Where Does Your College Library Rank?

Hey Friends!

Nothing too over-the-top this week, just a fun review with a surprise for my friends from undergrad. College Rank recently published a list of the top 50 college libraries, and I thought I’d share a few of them with you. I’ve only touched on a few of my personal favorites, but you can see all the photos and descriptions on CR’s page. Take a stroll (or scroll) on through…is YOUR library on here?

(I have a soft spot for number 12.)

50. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library – Yale University

Changing light bulbs in here must be a full-time job.

 Location: New Haven Connecticut
Opened: 1963

49. George Peabody Library – John Hopkins University

This looks like the Jedi Academy Library.

Location: Baltimore Maryland
Opened: 1878

48. Joe and Rika Mansueto Library – University of Chicago

47. Uris Library – Cornell University

46. Bobst Library – New York University

45. Thomas J. Dodd Research Center – University of Connecticut

44. Firestone Library – Princeton University

Is it just me, or does every college have one building that looks like this?

Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Opened: 1948

43. Millikan Library – California Institute of Technology

Not to be confused with the Fantastic Four’s Baxter Building.

Location: Pasadena, California
Opened: 1967

42. Suzzallo Library – University of Washington

Isn’t this the great dining hall in Harry Potter?

Location: Seattle Washington
Opened: 1926

41. Geisel Library – University of California at San Diego


Location: La Jolla, California
Opened: 1970

“The Special Collections best known here are the Mandeville Special Collection and the Dr. Seuss Collection. The Dr. Seuss Collection contains more than just the books; it also includes original drawings, sketches, proofs, notebooks, manuscript drafts, audiotapes, videotapes, photographs, and other memorabilia. This collection has over 8,500 items from Dr. Seuss’s achievements, which was from 1919, during high school, till 1991, when he died.”

40. Folger Shakespeare Library – Amherst College

This feels more like an art gallery than library to me. I like it.

Location: Washington, DC
Opened: 1932

39. James B. Hunt Jr. Library – North Carolina State University

38. Bizzell Memorial Library – University of Oklahoma

37. Fisher Fine Arts Library – University of Pennsylvania

36. Beasley School of Law Library – Temple University

35. Candler Library – Emory University

34. Mabel Smith Douglass Library – Rutgers University

33. John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library – Brown University

32. Rebecca Crown Library – Dominican University

31. Rush Rhees Library – University of Rochester

30. Bapst Art Library – Boston College

I think Indiana Jones rode a motorcycle through here once…In that terrible, terrible sequel.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Opened: 1925

29. Harold B. Lee Library – Brigham Young University

Very industrial feeling, like people are hard at work.

Location: Provo, Utah
Opened: 1977

28. Gleeson Library – University of San Francisco

Starbucks and Chipotle had a baby, but it was raised by wild libraries.

Location: San Francisco, California
Opened: 1927

27. Baker-Berry Library – Dartmouth College

26. Doheny Library – University of Southern California

I like the vintage feel of this one, very silver age.

Location: Los Angeles, California
Opened: 1932

25. Henry Madden Library – California State University at Fresno

24. Armstrong Browning Library – Baylor University

This room screams “important stuff” to me, like the Declaration of Independence was signed in here.

Location: Waco, Texas
Opened: 1951

23. Theodore Hesburgh Library – University of Notre Dame

This is just TOO cozy. I feel like I’m in a Williams-Sonoma catalog.

Location: South Bend, Indiana
Opened: 1963

22. Nicholas Murray Butler Library – Columbia University

21. Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library – University of Virginia

I’ve always wanted to visit Thomas Jefferson’s house.

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Opened: 1938 (Reopened in 2004)

“In this collection, there is the only letter written, on July 4, 1776 by a signer of the Declaration Of Independence, Ceasar Rodney.”

20. Malcolm A. Love Library and Information Dome – San Diego State University

19. Hannon Library – Southern Oregon University

18. Hillman Library – University of Pittsburgh

17. J. Willard Marriott Library – University of Utah

16. Parks Library – Iowa State University

15. Thompson Memorial Library – Vassar College

14. Wilson Library – University of North Carolina

13. Powell Library – University of California, Los Angeles

That’s not a library, that’s a palace!

Location: Los Angeles, California
Opened: 1929

12. Smathers Library – University of Florida (WOOT WOOT!)

There’s actually a secret library, too! You have to ring a bell and sign paperwork to get in.

Location: Gainesville, Florida
Opened: 1926

“The Smathers Library was originally named Library East when it was opened in 1926 and is located in the Northeastern part of the university and in the middle of the Campus Historic District. When it was originally built, it was the largest building on campus, and its architectural design is Collegiate Gothic. The material available to students consists f 5.3 million volumes, 1 million documents, 550,000 maps and images
and over 20,000 computer data sets.”

Aw yeah, representing my undergrad peeps. Go Gators!

11. Jerome Library – Bowling Green University

10. Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library – Harvard University

I’m expecting the Ghostbusters any minute.

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Opened: 1915

“The Harry Elkins Wiener Memorial Library is a branch library of Harvard University. The facility, which opened in 1915 is considered the center of the Harvard Libraries. It is named after Harry Elkins Widener, a book collector, who graduated from Harvard in 1907 and then died on the Titanic in 1912. It was after this his mother had the library constructed. In the heart of the building is the Widener Memorial Rooms, which holds the Collection. In this collection, which was later added, was the perfect Gutenberg Bible, the object, that was the reason for the 1969 burglary, which is thought to have been inspired by the film, Topkapi. It also holds one of the most comprehensive research collections in the humanities and social sciences. Also, it has ten levels and fifty-seven miles of shelves.”

9. Klarchek Information Commons – Loyola University of Chicago

Libraries in the future.

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Opened: 2005

“The Klarchek Information university library that was built in 2005 offers a lake-side view and with the joint project of the University Libraries and Information Technology Services. The facility provides space for both conferences and group studies. It offers high-speed internet, including wireless and comfortable areas for studying, serious work, reading, and relaxing.”

8. William R. Perkins Library – Duke University

7. University Libraries – Michigan State University

6. Hargrett Library Rare Book and Manuscript Library – University of Georgia

5. Walter C. Langsam Library – University of Cincinnati

Not the most space-efficient, but I like how different it is from the others.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

“The Walter C. Langsam Library is the largest and the main library out of fourteen libraries in the University of Cincinnati Library System. The UC library system is spread out across campus in eleven different facilities. The University has over 4 million volumes and 70,000 periodicals. One highlight of the library is that it offers a 24/7 Computer Lab named UCIT@Langsam, which is always available for students.”

4. Hale Library – Kansas State University

It’s like a castle. AND IT’S IN KANSAS.

Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Opened: 1927

3. Linderman Library – Lehigh University

Beauty and the Beeeeeeast…

Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Opened: 1878

“The Historic Linderman Library, which opened in 1878, was added to in 1929 and has seen major renovation since then. The Victorian Rotunda, which was from 1878, and the Grand Reading Room, from 1929, was left in all their magnificence, during the major renovation. The Linderman Library houses a Rare Book Collection of over 40,000 books that includes Darwin’s Origins of Species and James John Audubon’s four volume elephant folio edition of Birds of America. There is also some first editions of English and American literature, from the 17th to 19th centuries.”

2. William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library – The Ohio State University

It’s super hi-tech looking…maybe another Jedi Academy Library?

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Opened: 1912

“The William Oxley Thompson library is the central library at the Ohio State University and was built in 1912; having a significant multi-year renovation took place starting July 2006 and reopened August 2009. The building’s architectural style is Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts.”

1. Cook Legal Research Library – University of Michigan

Nevermind…THAT is where Harry Potter goes to school.

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Opened: 1931

“The Cook Legal Research Library is magnificent and grand, having spires, stained glass windows, and metal works. The metal work was done by Samuel Yellin, being the best of his time. It was originally built in 1931 to hold around 350,000 volumes and then in the 1950’s there were four floors added to the stacks. There is also the Reading Room and Study Group Rooms here, which can seat hundreds of students. This library not only has the World’s best Collections of research material, but also houses Cook’s Library from his Manhattan townhouse.”

And we’re done!

Did you like the list? Did you agree with it? Was your school on there? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or on the Facebook page! Don’t forget to follow on Instagram and Twitter to always get the exclusive stuff – I may only post here once a week, but I’m adding new content elsewhere every day!

Until next week,

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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2 Responses to Where Does Your College Library Rank?

  1. MJ Little says:

    Nice share! MJ

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