The Grand Library of Lidaidi
A world of learning
The Grand Library of Lidaidi is the largest library in all the known worlds, holding over 41 million books, 16 million maps, 6 million drawings and patents, 73 million manuscripts, 7 million pieces of sheet music, and a tremendous variety of other records, including inscription stones and recording crystals, housed in five enormous buildings. The Library gathers information from all the known worlds and shares it for free with the citizens of Veshiri.
Purpose / Function
The Grand Library exists to document and record all of the collected knowledge of the worlds and make it available to the public, though it began as a private collection.
The complex has been expanded over the years as the library's collection has grown. Shortly after Astecha opened the library to the public, donations of previously private collections began coming in, necessitating the opening of a second building. The third building was added four centuries ago. Two new buildings were added in the last century, to house the ever increasing number of patents and scientific texts. The library has also seen fire-suppression and anti-theft measures added over the years, every time a new spell or technology is tested and proven.
The oldest building is a relatively small affair, constructed of stone and rising only three stories, with a central dome rising another two stories above the rest. It has four wings radiating out from the center point, a lavishly appointed room more meant for enjoying the wonder of owning more books than anyone in the known world than for actually reading. Its small profile, though, is more than made up for in the brilliantly complex geometric stonework that decorates the entrances, arches, and columns. The second building was designed with practicality in mind, a monument to the brilliance of the individual scholar rather than the wealth of its patron. Numerous reading nooks and private rooms exist, all so quiet not even a mouse would dare breathe too loud. The interior relies more on tapestries and rich rugs and upholstered furnishings than on grand stonework, all focused around the ideal of a quiet, peaceful place to work or learn or meditate. The third building is the tallest of the old complex, built with revolutionary techniques to reach the upper limits of what is possible with stone and brick - it soars up six usable stories, with walls of granite and brick measuring up to over twenty feet thick. Its interior is better-lit than its earlier counterparts, due in part to an ingenious use of windows and skylights. Its design is straightforward, reveling more in the majesty of its enormity than in how many designs its artisans can cram into one lintel. The two most recent buildings are of the same highly decorative and geometric style as many modern buildings, built out of metal, glass, and reinforced stone. Both rise thirty-one tall stories, dwarfing the buildings around them.
It was originally founded as the personal library of the first Veshiri Emperor, gradually expanding to allow access to the Royal Astronomer and then the upper-level students of Lidaidi's universities. 980 years ago the Empress at the time, Her Eternal Majesty Astecha, opened it to the public, declaring that knowledge - and the future - belonged to everyone.
- Image is from the public domain Photograph by Carol M. Highsmith