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Sfera con Sfera

The sphere exemplifies the long association the Library has enjoyed with the College Art Collections. Before the opening of the purpose-built Douglas Hyde Gallery in 1978, the space underneath the podium where the sphere now stands served for a decade as an art gallery. Today both the historic and contemporary library buildings feature paintings and sculptures drawn from the Art Collections' eclectic catalogue. Installed in the mid-1980s, the sculpture looks custom-designed for the space it inhabits; it perfectly complements the concrete angles and glass curves of its backdrop, the Berkeley Library.

Variants can be seen across the globe – for instance, at the United Nations plaza in New York and the Cortile del Belvedere at the Vatican Museums in Rome. Pleasingly, there is also an example on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley – the town named after the same eighteenth-century Trinity philosopher in whose honour the Berkeley Library was christened.

Greg Sheaf

Greg Sheaf has been an Assistant Librarian in the Library since 2005. He currently acts as the Library’s Web Services Librarian and has oversight of its social media, as well as looking after the Schools of Physics and Chemistry as a Subject Librarian. He has a keen interest in online exhibitions and making the Library’s collections more accessible to the public.