College libraries tend to feature some of the most innovative designs and unique historical relics. Since we're all stuck at home, let's explore the best places to curl up and do your homework from the comfort of our couches. Seriously, I can't believe buildings as gorgeous as these ones actually exist!
La Sorbonne Reading Room at the University of Paris:
Founded in 1328 (!!), this is officially Europe’s largest library, housing 470,000 books. The ornate artwork all over the ceiling and walls will definitely inspire students to study for that history exam!
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology Library:
This is possibly the coolest library design known to mankind. The building is designed to use a natural ventilation system rather than something mechanical. The copper paneling on the exterior act as solar shields, acoustic barriers, and lets a select amount of natural light in for readers.
The Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego:
This library is dedicated to Audrey and Theodor Geisel, who you might know better as Dr. Seuss. This is the official home of the Dr. Seuss collection, which features 8,500 items of Geisel’s original work. This includes sketches, notebooks, videotapes, and numerous other items you can’t find anywhere else!
The Jow & Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago:
Wanna read in an above-ground dome? This building has you covered. But the library is even larger than what you see form the outside. It also houses an underground area storing a massive collection. The underground books are actually retrieved by robotic cranes. This library clearly is living in 3021!
Library at the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science, and Technology: Kedah, Malaysia
Who says that libraries have to be centuries old? This building utilizes natural light and energy-efficient appliances to be as eco-friendly as possible. This library primarily contains books about medicine, engineering, and finances, but who says you can’t bring your own reading material to enjoy over there?
Central Library at the University of Technology: Delft, Netherlands
Believe it or not, that cone is much bigger than the photo implies. Four of this library’s five levels are contained in that cone! This hi-tech hobbit habitat incorporates the natural landscape into its design, to act as a recreational area for students. I would love to have a picnic here on a Sunday afternoon!
UNAM Central University City Campus Library: Mexico City, Mexico
This has got to be the coolest looking building to house a library. This massive building is covered in murals from renowned artist Juan O’Gorman. Seriously, you could spend an entire day just looking at all of the designs across the exterior instead of actually going inside!
Philological Library of the Free University: Berlin, Germany
Nicknamed the “Berlin Brain”, this library houses over 700,000 books! The patterned translucent glass allows for shifting frames of daylight to dance across the walls while you read. Seriously, if any bookworms are traveling to Berlin, this is the place to visit!
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale:
This massive library was designed to use lots and lots of Vermont marble, but not just for aesthetic reasons. The marble filters out light, in order to better protect all of the library’s fragile and rare works! You could definitely uncover some real buried book treasure here!
The University of Coimbra General Library: Coimbra, Portugal
Created in 1537, this library houses over one million works across four floors. This is the most ornate building I have ever seen, and it is covered from floor to ceiling in local royal history.
Washington University Law Library: St. Louis, Missouri
If you’re looking for a peaceful space to focus on your next great read, this is the perfect spot. It may not be the largest or most historic college library on this list, but it is such a quiet and soothing space to enjoy. The wood paneling really adds a touch of antiquity to the place, and the large windows allow for bright, natural light to liven up the space. Also, this place has an authentic old book smell. This is a smell that is quite hard to find, requiring a large enough collection of well-preserved authentically old tomes to make work. Once quarantine is over, we should all pay a special visit to this wonderful building!