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Imperial national library of Vienna, Austria. Source: Davidzfr / Adobe Stock.

The World’s Most Magnificent Libraries (Video)

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Discover the allure of the world’s most magnificent libraries, where centuries of knowledge are housed in enchanting spaces. From the historic Trinity Library in Dublin to the sprawling Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., these institutions transcend mere repositories of books. The Alaska Resources Library is a treasure trove of unique items, from furs and bird mounts to skulls, lending educators a chance to introduce students to the wonders of wildlife up close. Meanwhile, the Library of Congress boasts a staggering 160 million items, including rare manuscripts and iconic photographs that chronicle America's journey through time. At Zhongshu-Ga in China, modernity meets tradition in a library that beckons readers with its arching ceilings and mirage-like floors, evoking the essence of Yangzhou's literary history.

Intriguingly, these libraries go beyond books, using scent to unlock forgotten narratives. Sissel Tolaas, a pioneering artist harnesses the power of smell to explore uncharted realms. Through her groundbreaking work, she captures scents from cityscapes, neighborhoods, and historical eras, converting these invisible experiences into tangible memories. With her chemical compounds, she creates a sensory archive that transcends time and space, fostering understanding, tolerance, and education.

Top image: Imperial national library of Vienna, Austria. Source: Davidzfr / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

 
Robbie Mitchell's picture

Robbie

I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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