Digital books and Hayes Library

“My 19th summer was spent discovering the literature of the Founding Fathers in the octagonal library at Hayes Plantation in [Chowan County] North Carolina.

“Beyond the historical importance of the collection was the room itself–neo-gothic walnut cases with busts above the shelves under a pale-blue domed ceiling and in the center, an early-American eight-sided table heaving with ferns and more books on fantastic subjects like astronomy and geography. The library’s architecture suited its contents, cluing visitors in to the pursuits, passions and vices of its owner.

“I think about this room a lot–and about what will happen when digital books, if ever, replace the old-fashioned kind. I’m hoping books will become more prized as their population diminishes….”

— From “Bookish Good Looks; The right shelves, well-stocked, speak volumes” by Sara Ruffin Costello in the Wall Street Journal (Sept. 10, 2011)

Hayes Library is faithfully replicated in the North Carolina Collection Gallery.