Kansas City Public Library

The term “library” in English is based on the Latin liber for book or document, with other modern languages (such as French and German) using derivations from the Ancient Greek βιβλιοθήκη (bibliothēkē). The history of libraries began with the first efforts to organize collections of documents, with the earliest consisting of clay tablets in cuneiform script, the earliest form of writing, discovered in Sumer as far back as 2600 BC.

Here is a list of my Top 10 “must-see” modern-day libraries:

  1. Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.)
  2. Morgan Library (New York City, NY)
  3. Bodleian Library (Oxford, England)
  4. Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, D.C.)
  5. The Huntington Library (San Marino, CA)
  6. Geisel Library (La Jolla, CA)
  7. Central Library (UNAM) (Mexico City, Mexico)
  8. Central Library (Los Angeles, CA)
  9. Central Library (Minneapolis, MN)
  10. The Schwarzman Building (New York City, NY)
  • Honorable mention: The Library of Celsus (at Ephesus in Turkey)- formerly the 3rd-largest library in the Roman world, behind those at Alexandria (Egypt) and Pergamum (also in Turkey); the interior, including its contents, were destroyed by fire in 262 AD; the façade was re-erected by archaeologists between 1970 and 1978.

1 Comment

  1. Interesting list….the Minneapolis Central Library building is a gem, but it doesn’t come close to the main branch of the Chicago Public Library on Michigan Ave. or the main branch of the NYC Public Library at 42nd and Fifth, with the lion bookends out front. IMHO of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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