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World's 15 most stunning libraries

Last updated on: August 4, 2011 16:12 IST

World's 15 most stunning libraries

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These libraries are architectural marvels, besides being a treasure trove of information.

The libraries are famous for their aesthetic design, artwork and collection of books.

Here's a look at some of the world's amazing libraries...

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

It is the largest library in the world by shelf space and number of books.

The Library of Congress has a collection of more than 144 million items includes more than 33 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages.

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Image: Library of Congress, Washington.

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National Library, Belarus

Founded on 15 September 1922, this library houses the largest collection of Belarusian printed materials and has the third largest collection of books in Russian.

The library's new building was designed by architects Mihail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko.

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Image: National Library, Belarus.

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Central Library, Seattle

The 11-storey 185 feet high glass and steel building is a landmark in Seattle. Opened on May 23, 2004, the library was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/LMN.

Spread across an area of 362,987 square foot, the library has 1.45 million books.

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Image: Central Library, Seattle.

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Herzog August Library, Germany

Herzog August Library is world renowned for its collection of books from the Middle Ages and early modern Europe.

The library was founded by Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg in 1572.

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Rijkmuseum Library, Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum Research Library is a part of the Rijksmuseum, and is the largest public art history research library in The Netherlands.

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Image: Rijkmuseum Library, Amsterdam.

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Sansovino Library, Venice

Sansovino Library is designed in the Classical style by architect Jacopo Sansovino. It is located facing the Piazzetta San Marco, near the lagoon waterfront.

The Sansovino Library was built between 1537 and 1588.

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Image: Sansovino Library.

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Swedish Parliament Library, Stockholm

The Parliament Library is focused on law and civics. The library with 700,000 books is open to the public.

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Image: Swedish Parliament Library.

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Wren Library, UK

The Wren Library is part of the Trinity College in Cambridge. It was designed by Christopher Wren and completed in 1695.

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Image: Wren Library.

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George Peabody Library, US

The George Peabody Library, formerly known as the Library of the Peabody Institute, is the 19th century research library of The Johns Hopkins University.

The library is housed in one of the most beautiful buildings in the United States. Completed in 1878, it was designed by Baltimore architect Edmund G Lind.

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Image: George Peabody Library.

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Jay Walker's Private Library

The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination is located in Ridgefield, Connecticut home.

The 3,600 sq. ft. private facility contains more than 50,000 volumes including thousands of landmark books and artifacts.

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Image: Jay Walker's Private Library.

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Old British Reading Room, London

The British Museum Reading Room, situated in the centre of the Great Court of the British Museum, used to be the main reading room of the British Library.

In 1997, this function moved to the new British Library building at St Pancras, London, but the Reading Room remains in its original form inside the new British Museum.

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Image: Old British Reading Room, London

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The National Library, Singapore

The swanky two-block building consists of two 16 storey blocks, with three basements.

The blocks are linked by skybridges on every floor.

It houses two libraries, the Central Lending Library in Basement 1 and the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library from Levels 7 to 13.

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Image: The National Library, Singapore.

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Halmstad Library, Denmark

The shape of the building is unique as the architects were inspired by the trees on the site.

The library has approximately 260,000 books in 50 languages.

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Image: Halmstad Library.

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Vancouver Public Library, Canada

The Vancouver Public Library is the third largest public library in Canada with 2.2 million books.

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Admont Library, Austria

The library hall built in 1776 was designed by architect Joseph Hueber. It is the largest monastery library in the world.

The architecture and design reflect the ideals of enlightenment.


Image: Admont Library.

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