Goddess of wisdom: Photographing UC Berkeley’s libraries


The following is a photo essay I created for the Daily Californian, UC Berkeley's newspaper. It can be found online here; the essay also appeared in print.


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.


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