Libraries have existed in some form since humans learned to write. The earliest example of a library dates back to 2600 BC, by the first urban civilisation in Sumer, Southern Mesopotamia, with other examples in the millennia following found in Babylonia, on papyrus in Ancient Egypt, and via China’s Zhou dynasty.
Today hundreds of thousands exist across the globe, be they Academic, National, Public, or Private libraries. Many countries over the years have made bold statements in regards to their libraries, commissioning grandiose projects boasting wonderful architecture, that celebrate human achievement, thirst for knowledge, and cultural prowess. As the Internet dominates, these impressive spaces will continue to remain important cultural institutions for many years to come, and for future generations to enjoy and to be inspired by. Here are some impressive images featuring some of the world’s very best institutions, be they hundreds of years old or brand new.