“What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education.”
It seems that some academic facilities have taken the full meaning of these words and brought to the world some of the most beautiful libraries you can ever find. Here, we list to you 23 of these marvellous Academic Libraries. Ranging between the authentic grandiose of Gothic and lavishness of Baroque to the slick neatness of Ultra-modern, all these libraries will make you feel dreamy. So, let’s take a look now and feel the magic.
1. Suzzallo Library, University of Washington
Construction on Suzzallo Library took nearly 27 years. The highly elaborate cathedral-style reading room is a designated silent study area, and is frequently recognized as one of the most beautiful of its kind.
2. William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library – The Ohio State University
Location: Columbus, Ohio
The William Oxley Thompson library is the central library at the Ohio State University and was built in 1912; having a significant multi-year renovation took place starting July 2006 and reopened August 2009. The building’s architectural style is Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts.
It provides a variety of study places, an extensive collection, and research along with faculty and staff to help. Some of the subject libraries are social science and humanities, including reference, special collections, rare books, manuscripts, university archives, journals, general interest periodicals. In Departmental subject libraries in literature, regional foreign language, linguistics, philosophy, religion, theater, anthropology, history, sociology, and political science.
Ithaca, New York
Year opened: 1891
Notable fact: The building was designed by William Henry Miller, Cornell’s first architecture student.
This cross-shaped library is home to more than 8 million print books and 71,000 cubic feet of manuscripts. Its clock tower symbolizes the university, and the arches, stained-glass windows, and epic reading room on the inside are some of the grandest spaces in academia. But perhaps this library’s most interesting feature: the metal bookcases, essentially shelf-lined cubicles set in majestic gold-colored metal, where students sit veritably encased in literature.
4. Bapst Art Library
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Year opened: 1925
Notable fact: The Parish of St. Ignatius began during Sunday masses that were held in the library’s auditorium.
This English Gothic-style space adorned with intricate stained glass is named for BC’s first president, father John Bapst. It was originally part of a 20-building project in this style built in the 1920s, meant to give BC a look like Oxford University. It served as the campus’ main library until 1993, and now is purely devoted to art with 51,000 books, manuscripts, and other works, as well as rotating student artwork.
5. Cook Legal Research Library
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Year opened: 1931
Notable fact: William Cook, for whom the library is named, didn’t want his name on the building. But when he died in 1930, the university did it anyway, lacking any living objection.
The University of Michigan’s law quad might be the most outstanding collection of Gothic architecture in America. Its centerpiece is this behemoth law library, with its cathedral ceilings, stone walls, and towering spires. It’s a regular on lists of the world’s greatest law buildings, prettiest libraries, and best collegiate architecture, and the main reading room is one of the most photographed college interiors in the world. But it’s not just the bones of the building that make it so special: The metal work throughout the library was done by Samuel Yellin, considered the greatest metal worker of his day. And the hedges in front of the library came from Cook’s home in Port Chester, New York.
6. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
New Haven, Connecticut
Year opened: 1963
Notable fact: The library houses a Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed in movable type.
This shrine to 780,000 rare books is one of the most impressive and extensively studied feats of architecture in America. The outer walls are the truss of the building, supported only at the corners and made up of 1¼-inch-thick marble panes. These panes allow natural light to filter into the library so as not to damage the books, yet still allow them to be displayed in the central glass tower. The tower stands in the center as an accessible monument to the collection, surrounded by two stories of exhibit space on the mezzanines.
7. Washington University Law Library
St. Louis, Missouri
Year opened: 1997
Notable fact: The library houses one of the largest collections of books on East Asian law, with more than 4,700 titles and 12,500 volumes dedicated to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean law.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this library is that while it looks like it could have easily been constructed when the university opened in 1853, it was actually completed in 1997. Architects from Hartman-Cox — who also designed Georgetown’s law library — set out to design a library to fit seamlessly with the older buildings on campus, taking inspiration from other academic areas. The result is the Tudor-style reading room, with wooden arches and 19th-century-style lamps, all set in a brick castle.
8. George Peabody Library
Johns Hopkins University
Year opened: 1878
Notable fact: The library made an appearance in Sleepless in Seattle, where Meg Ryan goes to visit her brother at his office.
Though the five-story, iron-wrought stack room — with its imposing railings leading to a rooftop skylight — makes for some magnificent pictures, pictures are all you can take. This 300,000-title library is only for reference, as was the request of George Peabody, the philanthropist who created the institute in 1857. The library was originally gifted to the city of Baltimore, changed hands several times, and now is part of the Special Collections Department of Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries. And if you’re looking for info on any subject other than music, you can probably find it here.
9. Fleet Library
Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, Rhode Island
Year opened: 2006
Notable fact: The third through 11th floors of the library contain dorm rooms. Students for once aren’t exaggerating when they say they “live at the library.”
Only one design school has a library so exquisite it made our list. This former home of the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Bank was converted to the RISD library in 2006, and though three bank vaults lie dormant in the basement and a round clock still hangs from the center dome, the rest is completely different. Double stacks of books fill the floor, which students can gaze down upon from the second-story mezzanine lined with movable desks. After-hours, the library hosts live performances, with students sitting on the stairways in the middle to watch theater, live music, and lectures on the floor below.
10. Malcolm A. Love Library and Information Dome – San Diego State University
Location: San Diego, California
The Malco A. Love Library It is commonly referred to as the Love Library. Opening in 1971 and constructed in a circular shape, the Love Library holds an appropriate place at the center of campus. The library is over 500,000 square feet, and seats more than 3,000 people. As of 2011, it circulates more than 488,000 books a year and has more than 2.2 million volumes, 4.6 million microform items, and 140,000 maps.
11. Linderman Library, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania – USA
12. Klarchek Information Commons, Loyola University Chicago – USA