Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno de la República Argentina [Mariano Moreno National Library of the Argentine Republic]

The National Library!

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Sometimes the beauty of a library is in the idea, and not the stupid brutalist architecture.

Established in 1810, the library inaugurated its current building in 1992, thirty years after it was first designed (because Argentina).  There are a few things associated with the National Library that I will be including here, such as the Museo del Libro y de la Lengua, which is actually more of a small space for temporary exhibitions and events–not quite enough to do a whole post on.

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“…because the library is yours.”  Hell. Yes.

Currently, there’s a couple of exhibits up, one of which is on scientist, novelist, and impressive prizewinner Ernesto Sabato.  You might remember him from a really life-affirming subway display I found awhile back.

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“God exists, but sometimes dreams: his nightmares are our existence.”

The upstairs currently houses a show on Sara Gallardo.

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Like I said, not a whole lot to the museum itself, but as it’s at the back of the library complex, it can easily included in a visit to the whole shebang.

There’s some remodeling happening on the grounds of the library, but there is one small open building that houses the showroom of the Centro de Historieta y Humor Gráfico Argentinos (Argentine Comic and Graphic Humor Center).

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At the moment, the building is dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Patoruzú, who looks VERY QUESTIONABLE to me but is still an icon here, and widely considered Argentina’s first super hero (he’s got super strength and he’s also rich, which is Batman’s sole power, so Patoruzú already has one up on that guy).

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The main library building also has its own exhibit space.  You need an ID to go in, a fact that has stuck in my mind since the library played a small part in the story of a man who walked from Canada to Buenos Aires with the aim of visiting the library, only to be turned away because he didn’t have ID.

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Pictured: Most secure border in the Western hemisphere.

Right now, there’s an exhibit on the books of Arthur Conan Doyle.  It’s pretty fun.

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Sherlock Holmes fan fic has been a hugely profitable genre in its own right, and I especially enjoyed the inclusion of “Cat Holmes.”

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The Lost World room! Argentina is rich in dinosaur fossils, and that there is native son Bajadasaurus pronuspinax.
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Yeah, they even got the fairy stuff.
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Interview with the man himself in the spiritualism room.

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I can absolutely feel the librarian’s giddy enthusiasm for being able to create this room.

If I don’t get a haunted mirror for Christmas this year, why do I even have a family.

There were a few of these pictures that were activated when you walked close to them.  This whole thing was neat.

At the back of the library’s complex, near the Museo del Libro y de la Lengua, is an adorable little shop.

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ADORKABLE

It’s the National Library’s bookstore for its publications, where you can also get sweet library merch, like a coffee mug or poster.  There’s also this TINY BOOK VENDING MACHINE SO BRING 20 PESOS IN COINS OK?

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Objects in photo less blurry than they appear

So if libraries are a thing for you (as they are for all quality people), you can roll a visit to the National Library into your Recoleta meanderings, as it’s a couple of blocks from the Recoleta Cemetery, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and the Las Heras subway stop on the H line.  There’s a cafe of the basic snack and coffee sort on the first floor of the main library building (second floor by US reckoning), but obviously plenty of other places are around.  Check the website for the hours of all the various elements mentioned here.

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