Jean de Chelles, Pierre de Montreuil | Cathedral of Notre-Dame; Exterior view | ca: 1163-1250 | Paris, France |Photographed by Andrew Tallon | Data from The Trustees of Columbia University, Visual Media Center, Department of Art History and Archaeology,

There are many compelling QTVRs in the Digital Library, but this exterior view of the western façade of Notre Dame is my sentimental favorite for its ability to transport me into an immediate feeling of unity and harmony. While based in Paris for a couple of weeks of research a few years ago, when I had a tendency for being too often skint, hungry, and love tired, I would sit in front of this façade for hours quietly moved by the cathedral’s beauty and comforted by the activity surrounding it.

Look up at the flying buttresses and down at the discarded cigarette butts at your feet. Study the rose window and portals as well as the man framing his photo of them. Take in the gallery of kings in the dimming light of an autumn day. The spirit in all of its extravagant holiness and sweet mundanity.

Myka Carroll– Associate Director, Library Relations