Beautiful Libraries (or, I Wish I Worked There!)

I seem to really like making lists…so here’s another one! I thought I would pull together photos of some of the beautiful libraries in North America.

The Library of Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario looks gorgeous! I shall have to get there some day! Its picture is on our $10 bill…

This picture was taken the day after a fire burnt down the building next the the library which was untouched in 1916.

The Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at the University of Toronto has an ugly exterior but is beautiful inside. I was lucky enough to take a class right in the middle of this library and was surrounded by these beautiful, rare books every week! It contains some Egyptian papyrus manuscript fragments from 245 B.C. as well as Darwin’s proof copy with annotations of On the Origin of  Species (both of which I had a chance to see).

The next are from the U.S. This first one is, of course, the Library of Congress in Washington. It’s the largest library in the world with 22 million catalogued books!

Here we have the Library of the Boston Anthenaeum. It was established in 1807,making it just over 200 years old!

Next is the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, which has the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works. Funny, you’d think you’d find that in England!

This is the Law Library…in Iowa! I love the spiral staircase! It’s apparently five stories.

Here is the New York City Public Library. It’s one of the largest public library systems in the U.S. and the one of the largest research libraries in the world. It’s been featured in many movies, such as Spider-Man, The Wiz, and of course, Ghostbusters.

This is the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and contains everything from Leonardo Da Vinci prints/drawings to Bob Dylan’s notes of Blowin’ in the Wind.

And lastly, the Suzzallo Library is a part of the University of Washington libraries in Seattle. I probably like it as it was built in the Gothic style…

These are just a few of the libraries in North America…I could do this all day! But, that would be boring. I will put up a few more posts on this topic…next will be the libraries in the UK and then in Europe (which in itself will probably need to be a two-parter!).

These libraries have made me realise that I need to travel more! Nothing can make me happier than seeing these libraries in person (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration…eating a hot fudge sundae would make me pretty happy!)

9 responses to “Beautiful Libraries (or, I Wish I Worked There!)

  1. Love your post. I wish there was more.

  2. These are indeed glorious edifices of edification! Thank you for posting them. I had not been aware that there were such architectural delights to be seen in a library tour. May I just say that the staircase shown above in the Law Library is not spiral (having changing radius of curvature) but heliacal (having a constant radius of curvature). It is certainly the most magnificent heliacal staircase I have ever seen!

  3. Nice and beautiful libraries, i like it

  4. This was absolutely fascinating. I want to visit all of these libraries. Thank you for sharing, they are some of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen in the states.

  5. Beautiful photos !
    I’m interested on libraries in video games and looking for the model of the Simcity 2000 library, which is circular, 2 floors, with columns : http://arsene-de-la-manigance.blogspot.fr/2013/04/les-bibliotheques-et-les-jeux-video.html .
    Do you have an idea ?
    Arsène

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