Amsterdam is a city with a close relation to literature. It has several places that nurture your love for the written word, such as the numerous libraries that are spread across the city. These places are great if you are a bibliophile and if you wish to sit privately and in complete peace. Below are some of the best libraries that you can visit while on your Amsterdam private tours.
This is the main library in the city. It sits near the Centraal Station and has the city to one side and the river IJ to the other. The library houses children’s books on the bottom floor and the newspapers and magazines on the main floor. Apart from this, you will find 7 other floors that can be explored. There are sections devoted to different topics. Furthermore, there are foreign language texts and multimedia sections for the public to explore.
You can bring your books or laptop and indulge in studies. There are also a few cafes on the ground floor where you can take a break. If you want to borrow materials from this library, you will need a membership, but visiting the place is free of cost.
The Cuypers Library in the Rijksmuseum is one of its exhibits. The 19th-century library reading room is open to visitors on tour there. The Rijksmuseum Research Library is an important place in the art world. There are whole catalogs of exhibitions, auctions, and a sizeable collection of periodicals, books, and annual reports. Visitors require a pass to access the library. You can enjoy a refreshing break at one of the cafes located nearby.
The Ritman Library recently upgraded its status from a private library to a public institution. The authorities moved the collections to the Huis met de Hoofden, and named this library the Embassy of the Free Mind. The library specializes in Hermetic tradition manuscripts. Besides, there are several important works from the spiritual, religious, and cultural areas, apart from art and science. Note that Author Dan Brown used some of the books from this library to conduct research on his books. You can access the place by getting a membership. There is also the option to book a guided tour.
This is a 19th-century gallery situated in the Artis Zoo. There is lots of material here related to natural history, the history of the zoo, evolutionary theory, and records. Although the library sits adjacent to the zoo, it was separated from the latter when it went bankrupt. Ownership of the zoo was transferred to the University of Amsterdam. The library now serves as a part of the Bijzondere Collecties of the University of Amsterdam, and is accessible to students all the time, and to the public on only a few days of the week. Their official website has more details. Note that the neighborhood has many lively activities for a tourist to indulge in.
Huis de Pinto is a cultural and educational center meant for locals and visitors. The place has a nice library where you can spend time reading or spending a quiet afternoon. There is also a sizeable collection of newspapers and periodicals in the place, which you can read. Apart from the reading rooms and exchange library, the place hosts poetry recitals, music performances, lectures, and art exhibitions.
The Universiteit van Amsterdam Bibliotheek is a great place for students to conduct research and find material to supplement their studies with. The place provides tables and benches around the building as well as private rooms. Students, staff, faculty, and others can access the library with an issued card. Furthermore, the place also provides free WiFi for students. Note that if you are not a member of the University, or belong to another university, you will be asked for a library card before being allowed access to materials and books. Their official website has details on the timings and membership.
The Roelof Hartplein library is located in Amsterdam Zuid and is free to the visitors. However, you need a membership if you want to borrow materials. You would have to produce identification, a local address and a yearly payment. That lets you borrow as many books as you want. Besides, the library gives free WiFi services. In case you need just internet access when you visit, you can pay on the minute. Roelof Hartplein also has a café beside the study room, and close to the main entrance, where you can sit peacefully and stay immersed in your work.
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