The Great Library of Sanctaphrax was the first Great Library of the Earth-Scholars. After the Sky-Scholars took over, the Great Library was forgotten and fell into neglect.



The Great Library was next to the Loftus Observatory, but cast in shadows, it was easy to be missed despite its great size. The wooden design was simple: a low circular wall with a roof that resembled an umbrella and a comparatively small observation tower.


The Great Library housed many thousand of barkscrolls, arranged according to class and hanging from a corresponding 'tree'. These were over a hundred massive beams set into the floor of packed earth that divided into the so-called 'branches', arches and cross-beams far above the ground. Up there, a system of ladder-ways, hanging-baskets and rope-pulleys gave access to the 'twigs' where the barkscrolls hung. The upper area was well ventilated to preserve the bark and lit naturally by either the sun or the moon.
TGL overhead shot

An overhead shot of the Great Library of Sanctaphrax

A scholar would have to scale the trees and navigate a complex system of baskets on ropes to find the desired barkscroll: The tree-pillars bore plaques like 'Social Gestures', 'Aerial Creatures' and 'Carnivorous Flora' which described the contents of the barkscrolls hanging from the tree's twigs. Having chosen the desired tree, the scholar would use the pegs on the sides of the trees as hand- and footholds and ascend vertically. The tree-pillar then was divided into the branches labeled with a positive or negative option, for example 'Bird/not bird', 'Inevitable/ not inevitable', 'Stable/not stable' and 'Sane/not sane'. The so called 'negative ascent' meant that one would always follow the 'not-' branch. Twigs would then be labeled for example 'Legendary' or 'Celestial' and the desired barkscroll could be found in the bundle of barkscrolls that hung, often in holders, from that twig or a crossing of several twigs.


The Great Library was be overseen by an earth scholar called the High Librarian, the most senior of all Earth Scholars. The last of these was Bungus Septrill, serving as the High Librarian for many decades until the events of The Curse of the Gloamglozer.