The University Library at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. It was designed in Neo-Gothic style by architect Johan Daniel Herholdt and completed in 1861. The building was the first in Denmark to have a structural system of cast iron to prevent fires (like the one in 1728 that destroyed a previous Copenhagen University library and nearly all its books) and was inspired by Herholdt's visit to the Crystal Palace at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, as well as the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, which had been similarly constructed.
The central library of Paris-Sorbonne University in France.
The Joanina Library at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. The library was designed by João Carvalho Ferreira in a spectacular Baroque style and was completed in 1728. The portrait in the photo is Portugese King John V. The library contains about 70,000 books. What a truly magnificent library!
The Playfair Library Hall at Edinburgh University in Scotland. The library was designed in 1817 by architect William Playfair (1789-1857). The library hall is 190 feet long with a barrel-vaulted ceiling and served as a library from the 1820's until 1960 but is now used for functions and lectures. The busts in the niches lining the room are of past notable professors at the university.
The Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University in England. The building was designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 1737–1749. It originally housed the Radcliffe Science Library, but has since changed its purpose to house additional reading rooms of the Bodleian Library, as well as having below-ground storage space for 600,000 books. It is the earliest example of a circular library in England, and amusingly, according to Wikipedia, J. R. R. Tolkien (author of The Lord of the Rings) remarked that the building resembled Sauron's temple to Morgoth on Númenor.
The Riggs Library at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The library was made in the already-existing Healy Building's south pavilion in 1889, the gift of E. Francis Riggs as a memorial to his father. The original room, designed of cast iron to prevent fires, was designed for 105,000 volumes, more than twice the number to which the university had at the time. By 1970, the University had outgrown the facility and built a new Main Campus Library building, but Riggs continues to house archival historical materials and is also used as a setting for formal university functions.
The Library at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. The library was opened in 1924 and contains over 3.5 million books, including valuable rare books, over 1,100 manuscripts and some 9,700 periodicals.
The Library at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Widener Library at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The library was designed in Beaux-Arts style by Julian F. Abele, the first major African-American architect, and opened in 1915. It is a memorial to Harry Elkins Widener, a 1907 Harvard graduate who was a book collector and victim of the Titanic disaster. It is the primary library of Harvard University and houses 3 million of the University's nearly 16 million books, including a Gutenberg Bible.
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