Since I am not well-trained in analyzing architecture, I will tip off other researchers: check out the James V. Brown Library in Williamsport (JVB). Designed by architect Edgar V. Seeler, built by E. S. Gilbert and Company, and opened in 1907, JVB is one of the oldest purpose-built libraries in its region. Judging from early floor plans, it had a different layout than many I have seen. It was partially-closed/partially-open stack -- meaning, many volumes were stored in a "stack room" at the back of the building, but alcoves and shelving in the reading room enabled customers to browse new titles and displays on special topics.
|First floor plan of JVB. From the 1908 Annual Report.|
|Original reading room of JVB. From the 1909 Annual Report.|
|Front of the James V. Brown Library, Williamsport, PA.|
|Inside the JVB reading room today.|
Added to such textual records, there is a photograph album which documents several months of construction. Having an interest in non-librarian workers, I was delighted to catch a glimpse of the working-class people who actually "built" JVB. The album might also provide clues to researchers who are interested in how buildings were physically erected -- what types of processes and tools were used. Downstairs in JVB's local history room, the photograph collection contains additional images pertaining to construction.
|Photograph album showing unfolding stages of JVB's construction.|
|A photograph from early in the library's construction. From the JVB's photograph collection.|