Vintage Photographs From Inside 10 Famous Libraries


It’s no secret that we’re fans of beautiful libraries here, but it’s not only gorgeous architecture and shiny mahogany work benches that excite us. Inspired by a wonderful collection of vintage photographs of the New York Public Library’s stacks that we spotted over at Retronaut, we decided to put together a mini collection of vintage photographs from inside famous libraries both at home and abroad. Often more subdued than modern libraries, they seem to hum with wisdom through that black and white film — and we bet the old-book smell is just to die for. Page through to check them out, and if you feel inspired to go visit a real life library after you do, well that’s just icing on the cake.

The New York Public Library [via NYPL]

A stereogram of the great hall in the Vatican Library by William Herman Rau. [via Wikipedia]

The Long Room in the Trinity College Library, from Ireland in Pictures, 1898. [via Villanova University Digital Library]

The Botany Library in Chicago’s Field Museum, 1912. [via The Field Museum Library]

Folger Shakespeare Library, 1932. [via Cornell University Library]

Cambridge University Library. [via]

The Brooklyn Public Library’s children’s room, 1941. [via]

London Library post-Blitz, c. 1940. [via]

The Law Library of the Library of Congress, c. 1895. [via]

Boston Public Library, 1972. [via Boston Public Library]