Libraries of the world in 3-D


Created and directed by Robert Lepage and Ex Machina in tandem with BAnQ, The Library at Night is a virtual exploration of the world’s 10 most fascinating libraries—both real and imaginary—at the Grande Bibliothèque.

The show is a collaboration with Alberto Manguel, a Canadian-Argentine author whose book of the same name served as its inspiration. Visitors take an inspiring journey through the unique book culture of other eras and cultures.

Using virtual reality goggles for immersive 3-D, they wander from one library to another. Manguel’s own library in France is first, then the Library of Parliament, in Ottawa; the Library of Congress, in Washington; other libraries in Alexandria, Sarajevo, Copenhagen and beyond—even Captain Nemo’s library inside the Nautilus submarine, from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The journey also includes, quite naturally, a forest—where all those books were born. This ambitious project takes advantage of cutting-edge technology to let us travel through time and space. Some of these places, like the great library of Alexandria, disappeared long ago. “Libraries are our memories,” writes Alberto Manguel. They also represent our future.

The Library at Night is one of several events honouring the tenth anniversary of the Grande Bibliothèque.