Greatest Libraries of the World I

Library of Alexandria

One of the best-known libraries of ancient times is the Library of Alexandria. Founded in 228 BC in Alexandria, Egypt, this library housed 700,000 scrolls. Many famous thinkers of the time studied or worked in the library, including the astronomers Aristarchus and Eratosthenes, the poet Callimachus, the mathematician Euclid, the scientist Herophilus, and the historian Manetho.

The library survived for six centuries, but slowly disappeared after a fire and numerous invasions and wars. The library was gone by 400 AD. However, after years of scholars pushing for the revival of the great library, on October 16, 2002, Egypt celebrated the opening of the New Library of Alexandria, designed to rival the original.

The New Library of Alexandria, the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina is dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It is much more than a library.


It contains:

  • A Library that can hold millions of books.
  • An Internet Archive
  • Six specialized libraries
  • Four Museums
  • A Planetarium
  • An Exploratorium for children’s exposure to science
  • Culturama: a cultural panorama over nine screens
  • The Virtual Immersive Science and Technology Applications system
  • Eight academic research centers
  • Fifteen permanent exhibitions
  • Four art galleries
  • A Conference Center
  • A Dialogue Forum

Bibliotheca Alexandrina