Monday, May 12, 2008

British Museum & Paternoster Row, circa 1940

Two amazing photographs of the damage wrought in London by the Blitz. An almost contemporary report on the 'War on Books' commented:
“The general public, especially in London, still remembers vividly the big fire raids around St Paul’s when, in Paternoster Row and adjacent streets - the long-established centre of the book trade - more than six million volumes were destroyed. Millions of others have been lost in bookshops and libraries in provincial cities, and millions more in damaged, gutted, or burnt-out warehouses, printing and binding works. A total of twenty million volumes destroyed would probably be an underestimate.”
John Brophy, Britain Needs Books (London: National Book Council, November 1942)

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