir Walter Raleigh's The History of the World (1621), it will retain its antique appearance. The German-born expert has followed his trade for 43 years. tional and scholarly values, the trustees of his alma mater. Mr. Folger first envisioned an Elizabethan building for his library. But his architects convinced him such design would be out of place on Capitol Hill and would clash sharply with the Library of Congress and other neigh boring Government buildings.* A compromise was reached: an exterior combining modern classic features, and an Elizabethan interior (pages 412 and 415). So it is, then, that a visitor entering the white Georgian marble building steps from 20th-century Washington into 16th-century England.' The effect of age is carried out all the way from the vestibule to the executive offices (page 413). Marble wainscoating was punc tured with holes and stained with acids to make it look old and worn. Stones about the doorways were plastered in the rough to ap pear weathered by time. Solid bronze fixtures were treated to lend age, and electric lights were carefully camouflaged in wrought-iron candelabra. The library has three main divisions: the exhibition hall, theater, and reading room. Four large, bank-type, air-conditioned vaults hold rare books, manuscripts, and mementos (opposite). Modern steel stacks fill the base ment and subbasement. Attic rooms contain sculpture, paintings, furniture, and curios not on display. The large, oak-paneled exhibition hall con stitutes a small museum. Exhibits are changed occasionally, though most documents and paintings remain on permanent display. Beyond this hall lies the Shakespearean theater, never used commercially because of its limited (260) seating capacity (page 417). * See "Washington, Home City and Show Place," by Leo A. Borah, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, June, 1937. t See "Wonders of the New Washington," by Fred erick G. Vosburgh, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, April, 1935.