Libraries in Film

These are mostly libraries imagined by set designers or computer graphic designers to illustrate stories told in films. In some movies, the library is central to the story, in others, it merely provides a background.

For more film titles that feature libraries and librarians, be sure to visit this site, which has a very complete list:

And this site, which focuses more on the librarians in film, but which has photos and YouTube footage of the librarians in their film libraries:



Disney's imagined library for "Beauty and the Beast." As magnificent as only Disney could make a library.



Henry Higgins' Victorian library in the 1964 film My Fair Lady. Designed by Cecil Beaton, the two-story library with a circular staircase was inspired by the library at the Château de Groussay in France (Truly Grand Home Libraries #3009).



The Pagemaster is a 1994 film telling the story of a boy (Macauley Culkin) who finds himself in an animated adventure from a number of literary stories. Most of the film is animated and takes place in a public library run by a creepy Christopher Lloyd.



The Ninth Gate is a mediocre film based on a very good novel, The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Johnny Depp plays (pretty well) a rare-book dealer who gets mixed up in a occult group searching for a book that can supposedly summon the Devil. Accordingly, there are many rooms filled with books in this film, which I thought was enough of a reason to watch it. Not for children.



The Harry Potter films mostly take place in the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which has a great old Library. The library scenes are filmed in a real library: Duke Humfrey’s Library at the Bodleian Library at Oxford in England (shown in Academic Libraries).



The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen features at least two pretty cool libraries: one in the secret wing of the British Museum where the Gentlemen meet, and the other the private library of Dorian Gray. A fun movie even without the libraries.



The Name of the Rose, a 1986 film based on the book by noted bibliophile Umberto Eco (whose home library is shown under Truly Grand Home Libraries), stars Sean Connery and Christian Slater as monks in the 14th century trying to solve several mysterious murders in a monastery. The solution revolves around a secret library filled with ancient books (pretty cool).



The Librarian is actually a series of three made-for-TV movies starring Noah Wyle as an Indiana Jones-style librarian (!) and Bob Newhart as the librarian/curator for a secret super-library containing the most famous books and artifacts from history. Very funny.



The Mummy (1999) features a librarian, played by Rachel Weisz, who has the worst library accident I have ever seen. Unforgettable. There are other cool libraries and museums in the three Mummy movies thus far.

If you want to watch the horrific scene:



Another film starring Rachel Weisz is Agora, in which she plays the heroine, loosely based on Hypatia of Alexandria, a philosopher who lived in the 4th century. In this photo she is trying to save scrolls from the ancient Library of the Serapeum from a mob of angry Christians (who in history destroyed it).