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Library of Celsus – Pic of the Week

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With daily posts on In Custodia Legis, it may appear that we never take a vacation.  Fortunately, the blog team is big enough that we do have the opportunity for the occasional getaway.  This leads to the old grammar school question, what did you do on your summer break?  Today’s pic of the week answers that question for me.  This librarian found himself in Kusadasi, Turkey, where I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the nearby archeological site of the city of Ephesus.

The highlight for me was the restored façade of the ancient Library of Celsus.  The library was built ca. 120 AD in memory of Tiberius Julius Celsus Ptolemaeanus, a former governor of Roman Asia.  The building became both a mausoleum for Celsus and a functioning library that was believed to have held 12,000 scrolls.  The internal and external walls were separated by approximately three feet of space to reduce dampness where the scrolls were shelved.  This was intended to prevent mold growth on the scrolls, an issue of concern for librarians to this day.

Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey
[photo by Kurt Carroll]

What did you do on your summer vacation?

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