World's oldest national libraries

  Location Founded  Origins
National Library of the Czech Republic Národní Knihovna Ceské Republiky Prague, Czech Republic 1366 Book donations by King Charles IV
2 National Library of Austria Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Vienna, Austria 1368 Royal collection of Albrecht III, Archduke of Austria
3 Marciana National Library Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana Venice, Italy 1468 Personal collection of Cardinal Bessarione
4 National Library of France Bibliothèque Nationale de France Paris, France 1480 Royal library of  Louis XI
5 National Library of Malta Biblioteka Nazzjonali ta’ Malta Valetta, Malta 1555 Collection of the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem
6 Bavarian State Library Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich, Germany 1558 Court library of Albrecht V, Duke of Bavaria
7 National Library of Belgium Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique Brussels, Belgium 1559 Collection of manuscripts of the Dukes of Burgundy
8 Edward Kardelja University Library Edvarda Kardelja
Knjižnica Univerza v Ljubljani
Ljubljana, Slovenia 1595 Books from the Jesuit college in Ljubljana
9 National Library of Croatia Nacionalna i Sveučilišna Knjižnica Zagreb, Croatia 1606 Library collections established by Jesuits
10 National Library of Finland Helsingin Yliopiston Kirjasto Helsinki, Finland 1640 Founded in Turku when Finland was part of Sweden
11 National Library of Denmark Det Kongelige Bibliotek Copenhagen, Denmark 1653 Founded by King Frederik III
12 National Library of Sweden Kungliga Biblioteket Stockholm 1661 Personal collection of King Gustavus I of Sweden
13 Prussian State Library    Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Preussischer Kulturbesitz Berlin, Germany 1661 Founded by Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg
14 National Library of Scotland   Edinburgh, Scotland 1682 Part of the Library of the Faculty of Advocates
15  National Library of Colombia Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia Bogotá, Colombia 1777 Founded by Viceroy Manuel de Guirior


Hernández de Alba, G. and J. Carrasquilla Botero. Historia de la Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia. Bogotá: Instituto Caro y Cuervo, 1977. 

Oswald, G. Library World Records, 2nd ed. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2009

Suarez, M. F. and H. R. Woudhuysen. The Oxford Companion to the Book, vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.









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