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20 of the most beautiful libraries in the world

By: Melissa Breyer on Nov. 15, 2017, noon
The interior of the New York Public Library

Photo: soomness/Flickr [CC by 2.0]

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New York Public Library, United States

New York City’s 1911 Beaux-Arts main branch library on Fifth Avenue may be one of the city’s most beautiful buildings and boasts a collection of 15 million items, including medieval manuscripts, ancient Japanese scrolls and contemporary works. Among the many incredible rooms for individual collections and smaller libraries within the majestic interior, the Rose Main Reading Room (pictured here) stands out. The cavernous room is the length of two city blocks and is lit by chandeliers and lamps that grace the long oak tables. The ceiling, 52 feet above, is decorated with vibrant murals of the sky; a perfect place for getting lost in the clouds.