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BERKELEY'S NEWS • DECEMBER 08, 2022

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Goddess of wisdom: Photographing UC Berkeley’s libraries

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JONATHAN HALE | STAFF

(Jonathan Hale/Staff)

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AUGUST 26, 2022

To pass beneath the stern face of Athena, goddess of wisdom, peering down from atop the north entrance to Doe Library is to enter a temple to the truth born from coexisting contradictions: sciences and humanities, objectivity and subjectivity, form and function.

Awe and wonder perhaps best describe the feeling one experiences upon entering a library.

Like many other objects of our amazement — a starry night, a giant sequoia or a vast sea — a library is a common ground for our humanity, capable of being appreciated by all. The value of a library is the value of truth, nature or beauty.

And much like the things to which we attribute value, libraries do not provide all the answers to our questions; rather, they beckon us forth, challenging us to find them for and within ourselves.

– Jonathan Hale, staff photographer

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Photo of tinted glass
The Hargrove Music Library also features stained glass windows. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)
Photo of books
The East Asian library is among the largest collections of its kind in the United States, containing more than a million volumes of literature in East Asian languages. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)

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Photo of yellow envelopes
A collection of manila envelopes in the Earth Sciences and Map Library. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)
Photo of seal
A decorative installment in Doe’s North Reading Room. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)

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Photo of a book
The glimmering pages of an open book in the Earth Sciences and Map Library. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)
Photo of East Asian Library
Looking up at the C.V. Starr East Asian Library on a gray afternoon. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)

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Photo of plant
A snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata) growing in the Berkeley Law Library. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)
Photo of rocks
Colorful pebbles line the bed of a floral display in the law library, which houses almost 875,000 volumes and volume equivalents. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)

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Photo of statue
Designed by renowned architect John Galen Howard, Charles Franklin Doe Memorial Library features a bust of Athena overlooking its north entrance intended to embody UC Berkeley’s goal of becoming the “Athens of the West”. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)
Photo of a balcony
Sun beams into the East Asian library. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)

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Photo of a wall
Tiles lining the sides of Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)
Photo of glass
Stained glass in the Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library, located in the heart of the Valley Life Sciences Building. (Jonathan Hale/Staff)

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Contact Jonathan Hale at [email protected].
LAST UPDATED

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022


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