49 Breathtaking Libraries From All Over The World

Libraries are at once solitary and social, often serving as cornerstones of communities. Throughout history, their design has developed alongside the democratization of knowledge. A new book, Reflections: Libraries, which was published by Roads in November, traces this evolution through buildings that, whether modern and inviting or ancient and exclusive, are marvelous to see.

The first library in the book is the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. The book then traverses the globe, from the minimalist, modern libraries of Asia and Scandinavia to the lavish classical libraries of the United States and Western Europe, including the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Centre at Humboldt University in Berlin, with its five stories of cherry-wood terraces.

“In terms of function, we aimed to have a wide representation. There are some of the largest libraries in the world, private libraries, university libraries, and small community libraries,” Maeve Convery, publishing director for Roads and editor of Reflections: Libraries, said via email. “Some were chosen because of the extremely interesting design, such as Stuttgart City Library, and others have unparalleled historical significance, like the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.” Source: Slate

1. Library of Congress — Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

2. Royal Portuguese Reading Room — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3. Reading Room at La Sorbonne — Paris, France

4. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University — New Haven, Conn.

5. Codrington Library at Oxford University — Oxford, England

6. Trinity College Library at University of Dublin — Dublin, Ireland

7. National Library of Belarus — Minsk, Belarus

8. Balme Library at the University of Ghana — Accra, Ghana

 9. General Library at University of Coimbra — Coimbra, Portugal

10. Suzzallo Library at University of Washington, Seattle — Seattle, Wash.

11. Philological “Brain” Library at the Free University — Berlin, Germany

12. Geisel Library at University of California, San Diego — San Diego, Calif.

13. Library at the Benedictine Monastery of Admont — Admont, Austria

14. Library at Pontifical Lateran University — Rome, Italy

15. Library of the Canadian Parliament — Ottawa, Canada

16. Stuttgart City Library — Stuttgart, Germany

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17. National Library of France — Paris, France

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18. New York Public Library — New York, N.Y.

19. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at University of Toronto — Toronto, Canada

20. Joe & Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago — Chicago, Ill.

21. Jose Vasconcelos Library — Mexico City, Mexico

22. Frederick Thompson Memorial Library at Vassar College — Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

23. Central Library at National Autonomous University of Mexico — Mexico City, Mexico

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24. Library at the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial — San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

25. Harper Memorial Library at University of Chicago — Chicago, Ill.

26. Seattle Central Library — Seattle, Wash.

27. Library of the Dutch Parliament — The Hague, Netherlands

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28. Beitou Branch of the Taipei Public Library — Taipei, Taiwan

29. Misr University for Science and Technology Library — 6th of October City, Egypt

30. Villanueva Public Library — Villanueva, Colombia

31. Los Angeles Central Library — Los Angeles, Calif.

32. Kanazawa Umimirai Library — Kanazawa City, Japan

33. Galway Mayo Institute Of Technology Library — Galway, Ireland

34. Library at Pompeu Fabra University — Barcelona, Spain

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35. Library at Delft University of Technology — Delft, Netherlands

36. József Attila Study and Information Centre at University of Szeged — Szeged, Hungary

37. Library at Catholic University of Leuven — Flanders, Belgium

38. Bishan Public Library — Singapore

39. Library at Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology — Kedah, Malaysia

40. Connemara Public Library — Chennai, India

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41. The Royal Danish Library — Copenhagen, Denmark

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42. Vatican Library — Vatican City

43. Library of Alexandria — Alexandria, Egypt

44. Central Public Library — Vancouver, Canada

45. Central Library at Cairo University — Cairo, Egypt

46. Sendai Mediatheque — Sendai, Japan

47. Butler Library at Columbia University — New York, N.Y.

48. Library at Utrecht University — Utrecht, Netherlands

49. George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University — Baltimore, Md.

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Author: MMK

Architecture & Design was started by an Afghan entrepreneur, he believes that wellbeing is affected by the spaces we spend our time in and that their design is an important notion to consider with regards to our personal comfort and happiness – whether we are at home, at work or at play.

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