World’s most beautiful libraries

Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington
Written by Harold Henkel, Associate Librarian

Second only to churches, libraries have perhaps inspired architects and builders to their greatest creative powers. Librarian of Congress James Billington has written that a book “should inspire a certain presumption of reverence,” and throughout history, great universities and cities have spared no effort to build libraries that would instill feelings of respect and reverence in their users.

WebUrbanist recently published interior photos of thirteen astonishingly beautiful historic libraries, dating from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Just as great churches are an earthly reflection of the glory of Heaven; these libraries are testimonies to the nobility of the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

To view the gallery, click here. If your architectural tastes run to concrete and glass rather than cut stone and polished wood, never fear: WebUrbanist also has another gallery with 14 Marvelous Modern Libraries.