62 of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries

I have been lucky enough in my library career to have worked at two of these 62 beautiful libraries and to have visited seven of them.

In my opinion, the Library of Congress Main Reading Room and adjoining Great Hall are the most beautiful indoor public spaces in Washington DC. As a librarian in the U.S. ISSN Center, I worked in the modern marble cube known as the Madison Building.  However, the architectural gem everyone knows as the Library of Congress (now referred to as the Jefferson Building) opened in 1897.  Free one-hour guided tours of the Jefferson Building are available Monday through Saturday.  I would encourage anyone visiting our nation’s capital to include a visit to this cultural treasure.

For the last 19 years, I have worked in Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington.  This magnificent example of Collegiate Gothic architecture was first built in 1926 with later additions in 1935 and 1963.  The 250-foot long Graduate Reading Room features oak bookcases topped with hand-carved friezes of native plants and a painted and stenciled timber-vaulted ceiling. 35-foot high stained glass windows featuring Renaissance watermarks run the length of the room.  The public is welcome to visit The Harry Potter Room and a self-guided tour brochure is available at the Library’s information desks.


And these are seven of the most beautiful libraries I have visited over the years.  Can you guess the location of these seven libraries?


I can help you get to these (and many other) beautiful libraries in the world.  Contact me at steves @ cruisingco.com



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