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The Huntington’s Historic Library Main Hall Set To Open Nov. 9 With Dazzling New Permanent Exhibition

October 14, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is set to reopen the Main Exhibition Hall of its historic library building to the public on November 9, after a 17-month-long renovation and reinstallation project.

The new, dynamic permanent exhibition in the Main Hall, “Remarkable Works, Remarkable Times: Highlights from the Huntington Library,” has been designed to invigorate visitors’ sense of connection to history and literature and to highlight the significance and uses of the library’s incomparable collections of historical materials.

The Huntington’s library is one of the largest and most complete independent research libraries in the United States in its fields of specialization: British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science stretching from the 11th century to the present. The new permanent exhibition will highlight 150 objects from the library’s collection, which currently numbers about 9 million items.

A room adjacent to the Main Exhibition Hall, previously unavailable to the public, will now offer a complementary educational display, “The Library Today.” This look behind-the-scenes at the activities of the Huntington’s library is rooted in the importance of original materials and covers the topics of collecting, acquisitions, conservation, and research through videos, images, and original materials.

Renovating the Original Library Building 

The original library building at The Huntington was designed by architect Myron Hunt (1868–1952) for founder Henry E. Huntington, and first opened in 1920. The Main Exhibition Hall in the building served as a reading room for scholars until 1931, when a new reading room was constructed, and since has served exclusively as a gallery.

As part of ongoing conservation and renovation of historic structures at The Huntington (following similar projects at the Huntington Art Gallery, the Japanese Garden, and the Mausoleum), The Huntington undertook this project to renovate the historic library building, in addition to redesigning the permanent display housed within. 

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