A library is a collection of information and resources in print or in other
forms that is organized and made accessible for reading or study. The word
derives from the Latin liber ("book"). The origin of libraries lies in the
keeping of written records. The first libraries as repositories of books were
those of the Greek temples.
Before the development of the modern printing devices, the libraries had a
limited number of books. They were used also as the storage places for
precious manuscripts, maps and other important documents.
The luxury libraries were built by the Royalty, the Church, or by important
Colleges. Many of them were housed in palaces or monasteries.
In Part One of this presentation, the following libraries were presented:
Wiblingen-Germany, Angelica-Italy, Di Bella Arti-Italy, St. Genevieve France,
Richelieu-France, Senate-France, Picton-England, St. Florian Austria,
St. Gallen-Switzerland, Prague-Czech Republic, Trinity-Dublin,
Metten-Germany and Waldassen-Germany.
This Part Two presentation selected a few more of these luxury libraries.
There are many others remarkable constructions; however the space was
Melk Abbey is an Austrian
Benedictine abbey. It is
located above the town of
Melk on a rocky outcrop
overlooking the river
Danube in lower Austria. A
school was founded in the
12th century and its
monastic library soon
became renowned for its
collection. The impressive
Baroque abbey was rebuilt
between 1702 and 1736.
Melk Abbey Library
The Mafra National Palace is a monumental palace-monastery located in Mafra,
Portugal. Its dimensions are so huge that it dwarfs the city.
The palace-monastery is said to be Portugal's attempt to rival the Spanish
palace at Escorial outside Madrid.
The library is truly
the highlight of the
Mafra palace. It is
88m long, 9.5m
wide and 13m high.
floor is covered
with tiles of red,
grey and white
In the Mafra Library,
there are natural
conservation of the
books, such as the
lack of space
between the wall
and the books (so it
There are also a few
bats that inhabit this
building, eating any
insect that could
of the old books.
Admont Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in the town
of Admont in Austria. It contains the largest monastic
library in the world.
The Admont library hall was built in 1776 and is 70 metres long. It contains
70,000 volumes of the monastery's entire holdings of 200,000 volumes. The ceiling
consists of seven cupolas, showing the development of human knowledge.
Another area of the
The Széchényi Library is in Budapest and it is the national library of Hungary.
It was founded in 1802 by the Count Ferenc Széchényi. In 1985 it was moved to
its new home, in the Buda Castle Palace.
The National Széchényi Library's main task is to collect, process and
preserve all the written heritage of Hungary and all documents pertaining
Made by trees from the Bakony Hills, the carved and inlay-decorated
furnishings are especially noteworthy.
The Joanina Library is the Baroque library of the University of Coimbra,
built in the 18th century. It is located in upper Coimbra, Portugal.
The Joanina library contains about 250,000 volumes, namely
works of medicine, geography, history, humanistic studies,
science, philosophy and theology.
Over the doors, the Joanina Library exhibits the national coat of arms.
At the Joanina Library, the
painted ceilings blend
harmoniously with the rest
of the decorations.
The Austrian National Library has 7.4 million items in its collections. It is located
in the Hofburg Palace and also in the Mollard-Clary Palace, both in Vienna.
The fresco in the central dome at the Austrian Library represents Emperor Karl VI.
Around him, all kinds of allegorical figures are met in a complicated theme, which
try to symbolize the virtues of the Habsburg's royal family.
El Escorial is an immense palace, monastery, museum, and
library complex located at San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a town
45 kilometers northwest of Madrid, Spain.
The vault of the El Escorial library's ceiling is decorated with
frescoes depicting the seven liberal arts: Rhetoric, Dialectic,
Music, Grammar, Arithmetic, Geometry and Astronomy.
A famous armillary sphere is located in
the library at El Escorial. It was
constructed in 1582 by Antonio
An armillary sphere is a celestial sphere
with a model of the Earth of the Sun,
placed in the center. It was useful as a
teaching tool for solving various
The buildings at the Strahov monastery were constructed mainly in the
17th and 18th century. The most interesting parts of the monastery are the
libraries, located in the Theological Hall and Philosophical Hall.
The Strahov's Theological Hall was built between 1671 and 1679. The
frescoes on the ceiling took four years to complete and they depict the
profession of the librarian. In the hall are several 17th century
geographical and astronomical globes.
The Strahov's Philosophical Hall was built between 1782 and 1784. The
ceiling's frescoes depict the history of mankind.
Oxford University has a rich and diverse library sector comprising of
over one hundred individual libraries. There are major research
libraries, libraries attached to the faculties, departments and other
institutions of the University, and college libraries.
The Bodleian Library is the main research
library of the University of Oxford.
Radcliffe Library was taken over by
the Bodleian and renamed the
Radcliffe Camera (the word camera
means room in Latin).
One of the halls
of the Bodleian
Divinity school and library, built 1427-1483, is the oldest school in Oxford.
The building was used in the Harry Potter film as the Hogwarts' hospital.
Queen College Library, Oxford.
The Wren Library was completed in 1695 as designed by the famous architect
Christopher Wren. It has exquisite classical proportions and maximizes space
and light, having bookcases below window level.
The first floor of the Wren Library is decorated with limewood carvings and
furnished with a series of marble busts of College alumni, including Francis
Bacon and Sir Isaac Newton.
The Department of Justice
Library was built at the end
of the 19th
there was no electricity. To
allow as much light in as
possible, the roof was
constructed as a leaded
glass dome and daylight
could filter down to the floor
thanks to the open cast-iron
staircases and balustrades.
The magnificent Abbey at Waldsassen, Germany was originally
constructed in 1585.
The library at Waldsassen Abbey was completed in1726.
There are 10 life-size wood carved figures which support the
library galleries, and their costumes and features suggest
that they are depictions of fools.
The frescos on the ceiling
at the Waldsassen Library
were painted in 1724 by
The Bucharest Central University Library was founded in 1895.
The Vatican Library is located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the
world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts.
Sistine Hall at the Vatican Library.
Originally built as a monastery, Pannonhalma became an abbey in
1541. As a result of Ottoman incursions into Europe in the 16th and
17th centuries, it was turned into a fortification.
The Pannonhalma Abbey has a
On the four sides of the main
hall's ceiling there are painted
allegories, showing the Law,
Theology, Medicine and the Arts.
Opened in 1906, Livraria Lello is one of the most
beautiful bookstores in Porto.
The curved stairs blend perfectly with the walls and the ceiling.
I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I
go to the library and read a good book. Groucho Marx
I had plenty of pimples as a kid. One day I fell asleep in the library. When I woke
up, a blind man was reading my face. Rodney Dangerfield
Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library.
The only entrance requirement is interest. Lady Bird Johnson
A good book is the best of friends. English Proverb
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who
can't read them. Mark Twain
The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past
Knowledge is free at the library. Just bring your own container. Unknown
Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my
library are books that other people have lent me. Anatole France
“Classic": A book which people praise but don't read. Mark Twain
Never judge a book by its movie. JW Eagan
An original idea. That can't be too hard. The library must be full of them. Unknown
To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to
read it for a second time is to meet an old one. Unknown
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed
and digested. Francis Bacon
To those with ears to hear, libraries are really very noisy places. On their shelves
we hear the captured voices of the centuries-old conversation that makes up our
civilization. Timothy Healy
Reading is thinking with someone else's head instead of one's own. Unknown
Library: A place where people lower their voices and raise their minds.
Nobody graduated from a library. Nobody graduated without one. Debbi Healy
Library Quotations Page 2
EVERYBODY IS READING A BOOK!
GO TO YOUR LIBRARY AND GET ONE ALSO.
Pictures from the Internet
Music: Fur Elise-Beethoven