How old is the world's oldest library? Lib..." /> The World's Oldest Library! O'Deary Library

The World’s Oldest Library!

How old is the world’s oldest library?

Libraries have played a very important role for humans for a long time. Have you ever wondered how long libraries have existed?

Well, as it turns out, the oldest library in the world, the Royal Library of Alexandria, was built in approximately 300 BC in Alexandria, Egypt.  Sadly, it doesn’t actually exist anymore. Although it functioned as a major learning center in its time, it was accidentally burned down by Julius Caesar during the Alexandrian War and was never the same after that!

As far as continually running libraries go, the St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt, was constructed around 550 AD.  It has one of the largest collection of religious literature in the world and a collection of Byzantine manuscripts. The library isn’t accessible to the public! Only monks and invited scholars are allowed inside.

That brings us to the oldest, still running, public library in the world.  La Bibliotheque National de France (National Library of France). It dates back to 1368, making it almost 650 years old.  It is absolutely beautiful and fully accessible to the public… so long as you can get to France!

In Canada, the first libraries were part of religious institutions and ordinary people weren’t allowed in.  The first public library — that was open to ordinary people — was founded in Quebec City by Frederick Haldimand in 1779 — more than 200 years ago.

via (ttg library)

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About the Author

's favourite books include The Sound and the Fury, every one of the Harry Potter books, The Fault in Our Stars, The Princess Bride, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and A Little Princess. She wrote her first book -- Chestnut Squirrel Stories -- in fourth grade and has gone on to publish a number of books. She also writes for television and the web.

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