Bibliothèque Saint Geneviève, Paris. A public and university library in Paris, Sainte-Geneviève Library is designed by Henri Labrouste. It is in Neo-Renaissance style and was built between 1843 and 1851. (Photo by Edward Klister)
The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University ‘s flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry’s plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son’s dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.
The Queen’s College Library, Oxford. Although a library has existed since the college’s foundation in 1340-1 the upper “baroque” library was built between 1692-5, it is considered by many to be one of the finest rooms in Oxford university. Some of the woodcarving is attributed to Thomas Minnand Son, whilst James Hands did most of the elaborate plaster-work on the ceiling. Originally there were intended to be painted panels but Thomas Roberts finished the room in 1756 with rococo plaster work. There are stained glass portraits of Henry 1V, Charles II and Catherine of Braganza. (by Martin Beek)
Largest Law Library Building in the World. Gothic-structured University of Michigan Law Library has a 50-foot cathedral ceiling, huge stained-glass windows, oak wainscoting, and cork floors. Renovation in the 90’s added more spaces for books containing for up to 475,000 volumes. The Jackier Rare Book Room alone shelves up to 25,000 volumes of old books! (Photo by Dominic Bow)
Palafoxiana Library, Puebla, México. Known as a Documentary Heritage of Mexico, The Biblioteca Palafoxiana was founded in 1646. The library prides itself as the first Latin American library, and one of the most prestigious libraries depicting the cultural and intellectual heritage of Europe housing 41,000 volumes of old books! (Photo by David Cabrera)
Edith Wharton’s Library. Edith Wharton designed her library for her own pleasure at the Mount in the Berkshires starting year 1902. Her library contains a rare collection of books from which her writings were inspired. It also houses 22 rare copies of her works. (Photo by Beatie)