Admont, Austria

Admont Abbey Library

This design of this monastery library - the largest in the world - was inspired by the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment.

Norman, Oklahoma, United States

Bizzell Memorial Library, University of Oklahoma

George McLaurin, OU's first African American student, studied in the mezzanine of the Bizzell Memorial Library while earning his doctorate, because he was not allowed in the Great Reading Room due to his race.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

National Library of Cambodia

Only 20% of its original collection remains, but this National Library's aesthetic harkens back to a bygone era where freedom of information was not so free.

Duisburg, Germany

NRW State Archive

This brick-clad archival building in Germany was once a corn storage facility.

Wandiligong, Victoria, Australia

Public Library of Wandiligong

This public library is one of many preserved historic buildings in the long-forgotten gold mining settlement of Wandiligong in Victoria, Australia.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin State Library

Based in Berlin and one of the largest libraries in Europe, the State Library is as famous for what it keeps as it is for what it has given away.

Murrieta, California, United States

Rhoads Little Free Library

The Little Free Library program started as a memorial to the founder's mother and has since become a global phenomenon that promotes free sharing of literature.

Provo, Utah, United States

Provo Library

The origins of this large, fancy library in Provo City, Utah began as a book club in a courthouse basement that hoped to catch the gaze of industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was building libraries across the U.S. at the time.

Helsinki, Finland

National Library of Finland

Despite having more than 67 miles of shelf space, this library stores most of its materials, including the world's largest collection on the Russian Empire, in a cave.

Kent, United Kingdom

Leeds Castle

The library in this castle in Kent, England, which has been home to royalty since the 13th century, served as a field hospital in World War II.

The Hague, Netherlands

Rijksmuseum Library

This research library is a Renaissance and Gothic-style dream with one of the world's largest art history collections, including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Mableton, Georgia, USA

Little Free Library

The first Little Free Library was constructed in 2009 has since become a global phenomenon with 100,000 libraries in 108 countries.

Sigtuna, Sweden


Opened every April 23 on World Book Day, these tiny libraries in Sweden reside in former telephone booths.

Gorlitz, Germany

Upper Lausitzian Library of Sciences

Once the private library of the bourgeoisie and enlightened nobility, this 18th century library in Gorlitz, Germany was originally established as a scientific society for Middle Europe.

Transylvania, Romania

Apafi Manor

This 15th century manor house in Transylvania, Romania has been fully restored and now rents guest rooms.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

State Library of Victoria

Established in 1854 this library in Melbourne, Australia was one of the first in the world to offer its services for free.

Budapest, Hungary


This cathedral-like reading room is part of the library at Budapest University of Technology and Economics, one of the oldest universities of its kind.

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Anglesey Abbey

This country house in Lode, England was an Augustinian convent for centuries before being dissolved by King Henry VIII.

Bucharest, Romania

Cărturești Carusel

This bookstore in Bucharest, Romania, confiscated by the Communists in the 1940s, has been home to a bank, a men's clothing store, and a department store.

Repository of more than 200 years of city archives, Ontario, Canada

City of Toronto Archives

This archive in Toronto has been active since 1792. Over 1.2 million photographs are stored, including the first known photos of the city taken in 1856-1857.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura

Ranked as the 4th most beautiful library in the world by Time Magazine, this Brazilian library is also a national cultural heritage site.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Rand Club

These fanciful interiors belong to the oldest private club in Johannesburg, South Africa that has undergone transformations in recent years.

Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles Central Library

This library features an historic rotunda painted with intricate murals and a zodiac chandelier with 48 lights - the number of states at the time of construction.

Coloane, Macau

Coloane Library

Built on reclaimed sea salt farms in Macau, this former school was transformed into a library in 1983.

Noto, Italy

Palazzo Nicolaci

An 18th century ornate noble residence, built just after the devastating 1693 earthquake in Noto, Sicily, now serves at the town's public library.

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Stony Island Arts Bank

A former savings and loan bank, this exhibition center is a hub for black art and culture.

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Providence Public Library

Multiple societies came together in the late 1800s to create the first free public library in Rhode Island, which later morphed into this magnificent structure.

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

George Peabody Library

The Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD is known as the "Cathedral of Books" and is now part of Baltimore's free library system.

New York, New York, USA

Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum, once the private office and library of financier J.P. Morgan, is now a museum and scholarly research center in New York City.

Bucharest, Romania

Central University Library

Thirty years after its founding, the University of Bucharest inherited this library which quickly grew from 3,400 volumes to over two million books and periodicals.

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