UNAM: CENTRAL LIBRARY
Must-see venue in city
Private tours in Mexico City
It’s one of the most protagonist constructions of the Plaza de Rectoría. It never loses its charm, even for those who see it every day, year after year. Its façade of 4,000 square meters is impressive, and owed to painter and architect Juan O’Gorman, whose intent with the design was to tell the story of the Meso Americans, colonists and contemporary Mexicans. Taking a peek at a book while in the library is available o anyone, but checking them out is exclusively for the university community.
The UNAM Central Library is the main library of the University City campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). This building opened in 1956 and holds one of the largest collections in the country. The 10-floor building was designed by architect Juan O’Gorman in collaboration with Carlos Lazo, who managed the larger CU project then well underway.
The building facade is famously covered in a four-sided mosaic titled “Historical Representation of Culture.” This too was designed and executed by O’Gorman. Each side of the building represents a different period of Mexican history: the north depicts the pre-Hispanic period; the south, the colonial period; the east wall, the modern era; and the west wall, the history of the university.
The library opened with a collection of some 80,000 volumes. Special collections include Mexican and foreign publications from the 19th and 20th centuries. Among them are first editions, short-run works, and limited circulation publications, author’s editions, editions in special formats, and commemorative editions. The “Tobías Chávez Lavista” collection includes 522 printed works and 23 manuscripts. An old and rare books collection includes printed works from the 15th through the 18th centuries.
UNAM: CENTRAL LIBRARY ✨
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