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18 Images of Majestic Libraries From Across the Globe

Themed Collections

09 October 2017

Posted by Tim Boddy

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.

The Portuguese Royal Library in Rio de Janeiro, which has the largest and most valuable library of works by Portuguese authors outside Portugal.

The Portuguese Royal Library in Rio de Janeiro, which has the largest and most valuable library of works by Portuguese authors outside Portugal. Read less

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Marcelo Araújo

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The Library of Birmingham illuminated at night, Centenary Square, Birmingham, UK.

The Library of Birmingham illuminated at night, Centenary Square, Birmingham, UK. Read less

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A closer view of The Library of Birmingham, UK.

A closer view of The Library of Birmingham, UK. Read less

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Peter Zabulis

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Long Room interior, Old Library building, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

Long Room interior, Old Library building, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Read less

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The interior of the Black Diamond, or Royal Library in Copenhagen

The interior of the Black Diamond, or Royal Library in Copenhagen Read less

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Ilyas Ayub

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Stockholms Stadsbibliotek - the Public Library in the city.

Stockholms Stadsbibliotek - the Public Library in the city. Read less

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Simon Bath

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Taken from the roof garden of the new Birmingham library.

Taken from the roof garden of the new Birmingham library. Read less

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Martin Bruntnell

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The Old library of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The Library is the largest public art history research place in Netherlands.

The Old library of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The Library is the largest public art history research place in Netherlands. Read less

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Graham McAndrew

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Strahov Monastery Library - the Philosophical Hall in Prague, The Czech Republic.

Strahov Monastery Library - the Philosophical Hall in Prague, The Czech Republic. Read less

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Frank Chmura

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The Great Hall in the Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA.

The Great Hall in the Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA. Read less

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The National Library of France, Paris, France.

The National Library of France, Paris, France. Read less

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Interior view of New Public Library, Mailaender Platz Square, Architect Prof. Eun Young Yi, Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg, Germany.

Interior view of New Public Library, Mailaender Platz Square, Architect Prof. Eun Young Yi, Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg, Germany. Read less

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Old books dating from the 1700’s in an historic colonial library in Bolivia.

Old books dating from the 1700’s in an historic colonial library in Bolivia. Read less

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Jess Kraft

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Guangzhou Library, Zhujiang New Town area, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Guangzhou Library, Zhujiang New Town area, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Read less

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Winter landscape at sunset with National Library of Latvia in the background.

Winter landscape at sunset with National Library of Latvia in the background. Read less

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Gints Ivuskans

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People studying in the New York Public Library in Manhattan, New York City. New York Public Library is the third largest public library in North America.

People studying in the New York Public Library in Manhattan, New York City. New York Public Library is the third largest public library in North America. Read less

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Valerio

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Interior of Main Reading Room of Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), Egypt.

Interior of Main Reading Room of Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), Egypt. Read less

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Petr Svarc

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Books Shelf inside a library Antique and rare Books inside The Peabody Library building, opened in 1878, was designed by Baltimore architect Edmund G. Lind.

Books Shelf inside a library Antique and rare Books inside The Peabody Library building, opened in 1878, was designed by Baltimore architect Edmund G. Lind. Read less

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Andrea Izzotti

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