If you are prepped for another adventure, you might want to know that sometimes it is great to read on the road. How does this tie in with sightseeing around the world? Well, the answer is simple: whenever you are in doubt, hit a library and dive into the works of masters that came before you. There is nothing more mentally intimidating than a library harbouring thousands of works but taking on the challenge brings us closer to ourselves with each passing second. For this particular reason, we are going to look at four majestic libraries around the world that should not be left out by bookworms or otherwise. So, without further ado, let us dive deep into the world of pages and boundless knowledge together (wink)!
4. New York Public Library:
If you happen to find yourself within the inner bounds of New York City, be sure to check out the New York Public Library. Established in 1895, it is in fact a private, non-governmental, independently managed, non-profit corporation. With more than 53 million items it reaches into Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island as well (to be precise, it has a massive total of 87 branches). Visited by more than 18 million people each year, it is the second-largest library in the United States and fourth-largest in the entire world. Ever fancied sitting in a massive hall surrounded by thousands of tomes? You can do that now with ease (wink)!
3. Library and Archives Canada:
As suggested by its subtitle, the next contestant will also be located in North America – more specifically in Canada. Sitting proudly in the city of Ottawa, southern Ontario, the Library and Archives Canada (known officially as “Bibliothèque et Archives Canada”) is known as the third-largest library in the world. Harbouring a staggering total of 54 million items (just barely outrunning the previous contestant), it is on the mission of collecting and preserving all significant items pertaining to Canadian culture and heritage. Oh, and if you are wondering how many items are in fact books, then know that the answer is 20. Yes, that’s right, this is more than enough for a couple of lifetimes, if you are perseverant, of course (wink).
2. Library of Congress:
If you are monument-hunting in Washington DC, then you probably know by now that the city is full of scintillating sights. But if you are really-really looking for something awe-inspiring, then you might want to visit the Library of Congress, the largest and most expansive library within the bounds of the United States of America. Boasting a massive total of over 164 million items, it is considered the de facto national library of the country. Serving the United States Congress, it is the second-largest library in the world with works in all almost all languages of the world and in all possible formats. If you want to research something the way Gandalf does in Peter Jackson’s “Fellowship of the Ring” film, then this is the grand archive that you are looking for. Oh, and 38 million items are books in this case, so buckle up!
1. British Library:
Feeling overwhelmed already? Oh, come on, we barely even warmed up! Moving on, we have finally arrived at the largest library in the entire world: the British Library of London. Designated a Grade I building within the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, it houses an unfathomable collection of over 170 million items. If that isn’t enough to make you drool all over your device, then know that this includes not only books but maps, journals, magazines, patents, databases, newspapers, stamps, prints, drawings, manuscripts, and sound and music recordings also. Oh, and did you know that it is also a research-library?
Did you enjoy our list? Which of the aforementioned libraries have you experienced and what lasting impressions have they left you with? Did such insurmountable knowledge intimidate you or did it offer unhindered exhilaration? Hit the comment section below and leave nothing out! Safe travels!