It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

About the Library .. Biblioteca Nacional

 The National Library has a long and rich history. I am not sure if all of the donations and collections from the past remain there, but at one time, it housed the collection of papers and writings from some of the great names in Argentine history.
I don't know about a lot (most) of the people who helped start and administer the library. Jorge Luis Borges, one of Argentina's famous intellectuals from the 20th century, was the director for about 20 years.  Shortly after he became the director, he was told that he needed to give up reading, as he was losing his vision.
The original building was the site of the official residence of Juan Peron and his wife Evita. In 1958, they tore down the building and started the present structure. They call it "brutalist" ... most people I know just call it ugly. The mirrored windows don't help, since some are not and it gives it a patchy odd look.. 

This photo shows the library from the front. They made a no dogs allowed, park where you can sit and read and relax .. there is a cafe and in the main building, upstairs with great views, is another cafe.
We go there to listen to music and concerts.

Here you can see   the mirrored windows look like missing teeth when they lose their mirror.
                                                  photo - shift. org
In the park behind .. under the library, is the memorial to Evita Peron. It was vandalized so many times, they have high walls around it now and the flame never burns.. but it is a pretty memorial in the park.
And that is about all I know about the Bibiloteca Nacional.


  1. That really is an ugly building, although it kind of has it's own charm, like a dog that's so ugly it's cute. I love learning about your city.

  2. Being a LIBRARIAN myself - my trip to the Argentine National Library was a must on my list the first time in Buenos Aires - it is a weird and odd BRUTAL sort of design...back in the 1950's Libraries began understanding that there was indeed a science to Librarianship. This era also brought the idea of libraries becoming places of learning centres for all peoples and hence the need for little windows everywhere to offer natural light to researchers and the like.

    Thanks for the post - I loved it.

  3. So glad you liked it Ant !!

    Thanks, anymommy :)


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