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 Roads published 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 massive 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 exciting design, such as Stuttgart City Library, and others have unparalleled historical significance, like the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.” Source: Slate.
01. Library of Congress — Washington, DC, USA.
02. Royal Portuguese Reading Room — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
03. Reading Room at La Sorbonne — Paris, France
04. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University — New Haven, Conn.
05. Codrington Library at Oxford University — Oxford, England
06. Trinity College Library at University of Dublin — Dublin, Ireland
07. National Library of Belarus — Minsk, Belarus
08. Balme Library at the University of Ghana — Accra, Ghana
09. 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 the University of California, San Diego — San Diego, CA.
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
17. National Library of France — Paris, France
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, Illinois.
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
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, Illinois.
26. Seattle Central Library — Seattle, Washington.
27. Library of the Dutch Parliament — The Hague, Netherlands
28. Beitou Branch of the Taipei Public Library — Taipei, Taiwan
29. Misr University for Science and Technology Library, Egypt
30. Villanueva Public Library — Villanueva, Colombia
31. Los Angeles Central Library — Los Angeles, CA.
32. Kanazawa Umimirai Library — Kanazawa City, Japan
33. Galway Mayo Institute Of Technology Library — Galway, Ireland
34. Library at Pompeu Fabra University — Barcelona, Spain
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
41. The Royal Danish Library — Copenhagen, Denmark
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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