The Largest Libraries in the U.S.

Fonts of Knowledge

According to the American Library Association, these are the largest libraries in the United States. This list includes private research libraries at major universities, and also includes branch locations and restricted access collections.

Of the libraries on the list, the library at Harvard is the oldest; the university and its library were founded in 1638. But, The Boston Public library is the second ever modern public library in the world. It is the first major library funded by local taxes (preceded only by the little Peterborough town library in neighboring New Hampshire). The project was pushed through to completion after rumors surfaced of a similar project in New York ignited an intercity competition.


1.Library of Congress34,528,818
2.Boston Public Library19,090,261
3.Harvard University16,832,952
4.New York Public Library16,342,365
5.University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign13,158,748
6.Yale University12,787,962
7.University of California - Berkeley11,545,418
8.Columbia University11,189,036
9.University of Michigan10,778,736
10.University of Texas - Austin9,990,941
11.University of Chicago9,837,021
12.University of California - Los Angeles9,151,964
13.Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County8,819,759
14.Indiana University8,677,974
15.Stanford University8,500,000
16.University of Wisconsin - Madison8,421,198
17.Cornells University8,173,778
18.Princeton University7,226,744
19.University of Washington7,203,156
20.University of Minnesota7,111,311
21.Detroit Public Library7,070,433
22.University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill7,012,787
23.County of Los Angeles Public Library6,795,552
24.Queens Borough Public Library6,544,609
25.Los Angeles Public Library6,459,552
Source: American Library Association,

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