©Paul Highnam/Country Life. That brings us to the oldest, still running, public library in the world. Fez is the imperial city of Morocco and was once the capital, where many sultans reigned over the kingdom. Reading Room chained books. >"The library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery located at the foot of the legendary Mount Sinai, is the oldest continually operating library in the world ." Located in Nineveh in modern day Iraq, the site included a trove of some 30,000 cuneiform tablets organized according to subject matter. “And this is the oldest library in use in the world,” the guide said, indicating the closed door at one corner of the square, past a crooked old tree. The library was discovered by archaeologists who were excavating at the site of Nineveh, today known as Kuyunjik. They’ve been a part of monasteries, royal palaces, museums, universities and even hospitals. The entire collection at Chetham’s Library has been designated as one of national and international importance. Entrance to this miraculously well-preserved complex of 15th-century buildings is through a gatehouse that opens off Long Millgate into a spacious yard. Given such ‘antiquated’ credentials, it is generally believed that the king post truss of the Saint Catherine’s Monastery is the oldest surviving roof truss in the world. The library isn’t accessible to the public! La Bibliotheque National de France (National Library of France). The Library is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. It dates back to 1368, making it almost 650 years old. Chetham’s Library has been in continuous use as a public library for over 350 years. Founded in 859, it’s the oldest working library in the world, holding ancient manuscripts that date as far back as 12 centuries. Lisbon has one of the coolest and most popular bookstores, Ler Devegar. The ancient al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez isn’t just the oldest library in Africa. Porto is home to (what many consider to be) the most beautiful bookstore in the world, Livraria Lello. Chetham’s School and Library. Libraries around the world have long been revered as temples of human knowledge. for the “royal contemplation” of the Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal. 1,157 years after it first opened, the world's oldest library has finally been restored and unveiled to the public. The Darby Free Library in Darby, Pennsylvania, is “America’s oldest public library, in continuous service since 1743.” Peterborough Town Library in Peterborough, New Hampshire, was the first tax-supported free public library not only in the United States but the world. Some boast an incredibly romantic past while others, like the Library of Alexandria, were destroyed in war or purposely purged when rulers were replaced and governments fell. But modern life had taken a toll on the library, with its buildings falling into disrepair. This incredible city has a rich and vibrant history, from the oldest tanneries in the world, to the world’s oldest library in Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque. "Due to its age and importance in the Christian world, the monastery’s library has the second largest collection of The world’s oldest known library was founded sometime in the 7th century B.C. Like most writers, I grew up adoring libraries. Only monks and invited scholars are allowed inside. It is housed in a beautiful sandstone building dating from 1421 which was built to accommodate the priests of Manchester’s Collegiate Church. The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal has sometimes been described as the ‘first library’ in the world, or the ‘oldest surviving royal library in the world’. But, the University of Coimbra in Central Portugal is the location for one of the world’s grandest and unique libraries, the Biblioteca Joanina. 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