WHAT ARE THE TOP LIBRARIES AROUND THE WORLD?

Some beautiful, unusual, and intriguing libraries from across the globe that bookworms should make a beeline for.

BODLEIAN LIBRARY, THE U.K.: It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain, it is second in size only to the British Library. Together, the Bodleian Libraries hold over 13 million printed items. It was first opened to scholars in 1602. It houses some of the most expensive books in the world including Shakespeare's First Folio. The Bodleian has been the backdrop for 14 movies, including a few from the Harry Potter series.

ABBEY LIBRARY OF SAINT GALL, SWITZERLAND: An important medieval monastic library located in St.Gallen, Switzerland, in 1983, the library and the Abbey of St. Gall, were designated a World Heritage Site. Did you know that during a fire in 937, the Abbey was destroyed, but the library remained intact? It houses over almost 1,60,000 volumes, with most available for public use.

STUTTGART CITY LIBRARY, GERMANY: The library, as it stands today, was thrown open to the public in 2011. Its pristine, all-white, inverted pyramid gallery hall, lined with books of every genre imaginable, makes it an attraction for photography enthusiasts. The old library, located in Wilhelm Palace, was once the seat of the King of W├╝rttemberg, and was rebuilt after WWII along more modern lines.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, WASHINGTON D.C: Founded in 1800, making it the U.S.'s oldest federal cultural institution, it is the largest library in the world. Approximately half of its book and serial collections contain materials in around 470 languages. Most prominent among the Manuscript Division's holdings are papers of 23 presidents, ranging from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge.

TAMA ART UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, TOKYO: Minimalist, yet beautiful, it was completed by architect  toyo lto I 2007. It is the academic library associated with Tama Art University, which comprises two library locations in Tokyo on the Hachioji library and contains about 77,000 japanese books, 47000 foreign books and 1500 periodicals.

AUSTRIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY, VIENNA: Austria's largest library, it has more than 12 million items across its numerous collections. As a federal museum, it also includes five special museums: the Esperanto Museum, the Globe Museum, the State Hall, one of the world's most beautiful baroque libraries in the world, the Papyrus Museum which houses collections of papyri and other artefacts more than 3,000 years old, and the Literature Museum.

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