The Most Beautiful College Libraries in the World

December 18, 2022
By AdmissionSight

The Most Beautiful College Libraries in the World

The majority of visitors to libraries do not go there to gaze in amazement at the 15th-century wood paneling and stained-glass windows; rather, they go there to read or check out books.

However, in many libraries all over the world, the breathtaking aesthetics of the buildings are just as alluring as the content of the libraries themselves, which nearly makes you forget what book you were looking for in the first place.

Because libraries play such an important role in the education process, it should come as no surprise that many of the most outstanding libraries may be found in academic institutions.

What are some of the most beautiful college libraries in the world?

Which educational institutions have some of the most stunning libraries in the world? Even though so much information relevant to most people’s studies can now be found online, there is no substitute for the sense of sanctuary and peace that can be found in a decent library. Libraries are a vital component of the academic experience.

Whether you use them for research, reading, or just to escape the world for a few hours, libraries can serve a variety of purposes. The following are some of the most beautiful college libraries in the world.

Balme Library at the University of Ghana (Ghana, West Africa)

One of the most important research libraries in Africa is located at the University of Ghana and is known as the Balme Library. It is utilized by students, researchers, faculty members, and staff members.

The library was established in the 1940s, and since then it has expanded to contain more than 100,000 books, 500 microfilms, a variety of rare manuscripts, and a vast assortment of electronic titles. In addition, the library houses a number of rare manuscripts. The Balme Library in Ghana has six distinct departments, as well as a unique collection and a student reading room that are both open around the clock.

View of Balm Library building.

Both the United Nations Regional Depository and the World Bank collections are represented in the extensive collection of books held by the library. These books cover a wide range of topics and are organized into specialized volumes.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University (New Haven, CT)

Beginning in 1960, construction on the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library located on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, took place over the course of three years.

Alumni of Yale provided the funds necessary to complete the construction of the structure. Because it is used to store rare books that are easily damaged, there are precise temperature and humidity controls throughout the entire structure. These controls are necessary because the facility is used to keep rare books. Students are not permitted to remove any of the materials that are kept in the tower or underground storage areas of the library.

View of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript library at night.

The Reading Room, on the other hand, is where one can peruse and study rare books and manuscripts that are housed in the library. The structure is constructed out of marble of lighter colors, which helps to protect the volumes from the damaging effects of the sun.

Magdalen College Old Library at Oxford University (Oxford, UK)

3rd on our list of the most beautiful college libraries in the world is the Magdalen College Old Library in Oxford, UK. Oxford University is well-known not only for the quality of its academic programs but also for the exceptional quality of its libraries, which are rumored to contain more than 11 million volumes combined.

The Old Library at Magdalen College is the most important and historically significant building in the university’s extensive library system. More than 20,000 rare volumes and manuscripts can be found in the Old Library of Magdalen College. The vast majority of these volumes first saw print before the year 1800. It is considered that the Old Library at Magdalen College has one of the most magnificent interiors and exteriors of any library in the world due to its Gothic Revival architecture and scholarly atmosphere.

Magdalen College Old Library building situated in the middle of the campus.

However, in order to examine the library’s exceptional collection, individuals who are interested in catching a peek at the historic location need to make an appointment in advance.

Philological Library of the Free University (Berlin, Germany)

The Philological Library of the Free University in Berlin has been recognized as one of Germany’s most intriguing and dynamic libraries thanks to its breathtaking design and great architecture. The library is located in Berlin.

The library is in the shape of a human brain, and renowned architect Norman Foster was responsible for its skilled design. When it first opened in 2005, the public quickly began referring to the library as the Berlin Brain. It has four stories within a bubble-like canopy that is ventilated, and the inner membrane is made of translucent glass that screens the sun to create an atmosphere that is conducive to concentration. There are brief glimpses of daylight provided by openings that are see-through and dispersed throughout.

Group of students working on a table in a library.

In addition to being one of Berlin’s most recognizable buildings for its design, the Philological Library is home to more than 700,000 books.

Tama Art University Library (Tokyo, Japan)

The next entry in our most beautiful college libraries in the world list is unique. If you thought that all university libraries were the same, you should visit the Tama Art University Library in Tokyo, Japan. It is unlike any other university library you have seen.

The world-famous Japanese architect Toyo Ito was responsible for designing the iconic structure, which is made of concrete and glass and features more than 60,000 square feet of floor space on two enormous levels.

View of students working in the library.

The exterior of the structure is designed to look like a cube-shaped Colosseum, but the interior is designed to look like a medieval European cathedral thanks to its vaulted ceilings and hundreds of arches. Easily one of the most amazing university libraries in the whole wide globe.

The University of Coimbra General Library (Coimbra, Portugal)

The General Library of the University of Coimbra is Portugal’s second largest library after the National Library of Portugal. The earliest version of the library was created in 1537, and it currently occupies two distinct structures.

Edificio Novo is the older of the two buildings, having been built in 1962. On its four levels, it contains more than a million different books. During the first half of the 18th century, the Biblioteca Joanina opened its doors to the public. The library was given its namesake in honor of King Joo V. This opulent Baroque structure houses more than 200,000 books that were published before 1800.

View of Coimbrs library.

The Biblioteca Joanina is known for its magnificent architecture and decor, which includes three expansive halls, elegant arches, luxurious wood, and accents of gilded. A banner bearing King John V’s coat of arms is hung above the entrance of the building.

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada)

Next on our list of the most beautiful college libraries in the world is The University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. It is home to the biggest collection of historically significant books that are open to the general public in all of Canada.

Religious manuscripts, ground-breaking scientific records, political literature, and gorgeous etchings from the 17th century are just some of the items that may be found in the extensive collection held by the library. Original Shakespeare folios, a proof copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species, Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and two copies of the Nuremberg Chronicle that date back to 1493 are some of the most notable items that can be found in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

View of Robarts library building.

In addition to these, the Robert S. Kenny Collection has 25,000 copies of various political publications, rare Hebraica and Judaica papers, and fragments of Egyptian papyrus texts.

Suzzallo Library’s Graduate Reading Room at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

We are excited to add the Suzallo Library as we have already discussed the University of Washington as one of the 20 Colleges with the Most Beautiful Campuses (click the link to check the blog).

A work of astonishing architecture, the Suzallo Graduate Library at the University of Washington commands a commanding presence over Red Square. The Reading Room in the Suzallo Library was hailed as one of the most beautiful rooms in the entire world not long after it had been finished.

View of a shelves placed next to each other.

Architectural critics said this shortly after the building had been finished. The Reading Room exudes an air of extravagance thanks to its vaulted ceilings, and the room is adorned all throughout with luxurious hardwoods.

Not to be outdone, the exterior of Suzallo features hand-carved statues of a number of the world’s greatest academics, such as Shakespeare, Plato, Newton, Goethe, and a number of others.

Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI)

Our final entry into the most beautiful college libraries in the world is The Fleet Library at The Rhode Island School of Design. This independent art library is considered to be the oldest and most influential of its kind in the United States.

The Fleet Library of the university was established in 1878, and since then, it has amassed a collection that consists of 140,000 books, 685,000 photographs and sound recordings, 1,200 rare artist books, and issues from 380 journals. As a result of the collection’s historical importance, the library’s collection has evolved into a retrospective that demonstrates how art, architecture, photography, and design have progressed over time.

A woman taking a book on the top shelf.

The collection includes items from a wide variety of fields, including ceramics, jewelry, and textiles. Additionally lauded for its pioneering work in restoring a historic bank building is the Fleet Library, located on the campus of the Rhode Island School of Design.

What are the advantages of studying in a library?

What are the benefits of studying in a public place like a library? If you find that you have difficulty concentrating in the atmosphere of your home, you might want to try doing your studying on campus or at a public library instead. It doesn’t have to be grand like what we have shared in the most beautiful college libraries in the world list.

The following is a list of excellent advantages that come with studying in a library:

Academic access

Libraries are academically focused places that provide academic access to a wide variety of educational resources that are set aside for the purpose of research and studies.

Along with printed books, periodicals, and magazines, today’s libraries provide patrons with access to the internet as well as computers, allowing them to view online articles and research materials.

Few things to divert your attention

Everyone who enters a library is expected to practice library etiquette, which includes maintaining silence and keeping conversations to a whisper level.

As a result, libraries create an environment that is conducive to study because they are places that are relatively calm and have few interruptions.

Capability to seek aid as needed

It is to your advantage to seek assistance with a scholarly issue while you are located in a public place like a library where there are a lot of individuals in the immediate vicinity.

For instance, if you are studying for an algebra exam, you can ask a fellow student who is nearby to assist you in solving an algebra issue.

How To Plan Your Library Study Session?

How should you organize your time to study in the library? It is essential that you give some thought to what you will bring with you to the library. The majority of people do not live immediately next to the library, let alone a reading place that is considered to be one of the most beautiful college libraries in the world.

Therefore, if you want to make the most of your time spent studying at a library, we propose that you do the following:

First, determine exactly what it is that you need to study in the library.

If you go into the library with a plan of what classes you will be studying for when you get there, you will be able to develop an efficient strategy for what to bring with you.

When you go to the library, you want to be as well prepared as possible, which means that it is vital to have all of the textbooks and other items that you require, but it is also essential to not carry things with you that you do not use.

Be truthful and sincere with yourself.

Ask yourself, “How much can you actually get done in a few hours in the library?” and be honest with yourself about the answer. Even if you are the most focused person in the world, a grind session in the library can only create a certain amount of results for you.

Think carefully about what you bring with you and make sound choices.

Having a study plan in place before you leave will allow you to accomplish this goal. On the trip to the library, if you have an excessive amount of things in your bag, it might be really tiring.

It has the potential to make you doubt the purpose of your trip to the library in the first place. Don’t question yourself.

What should be in my library study pack?

What should I include in my study pack? Be it in a quaint learning space or one of the most beautiful college libraries in the world (lucky you!), we have compiled a list of things that we believe are essential for any study trip to the library:

  • Laptop with charging cord for laptop (if you plan to be on your computer, but some libraries allow you to rent laptops in the library)
  • Textbooks that are required if you have physical copies of them (do not bring every textbook; instead, bring only the ones that you are certain you will use).
  • Your Agenda/Sheet for the Study Plan You Have at the Library
  • Supplies for school, including at a minimum a notepad and a selection of pens and/or pencils.
  • Charger for mobile phones and mobile phones themselves
  • Headphones (to be calm zones, libraries may be incredibly loud, especially campus libraries) (to be quiet zones, libraries can be awfully loud, especially campus libraries)
  • Water bottle (for you to avoid purchasing beverages from the vending machines)
  • Student ID (your library might have printing services and you can only avail such once you present your school ID)
  • Period supplies (if it’s that time of the month’ ladies)
  • Food (have something substantial, but also something that can sit out for a time) (have something substantial, but also something that can sit out for a bit)
    • Hummus and pretzels
    • raisins and dried fruit
    • trail mix

A fantastic place to get some work done

The semester’s midterms and finals may be the most dreaded parts of the college experience, but students attending these schools can take solace in the fact that they are cramming for their exams in a magnificent library that features a great deal of interesting architectural details as well as interesting stories.

Dreaming of studying at a prestigious university?

Getting an education in one of these architectural marvels is definitely an amazing experience. It will encourage you to push yourself farther in the direction of your chosen degree. At AdmissionSight, we are more than eager to assist you in gaining admission to the university of your dreams.

AdmissionSight is the premier college admissions consultant in the market, and they have more than a decade of experience helping individuals just like you obtain entry into the prestigious educational institutions of their choosing. Contact us right away to schedule a consultation. Fret not, it’ll be on us.


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