20 Largest College Libraries in the World

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Largest College Libraries in the World

Libraries are vital foundations of a stable society. They are associated with education and provide endless resources for learning that can drive economic, socio-cultural growth. Libraries represent the unique diversity, character, desires, and aspirations of each society. They play an important role in allowing the public to provide resources in accomplishing the objectives of innovation and learning. Libraries are the place for stories, ancient books, archival records, prints, maps, and much more. A major affiliation with libraries is of the academic institutions. Universities all over the world always have a unique spacious place for college libraries at their campus. As we revere the many monuments, let’s check out the 20 largest college libraries in the world with beautiful architecture and abundant sources of knowledge.

“Libraries were full of ideas – perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”
– Sarah J. Maas 

Central Library (UNAM)

Credits –

Mexico City’s UNAM Central University Library holds a collection of over 1 million items including books, journals, Mexican newspapers, magazines, and much more. The exceptional architectural buildings of the central library make it the first among 20 largest college libraries the Library has also received status as a World Heritage Site for the UNAM campus. It is a majestic square-shaped structure decorated with numerous messages written by the renowned muralist Juan O’Gorman, as opposed to most other structures on the campus. The building’s height, form and artistic architecture make it stand out from the others.

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
(University of Toronto)

Credits – University of Toronto

The University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library holds the largest collection of vintage and freely available books in Canada. It was named after Thomas Fisher and is one of the largest college libraries in the world. The vast collection of the library contains sacred scriptures, innovative scientific journals, political works and beautiful 17th-century illustrations. Some of the notable collections of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library are Shakespeare’s first folio, Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and two copies of the Nuremberg Chronicle dating back to 1493.

Tama Art University Library

Credits – Arcspace.com

The Tama Art University Library is one of the most interesting college libraries in the world. It owns a wide collection of over 75,000 Japanese books and over 40,000 foreign books. The library is located in two cities of Japan-Tokyo and Hachiōji. Although the exterior of the building reflects a puzzle Colosseum, the look of a mediaeval European cathedral is given to its interior by ceilings and dozens of arches.

Philological Library
(Free University)

Credits – Pinterest

In the design of the human brain, master artist Norman Foster adroitly developed the library. Established in 2005, the library was quickly dubbed the Berlin Brain. Inside a ventilated bubble-like canopy, it comprises four floors, and the inner membrane is composed of translucent glass that absorbs the sun to produce an atmosphere advantageous to focus. Transparent gaps that are distributed around make for momentary sunshine glimpses.

Magdalen College Old Library
(Oxford University)

Credits – Magdalen College, Oxford

The University of Oxford is famed for its educational programs, but it is also recognised for its superb libraries, which are estimated to hold more than 11 million books. The Old Library is the centrepiece in the university’s library scheme at Magdalen College. More than 20,000 rare textbooks and records are found in Magdalen’s Old Library. Prior to 1800, nearly all of these volumes were published. With its perceptive interior and spectacular Gothic Revival exterior, the Magdalen College Old Library is said to be amongst the world’s most magnificent repositories.

Balme Library
(University of Ghana)

The Balme Library at the University of Ghana is one of Africa’s premier college institutions, used by scholars, academics, professors and staff members. Established in the 1940s, the library has expanded to contain over 100,000 books, 500 microfilms, a collection of rare documents and a wide range of multimedia titles. The Balme Library of Ghana has six offices, a special selection and a reading space for students that is open 24 hours a day.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
(Yale University)

Credits – Beinecke Library at Yale

Since it is used to store antiques that could potentially be destroyed, in the whole building there are stringent climate and humidity sensors. Students are not able to carry out all of the items stored in the basement storage and tower sections of the library. In the Reading Area, however, rare books and archives library and information are available for review. The system is made of light-coloured limestone that helps prevent the sun from destroying the quantities.

University of Salamanca Library

Credits – deviantart.com

The famed “EL Cielo de Salamanca” ceiling painting was used in the old library, built in the 15th century. Although the bulk of this artwork dissolved in the 18th century after the rebuilding of the building, a part existed concealed behind the roof of the current building for almost 200 years. The artwork was recovered and moved to a museum at the university. The library has a catalogue size with over 160,000 volumes and some of them date back to the 11th century. 

The University of Coimbra General Library

Credits – Rick Steves’ Europe

The General Library of Coimbra University is the second largest library in Portugal and was first set up in 1537 and then split into two separate buildings. The modern building, built-in 1962, is Edificio Novo. On four floors, it holds more than a billion volumes. In the first part of the 18th century, the Biblioteca Joanina, named after King João V, was founded.

Misr University for Science and Technology Library

The awnings in the house, incorporating a delicate touch of Egyptian heritage with new science and medicine, are shaped like pyramids. These fascinating and uncommon skylights cause the library to have natural light streaming into it. A library hall has been turned into an exhibition where you can see copies of the most significant and influential temples in Egypt.

St. John’s College Old Library
(Cambridge University)

Credit – Thomas Hunt

Dating back to 393 years ago, St. John’s College old Library has several collections of archives and books. The library’s tall windows are characteristic of the construction of the Gothic Revival, while the exterior of the historical hotel seems to have been influenced by the Renaissance era. The library contains a double-manual harpsichord from Cambridge University, as well as 42 bookshelves and is one of the largest college libraries. 

(Humboldt University)

Credits – JuergensTV

At the Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, there are more than 1,250 workstations and 500 computers for study with internet access in the library, and all the publications are accessible for free.  Overall, out of 2,400 periodicals, the library has over 2.5 million concentrations and issues. This incredible library and research centre is Germany’s largest and most open. The full content of many libraries in economics, social sciences, culture and aesthetics can be found in this educational centre.

József Attila Study and Information Centre (University of Szeged)

college libraries
Credits – alamy.com

The library has a unique structure in a lucid style that has certainly contributed to its huge popularity. Student facilities, a meeting area, lecture halls and the University Library are located in the education building, holding an impressive 2 million books. Located in Hungary’s third-largest city, the centre has become a centre of cultural and research development for the campus, as well as for the whole of Szeged.

The Paul Barret Jr. Library at Rhodes College

Source: Rhodes College

A Harry Potter Visual The Paul Barret library, which was built in 2005. It was planned to retain the college’s Gothic architecture theme. Clad in rubble and limestone, there are two towers in the cathedral, a cloister and a chapel. The copper and slate roof, carved icons and Gothic architecture bear witness to the dedication of the campus to ritual. The library contains over 500,000 books, as well as computer labs, a hearing and visual impairment development room, and a viewing theatre that seats up to 32 people.

The Geisel Library
(University of California, San Diego)

Credits – In The Field: Geisel Library

The Geisel has a huge collection of 7 million items with a beautiful architecture and is one of the most stunning college libraries. For the impressive six-story tower, the two lower floors serve as a pedestal. Architect William Pereira, who planned this distinctive building, expected that any potential library extensions would create layers around the base of the tower and plunge into the canyon.

Brotherton Library
(University of Leeds)

Credits – Leeds Student Television

Initially, the house, constructed by the Lanchester, Lucas & Lodge company, was planned to be accessed from the Parkinson building. As it was not to be visible, the exterior is of unadorned stone. However, the premature completion of the Parkinson building put the bland facade of the library on view for almost fifteen years. 

Meskill Law Library at the University of Connecticut

Credits – law.uconn.edu

The library, as a community college, provides the public with a range of facilities. 500,000 specimens and billions of legal newspapers dating back to 1908 are part of the collection. In the library’s collection, all facets of the legislation are described. There’s still a wide collection of volumes of insurance laws, though. The Meskill Law Library is one of the largest college libraries which  was renamed after Thomas J. Meskill, an admired alum of UConn who acted and served as the director of Connecticut in all three levels of government.

Library at Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology

college libraries
Source: Wikipedia

The Library at the AISMT has four floors and an extensive set of books featuring scientific, technical, industry and financial subjects in the spectacular semicircular structure. Across the vast library building, adult learning centers, research laboratories and student areas are situated. The library serves in several ways as the nucleus of the 230-acre campus community of the institute.

Butler Library
(Columbia University)

Credits – Columbia University

The Butler Library was built as a farewell to the president of Columbia University -Nicholas Murray Butler. It is located in Manhattan and is the largest library and building on the campus of Columbia University. The Butler Library contains nearly 2 million+ books on a wide range of humanities-related subjects. The library is one of the largest college libraries in the United States.

Chancellor Green Library
(Princeton University)

college libraries
Credits – paw.princeton.edu

The Chancellor Green Library is an extremely stunning place which was founded in 1872. Gables, arches, overhangs and diamond-shaped stained glass windows fill the highly ornamented house. Planned as an octagonal rotunda, it was the first project developed for use it is one of the largest college libraries and is known for its angular nature with a 50 miles of bookshelves and a collection of 7 million items.

We hope through this blog we were able to tell you about the 20 largest libraries in the world.  For more information, consult our experts at Leverage Edu. Sign up for a free session with us today! 

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