19 Totally Magical Libraries To Visit Before You Die

Book lovers: Add these to your bucket lists.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community for the most amazing library they’d ever visited. Here are the awe-inspiring results.

1. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto

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Flickr: thomasfisherlibrary / Creative Commons

 

“The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto! I went this fall and the whole experience was mind blowing. Not only is the library beautiful, but you can request and have access to most of their collections while visiting. On our trip we saw Shakespeare’s first folio, as well as many of Margaret Atwood’s original manuscripts (and her first self published book!!) and a Book of Hours from the 15th century (could have been the 14th — there was a lot that day!)” —Melissa Hudson (Facebook)

2. Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart; Stuttgart, Germany

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Flickr: stadt_stuttgart / Creative Commons

 

“Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany. It’s essentially a perfectionist’s dream of what every library should look like.” —melissan406bf75c0

3. The New York Public Library, New York

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“New York Public Library … the ceiling is magnificent and it’s so quiet in there.” —heyitsgracee

4. John Rylands Library; Manchester, UK

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“The John Rylands Library in Manchester is literally a cathedral for books.” —joem45ac45347

5. Strahov Library, Prague

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“The Strahov Library in Prague!!! You can’t actually sit down and read, but it is one of the most pleasing locations a book lover could set eyes on!” —kateh4897e321c

6. Beinecke Rare Books & Manuscripts Library at Yale; New Haven, Connecticut

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“The Beinecke Library in New Haven, Connecticut. They always have rare books and folios on display, and the interior temperature controlled room is too cool.” —lsheabailey

7. Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City

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“Biblioteca Vasconcelos in Mexico City. Went there last summer, it’s amazing. My picture doesn’t do it justice.” —AnaE20

8. Salt Lake City Public Library; Salt Lake City

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“The Salt Lake City Library! It is gorgeous and feels like something Willy Wonka would create.” —straytray

9. Bodleian Library; Oxford, UK

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Suggested by Lia Pulliam (Facebook)

10. Trinity College Long Room, Dublin

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“I almost cried with joy when I walked into the Trinity College Long Room.” —Jen Stone (Facebook)

11. Mafra National Palace Library; Mafra, Portugal

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Suggested by Joana Simão (Facebook)

12. Library of Congress; Washington, D.C.

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“The Library of Congress. Home to a Gutenberg bible, every book in circulation, and countless masterpieces. Every American must visit once in their lives.” —cjsamsky

13. Louis Round Wilson Library at UNC; Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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(Suggested by emmas42aab98e8)

14. Library at Osgoode Hall; Toronto

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“Law Library at Osgoode Hall (Toronto), small but beautiful.” —deezee

15. The George Peabody Library; Baltimore

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“Give me a mattress and food for the rest of my life and I shall call Peabody library my precious, like Gollum did with the one ring!” —Annamaria Apergi (Facebook)

16. Suzzallo Library at University of Washington, Seattle

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“Everyone needs to go the University of Washington Library! It looks exactly like the dining hall from Harry Potter!” —Meranda Clausen (Facebook)

17. Boston Public Library, Boston

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(Suggested by Josh Young, emmas42aab98e8, shelin, and matr4a537d5b1)

18. Librairie Avant-Garde; Nanjing, China*

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Shih-Chi Chiang / Creative Commons

 

“The Librairie Avant Garde in Nanjing, China! It’s hidden in an underground carpark in an abandoned bomb shelter, and perfectly mixes books and literature in with history, culture, and a super cool Chinese indie vibe. There’s artwork everywhere, quotes etched into pillars, and every book you can think of translated into Chinese.” —Kalli McCoy (Facebook)

*Technically this is a bookstore, not a library, but the shop welcomes people who just want to browse and read for hours, and owner Qian Xiaohua has called it “the second library for university students.”

19. Your local library

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“Every book lover needs to visit their own local library. Yes, there are beautiful libraries all over the world, but every book lover should be familiar with their local. Not just which books are there but what the library can offer them. Where the best place is to read, study, or sit in quiet contemplation. Which staff to avoid and which to go to for information, a good read, or just a friendly chat. These libraries are dedicated to lifelong learning and offer more than just books. By supporting your local library, you support a community.” —Penelope Masters (Facebook)

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