Saturday, 19 May 2012
The University Library in Oslo was established in 1811 acting as the Norwegian National Library until 1999. Lowry refers to the library in his novel Ultramarine in which the protagonist Dana Hilliot compares the library to the Widener Library in Harvard; " strolling with my father through the Harvard Yard, passing the Widener Library, so absurdly like our Bibliotheket, and Amy Lowell's house." (Pg. 51). The library which Lowry refers to is the one purpose built at Henrik Ibsen's gate, which was designed by architect Holger Sinding-Larsen. The University Library moved into the 2nd January 1914, but the building was not completed until 1922.
Lowry must have been familiar with the library from his visit to Oslo on his 1931 trip to Norway.