The result of a photography project spanning three years, Sara Rawlinson’s Illuminating Cambridge Libraries series is now available as a luscious oversized book of photographs. Offering a behind-the-scenes peek into libraries from all 31 of the university’s colleges, the book “shows us the heart and soul of a university – its dissemination and preservation of knowledge.”
The book contains nearly 500 images, organised by geometry or lightness, and begins with a lyrical essay by Cambridge-based poet Michael Brown. Together, the photos create a journey through each library; from climbing the stairs to the entrance to locating a book on the shelves and a nook in which to read it.
Together, the photos create a journey through each library
“Sara’s book is feast for the eye and imagination. No detail escapes the artist’s lens,” says Dr Jessica Gardner, the university librarian.
“The idea of the library is deconstructed into unfamiliar shapes and angles, a shaft of light in a stairwell, a solitary chair tucked by a bookcase, a long view up to a decorative ceiling. And yet the whole is put back together, more than its parts, as we gaze at the photographs and fill the spaces with memory and reverence, for what Sara calls her ‘houses of the holy.’”
A perfect gift for book lovers and architecture enthusiasts, the book is priced at £32 and can be ordered online directly from the artist at sararawlinson.com, or ask at your local Cambridge bookshop or gift shop.