10 Quirky Libraries – Part I

Nearly every library is quirky in its own way, but here are five which might be a bit more eccentric than most. And check out Part II here!

Professor Richard Macksey’s Library


The private library of Johns Hopkins University professor Richard Macksey, this awe-inspiring collection is comprised of over 70,000 books, a large collection of manuscripts, and some art works, all worth an estimated $4 million. More coverage here.

Providence Athenaeum

Providence Athenaeum, Providence, RI

One of the oldest libraries in the United States, the 19th century Providence Athenaeum is also one of the quirkiest. with a bust of the goddess Athena, pillars topped with busts of famous authors, and an Egyptian Cabinet, once used to hold Napoleon’s “Description of Egypt” in the reading room, this library has a lot to see! More coverage here.

The Black Diamond


An extension of the Royal Danish Library, the largest library in the Nordic countries, the Black Diamond sits on the waterfront of Copenhagen. The black granite exterior reflects the water of the harbor and it absolutely stunning. I was lucky enough to visit this library when I was in Copenhagen, and it’s a sight to see! More coverage here.

The Morgan Library


The Morgan Library in NYC began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913). Its collection consists of collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints. It also boasts hidden wall panels and secret staircases which I’ve seen for myself. Aside from its quirkiness, it’s one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve seen to date. More coverage here.

Kansas City Public Library


Built to look like a giant bookshelf, this Missouri library is housed in one of most unusual buildings in the world. More coverage here.