Wooden library, Italian-style

Craft & Design Science
Wooden library, Italian-style


A commenter on last Friday’s post about wood samples shaped like books pointed me to this considerably classier and older version of the same idea. As he put it, “these books are about the trees and not just the wood.”

The collection, housed at the University of Padua’s Center for the Study of the Alpine Environment, was manufactured in the 19th century or before. Each specimen consists of a 7.5x5x1.5-inch book-shaped box, executed in the wood of the subject tree, which opens to display samples of that tree’s seedling, leaves, flowers, seeds, fine roots, sawdust, charcoal, and ash. The spines are bound with samples of the tree’s bark, and of course everything is labeled. [Thanks, loondawg!]


2 thoughts on “Wooden library, Italian-style

  1. CameronSS says:

    When I saw the first post, this library was my first thought. It’s mentioned in the 1976 book “The Best, Worst, and Most Unusual” [http://books.google.com/books?id=tpu2du-miikC] as the “most unusual library,” but they never gave any details about the library itself, I think they just said “a library in Europe.” I was just reading the book last weekend, and despairing that I would probably never find the library they mentioned. Thanks for the info!

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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