by Sita Writer
Libraries are still the greatest repositories of the accumulated knowledge of mankind… even in the face of the Internet. There are still many books that are so rare and precious that they are guarded and protected in the deep dark bookshelves of some of the world’s most famous libraries. The Library of Congress, The Reading Room at the British Museum, The Vatican Library, the Bodleian Library in Oxford and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book Library are considered to be the largest and most famous in the world.
While many of us won’t ever have the opportunity to visit any of these famous libraries in RL, it is possible to visit one of them, the Vatican Library in Second Life®. It is located on a sim called Illumination Library & Bibliothèque de Coeur at Luminaux. Here, you will find several libraries worth exploring in addition to an interesting bookshop.
When you visit, don’t miss the chance to explore the perfect replica of the Vatican Library that is located on a sky platform above the garden area of the Library of Illumination.
The Vatican Library is a stunningly beautiful neo-classic building that is set in a lovely garden. Upon opening the door, you are confronted with a gorgeous world of frescos and precious illuminated manuscripts that are simply breathtaking. Entering the library you are awash in a colorful world of medieval paintings of Saints that gaze down on a series of unusual illuminated manuscripts, some so rare that they have more than a kilo of gold in their illustrations, others have covers that are embellished with gold and rare jewels.
Proceed to the world famous Sistine Hall, the famous reading room of the Vatican Library. It was commissioned by Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) and designed by Domenico Fontana. This reading room is considered to be the most beautiful room in the Vatican Library and lucky for us it has been carefully been recreated in SL.
The overwhelming visual impact of Sistine Hall is due to its ceiling frescos. All the forms and figures are almost bewildering at first glance, but the frescos seem to take their cue from the architecture of the room that transform the ceilings into a colorful vault of heaven with images of saints and fields and heraldic symbols of different Popes. The Sistine Hall exhibits priceless treasures such as the Joshua Roll, an excellent example of Byzantine miniature painting dating to the 7th century, two Virgil codices and one of the oldest bibles in the world.
Make sure to take some time to flip through the pages of these rare and precious books, manuscripts and codices that only top scholars see in RL.
In 2007, Xinoxi Han founded the SL Literary Foundation. The libraries you find here at Luminaux belong to this group and are among SL’s oldest and finest interactive libraries. They are treasure troves for bibliophiles and boast extensive collections of world literature including Shakespeare, Blake, French, Renaissance and Victorian literature, and many beloved classics.
The SL Literary Foundation is a friendly group of authors, academics, literature and history lovers, and even includes some educational groups. They have special events and exhibitions and lively cultural discussions and welcome all to join them.
- Landmark to the whole library complex: Luminaux (103, 136, 28)
- Landmark directly to the Vatican Library: Luminaux (166, 28, 503). To TP directly to the Vatican Library you may need to first go to the main complex and join their group, Second Life Literary Foundation. You may not, regardless it is worth the effort.
Text and Photographs by Sita Writer