WOW! I visited the Lanier Theological Library on Friday as a just-for-fun artist date and to do research on my current medieval work-in-progress. THE HERETIC’S DAUGHTER is set on the edge of the reformation when owning an English copy of the bible was a punishable offense by the church.
I was not expecting the library to be this cool. The website photos do not do it justice. It was tucked away in a neighborhood down a winding road that was somewhat difficult to find. Um. Well. I’m someone who has been known to get lost with printed directions, a map, and a GPS while going to a place less than two miles from my house so maybe I’m not a good judge on what is hard to find and what is not. Just ignore that last part.
Anyway, first the library itself was mesmerizing. It is a private collection with tall, dark bookcases filled with volumes and volumes of books. An artifact cabinet with pottery and an Isiah scroll sit in the entry way.
From their website: The Lanier Theological Library houses a comprehensive collection of books, periodicals, magazines, artifacts, and historical documents all designed to aid the serious study of Scripture. We estimate it will eventually hold over 100,000 books. The library also contains several private collections of noted scholars that have been kept intact.
Well, okay. But that description doesn’t capture the beauty and experience of the place at all. I wish that tech companies could figure out a way to package up the smell of old books and add the scent to eReaders. Maybe then I would become a true eReader convert and not an it’s-easier-to-pack-on-business-trips type of eReader reader.
Tons of nooks and tables and places to study lined the walls. They had a fireplace, comfortable chairs, a kitchen with drinks–and someone had brought a strawberry cake!
And that was just the actual library.
Outside, there were walking trail, trees, flowers, a stream, and a huge pond with swans, ducks and dragonflies. A beautiful place to reflect and meditate.
A replica of a stone church from Tomarz, Cappadocia (Turkey) 500 A.D. graced one area of the land. It was a beautiful, quiet space replete with a gorgeous painted ceiling.
After talking a walk, I spent several hours wandering among the tomes which included all sorts of fascinating book titles such as Feminist and Womanist Essays in Reformed Dogmatics and an entire section on Calvin. H’mmmmmm…
I could have spent hours more. I will definitely be returning soon.
On October 29th, the library has a program with Dr. Simon Conway Morris, a paleontologist and professor at Cambridge University on Is Science an Enemy to Faith?