Libraries will continue their existence because books aren’t dead, and we believe they never will be. Libraries serve as a repository of information and knowledge. There are all kinds of libraries around the world, small or big, complex or simple designs and the unique ones. In this article, we have listed some of the most famous libraries around the world.
1. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, in Paris, France
Bibliothèque Nationale (BNF) is one of the largest and most famous libraries in the world which has books covering all fields of knowledge. The library has over 15 million books and other items. The design of this library is quite interesting as it has four towers in the shape of open books built around a forest courtyard. This library has been designed by the architect Dominique Perrault and it was finished back in 1996.
2. Boston Public Library in Massachusetts, USA
Boston Public Library (BPL) is the second largest library in the U.S, which was opened in 1852. This was the first public library to lend out books. It has over 24 million volumes. This library also consists of a large collection of DVDs, journals, maps, music scores and numerous other visuals. The library has different branches, with the most important one being the Central Library.
3. Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland
The Trinity College Library, also known as the Long Room, is one of the largest libraries in Dublin. The library consists of four separate buildings, the old library, which was built in 1592 and is one of the biggest tourist attractions and is a home to the historic books of Kell’s, a Gospel book created back in 800 AD. It is also home to over six million other printed works, which include journals, music, maps, manuscripts and other special collections.
4. Abbey Library of Saint Gall in St. Gallen, Switzerland
The Abbey Library of Saint Gall is one of the oldest libraries in Switzerland. The library is a home to roughly 160,000 volumes which also includes manuscripts dating back to the 8th century. The library also offers online access to many of its holdings through an electronic database though, generally, pre-1900 books can only be read on-site.
5. New York Public Library, in New York, USA
The New York Public Library (NYPL) is the third largest library in North America with over 50 million items in its collection and it encompasses 87 libraries serving 3.5 million people across the state. The Rose Main Reading Room acts as the centerpiece of the library with grand arched windows along its 52-foot walls. The library has made multiple appearances in many feature films as well.
6. Bodleian Library in Oxford, United Kingdom
It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe which was established back in 1602. The library houses more than 11 million items. Bodleian compromises multiple buildings, the most visually interesting is Radcliffe Camera which was built in 1737-1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library.
7. Library of Congress, in Washington D.C., USA
The library of Congress (LOC) is essentially both the national library of the US and the country’s oldest federal cultural institution. It is the largest library in the world for shelf space and number of volumes. The library’s holdings are vast, which includes more than 32 million books, a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, over 1 million newspapers from the last three centuries, more than 61 million manuscripts, over 5 million maps, more than 14 million photos and prints and over 6 million pieces of sheet music.
8. Vatican Library, in Vatican City, Rome
The Vatican Library (VAL) is one of the oldest libraries in the world. It was formally established in 1475, its existence in early forms dates to the origins of the Catholic Church. The library currently holds more than 1.1 million books and over 75,000 manuscripts. The Vatican Library also owns the oldest complete manuscript of the Bible and many other significant works from medieval times.
9. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, in Toronto Canada
Affiliated with the University of Toronto, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library houses more rare books than any other collection in Canada. The rare book library includes more than 25,000 items with a special focus in labor movements worldwide, though with a particular emphasis on Canada and its history.
10. National Library of China, in Beijing, China
The National Library of China (NLC) is one of the largest libraries in Asia with holdings of over 35 million items. It was established in 1909 as the Imperial Library of Peking but later became the National Library of China. Over 5.6 million people visit the library per year.