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If you think that books and libraries are outdated, think again! If we compare the digital world to the world of physical books, you will see two major differences. Firstly, not all books are scanned and therefore available in the digital world and secondly, you can never compare a smell and the feel of the printed book to that of a digital-analog. And if you take an old manuscript in your hands, you can feel the breath of the long gone times, which is just priceless and can’t be compared to just seeing the pages on your computer screen. Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 great libraries of famous universities that can offer you great and rare reading experiences.
Bodleian Library in UK, Oxford
Just imagine – this library has over 11 million items. Whoa, what a number! No wonder it attracts readers, science enthusiast and scholars from all over the whole world. You can find a Gutenberg Bible, some copies of Magna Carta as well as many other important manuscripts there. The oldest books in that library date back to the third century B.C. – can you imagine touching such an ancient artifact by your own hand? Get the Bodleian reader’s card and you’ll be able to do it.
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Beinecke Manuscript and Rare Book Library in USA, Yale University
This is largest library in the world that has an impressive collection of manuscripts and a lot of place to perform any research. They have it all – literature, natural sciences, theology, history, Renaissance and medieval manuscripts, papyrus collection and more. If you decide to visit the library, be sure to attend the special and permanent exhibitions which are located on the ground floor.
George Peabody Library in USA
Visiting this library you’ll feel like you’re in some kind of a fairytale. The central hall of the library is 61 feet in height and has more than 300,000 items from 19th and 18th century. Anyone who searches for reputable sources in such areas as American and British history, archeology, British architecture and art, will definitely find them here. On the other hand, those who search for manuscripts on medicine or law will need to search elsewhere.
Trinity College Library in Ireland
This one is popular for its main Chamber which is also called the Long Room. It has 200,000 book and is almost 70 meters long. Book of Kells, which is the famous creation of Celtic monks, can be discovered here. In case you don’t have an opportunity to explore their collection by visiting the library yourself, you can enjoy reading manuscripts by using their online repository of Digital Collections.
Philological Library in Free University of Berlin, Germany
If you have a special feeling from seeing dust on big, old, wooden shelves filled with books, then this library is definitely not for you. With a kind of futuristic design, which resembles the form of the human brain this Berlin library, in addition to the rich collection of books, will best fit the fans of modern architecture, because you can visit it just to see the building itself.
Enjoy the age of physical books, while it hasn’t become a history!