Academic Libraries for Your Travel Bucket List

Are academic libraries on your travel wish list?

Academic libraries serve scholars’ needs worldwide and are also highly worth your time. Many are candidates for library lovers’ bucket lists. Check with these libraries before visiting to know what’s available in person. Many collections are now available online.

Your donations help support libraries across the country. 

The Library of Trinity CollegeDublin is home to this library, the largest in Ireland. It dates back to 1592 and has more than 6 million items in its collections. Irish publishers are required under Irish copyright laws to provide a copy of every book they publish to this library. Trinity Library is a revered international research library, and the building is well worth visiting. The stunning Long Room, built in the early 1700s, is 65 meters long with a gorgeous arched ceiling lined with sculptural marble busts of great writers and philosophers. Collections include the Brian Boru Harp, an Irish national symbol, and the Book of Kells.

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript LibraryYale University is home to this library, the largest building in the world devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts. Collections include ancient papyri, documents from Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, an original Gutenberg Bible, and holdings from D.H. Lawrence and Sinclair Lewis. The building was designed to be a cathedral dedicated to these rarities.

Bodleian LibraryConstructed in 1602, Bodleian was part of Britain’s Oxford University and now comprises 27 libraries in the Oxford system. One of the oldest libraries in Europe, Bodleian has more than 13 million items in its collections, including copies of the Magna Carta, Shakespeare folios, and manuscripts from Percy Bysshe Shelley and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Bizzell Memorial Library. Bizzell is a grand dame of a building at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. The building is in the Cherokee Gothic style and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Among its holdings is the William Bennett Bizzell Bible Collection, comprised of culturally significant editions of the Bible. The History of Science Collections has first editions of Darwin’s published works and other rare books and publications.