There are literally thousands of libraries in the United States. From public, private, to university-owned libraries, bookworms will always find their own havens in each American state. Here are five of the best libraries in the country that store some of the most rare publications, as well as the most beautiful bookshelves.
1. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
This place is not only the oldest federal cultural institution in America, it is also considered to be the largest library in the world, with boundless collection of books and research materials in over 450 different languages. The central access point of the Library of Congress' collections is its Main Reading Room which is open to public aged 16 and up.
2. University of Washington's Suzzallo Library in Seattle
Suzzallo Library was named after the university president Henry Suzzallo, who resigned from the University of Washington in 1926. That was the same year when the construction of the library's first phase was completed. It was considered to be the most noticeable building in the University of Washington because of its front façade that is decorated with coats of arms from all over the world. The main reading room is inspired by a grand cathedral, according to The Guardian. It is also designed with stained glass panels and hanging Collegiate Gothic-themed light fixtures. This place has a section called the "Special Collections," which houses books that were published before the year 1801.
3. Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library in the Hewitt Quadrangle of Yale University is one of biggest libraries in the world that mainly stores manuscripts and rare publications. The jaw-dropping one million collections of rare books of this library are stacked in a huge six-story glass tower that stands tall in the middle of the building and is supported only by four gigantic piers. The Modernist structure of the library is made of translucent marble panels, which are excavated from Vermont and is used as protection of the building against direct sunlight. In 2013, it celebrated its 50th anniversary featuring a two-year exhibition that showcased books and manuscripts that are rarely seen in curatorial areas.
4. Boston Public Library, Massachusetts
The Boston Public Library was founded in the year 1848, making it the very first municipal library in the United States. Also, according to the Culture Trip, this place is the first public library in the country that is free from any charges. Home to roughly 23 million items including books, manuscripts, DVDs and visual resources, the Boston Library is the third largest libraries in America. Some of the collections here include the early edition folios of Willam Shakespeare, the archives of the Handel and Haydn Society, Mozart's original music scores, and Walter Piston's grand piano.
5. George Peabody Library in Baltimore, Maryland
The George Peabody Library, which is formerly called as the Library of the Peabody Institute, was established through the efforts of George Peabody, a philanthropist and financier from Baltimore whose goal is to build a library that will be free for use for everyone who wants to have an access to the books and literature of the 19th century. Built in 1878, this place is often been labelled as the cathedral of books because of its amazing architecture and interior. The library has a huge open air atrium that allows people to have a view of each level down below. It is home to 300,000 collections that focus on architecture, British art, history, geography, and literature.