The World’s Coolest Libraries

Published March 17, 2013
Updated January 9, 2018

The World’s Coolest Libraries: Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Source: Blogspot

In 1800, Congress established the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Fifteen years later, Thomas Jefferson offered up his personal library to replace books that were lost when when the British set the building on fire in 1814. His books, which took nearly 50 years to collect, varied from texts on science, literature, and philosophy, to books written in a variety of foreign languages. Though considered one of the finest in America, Jefferson’s book collection created controversy because it contained a number of books that many found irrelevant to legislation.

Coolest Libraries Library of Congress

Source: Twylah

Jefferson’s belief that all subjects were worthy and important in terms of American legislative history now directs many of the Library of Congress’ policies. These days, the Library of Congress offers more than 155 million items and the largest rare book collection in North America. The library also houses a copy of the Gutenberg Bible and the world’s smallest book which is 1/25” x 1/25”, or about the size of a period.

Thomas Jefferson Libraries

Source: Wikipedia

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Centered in the intellectual capital of the ancient world, the Ancient Library of Alexandria was known for centuries as the epitome of knowledge and learning. Hundreds of thousands of scrolls filled the shelves, and scholars from all over the world flocked there to study. Sadly, a period of neglect, accidental fires, and continued war with the Romans, led to the ultimate destruction of this magnificent library.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

In 2002, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was opened near the site of the original Ancient Library. The new library is still home to many ancient texts, as well as museums, art galleries, and a planetarium.

Coolest Libraries Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Foeda

Kiri Picone
Kiri Picone holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Pepperdine University and has been writing for various digital publishers for more than 10 years.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
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Picone, Kiri. "The World’s Coolest Libraries.", March 17, 2013, Accessed May 29, 2024.