Spring cleaning on a grand scale.

 The cleaning of the building’s exterior brought a dramatic change, as one hundred years of soot and smoke from the steel industry gave way to the clean sandstone. No longer a daunting black edifice, the cleaned library now invites people inside, where they can enjoy the newly renovated first floor.

– The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Annual Report 1989

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I found these striking images of the Main Library while flipping idly through our slide collection, and of course had to share them. Please excuse the questionable image quality; these are cell phone photographs of magnified slides. It’s hard to find a slide projector these days!

If you have some cleaning of your own to do, we (of course) have all sorts of books to help you, whether you’re spiffing up your building, bus, house, fish (yes, I know that’s different), quilt, or even space suit. No, really.

– Amy, who didn’t know that we had manuals for cleaning buses, but who somehow isn’t surprised


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7 responses to “Spring cleaning on a grand scale.

  1. Julie Kant

    Really dramatic pictures! I think there’s one place on the exterior, to the left of the main entrance, where they left a nook uncleaned, just to show the difference. Can’t remember who told me this. Urban myth? Ask a librarian!

    • there is indeed an uncleaned nook up front. when you’re facing the entrance, it’s to your left, but far down near dippy and the museum.

      the difference is not so dramatic nowadays, though.

      – amy

  2. These are fantastic – I think you should do a weekly or bi-monthly post featuring old slides, especially of buildings that look dramatically different now.

    • We do have a pretty nice collection of architecture slides. Unfortunately, I have no idea when the photographs were taken, other than “sometime before I started working here.” And as a nit-picky librarian it would pain me immensely to post a photograph unless I knew the date and that I had the right to use the image. Fortunately, these cleaning slides are CLP property, so I could share them here. I’m glad you enjoyed them!

      Of course, anyone who wants to check out our slides is quite welcome to do so. All you need is a library card (/shameless plug).

      – Amy

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