The most amazing libraries in the US


Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Yale students and researchers use the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. Gordon Bunshaft's 1963 Vermont marble and granite building protects books from sunlight.

The Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library, created in 1854, was the first US free public library. Charles Follen McKim finished his Copley Square mansion for the public in 1895, and Philip Johnson added to it in 1972. American beaux-arts classicism made the library a national historic monument in 1986.

George Peabody Library

In 1878, Johns Hopkins University's George Peabody Library opened as a free Baltimore public library, lecture series, music conservatory, and art collection. The library's spectacular interior was designed by local architect Edmund George Lind and the institute's first director, Dr. Nathaniel H. Morison.


Hearst Castle

William Randolph Hearst lived at Hearst Castle on California's central coast. 1919's National and California Historic Landmark. It highlights Hearst's European art, book, and antique collection. His study comprises mediaeval literature, paintings, statues, and fabrics, and the 80ft (24m) library has 4,000 books.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress was established in 1800. John Adams, the second US president, built its first structure, which British troops destroyed in 1814. Thomas Jefferson, his successor, bequeathed his own library to the Library of Congress. Around 50 American artists hand-carved and painted the marble, copper, gold, and mahogany inside the beaux-arts edifice.

Los Angeles Central Library

LA Central Library is the west's largest public library. Bertram Goodhue's 1926 geometric and metaphorical ziggurat design. Renee Petropoulos painted the library's main foyer ceiling and tiled pyramid with a golden hand holding a candle.

New York Public Library

In Bryant Park, Manhattan's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building houses the New York Public Library's main branch. Carrère & Hastings began building in 1902 after winning the library design competition. The $9m 1911 opening attracted 30,000–50,000 people. Baseball cards, comic novels, and mediaeval manuscripts occupy the building.