Libraries are the bastion of knowledge and they have been treasured places of importance for centuries. The ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Roman placed high value on the libraries. A fine example is the Library of Alexandria which was one of the largest libraries of the ancient world and attracted world renowned scholars and thinkers for them to study.
Libraries are no longer the dusty hallowed halls of knowledge. Instead, they have now kept up with the times and are the often the hub of all things technological as well as
being architectural wonders. Who said studying was boring? If you’re in any of these libraries, studying should definitely be a pleasure!
1. The Seattle Public Library’s Central Library
The flagship of the Seattle Public Library system, this 11 story building is made of glass and steel and heralds in change of the 21st century like no other. Opened to the public on 23rd May 2004, the library not only celebrates the book but also redefines the image of the library. A hub of information, both old and new is given a new look with the construction of this 363,000 square foot structure. This building boasts of many high tech features such as a computerized book handling system where RFID tags are used to automatically identify, sort and locate books to route to readers. Public levels bring all library visitors together in the mixing chamber regardless of purpose of the visit.
2.Mafra Palace National Library
Nothing says elegance and opulence more than the National Library in Mafra Palace. Construction of this building started in 1717 and was completed 38 years later. Located in Mafra, Portugal it was also one of the finalists for the Seven wonders of Portugal. The flow of gold from the Portuguese colony of Brazil enabled the construction to be expanded from the initial plans for a small friary into what became the second residence of the royal family. Built by Manuel Caetano se souse, this library contains over 36,000 leather bound volumes and would definitely give you the peace of mind and the awe that accompanies places of knowledge and grandeur.
3. The Admont Abbey Library
What better way to celebrate knowledge than to house books, manuscripts and scrolls in this magnificent façade? Located in Austria, it sits on the borders of the mountainous Gesäuse National Park which offers visitors a treat of spectacular views of the mountains. Founded in 1074, this Library contains around 70,000 volumes of the monastery’s entire holdings of 200,000 volumes. It holds the honor of being the largest monastery library in the world and is decorated with frescoes with a colour scheme of white and gold.
4. Library of Congress
This is the largest library in the world so you can be sure to get any information you want on any topic you are working on. With its universal collection that focuses on various subjects, formats and other parameters, it holds books in over 450 languages. In fact, around two thirds of the books it acquires each year are in a language other than English.
5. Boston Public Library
This is the second largest library in the United States, second only to the Library of Congress and contains approximately 23 million items. With so much information housed under one roof and with resources that are made available to the public for free, there is no reason for you not to be able to do your study work in the silence of the halls. Founded in 1848, this Library has helped many a student to pass through their exams and also provides the space to get their study work done.
6. Vancouver Public Library (VPL)
The third largest public library system in Canada, VPL serves over 428,000 active members. Located in downtown Vancouver, the library enjoys close proximity to shopping centers and to city life. This means that when you head to the library, you can get your work done and then head out for a cup of coffee.
7. The Bodleian Library
Located in one of the most prestigious universities in Europe, the Bodleian Library is also one of the oldest. It is the main research library of the University of Oxford ad is the second biggest library in Britain. It has really moved on with the times, with most of its archives digitized and made accessible online for the public in 2015. Combining history and technology, it is a bridge between the old and the new as it was established in 1602. It really does look like something out of a scene in a Harry Potter movie and if you’re bored with studying, you can gaze up at the Pre-Raphaelite murals and ceiling painted by William Morris.
8. Klementinum Library
Located in Prague, the Baroque Library Hall is known for its exquisitely decorated interiors, including the ceiling which was painted by Jan Heibl. The grandeur and the splendor of the Baroque Library Hall will definitely keep your mind on achieving greatness. Its history can be traced back to the existence of a chapel dedicated to St. Clement in the 11th Century.
9. University of Aberdeen New Library
The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 and this makes it one of the oldest English-speaking language schools in the world. It has a rich heritage that dates back over five hundred years yet its new visage is definitely anything but old fashioned. The New library which was completed by Schmidt Hammer Larsen Architects declares to the world that the University is definitely an institution of the future. With its bold, irregular stripes that are formed by a combination of insulated panels and high performance glass, the building represents the light of knowledge to the multitude of students that grace its doors.
10. Musashino Art University Museum and Library
Designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, this library takes its most used piece of furniture and converts it into a statement. Book shelves act as shelves, walls and more with enormous book cases. It provides an interesting continuation of the image of a library complete with shelves. However, the shelves remain empty as an acknowledgement to the growing popularity of digital information.
All of the above mentioned libraries are not only a base of knowledge for whoever seeks it, but are also a thing of beauty. With many of the worlds best and most famous painters making themselves immortal through the depictions on the ceiling and other places, it comes as no surprise that most of the libraries walls and ceilings are constructed with beautiful frescoes. Libraries are meant to be cherished and these ones will definitely make your study time more interesting.