You won’t find the latest cutting edge information within one of these library books. Browse the eclectic assortment of strange titles or flip through the many visually pleasing pages and you may, however, find a bit of artistic inspiration.
The Reanimation Library is an ongoing project by artist and librarian Andrew Beccone, who has been working on this library of cultural detritus for more than a decade. Its shelves are stocked with a collection of more than 2,000 obscure or out-of-print publications that turn old information into an endless supply of new artistic possibilities.
The texts, mostly pre-1980s nonfiction, have all been deemed obsolete. As their information becomes outdated, the books are transformed from relevant sources of knowledge into historical relics. Rather than let the books rot in a landfill, Beccone salvages them from library sales, dumps, garage sales, and thrift stores before giving them a new life within the library.
Just because their information may no longer be current, it doesn’t mean the books themselves are no longer of use. Most of the books are chosen for their vivid illustrations and graphics, presenting limitless opportunities for creating new works out of the contents. The layouts often inspire visual artists, and some titles alone could intrigue poets.
Previously housed at The Queens Museum, this library currently lives in the back of Pioneer Books in Red Hook, operating as a public non-circulating collection through December 2018. The space operates as a workshop and includes tools like a computer, scanner, copier, and everything you need to cut-out, draw-in, and collage.
Update as of August 2020: The library is closed indefinitely.
Know Before You Go
Find in the back of the tiny Pioneer Books @ 289 Van Brunt.