Forget your ramshackle local library with plastic chairs, dial-up Internet and a collection that consists of Poirot’s Last Case and the six copies of The BFG.
These stunning images show some of the great libraries of the world, compiled for a book by Dr James Campbell, who visited more than 80 buildings in 20 countries for his own tome entitled: The Library: A World History.
The book, which took three years to research and includes these pictures by photographer Will Pryce, takes in some of the great rooms of learning from around the globe, from Trinity Hall in Cambridge to the Library Of Congress in Washington. There are even images of the Malatestiana Biblioteca in Cesena, Italy, regarded as the oldest library in the world, dating to 1452.
Others include the gold-leaf draped library in Melk, and the Admont Abbey library, both in Austria. Campbell said: "Public libraries are currently under threat and everyone is discussing whether it could spell the end for libraries. Personally I love them and I wanted to show what an amazing history they have.
"People's perceptions of libraries are largely based on their own experiences of them, so most have no idea what a Roman or medieval library looks like. I wanted to bring all these fascinating buildings together."
More Pictures In The Gallery Below
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Abbey of St Gall Library in St Gallen, Switzerland
The National Library of China in Beijing
The Tripitaka Koreana at the Haeinsa Temple in South Korea
The Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena, Italy
The Codrington Library at All Souls College in Oxford
The Biblioteca Joanina in Coimbra, Portugal
The grand Mafra Palace Library in Mafra, Portugal
The Altenburg Abbey Library in Altenburg, Austria
The library at Admont Abbey in Austria
The George Peabody Library, Baltimore
The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, France
The Chapter Library, Noyon Cathedral, France