Founded in 1896, the national social sciences library of the UK and LSE's main library re-opened its doors in 2001 with a Foster and Partners' £35million re-vamp. It responds to approximately 6,500 visits per day, and with 90,000 historical pamphlets and over four and a half million items it has over 50km of shelving, enough to stretch the length of the Channel Tunnel. Because of its cramped position in Central London, its partially glazed dome roof has been designed to maximise daylight and respond automatically to the temperature in the building, hence ventilating it naturally.


Senate House, University of London

Senate House, University of London

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Senate House is the administrative building of the University of London and houses the Senate House Library on the fourth to seventh floors for all students and staff of the university. The Art Deco building was constructed between 1932 and 1937 and was used by the Ministry of Information during the Second World War, inspiring the description of the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Due to its imposing architecture, it is a popular shooting location with films featuring its interior including Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bag and Fast & Furious 6. 


Sir Duncan Rice University, University of Aberdeen

Sir Duncan Rice University, University of Aberdeen

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The Sir Duncan Rice Library was designed by Danish architects and opened in 2012, named after a previous Principal of the university. The seven-storey tower is clad in zebra-like jagged stripes of white and clear glass and is open to the public with outstanding views of the city and coastline available from the upper floors. It also houses public exhibition space and the University's historic collections, comprising of more than a quarter of a million ancient and priceless books and manuscripts that have been collected over five centuries since the University's foundations.


John Rylands University, University of Manchester

The John Rylands Library Interior

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The John Rylands Library opened to the public in 1900 and is primarily neo-Gothic is style with elements of Arts and Crafts Movement in the ornate and imposing gatehouse which dominates the surrounding streetscape. Its special collections are among the largest in the UK and inlcude mediaeval illuninated manuscripts and examples of early European printing, including a Gutenberg Bible, and  the second largest collection of printing by William Caxton. The Rylands Library Papyrus P52 has a claim to be the earliest extant New Testament text. 


University of Glasgow Library

Glasgow University Library

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The University of Glasgow Library is one of the oldest and largest university libraries in Europe. The first explicit mention of the Library is November 1475 

The first explicit mention of the Library is dated November 1475 and it has since grown due to, in part, to large donations and contributions by wealthy private collectors. From 1870 to 1968 the University Library was housed within the main Gilbert Scott Building while the current 12-storey building opened in 1968 as a prominent landmark in the West End, seen from several miles around. Its Brutalist desgin has been consistently updated to account for technology developments, and the burgeoning collection.  


Squire Law Library, University of Cambridge

Squire Law Library, University of Cambridge

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The Faculty of Law building, housing the Squire Law Library was opened in 1996 and designed by Norman Foster, which is perhaps a little why it looks like an airport. It suffered from serious acoustic problems when it first opened so any noise from the lower levels caused significant disturbance at higher levels including the library. This was fixed in 1999 with the installation of a glazed acoustic screen, separating quiet areas from noisy ones. Founded in 1904, it houses one of the three largest legal collections in the UK. 


Bodliean Library, University of Oxford

 Bodliean Library, University of Oxford

The Radcliffe Camera houses the Reading Room of the Bodleian Library. Image Credit: Diliff/Wikicommons 

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford and one of the oldest libraries in Europe. With over 12 million items, it is the second biggest library after the British library and once of six deposit libraries in the UK that is entitled to request a copy of each book published. As a reference library, documents cannot be removed from the reading rooms. 

The Library occupies a group of five buildings including the 15th-century Duke Humfrey's Library, the 17th-century Schools Quadrangle, the 18th-century Clarendon Building and Radcliffe Camera and teh 1930s Weston Library. Since the 19th century a number of underground stores have been built below parts of these. 

Its treasures include one of only 21 surviving copies of the Gutenberg Bible and Shakespeare's First Folio, printed in 1623. 

The library is a popular filming location, with the Duke Humfrey's Library doubling as the Hogwarts Library in Harry Potter.