WILSON’S QUIET TOUCH
In one hour, five people come in just to look, gazing up at the dome — how that must have looked
to a rural North Carolina boy in the 1930s ...
grand staircase, the steps worn down like
spoons, to the Reading Room. They sit in
straight-back chairs and stare into computers.
Backstage, the stacks — “where the
raw materials of our culture are kept,”
Szary says — now are closed to all but
librarians. The collection has grown too
large and too valuable to leave open to
the wanderers; but then, more of what’s in
it now leaps right through that hallowed
space, into those laptops.
In one hour, five people come in just
to look, gazing up at the dome — how
that must have looked to a rural North
Carolina boy in the 1930s — and running
their hands along stone door frames and
smooth wooden desks.
Out in Polk Place, it’s unusually cold
for November. In here is a warmth that is
seen, felt, smelled and unheard.
The view inside, outside and
beneath Wilson’s crown, a Roman
Find some priceless old interior photos of
Wilson at www.lib.unc.edu/wilson/