The Huntington Library is one of the world’s great independent research libraries, with more than 11 million items spanning the 11th to the 21st century. Only a small portion of the vast collection is on display at any one time; the newly reinstalled exhibition “Remarkable Works, Remarkable Times” is in the Main Exhibition Hall, and temporary themed exhibitions are presented in the smaller West Hall.
The Exhibition Hall itself was built as the original Library reading room in 1920. It provides a beautiful setting for these highlights while reflecting the building’s historic past. Along with the 2012 restoration of the original marble and cork floor, three dramatic chandeliers have been fabricated based on archival photographs of the original fixtures to evoke the space as it looked in Henry E. Huntington’s day. The former trustees room off the entrance foyer offers a multimedia look at day-to-day Library activities that are hidden from public view, including scholarly research and conservation activities.
John James Audubon (1785–1851), The Birds of America, London, 1827–38.
Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343–1402), Ellesmere Manuscript of The Canterbury Tales, England, ca. 1400–1405