Libraries have always had something special about them, something different and attractive, a charm of their own that continues to enchant us even today in the middle of all this evolution of mobile technology and the digitalization of books. So if you’re curious to know the best around the globe, here’s our top six. As researched by best online casino australia real money.
1. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS — WASHINGTON D.C., USA
The Library of Congress in Washington DC is essentially both the national library of the U.S. and the country’s oldest federal cultural institution. Though it consists of only three buildings, it is the largest library in the world for shelf space and number of volumes. While open to the public for on-site research and as a tourist attraction, as the research institution of Congress, only members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and other specified government officials can check out books. The library is formally known as the “library of last resort” in the U.S., charged with making certain items available to other national libraries if all other means have been exhausted. The library’s holdings are vast, including more than 32 million books, more than 61 million manuscripts, a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, one of only four perfect vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible in the world, over one million newspapers from the last three centuries, over five million maps, six million pieces of sheet music, and more than 14 millions photos and prints.
2. BODLEIAN LIBRARY — OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM
Established in 1602 as Oxford University’s library, Bodleian is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. The library houses more than 11 million items, including many of historical importance: four copies of the Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible, and Shakespeare’s First Folio (from 1623), just to name a few. Though Bodleian comprises multiple buildings, perhaps the most visually interesting is Radcliffe Camera, built in 1737-1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. The earliest circular library in England, Radcliffe has outlasted its 15 minutes of fame by appearing in multiple films, including Young Sherlock Holmes, The Saint, The Red Violin, and The Golden Compass.
3. READING ROOM AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM — LONDON, ENGLAND
The Reading Room at the British Museum is located in the center of the Museum’s Great Court. The building’s domed exterior protects a unique interior ceiling made of a special kind of papier-mache, which is another first on our list! For much of the Room’s history, access was limited to registered researchers, attracting notable visitors including Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, Mahatma Gandhi, Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Lenin, and H.G. Wells during this time. The majority of the collection was moved to the new British Library in 2000; the Reading Room now houses an information centre and a curated collection of speciality art and history titles relevant to the collections of the British Museum. The Reading Room has also been known to host long-running temporary exhibitions of its own, such as the 2006 exhibit centred on China’s famous Terracotta Army.
4. YALE UNIVERSITY BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY — NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, USA
The Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds the distinction of being the largest building in the world that serves the express purpose of preserving rare books and manuscripts, which alone undoubtedly makes it one of the best libraries in the world. The library’s impressive holdings celebrate significant authors like Rudyard Kipling, D.H. Lawrence, Sinclair Lewis, and Joseph Conrad through its special collections. Beinecke’s central shelving area includes glass walls and soft lighting to protect the works from direct light. Accessible to the public as a tourist attraction, the library’s exhibition hall displays many of the library’s rare works, including one of only 48 copies in existence of a treasured Gutenberg Bible.
5. VATICAN LIBRARY — VATICAN CITY, ROME
The Vatican Library, under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, is one of the oldest libraries in the world. Though it was formally established in 1475, its existence in early forms dates back to the origins of the Catholic Church. For nearly 600 years, the library has added to its collection through historic acquisitions, generous bequests, and gracious gifts. The Vatican Library currently holds more than 1.1 million books, 75,000 manuscripts, and over 8,500 incunabula. Fittingly, the library owns the oldest complete manuscript of the Bible, as well as many other significant works from medieval times. Want to know more about books, libraries, and online games, https://www.choiceonlinecasino.com/online-slots/
6. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ST. MARK’S — VENICE, ITALY
Fittingly housed in a Renaissance building in Venice, the National Library of St. Mark’s contains one of the most important collections of classical texts in the world. Though its lengthy construction period would not begin until 1537, collecting for the library began as early as 1468 with a gift from Cardinal Bessarion of 250 manuscripts and 750 codices. As of 1603, a law was enacted that required one copy of all books printed in Venice to be housed at the National Library. Today, the collection encompasses more than a million books, over 13,000 manuscripts, 2,883 incunabula, and more than 24,000 16th-century works.