These Are the Most Beautiful University Libraries in America

Today’s college students don’t always study in the library. (After all, thanks to the internet, you can research any paper or project from a laptop in a messy dorm room!) But university libraries still reign as some of the most important and beautiful buildings on campus. Even if every book and manuscript gets digitized, it’s still inspiring to step into a gorgeous university library. Some of them showcase traditional architectural styles. Others exhibit a more modern aesthetic. Either way, you can’t help but feel a little awed when you walk into one of these imposing buildings.

Read on to check out our favorite candidates for the title of the most beautiful university library in the United States.

1. Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth College

Baker and Rauner Libraries on the Dartmouth College Green

Baker and Rauner Libraries on the Dartmouth College Green Baker and Rauner Libraries on the Dartmouth College Green |

  • Opened in: 1928

Imposing but straightforward from the outside, the Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth College has a lot more grandeur inside. Travel + Leisure reports that within those brick walls, you can admire a fresco by José Clemente Orozco. (Just head to the basement reading room in the original Baker section of the library to see Epic of American Civilization, a designated national historic landmark.) Or, stop in to the grand reading room and lounge in one of the wood and plush chairs that overlook the college green. Admire the Berry addition, completed in 2000. Or stop in to the adjacent Sanborn Library, where you can take part in the beloved tradition of tea and cookies in the afternoon. 

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