100 Majestic Libraries Every Book Lover Should See

100 Majestic Libraries Every Book Lover Should See

For those of you who have the opportunity to travel the world and visit exotic new lands, here is an updated version of our most beautiful libraries list. Even if you can’t travel to all these places, think of this image gallery as a digital trip around the world.

This time around we aimed to create the ultimate list by having the 100 most visually striking libraries from all over the world. If you would like to jump straight to a specific country, just click on the links below. Enjoy!



Barr Smith Library at the University of Adelaide, Australia

Barr Smith Library at the University of Adelaide

Mitchell Library, Sydney, Australia

Mitchell Library, Sydney

State Library of South Australia

State Library of South Australia

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

State Library of Victoria


Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria.

Austrian National Library, Viena

Kremsmünster Abbey Library, Austria.

Kremsmünster Abbey Library

Melk Monastery Library, Austria.

Melk Monastery Library Melk Austria

St. Florian Abbey Library, Sankt Florian, Austria.

St Florian Abbey Library

The University Library of Graz, Austria.

The University Library of Graz, Austria

Vorarlberg State Library, Bregenz, Austria.

Vorarlberg State Library Bregenz Austria


Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Royal Portuguese Reading Room Rio de Janeiro Brazil

The National Library of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.

The National Library of Brazil


Central Library of Vancouver, Canada.

Central Library of Vancouver

Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Canada.

Library of Parliament Ottawa Canada


The National Library of Chile, Santiago.

The National Library of Chile


Liyuan Library, Beijing, China.

Liyuan Library Beijing

National Library of China, Beijing.

National Library of China Beijing


Virgilio Barco Library, Colombia, Bogotá.

Virgilio Barco Library

Czech Republic

Clementinum National Library, Prague, Czech Republic.

Clementinum National Library Prague Czech Republic

Strahov Monastery Theological Library, Prague, Czech Republic.

Strahov Monastery Theological Library Prague Czech Republic


The Royal Library Of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Royal Library Of Copenhagen


Alexandria Library, Egypt.

Library of Alexandria Alexandria Egypt


Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris, France.

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève Paris France

La Sorbonne Reading Room, Paris, France.

La Sorbonne Reading Room


Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel, Germany.

Herzog August Library

Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, Berlin, Germany.

Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum Berlin

Leipzig University Library, Germany.

Leipzig University Library

Philological Library of the Free University, Berlin, Germany.

Philological Library of the Free University Berlin Germany

Saxon State and University Library, Dresden, Germany.

Saxon State and University Library

Stuttgart City Library, Germany.

Stuttgart City Library

Wiblingen Monastery Library, Ulm, Germany.

Wiblingen Monastery Library Ulm Germany


Utrecht University Library, Holland.

Utrecht University Library


Connemara Public Library, Chennai, India.

Connemara Public Library


Trinity College Dublin Library, Ireland.

Trinity College Dublin Library


Angelica Library, Rome, Italy.

Angelica Library Rome Italy

Biblioteca Malatestiana, Cesena, Italy.

Biblioteca Malatestiana

Pontifical Lateran University Library, Rome, Italy.

Pontifical Lateran University Library


Kanazawa Umimirai Library, Japan.

Kanazawa Umimirai Library

Musashino Art University Museum & Library, Tokyo, Japan.

Musashino Art University Museum & Library

Tama Art University Library, Tokyo, Japan.

Tama Art University Library


Vilnius University Library, Lithuania.

Vilnius University Library, Lithuania


José Vasconcelos Library, Mexico City, Mexico.

José Vasconcelos Library in México City Mexico

Palafoxiana Library, Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza, Mexico.

Palafoxiana Library, Mexico


Old Library (Handelingenkamer), The Hague, Netherlands.


Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Rijksmuseum Research Library, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Rijksmuseum Research Library Amsterdam

New Zealand

University of Otago Central Library, Dunedin, New Zealand.

University of Otago Central Library

North Korea

Grand People’s Study House, Pyongyang, North Korea.

Grand People’s Study House


Vennesla Library and Cultural Center, Vennesla, Norway.

Vennesla Library and Culture House Vennesla Norway


Lehigh University Library, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Lehigh University Library, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


Casa de la Literatura Peruana, Lima, Peru.

Casa de la Literatura Peruana

The Library of the San Francisco Monastery, Lima, Peru.

The Library of the San Francisco Monastery, Peru


Warsaw University Library, Poland.

Warsaw University Library


Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portugal.

Biblioteca Joanina

Mafra Palace Library, Mafra, Portugal.

Mafra Palace Library

The University of Coimbra General Library, Portugal.

The University of Coimbra General Library

South Korea

Tripitaka Koreana, Haeinsa Temple, South Korea.

Tripitaka Koreana


The Escorial Library, Madrid, Spain.

Library of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Spain

University of Salamanca Library, Spain.

University of Salamanca Library


Malmö City Library, Malmö, Sweden.

Malmö City Library


Abbey Library of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Abbey Library St Gallen Switzerland


Beitou Library, Taipei, Taiwan.

Beitou Branch of the Taipei Public Library


Bristol Central Library, Bristol, UK.

Bristol Central Library

Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, England, UK.

Brotherton Library, University of Leeds

Codrington Library, All Soul’s College, Oxford University, UK.

Codrington Library, All Soul’s College, Oxford University

Library of Birmingham, UK.

Library of Birmingham

Merton College Library, Oxford, UK.

Merton College Library

Queen’s College Library, Oxford University, UK.

Queen’s College Library Oxford

Sir Duncan Rice Library, Aberdeen, UK.

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The Bodleian Library, Oxford, UK.

The Bodleian Library

Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge University, UK.

Wren Library Trinity College Cambridge University Cambridge UK

United States

Armstrong Browning Library, Waco, United States.

Armstrong Browning Library

Bapst Library, Boston, United States.

Bapst Library Boston College Boston MA

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, United States.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Boston Public Library, United States.

Boston Public Library

Cornell Law School Library, Ithaca, United States.

Cornell Law School Library Ithaca NY

Cornell University Uris Library, Ithaca, United States.

Cornell University Uris Library, United States

Fisher Fine Arts Library, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States.

Fisher Fine Arts Library University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA

Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design, United States.

Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design

Hearst Castle Gothic Study, San Simeon, United States.

The Gothic Study Of William Randolph Hearst

The Paul Barret Jr. Library at Rhodes College, Tennessee, United States.

The Paul Barret Jr Library at Rhodes College

Indianapolis Public Library, United States.

Indianapolis Public Library

Iowa State Capital Law Library, United States.

Iowa State Capital Law Library

Library of Congress, Washington D.C., United States.

Library of Congress Washington DC

Los Angeles Central Library, United States.

Los Angeles Central Library in Los Angeles CA

New York Public Library, United States.

New York Public Library New York City NJ

Phillips Exeter Academy Library, New Hampshire, United States.

Phillips Exeter Academy Library

Seattle Central Library, Seattle, United States.

Seattle Central Library

Suzzallo Library’s Graduate Reading Room at the University of Washington, Seattle, United States.

Suzzallo Library’s Graduate Reading Room

The Harper Library Reading Room, University of Chicago, United States.

University of Chicago Harper Library

The Joe & Rika Mansueto Library, University of Chicago, United States.

The Joe & Rika Mansueto Library, University of Chicago

The Peabody Library, Baltimore, United States.

George Peabody Library

The Walker Library of The History of Human Imagination, Stamford, United States.

The Walker Library of The History of Human Imagination Stamford City CT

Thompson Memorial Library, Arlington, United States.

Thompson Memorial Library

University of Michigan Law Library, Ann Arbor, United States.

University of Michigan Law Library Ann Arbor MI

Williston Memorial Library, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, United States.

Williston Memorial Library, Mount Holyoke College

Want to dive even deeper into the history and architecture of libraries?
From the ancient world to the electronic age, “The Library: A World History” by James W. P. Campbell and Will Pryce, is a great coffee table book that includes beautiful photography and great historical facts on many of the libaries featured on this post.

The Library - A World History


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Paul Nowak

Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.

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  • Barbara

    Beautiful collection. Please note that Holland and the Netherlands are the same country (last one is the official name). Missing in the list is the public library in Vught, opened a few years ago in a church

  • Caroline

    Love this! Thanks for curating. You’ve inspired my library bucket list. :)

  • Benjamin Peng

    Those pictures are great. But I found two libraries look the same. Is that true ?
    St. Florian Abbey Library, Sankt Florian, Austria.
    Clementinum National Library, Prague, Czech Republic.

  • Jerome Mason

    The time and effort you devoted for this article are much appreciated!

    • Paul Nowak

      Thanks Jerome! It took some time, but it was a lot of fun to work on this :-) Glad to hear you liked the images.

  • Ravikiran

    I think, you missed the wonderful library at MIT University, Massachusetts

  • Penny Georgiou

    Thank you for forwarding.

    A thing of beauty is a joy forever – well, for a long time anyway.


  • Luis

    Beautiful collection, inspirational temples of learning.

  • R. Sivaraj

    Thanks for providing a visual treat!