Top 10 Largest Libraries In The World (2022)

In this article, we are going to inform you about the 10 largest libraries in the world

This article is meant to inform, educate and entertain you on the largest library in the world and their locations.

The word “library” seems to be used in so many different aspects now, from the brick-and-mortar public or conventional library to the digital library.

Libraries are dynamic places where the librarians help people find the best source of information whether it is a book, a website, or a database entry.

A library is a building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for use or borrowing by the public or the members of an institution.

In other words, it can also be described as a place set apart to contain books, periodicals and other reading, viewing, listening, study or reference materials.

10. National Library of China

This library which was holds founded on September 9, 1909, but formally inaugurated in 1912is one of the largest libraries of Asia located in Beijing, China.

It has a majestic history as the Imperial Library of Peking which it was called when it first opened in 1912.

After that, it underwent several other name changes until it reached its current status.

This library holds the status of the national library of the People’s Republic of China as wells as the largest and diverse collection of Chinese literature and historical documents in the world.

The National Library also holds over 35,000 inscriptions on oracle bones and tortoise shells from the Shang dynasty.

It contains official publications of the United Nations and foreign governments and a collection of literature and materials in over 115 languages.

Allegedly, the National Library of China receives about 5.2 million visitors every year.

A total of 1,365 working at and taking care of the library.

This library contains a total of 37 million items which makes it the tenth on our list.

9. Bibliotheque Nationale De France

This library which is ranked as the ninth has a total of 40 million book collections and among the largest libraries in the world.

This library was founded in Paris, France in 1368, when Charles V established a royal library at the Louvre Palace was ultimately lost.

But Louis XI in 1461 began another one which eventually grew and became open to the public in 1692.

It was founded and established under the supervision of the ministry of culture with the purpose of storing copies of work published in France.

This particular library, which in 1896 was recorded as the biggest library in the world has about 150.000 documents added to its collection on a yearly basis

Thanks to a couple of librarians and scholars, the books suffered no losses during the French Revolution.

Currently, it has a yearly budget of $288 million and over 1.3 million visitors yearly.

8. National Diet Library, Japan

The national diet library which is the only national library of Japan was established in 1948 with the purpose of facilitating the research in matters of public policy.

It has two main branches in Kyoto and Tokyo, and about 27 other branches scattered across Japan.

National Diet Library has eight major specialized collections, namely; Modern Political and Constitutional History, Materials Concerning the Post war Occupation of Japan, Laws and Preliminary Records, Science and Technology, Maps, Music, Foreign Books about Japan and Rare Books.

The library contains 42 million items and a budget of $205 million.

But even with all this, the library has the least number of visitors out of all the top ten.

Only 650,000 people come per year.

7. Royal Danish Library, Denmark

Royal Library is the national library of Denmark and also the university library of University of Copenhagen which is situated Copenhagen, Denmark.

The library was founded 1648 and finally opened to the public in 1793.

It has a total budget of 69 million dollars for the libraries’ expenses, 610 staffs/ library staff and 850,000 visitors per year.

Worthy of mention also is the fact that its digital section holds 393 thousand Giga bytes data and contains about 43 million book collections.

6. Russian State Library, Russia

Russian State Library, Library which is Russia’s largest is located in the city of Moscow and opened first in 1862.

The Library’s annual budget is over $33 million and it contains 47 million items on 275 km of shelves.

Although it has less than a million visitors yearly.

It still is one of the largest libraries in the world because it contains about 44.4 million items including over 17 million books and serial volumes, 13 million journals, 350 thousand music scores, and sound records, 150,000 maps, and others.

There are even items in 247 languages of the world, the foreign part representing about 29 percent of the entire collection.

5. Library and Archives Canada

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC)which is located at Ottawa and formerly known as National Archives of Canada has a total of 54 million items and a total budget of about $86 million.

4. New York Public Library, United States

The New York Public Library was established in 1895.

It basically is the fourth largest library in the world because it has like 92 locations around the state with the headquarters/ main building in Manhattan and contains 55 million items.

The library has a total of 2,937 staff members and a budget of 250 million US dollars.

Also, the university has about 18 million visitors annually.

3. Shanghai Library, China

Shanghai library actually beats out the National Library of China as it contains a total of 56 million items.

It was built in 1952 and absorbed the Bibliotheca Zi-Ka-Wei which was founded in 1847 by European Jesuit missionaries.

The library is a 348-foot tower building which makes it the world’s second-tallest library.

2. Library of Congress, United State

The Library of Congress situated in Washington, D.C., is America’s national library and our second largest library which contains around 170 million book collections which include; more than 32 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages, more than 61 million manuscripts, over 1 million US government publications, 1 million issues of world newspapers, 33,000 bound newspaper volumes, 500,000 microfilm reels, more than 120,000 issues comic book, 5.3 million maps, 6 million works of sheet music, 3 million sound recordings, more than 14.7 million prints and photographic images including fine and popular art pieces and architectural drawings.

It was founded initiallyin 1800, but the original collection got destroyed by the British in 1814 during the 1812 war.

The library got back on its feet eventually and bought Thomas Jefferson’s own private library of over 6000 books but then in 1851, bad luck struck once again as there was a fire outbreak which destroyed most of the collection yet again.

Fortunately, there hasn’t been any bad luck since the American Civil War and the library has still managed to grow rapidly.

Funny enough, this library is not necessarily accessible by all because it is used basically for Congressional inquiries.

1. The British Library, United kingdom

The British Library is the national library of the UK situated in London and founded in 1973.

This happen to be rank among the largest libraries in the world.

The main branch of this library is located in London close to the world-famous King’s Cross Station but there’s also a runoff in Boston Spa.

This library is no doubt the largest in the world because it is made up of 170 million to 200 million items, squeezed onto 388 miles of shelves.

Interesting facts about this library are;

  • Before the establishment of the library, most of its collections were part of the British Museum.
  • Also, it will most likely take you 80,000 years to see the entire library collection if you are seeing five items daily.

Final thoughts on the top 10 largest libraries in the world.

I really do hope that this article has been of great help to you like you expected it would.

Over time, there has been some debate about exactly which libraries are the biggest and these debates have got people confused but with this article.

I hope that those debates will reduce or practically stop because the libraries above are the largest out of all the 22 libraries all around the world.

If you loved this article, please do well to share it with your family and friends and if you have unanswered questions, the comment box is right there for it.

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