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World's largest libraries

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A is academic ranking which is a bit different in methodology then the way the P--or public libraries count their volumes. For discussion purposes though ranking them this way is a rough idea of the resources of each institution.

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Libraries are the 5th most distinguished among public city library systems. I always knew with the Carnegie fortune behind it Pittsburgh had one of the greatest libraries, interesting though that such major metros as Houston, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, LA, SF, Seattle etc. are way behind us. Interested in hearing your take on this list and how your city ranks.


A Library of Congress 23,994,965

A Harvard University 13,617,133

P New York Public Library 11,445,971

A Yale University 9,932,080

P Queen's Borough Public Library 9,237,300

A University of Illinois - Urbana 9,024,298

A University of California - Berkeley 8,628,028

P Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public 8,582,637

P Chicago Public Library 8,100,000

P Free Library of Philadelphia 7,891,532


A University of Texas 7,495,275

P Los Angeles Public Library, County of 7,425,092

A University of California-Los Angeles 7,010,234

A University of Michigan 6,973,162

A Columbia University 6,905,609

A Stanford University 6,865,158

P Boston Public Library 6,709,907

P Brooklyn Public Library 6,630,186

P Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh 6,582,144

A University of Chicago 6,116,978


A Cornell University 6,113,346

A Indiana University 5,916,992

A University of Wisconsin 5,824,639

P Los Angeles Public Library 5,743,103

A University of Washington 5,715,202

A Princeton University 5,516,141

A University of Minnesota 5,490,668

P Houston Public Library 5,187,973

A Ohio State University 5,087,336

A University of North Carolina 4,819,186


A Duke University 4,645,050

A University of Pennsylvania 4,546,667

A University of Arizona 4,442,861

A University of Virginia 4,433,628

A Michigan State University 4,118,032

A Pennsylvania State University 3,934,344

A Northwestern University 3,893,005

A University of Iowa 3,822,656

A University of Pittsburgh 3,819,100

P King County Library System (MetroSeattle) 3,677,923


A Rutgers University 3,633,792

A New York University 3,629,897

A University of Kansas 3,532,810

A University of Georgia 3,458,298

A University of Southern California 3,417,928

P Buffalo & Erie County Public Library 3,414,367

P Miami-Dade Public Library System 3,357,879

P Cleveland Public Library 3,320,353

A University of Florida 3,317,781

A Arizona State 3,278,332


A Washington University - St. Louis 3,234,005

A Johns Hopkins 3,224,741

A Center for Research Libraries 3,127,913

P Cuyahoga County Public Library 3,088,098

P Hawaii State Public Library System 3,077,276

A State University of New York - Buffalo 3,047,830

P St. Louis County Library 3,023,237

A Wayne State University 3,002,261

A University of South Carolina 2,998,008

A McGill University 2,994,156


A University of Rochester 2,962,157

A Louisiana State University 2,950,442

A University of California - Davis 2,949,213

A Brown University 2,932,818

P Dallas Public Library 2,932,589

A University of Hawaii 2,925,821

P District of Columbia Public Library 2,863,749

A University of Connecticut 2,828,359

A University of Massachusetts 2,826,284

A University of Missouri 2,816,452


P Detroit Public Library 2,804,428

P Mid-Continent Public Library 2,789,218

P Milwaukee Public Library 2,756,657

P Jacksonville Public Library 2,721,642

A University of Colorado 2,715,702

A Syracuse University 2,712,132

A University of Kentucky 2,679,084

P San Diego Public Library 2,670,375

P Fairfax County Public Library 2,666,615

A University of Maryland 2,626,800


A North Carolina State University 2,618,615

A University of Oklahoma 2,640,071

A University of Utah 2,608,118

A University of Notre Dame 2,583,669

P Montgomery County Public Library 2,583,225

A University of California - San Diego 2,531,418

A MIT 2,493,927

P Enoch Pratt Free Library 2,477,468

A Auburn University 2,464,666

A Brigham Young University 2,462,966


P Toledo-Lucas County Public Library 2,452,740

A Texas A&M University 2,447,598

A Vanderbilt University 2,442,771

A University of Nebraska 2,442,115

P Columbus Metropolitan Library 2,433,636

A University of California - Santa Barbara 2,396,611

P San Francisco Public Library 2,393,837

A Emory University 2,369,065

A Kent State University 2,346,014

A Temple University 2,345,342

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Interesting list.

Carnegie has been good for Pitt no doubt.

Considering Miami's newness and throw-away culture, I'm suprised it ranks as high as it does.

What really suprises me though is Queens and Brooklyn. Not bad for a couple of "suburbs".

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Isnt the new Alexandria Libary in Egypt one of the world's largest and also the NYC public libary??



hope some of those sites help you out with a picture of the new libary in Alexandria. Also in the movie "alexander" hopkins is set in the acient libary of alexandria with the pharohs light house in the background.

check it out

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