Libraries Around The World
Collected by Michela Baxter, AFAR Local Expert
Libraries are my favorite places to visit. Here are some beautiful houses of knowledge found throughout the globe.
Piazza dei Cavalleggeri, 1, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I completely stumbled upon this gorgeous library in Florence on accident while wandering around the city by myself. It's about a 3 Euro entrance fee but being a book lover, there are few things more impressive than a reading library designed by...
476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
The main branch of the New York Public Library is one of the country’s grandest Beaux Arts buildings, a temple to learning on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets. At the end of the 19th century, John Bigelow, who oversaw the Tilden...
101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA
Established in 1800, the Library of Congress is the oldest federal institution in the United States. The library was destroyed by British troops just 14 years after its conception, and Congress used Thomas Jefferson’s collection of 6,487...
405 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
"Here is an amazing, ultramodern building. It’s mostly glass, but there’s no air-conditioning—it’s totally green. The library specializes in fashion and design, and it has comfy leather couches, so it’s a good spot for reading, listening to music,...
700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116, USA
I fell in love with the Boston's Central Library on my first visit, and have returned to its gorgeous stairs, painted walls, changing art shows, and literature finds at least once on every trip here. I could happily spend a few hours here,...
4000 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
When visiting Seattle, make sure to stop by the University of Washington—one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States. Cherry trees, lakeshore, and views of glaciated Mt. Rainier surround a cluster of Neo-Gothic buildings....
5511 Rugby Hwy, Rugby, TN 37733, USA
Rugby, Tennessee was founded as a utopian community in the late 1800s. Many buildings stand today and a preservation society gives tours of the historic town still located in the wilds of Tennessee. Above is a photo of the Library, intact from the...
96 S Grant Ave, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
The Columbus Metropolitan Main Library has served the community for over 100 years with the motto, “A fountain of learning: Our treasures are within and open to all.” Today it’s a great place to visit either to read,...
Biltmore Estate Dr, North Carolina 28803, USA
A self-guided tour of the Vanderbilt family’s 8,000-acre estate in Asheville, North Carolina, takes you through gardens bursting with roses and azaleas, and past pools filled with koi and pineapple-scented water lilies. The centerpiece is...
Seattle, WA, USA
One of Seattle's landmark buildings, the downtown public library is a dramatically asymmetrical, 11 story glass-and-steel 'sculpture' that takes up an entire city block. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the interior features a continuous...
57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
It doesn't matter how well you think you know a place—there's always somewhere new worth exploring. San Francisco is packed with secret hideouts. One of my all-time favorites has to be the Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room—and the rather...
28 Frost St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
The Sketchbook Project lives within the Brooklyn Art Library, filling their entire left wall from floor to ceiling. Yes, leave it to a place as cool as Brooklyn to have an art library. Anyway, my friend and I stumbled onto this fascinating place...
48603 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a bookshop–cultural center dedicated to the bohemian author who once called Big Sur home. It has become a hot spot for concerts by the likes of Gillian Welch and Arcade Fire and a Thursday night summer...
225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA
The Morgan Library is an endowment from Pierpont Morgan and his son J.P. and hosts one of the finest collections of European manuscripts and rare documents in the country. The library hosts revolving exhibitions on literary classics, like recent...
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