Schedule of Shelving for the Library of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Va
A detailed 1897 architectural blueprint shows the plan for three tiers of shelving for the library inside the newly renovated Rotunda at the University of Virginia. The shelves on the left are all seven-feet high, so that the women pictured in academic caps (presumably librarians, since the school was all-male at that time) could reach for any book without need of a step ladder. The shelving on the right side however, reaches all the way to the ceiling on each floor—extending as high as nine feet three inches on the second gallery—and required the use of stepladders. The renowned New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, with partner Stanford White heading the team of architects, re-designed Jefferson's original library and turned it into a double-height space to accommodate the expanding collection of books.
Citation: McKim, Mead & White architectural drawings, RG-31/1/2:2.872, Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.