I was looking for images for a project and came across this amazing image drawn by Muirhead Bone, a Scottish artist from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It's a picture of the British Museum Reading Room, under construction. It's a little confusing, because the drawing is listed as being done in 1907, but the Reading Room is listed as being in use since 1897. Go figure.
Just in case you're wondering what it looks like now, here's a recent image:
It's always stunning to me to get a glimpse into how these spaces were built. They appear so sublime - and yet, someone had to work to make them that way. In fact, if you want to humanize it a little, know this: the ceiling surface is a type of papier-mâché.
I'll throw in these other pictures of the British Museum (below) for extra fun. I love looking at old pictures of familiar places.