The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

April 2, 2011

More fancy digs in the middle of Texas! The Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

When I was doing research to plan for our Texas road trip, I learned that the world’s largest collection of the works and memorabilia of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning is housed at the Armstrong Browning Library on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  We passed by Waco on the way to Dallas, so I was determined to stop and check out this amazing library.

The Browning collection began with the personal collection of one of Baylor’s English professors, Dr. A. Joseph Armstrong, and it has grown over time.  The Browning Library is a lovely Italianate building with 62 stained-glass windows.  It is one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve visited.

When I mentioned the library to my friend, Lynne, she passed along to me a couple of websites devoted to the most beautiful libraries of the world.  You can link to them here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/19/most-beautiful-libraries_n_768612.html#slide_image and here: http://www.bookbrowse.com/blogs/editor/index.cfm/2011/2/28/The-Worlds-Most-Beautiful–Unique-Libraries.  I was pleased to see two of Seattle’s libraries represented:  the Central branch of the Seattle Public Libraries and Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington.  I guess I’ll have to add making pilgrimages to some of the other libraries to my life list of things to do before I die!

One of the rooms of the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor U

Stained-glass window celebrating Browning's Pied Piper of Hamlin

Another of the 62 stained-glass windows in the Browning Library

The Armstrong Browning Library

5 Responses to “The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World”


  1. Is it still used as a library? By students? Or more of a museum space?

    • Rosemary Says:

      It is still used as a library for students on campus, although it was not very busy on the day we visited. I would imagine scholars use it for research.

  2. zoi703 Says:

    These look more like a church with the stained glass windows.


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