8 Unique Libraries You Can't Miss: Edition II

8 Unique Libraries You Can't Miss: Edition II
Handelingenkamer library, The Netherlands , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In the second and final edition of unique libraries you will be spellbound by the magnificence and architecture of these libraries

Simrran Gill
September 11 , 2019
28 Min Read

Libraries are losing their charm to modern day reading equipments. However, some libraries do not fail to mesmerize the masses even if not much of a reader. Here's a list:

HASKELL FREE LIBRARY AND OPERA HOUSE

 
 
 
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Where: Quebec, Canada and Vermont, U.S.
This unique library stands on the Canadian-U.S. international border. The library has two different addresses: 93 Caswell Avenue, Derby Line, Vermont, and 1 rue Church (Church Street), Stanstead, Quebec. The library has no entrance on the Canadian side, however; there is an emergency exit here. The library collection and the opera stage are located on the Canadian side while the main entrance is in Derby Line. Because of this, the Haskell is sometimes called "the only library in the U.S.A. with no books" and "the only opera house in the U.S.A. with no stage". All patrons and visitors use the U.S. entrance to access the building. The Canadians enter the library through U.S. without needing to report to customs. However, they have to return to Canada immediately upon leaving the building. A thick black line runs through the Opera House and the reading room of the library, marking the border. Haskell has been declared a heritage building by both the countries. The library has a collection of more than 20,000 books in French and English, and is open to the public 38 hours a week.

SAINT CATHERINE’S MONSATERY

 
 
 
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Where: Egypt
This library is one of the world’s oldest continually functioning library. Located at the foot of a gorge  at the foot of Mount Sinai, the library contains manuscripts dating back to the 4th century. The library at the Holy Monastery of Sinai is the inheritor of texts and of traditions that date to the earliest years of a monastic presence in the Sinai. In earlier times, manuscripts were kept in three different places: in the north wall of the monastery, in the vicinity of the church, and in a central location where the texts were accessible. The library has also been in a restoration process and houses manuscripts, early printed books, the new finds, codex sinaiticus amongst other archive collections.

HANDELINGENKAMER

 
 
 
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Where: The Netherlands
The library looks nothing short of a maze along with the spiraling staircase adding to the mystic vibe. The library is the official library of the Dutch Parliament and houses all Acts of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The library is four storied with stairs ensuring mobility. For the flooring, cast iron was chosen as light can fall only through them. This was done because oil lamps were not allowed within the premises. The roof is entirely made of stain glass while colours such as gold, crimson red and green have been used overall. The books here are gold spined and the staircase is crimson cast iron, housing exquisite manuscripts that are protected by glass cabinets.

MEDIATHEQUE SANDRO PENNA

 
 
 
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Where: Perugia
The library situated in the middle of the city is an architectural delight. The library was inaugurated in 2004 and has a pink disc like structure that illuminates at night. The colourful furnishings, open spaces and light filtering through the rose pink glass creates a comfortable environment for a concentrated read. The library has 19,800 volumes; 26 magazines; 177 videocassettes; 1300 DVDs; 81 audio books; 50 books and 673 music CDs. The library has a collection for the visually impaired too. It essentially caters to the likes of children and teenagers in terms of the books and the different sections as well.

TRINITY COLLEGE LONG ROOM

 
 
 
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Where: Dublin
The library in Trinity College is one of a kind. Apart from being a permanent home to the national symbol of Ireland, it also is a copyright library. All publishers in Ireland are supposed to deposit a copy of all their publications here, free of cost. The Trinity college library occupies several buildings with six on them on campus. The Longroom is the main chamber of the Old Library. It was built between 1712 and 1732 and houses 200,000 of the Library's oldest books. It also preserves the last remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. The overall library houses six million books and manuscripts. The library has oak paneled walls and is every bibliophile’s dream come true.

BEINECKE RARE BOOK & MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY

 
 
 
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Where: Connecticut
This library in Yale University is a principal repository of literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. It inspires engagement with the past, in the present, for the future. The library opened in 1963, three years after its construction, and currently has approximately 180,000 volumes, inside a cube with large “windows” made of translucent Vermont marble panels. The library has six story glass enclosed tower of books that would leave anybody amazed. The library has more than 175,000 visitors coming every year and houses more than one million books, many millions of manuscript pages, and tens of thousands of papyri, photographs, maps, posters, paintings, and art objects, as well as extensive audiovisual material and born-digital content.

HEREFORD CATHEDRAL LIBRARY

 
 
 
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Where: England
A reference and lending library, Hereford Cathedral is among the last surviving chained libraries with all its chains, rods and locks intact. The library contains ancient manuscripts and for several centuries books were stored in cupboards or wooden chests until the first library room was established. The cathedral’s earliest and most important book is the 8th-century Hereford Gospels; one of 229 medieval manuscripts which now occupy two bays of the Chained Library.The library is both a research centre and tourist library.

ROYAL PORTUGESE CABINET OF READING

 
 
 
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Where: Brazil
The library located in the centre of Rio de Janeiro was founded in the year in 1837 by a group of forty-three Portuguese immigrants, political refugees, to promote culture among the Portuguese community in the then capital. The spellbinding library also has a monument of silver, ivory and marble in the hall that celebrates the time of the discoveries. The books are stacked neatly in wooden bookcases and the library has been open to public since 1900 and houses 350,000 volumes, both national and foreign.

Also Read : 9 Unique Libraries You Can't Miss: Edition I 


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