10 Amazing Pictures of Libraries

How about some truly amazing pictures of bookshelves? What follows are ten of our favourite photographs of the beautiful interiors of libraries from around the world. They are a dream for every bibliophile. What’s more, these images are all in the public domain or labelled for sharing – click on the hyperlink to take you to the source for each picture. You can also enlarge each library picture by clicking on it. And if you enjoy these pictures, you might also enjoy our follow-up post, 10 stunning pictures of libraries from around the world, as well as our 10 great quotes about books and our 10 words every book-lover should know.


IL - library 11. Melk Benedictine Abbey Library, Austria. This library is part of Melk Abbey in Austria. The abbey was founded in 1089, and its library has an extensive collection of manuscripts.

Picture credit: Emgonzalez, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.





IL - library 22. The George Peabody Library, Baltimore, US.
This library is part of Johns Hopkins University at Mount Vernon Place, and is a nineteenth-century institute founded by Peabody as a bequest to the people of Baltimore.

Picture credit: Matthew Petroff, Wikimedia Commons.




IL - library 33. The Stockholm Public Library, Sweden. This library was built by Gunnar Asplund (1885-1940) in the 1920s and is described by the uploader to Wikimedia Commons as ‘a prime example of Swedish functionalism’. The library can be found at the crossing of Sveagatan and Odengatan.

Picture credit: Marcus Hansson, Wikimedia Commons.



IL - library 44. Biblioteca Joanina da Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal. As pictures of books go, this is pretty bibliotastic. (Or should we say ‘bibliogenic’?) A baroque library located in the University of Coimbra in Portugal, the Joanina library was founded in the eighteenth century and named after King João V of Portugal.

Picture credit: Ernesto von Rückert, Wikimedia Commons.






IL - library 55. Bergen Public Library, Norway. This library was founded in 1872, based on the collection of 12,000 books put up for sale by a university librarian.

Picture credit: Danoz73, Wikimedia Commons.



IL - library 6

6. Librería El Ateneo. Buenos Aires, Argentina. This library is, actually, not a library. It’s a bookshop. But we hope you’ll forgive the slight misnomer and allow its place in the list, if only because it looks like the kind of place one could spend hours – nay, days – browsing before one would need, or even think, to go in search of fresh air and daylight. According to its Wikipedia page, it has been voted the second most beautiful bookshop in the world.

Picture credit: radioher, Flickr.



IL - library 77. Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City. This library is known not just as a library but, indeed, as a ‘megalibrary’. Named after philosopher José Vasconcelos, former president of the National Library of Mexico, the library is spread across 38,000 square metres (409,000 square feet), as the Wikipedia page reveals. Only inaugurated in 2006, it is the most recent library on this list.

Picture credit: Eneas de Troya, Flickr.



IL - library 8

8. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Canada. This library is part of the University of Toronto. Its collection can boast the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623), and Newton’s Principia (1687), though not – contrary to a common internet woozleDarwin’s annotated proofs of On the Origin of Species (although the library does have annotated proofs of some of Darwin’s other books).

Picture credit:



IL - library 99. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, US. This library is at Yale University and, according to the library’s website, ‘contains Yale University’s principal rare books and literary manuscripts and serves as a research center for students, faculty, and other scholars. One of the largest buildings in the world devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts, the library can accommodate 180,000 volumes in the central tower and more than 600,000 volumes in the underground book stacks.’

Picture credit: Lauren Manning, Flickr.



IL - library 1010. St Gallen Library, Switzerland. This library, known more properly as the Abbey Library of Saint Gall, is the oldest book repository and manuscript collection in Switzerland, regarded (as its Wikipedia page tells us) as one of the most important monastic libraries in the world. In terms of its interior, it must surely be one of the prettiest, as this picture testifies. This image of the main hall shows off the beautiful rococo interior, designed by Peter Thumb in the eighteenth century.

Picture credit: chippee, Flickr.

If you enjoyed these lovely pictures of bookshelves, then check out our 10 great quotes from writers about books and our 10 words every book-lover should know.


  1. Pingback: 10 Stunning Libraries from Around the World | Interesting Literature

  2. There is, in Australia, the State Library of Victoria’s domed reading room… a lovely, easy space.

  3. Reblogged this on Jade De-Terville and commented:
    Love this post. The libraries are simply stunning!

  4. The George Peadbody Library *sigh* I wish my local library looked like this instead of a 60s slab of concrete! It’s all about the books I know, but that roof…

  5. Pingback: Posts I loved this week | Taylor Grace

  6. Reblogged this on kivette4's Blog and commented:
    Im obsessed with books. People love shopping and I like shopping for books.

  7. Pingback: Scurte #299 | Assassin CG

  8. just once i would like to visit a library as large and spectacular as these ones are !!

  9. Crazy beautiful this pic is what a dream being there would be !

  10. Seeing all of those books makes me smile! I would love to explore all of those libraries!

  11. Reblogged this on Gata Salvaje_Ariadne's Little World and commented:
    This is euphoria!

  12. Reblogged this on Kat Webber.

  13. Will reblog on and comment “Amazing!”

  14. Pingback: Week in review, week ending 12/28/14 | Random thoughts of 210Darryl

  15. Reblogged this on Michaelphelps1's Blog and commented:
    I could live in a Library and be happy the rest of my life!

  16. Reblogged this on Video devaved and commented:

  17. Can someone take me to all of them please?

  18. Reblogged this on Lola Faye Arnold / Author and commented:
    Feast your eyes on this!

  19. Fab pictures which just make me gasp with adoration!

  20. Oh so beautiful!

  21. I love #8 and #10. :)

  22. When I attended Syracuse University and was completing my Honors Thesis my greatest joy was to work with books from the Fifteen Century. The only thing better than being lost in a library is to be lost in a bigger library.

  23. quite amazing…

  24. Oh how beautiful. I could just live at the St. Gallen Library.

  25. OMG. This is like porn for me.

  26. Really amazing! I’m pleased that the library in Bergen made the list. I have spent much time there when I lived there.

  27. Pingback: 10 Amazing Pictures of Libraries | nellindreams

  28. What a great post. Thank you so much for sharing this. A reminder that we must not lose sight of precious books within our increasingly electronic society.
    All the best for 2015

  29. A real travel-log for the book lover. The knowledge contained in the total is incomprehensible.