Though they are losing ground to the e-book and the audiobook, public libraries were once central hubs of human intellectual progress. There's something about them that still attracts people, however – whether it's their magnificent historical buildings or the unmistakable smell of old books and dust, scholars and bookworms alike still enjoy perusing their hoards of literary treasures.

Because of their critical importance, libraries were often built to be beautiful and built to last. Combined with the sometimes priceless book collections that they hold, their simultaneously enormous and intimate spaces possess a charm that no other type of building can command.

If you know of any other beautiful libraries that should be celebrated by all the book lovers, then please add them to this list. You can vote for your favorite houses of knowledge as well!

#1

The National Library Of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

The National Library Of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

bookwilde.org Report

PatriciaColeAshton
Community Member
6 years ago

enthralling

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#2

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

rostad.com Report

DavidMarkovič
Community Member
6 years ago

Outstanding space!

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#3

Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Boris G Report

LualhatiCapon
Community Member
6 years ago

BREATHTAKING...!!

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#4

The Admont Library, Admont, Austria

The Admont Library, Admont, Austria

Benediktinerstift Admont Report

DanielleCauvin
Community Member
6 years ago

Breathtaking for a library..

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#5

George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, Usa

George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, Usa

wikipedia.org Report

Wondersense
Community Member
6 years ago

Incredible!

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#6

St. Florian Monastery, Austria

St. Florian Monastery, Austria

St. Florian Monastery, Austria

Renate Dodell Report

MarliesV.SintAnnaland
Community Member
6 years ago

Again heaven

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#7

Bibliothèque Nationale De France, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Nationale De France, Paris, France

Franck Bohbot Report

NeelimaJune
Community Member
6 years ago

The National library of France in Paris was going through some renovations in 2010.

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#8

Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-generaal Den Haag Iii, Netherlands

Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-generaal Den Haag Iii, Netherlands

phillips.com Report

LisaM.Duncan
Community Member
6 years ago

I love the staircase!

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#9

Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria

Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria

onb.ac.at Report

LillianGardner
Community Member
6 years ago

Omg heights and statues, 2 of biggest fears. Run!! Pretty though.

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#10

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portugal

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portugal

Will Pryce Report

AustinNguyen
Community Member
6 years ago

If that's solid gold...

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#11

The City Libary, Stuttgart, Germany

The City Libary, Stuttgart, Germany

Philipp Hilpert Report

CaméSchrödinger
Community Member
6 years ago

Hmeh, the 12th looks like a prison, or a hospital :(

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#12

The Iowa State Law Library, Iowa, Usa

The Iowa State Law Library, Iowa, Usa

legis.iowa.gov Report

VongphachanhMymala
Community Member
6 years ago

Love staircase and the color and marble/wood constrast

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#13

The Oberlausitzische Library Of Science, Gorlitz, Germany

The Oberlausitzische Library Of Science, Gorlitz, Germany

goerlitzer-anzeiger.de Report

JohnNeal
Community Member
6 years ago

Beautiful!

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#14

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, Connecticut, Usa

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, Connecticut, Usa

Michael Marsland Report

IuliaDraghiev
Community Member
6 years ago

Oh my God, that is amaazing!!! O-O

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#15

The Old Public Library Of Cincinnati, Ohio, Usa

The Old Public Library Of Cincinnati, Ohio, Usa

The Old Public Library Of Cincinnati, Ohio, Usa

Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Report

randomness
Community Member
6 years ago

Pretty

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#16

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris, France

Franck Bohbot Report

Marwel590
Community Member
6 years ago

Love the scroll work. This is a functional library.

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#17

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

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ClaudiaStarbuck
Community Member
6 years ago

Was this was one of the scenes in the first Ghostbusters film?

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#18

Walker Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Usa

Walker Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Usa

Andrew Moore Report

kniv
Community Member
6 years ago

This is not the Walker library in Minneapolis but the Library of the History of Human Imagination in Connecticut, owned by Jay Walker!

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#19

Vennesla Library, Vennesla, Norway

Vennesla Library, Vennesla, Norway

Helen & Hard Report

PeytonMcIntosh
Community Member
6 years ago

Some of these libraries look like futuristic space stations!!!

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#20

Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris, France

Franck Bohbot Report

Margot Artner
Community Member
6 years ago

A very "dainty" library - would feel very comfortable here1

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#21

St John's College Library, Cambridge, Uk

St John's College Library, Cambridge, Uk

The Pale Side Of Insomnia Report

LarsHettinga
Community Member
6 years ago

someone else who thinks this is the library of hogwarts

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#22

The Library Of Congress, Washington, D.c., Usa

The Library Of Congress, Washington, D.c., Usa

osubmarinoamarelo.com Report

sundaes66
Community Member
6 years ago

This is the library from National Treasure. I don't know if its the first or second

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#23

Technical University "gheorghe Asachi" Library, Iasi, Romania

Technical University "gheorghe Asachi" Library, Iasi, Romania

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DanBunis
Community Member
6 years ago

It was started by my gran-gran father, M. Edmund Brockle First Engineer of the city and his brothers in law M. Alfred and Valéry de Bogusz.

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#24

The Great Library Of The Reformed Church College Of Sarospatak - Sarospatak, Hungary

The Great Library Of The Reformed Church College Of Sarospatak - Sarospatak, Hungary

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Beata
Community Member
6 years ago

I have been there several times ...

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#25

The National Library Of China, Beijing, China

The National Library Of China, Beijing, China

fcpe.lyceeplcourier.over-blog.com Report

PatriciaWoodard-Gruen
Community Member
6 years ago

beautiful and inspiring !!!!

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#26

Archiepiscopal Library Kromeriz, Czech Republic

Archiepiscopal Library Kromeriz, Czech Republic

OlomoucMuseumofArt,ZdenekSodoma Report

ARCHEN News
Community Member
1 year ago

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#27

Harper Library, Usa

Harper Library, Usa

Justin Kern Report

NinoDondua
Community Member
6 years ago

Where are the books here?

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#28

Palácio Nacional De Mafra, Portugal

Palácio Nacional De Mafra, Portugal

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LynnMacDonald
Community Member
6 years ago

WOW

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#29

Budapest University Of Technology And Economics (bme), Hungary

Budapest University Of Technology And Economics (bme), Hungary

upload.wikimedia.org Report

DorottyaOpánszky
Community Member
5 years ago

Looks like a classroom in Roxfort... that dude only should be Hermione ^^

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#30

The Tripitaka Koreana Library, Haeinsa Temple, South Korea

The Tripitaka Koreana Library, Haeinsa Temple, South Korea

Will Pryce Report

IvarTamm
Community Member
6 years ago

peaceful

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#31

The Forgotten Library

The Forgotten Library

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MayaBell
Community Member
6 years ago

Where is this?

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#32

The Strahov Monastery Library, Prague

The Strahov Monastery Library, Prague

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#33

Abbey Library Of Saint Gallen Switzerland

Abbey Library Of Saint Gallen Switzerland

Wikipedia Report

MinnaHenriksson
Community Member
6 years ago

This is the library of my dreams.

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#34

National Library Of Chile, Santiago, Chile

National Library Of Chile, Santiago, Chile

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LukaMusicki
Community Member
6 years ago

Interesting library, exquisite collection of furniture and very good style.

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#35

Library Of Orthopedic Institute Rizzoli - Bologna

Library Of Orthopedic Institute Rizzoli - Bologna

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Community Member
6 years ago

Italy

#36

Trinity College Library - Dublin - Ireland

Trinity College Library - Dublin - Ireland

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Marlies V. Sint Annaland
Community Member
6 years ago

So cool. Been there ages ago

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#37

Book Mountain, Spijkenisse, Netherlands

Book Mountain, Spijkenisse, Netherlands

Jeroen Musch Report

NattheOnlyCat
Community Member
6 years ago

Neat!

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#38

State Library Of Victoria, Australia

State Library Of Victoria, Australia

Diliff Report

AndreaRinaldi
Community Member
6 years ago

not even an italian library.... really odd

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#39

# 50 Szte Klebelsberg Library, Szeged, Hungary

# 50 Szte Klebelsberg Library, Szeged, Hungary

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#40

Girolamini's Library (naples, Italy)

Girolamini's Library (naples, Italy)

www.klatmagazine.com Report

#41

Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge (uk)

Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge (uk)

Wikipedia.org Report

#42

Ottawa, Canada Parliamentary Library

Ottawa, Canada Parliamentary Library

GovernmentofCanada Report

pinhat51
Community Member
6 years ago

at least we have 1 Canadian library on the list unless there's more.

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#43

Royal Site Of San Lorenzo De El Escorial Library, S. Lorenzo De El Escorial, Spain

Royal Site Of San Lorenzo De El Escorial Library, S. Lorenzo De El Escorial, Spain

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#44

Stockholm Public Library

Stockholm Public Library

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Cee Bee
Community Member
1 year ago

Very nice library.

#45

El Ateneo. Buenos Aires, Argentina

El Ateneo. Buenos Aires, Argentina

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pinhat51
Community Member
6 years ago

looks like a theater turned into a library. kinda cool.

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#46

Szabó Ervin Library, Budapest, Hungary

Szabó Ervin Library, Budapest, Hungary

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NattheOnlyCat
Community Member
6 years ago

The Hungarians are serious about their libraries! I could live in there!

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#47

Library Of Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

Library Of Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

arijitdas Report

ApurvaRoy
Community Member
6 years ago

So many books ... And yet most of em are using laptops

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#48

Uris Library At Cornell University

Uris Library At Cornell University

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NattheOnlyCat
Community Member
6 years ago

Glad I don't have to polish all that brass!

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#49

The National Library Of Finland, Helsinki, Finland

The National Library Of Finland, Helsinki, Finland

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Community Member
6 years ago

Virtual Tour -> http://www.virtuaalikuvaus.com/kansalliskirjasto/esitys_en.html

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#50

Lello & Irmão Bookstore, Porto, Portugal

Lello & Irmão Bookstore, Porto, Portugal

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Community Member
6 years ago

The library was the scene of some scenes from the movie Harry Potter , the Library Flourish and Blots , in King's Cross.

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#51

Jp Morgan Library, New York, Ny

Jp Morgan Library, New York, Ny

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#52

Library Of The Honourable Society Of Lincoln's Inn, London Wc2, U.k.

Library Of The Honourable Society Of Lincoln's Inn, London Wc2, U.k.

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#53

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt

Peter Svarc Report

LisaM.Duncan
Community Member
6 years ago

Way too modern. Alexander would not approve.

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#54

National Library Of Latvia, Riga

National Library Of Latvia, Riga

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Kimberly Reynolds
Community Member
6 years ago

The outside's cool, what's the inside look like?

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#55

Canadian Library Of Parliament, Ottawa On Exterior

Canadian Library Of Parliament, Ottawa On Exterior

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Ruut Cederfay
Community Member
6 years ago

Cool picture of cool old library, but it's already listed as No 48 on the list. (At the time of me posting this.)

#56

Strahov Monastery Library, Prague, Czech Republic

Strahov Monastery Library, Prague, Czech Republic

imgur.com Report

MikeKukral
Community Member
6 years ago

One of the best in Europe. Great collection of globes, too.

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#57

Jose Vasconcelos Library, Mexico

Jose Vasconcelos Library, Mexico

Jose Vasconcelos Library, Mexico

CliNKer Report

OskarKlaar
Community Member
6 years ago

the most terrible

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#58

An Almost 180-degree Panoramic View Of The British Museum Reading Room.

An Almost 180-degree Panoramic View Of The British Museum Reading Room.

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Isobel Kelly-Kelk
Community Member
1 year ago

In my opinion - the best library in the world

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#59

Melk Abbey Library - Melk, Austria

Melk Abbey Library - Melk, Austria

commons.wikimedia.org Report

Mary Ann Wright
Community Member
1 year ago

I saw a 1200 year old, hand-written, bound book in this library.

#60

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City

www.tuttotech.it Report

jsm
Community Member
6 years ago

I don't see any books here?

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#61

Central University Library Of Bucharest (biblioteca Centrală Universitară „carol I”)

Central University Library Of Bucharest (biblioteca Centrală Universitară „carol I”)

www.noapteamuzeelor.ro Report

Isobel Kelly-Kelk
Community Member
1 year ago

Know this library very well.

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#62

Bapst Library, Boston College

Bapst Library, Boston College

choralebc.com Report

Cee Bee
Community Member
1 year ago

More Like a food hall in a college like Harvard or Eaton.

#63

Palafoxian Library Mexico Puebla

Palafoxian Library Mexico Puebla

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#64

Library At The National Palace In Mafra, Portugal

Library At The National Palace In Mafra, Portugal

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Patricia Rodrigues
Community Member
6 years ago

Same as entry #26

#65

Central University Library, Leuven, Belgium

Central University Library, Leuven, Belgium

centrallibkuleuven.wordpress.com Report

#66

Canadian Library Of Parliament, Ottawa On

Canadian Library Of Parliament, Ottawa On

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#67

The 19th Century National Library Of Greece In Athens

The 19th Century National Library Of Greece In Athens

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#68

Biblioteca Do Palácio Nacional De Mafra, Mafra, Portugal

Biblioteca Do Palácio Nacional De Mafra, Mafra, Portugal

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AliceLiddell
Community Member
6 years ago

Same as #28 and #64.

#69

Biblioteca Angelica, Rome, Italy

Biblioteca Angelica, Rome, Italy

Franck Bohbot Report

#70

Utrecht University City Center Library, Netherlands

Utrecht University City Center Library, Netherlands

chinaeuropesummerschool.eu Report

ManricoMetiong
Community Member
5 years ago

Manrico Metiong in Coski1 better schedule Gorlitz write in UC Berkeley, Uottawa in Canada Encyclopedia Books METIONG'S my Family and friends course relations folder paper send PHD hp m.metiong.

#71

Indianapolis Central Library, Indianapolis, Usa

Indianapolis Central Library, Indianapolis, Usa

Serge Melki Report

Paul Pleasant
Community Member
1 year ago

The addition you are looking at went $50 million over budget due to reverse racism in the contracting process. We can't even get our bigotry right in Indiana.

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#72

Boston Public Library, Usa

Boston Public Library, Usa