International Literacy Day takes places this weekend. On Saturday 8th September people around the world discuss and highlight the world literacy rates and its improvements, as well as discussing the remaining challenges that face the world of literacy. And if you want to celebrate literacy this weekend, why not pick up a book? Or go one better and visit one of these beautiful libraries around the world!
Trinity College Old Library
If you head to Dublin, be sure to take a walk around the incredible Trinity College Old Library which was built way back in 1712. Most people flock to see the Book of Kells, but the Long Room is one of the best elements of the library. Here you’ll find books stacked from floor to the ceiling arches above.
Library of Alexandria
Egypt’s Alexandria was once known to be home to the most famous library in the world. But you’ll now find the Library of Alexandria standing as a sleek circular structure. All along the walls are hand carved hieroglyphics, and inside you’ll find books printed in not one, but three languages. What’s more inside is a museum, planetarium and a dedicated lab for preserving and restoring ancient manuscripts.
New York Public Library (Stephen A. Schwarzman Building)
At the top of any book lovers bucket list should be the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library. This branch opened back in 1911 and is known as the flagship branch of the library. You’ll find this historic landmark in Midtown Manhattan, but be sure to check opening times before you visit!
Royal Portuguese Reading Room
If you’re in Brazil and are looking for the largest collection of Portuguese texts outside of Portugal, then head to the beautiful Royal Portuguese Reading Room in Rio de Janeiro. The walls rise up three stories to the ceilings and each and every space is covered in books. This and the spectacular stain-glass windows will leave you lost for words.
Royal Library of Denmark
Affectionally named the ‘black diamond’ Copenhagen‘s Royal Library of Denmark is definitely one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. It originally was built in 1648, although what you see now is a renovated version of this. Inside you’ll find an original copy of the first ever Danish book, as well as the national photography museum, a performance hall and an abstract fresco by Per Kirkeby on the ceiling.
It may just be up the road for some of you, but when you’re in Oxford make sure to add the Bodleian Library to your list of things to do. It’s been in use since the 1300s and houses over 12 million printed items, which travellers and researchers from across the globe flock to witness.
Have you visited any of these libraries? Or are there any that you think should have made the cut?