A barrister is also a style of bookcase, one that has remained almost unchanged since the 1890s. Barristers are modular bookcases, each section self-contained, with a door on the front. The door, usually a wood frame with a glass pane, sometimes solid wood, is designed in such a way that it can be lifted open so that it is horizontal, then pushed back into the case, allowing access to the books containted within. Barristers are favored by attorneys (hence the name) and book collectors for their beauty and durability. They are designed to be stacked floor to ceiling, and are available in a few different sizes for books of various heights.

A barrister typically looks something like this, when viewed from the front. Each shelf is a separate section.

      ___________________________________
     /                                   /|
    /                                   / |
   /                                   /  |
  /---------------------------------- /   |
  | ________________________________ |    |
  || ------------------------------ ||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||   /|
  ||l______________________________l||  / |
  | ---------------o---------------- | /  |
   ---------------------------------- /   |
  | ________________________________ |    |
  || ------------------------------ ||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||   /|
  ||l______________________________l||  / |
  | ---------------o---------------- | /  |
   ---------------------------------- /   |
  | ________________________________ |    |
  || ------------------------------ ||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||    |
  |||                              |||   /|
  ||l______________________________l||  /_/
  | ---------------o---------------- | /
  |---------------------------------- /
  | |                               | |
  \_/                               \_/
A diagram showing how the case of a barrister opens, as seem from the side.
  ___________
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  -----------

closed

  ___________
 |           |\
 |           | \
 |           |  \
 |           |   \
 |           |    \~
  -----------

opening the door

  ___________ 
 |           |--------i
 |           |
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  -----------

door is open all the way

  ___________
 |           |-i
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  -----------

door is then slid backwards into case, allowing access to books

Bar"ris*ter (?), n. [From Bar, n.]

Counselor at law; a counsel admitted to plead at the bar, and undertake the public trial of causes, as distinguished from an attorney or solicitor. See Attorney.

[Eng.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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