While libraries are hallowed grounds for learning and architectural beauty, according architect and historian James W. P. Campbell, there's a sad (and ironic!) dearth of literature on their history. In an effort to change that, Campell teamed up with architectural photographer Will Pryce to document and research 85 of the world's greatest libraries across 21 countries. The Library: A World History explores everything from ancient, war-ravaged libraries—like a 16th-century structure in Noyon, France, with shrapnel embedded in its volumes—up to such contemporary feats as an industrial, all-black Utrecht University Library in The Netherlands. Other notable entries include the longest monastic library in the world (below) in Portugal that houses a colony of bats living behind the bookcases, and even a lavish, 18th-century abbey in Austria, built atop a crypt. More photos, snagged from the Huffington Post, below.
· Exploring The World's Greatest Libraries [Huffington Post]
· All Photography posts. [Curbed National]