National Libraries (page 2)


The National Library of Malta in Valletta, Malta. It was designed by Stefano Ittar, a Polish-born architect residing in Italy, and finished in 1796.



The Reading Room in the National Library of Spain (Biblioteca Nacional de España) in Madrid. The building was opened to the public in 1896 and contains 26 million items.



The National Library of Sweden (Kungliga biblioteket) in Stockholm. The library building was designed by Gustaf Dahl and built using a cast iron structure, and was finished in 1877. Two wings were added in 1926-27 and further additions and renovations were done in 1997. The library contains more than 25 million items.



The State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (this is not really a national library, but a state one – but it's so beautiful I had to include it here nevertheless). It was designed by Joseph Reed and built in 1854. Shown is the impressive La Trobe Reading Room, which was added in 1913, designed by Norman G. Peebles. Its octagonal space was designed to hold over a million books and up to 500 readers. The dome was the largest of its type in the world at the time it was completed. The library holds about 2 million items.



The Real Gabinete Português de Leitura (Royal Portuguese Reading Room) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Constructed between 1880 and 1887, the building was designed by architect Rafael da Silva and Portuguese Castro in the Neomanuelino Style, evoking the exuberant Gothic-Renaissance force at the time of the Portuguese Discoveries, known as Manueline in Portugal for having coincided with the reign of Manuel I (1495-1521). The interior also follows the Neomanuelino style in the design of the shutters, wooden shelves for books and memorials. The ceiling of the Reading Room has a beautiful chandelier and a skylight constructed of iron, the first example of this type of iron construction in Brazil. The library holds more than 350,000 volumes, the largest and most valuable collection of Portuguese literature outside Portugal. Wow.