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These are the most beautiful libraries we've ever seen

Illustration for article titled These are the most beautiful libraries weve ever seen

We won't all get to visit the most beautiful libraries, but thanks to photographer Will Pryce and architectural historian James Campbell we can all get a taste of what they look like.

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The pair have spent the last few years photographing and studying over 80 libraries all over the world. Their book The Library: A World History shows the evolution of the library and features libraries from Trinity Hall in Cambridge to Utrecht University Library in the Netherlands. Here are a few of their breathtaking photos.

(Above: Queen's College, Cambridge)

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra University, Portugal

Illustration for article titled These are the most beautiful libraries weve ever seen
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The Fisher Fine Arts Library, University of Pennsylvania, United States

Illustration for article titled These are the most beautiful libraries weve ever seen

The Grimm Center, Humboldt University, Germany

Illustration for article titled These are the most beautiful libraries weve ever seen
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Check out more photos and information over at The Atlantic.

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DISCUSSION

One of my favorites is the Long Room at Trinity College, Dublin.

There's an attached room where they keep the Book of Kells, which sits on a massive dais under glass. Every so often the staff will turn a page. If a particular alarm goes off, steel doors drop in front of the entrance an exit, the dais drops through the floor, and steel doors snap shut over the top of the hole where the dais drops. It's like something out of a 007 movie.