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On These Walls: Inscriptions & Quotations in the Library of Congress Paperback – October 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Scala Arts Publishers Inc. (October 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857595459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857595451
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Y. Cole is founding director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and a 33-year Library of Congress veteran. He has published widely about books and libraries in society as well as about the history of the Library of Congress.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
I was happy when a colleague let me know of this book.
Darla L. Grediagin
Another is that while this book would have been more expensive in a larger format, the content would be much better presented if it were.
Loves the View
This book covers all three of the Library's buildings, but the Jefferson is the most ornate.
Happy Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Loves the View VINE VOICE on June 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you go to the Library of Congress, bring your binoculars. There is some beautiful work with exquisite detail high above your head. You can buy post cards of it or pick up pamphlets that show and describe the more outstanding works. A lot of it is just, well, "there" with no context. At last, someone, John Cole, who has been a tireless promoter of libraries though his work at The Center for the Book, has put it all together.

For me, it was not so much the inscriptions, but the ability to actually see the detail of these wonderful examples of classical public art.

Interestingly, the list of artists at the back shows very few name recognition artists. Some are known for studying with the famous. Quite a few have other large scale works in state capitol buildings, libraries and other cultural institutions, parks, etc.

One draw back is that at the maps in the end do not note the locations of the works, you have to flip back and forth for that. Another is that while this book would have been more expensive in a larger format, the content would be much better presented if it were.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Powell on September 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recently, I visited the Library of Congress and enjoyed reading and pondering all the quotations and inscriptions on the walls of the Thomas Jefferson Building. I bought this book, thinking it would contain those quotations and inscriptions. It does contain a few, but not many at all. Most of the book (including the photographs) explains the art work (paintings, sculptures, murals, etc.) of the building rather than the quotations and inscriptions (which is what I expected given the title...). There is a fair amount of photographs of famous individuals names and discussion of whose names are in that area of the library, so perhaps that is what the author meant by inscriptions, but definitely not what I expected. The book is well done for a general overview on the artwork throughout the building, but not well done at all for the reflection on the actual quotations and inscriptions within the Thomas Jefferson Building (the main building). So, beware of buying this book if what you actually want are photographs and further insight into the quotations and inscriptions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maine Lady on March 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent overview of the history of the Library of Congress. It is full of color pictures of the interior, the accompanying narrative provides all of the quotations and inscriptions on the walls. I purchased this after a dinner meeting at the Library. I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and complexity of the place, with no time to explore. The book has been an excellent supplement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Looper on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was enthralled by this book! I loved looking at the large photographs of all kinds of artwork in the Library of Congress, much of it on the walls and ceilings. The descriptions were descriptive, factual, and very interesting. It made me want to visit the Library of Congress again and pay better attention to my surroundings!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Pryor on August 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after visiting the Library of Congress in July 2011. The pictures in this book capture the beauty and warmth of this structure BUT I had hoped the authors would include all the wall inscriptions. There were quotes on most of the walls but only a small handful are in this book.
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