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The Seattle Central Library opened in 2004 and features a beautiful glass and steel modern design created by architects Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/LMN. The goal of the design was to make an inviting open and airy space, avoiding the popular perception of libraries as dark and stuffy. The library can hold up to 1.45 million books and materials, and serves over 2 million patrons a year.
The Herzog August Library was founded in 1572 by a German Duke, and by the 17th century it was one of the largest libraries in Europe. The Library’s collection is over 900,000 books, more than a third of which were printed from the 15th to the 18th century. The Library is known for its Middle Ages and Early modern Europe collection.
The University of Coimbra General Library has been in operation since the early 16th century. Inventories for the library exist from the years 1513 and 1532, and show that the library at the time held more than 120 manuscripts. The The Library was definitely established in 1537, and today holds over a million books, with a separate building for pre-19th century books. This is the Biblioteca Joanina, and its architecture is done in majestic Baroque style.