45 Awesome Instagram Accounts For People Who Love Libraries and Librarians

45 Awesome Instagram Accounts For People Who Love Libraries and Librarians

Tuesday, 22 September, 2020

A visit to a library is an excursion filled with possibility and inspiration. Who knows what treasures you’ll find while browsing the shelves?!

Thanks to Instagram, we can enjoy a sneak-peek into remarkable libraries and archives all over the world. We’ve rounded up 45 of the best library and archive Instagram accounts, so your scroll is filled with images that fire up your imagination.

A few things to note:

  • A caveat: This list is not comprehensive, although we did try to represent as much of the globe as possible. Many libraries focus their content on their local communities — which is as it should be; we love a library as a community hub — but that means their content might not be relevant to you. So we chose accounts that post frequently and share images that cover broad interests.

  • Click through! We didn’t include the captions here, but please do click through to read the informative and surprising details that go along with these images. All of these institutions are doing a great job of not only sharing visuals but also putting them in context. We love context!

  • What did we miss? If we’ve missed something great, please share in the comments!


National & Public Libraries

These institutions regularly share timely and timeless historical documents, vintage images, rare books, and other wonderful bookish delights with detailed captions.

National Library of Australia - @nationallibraryaus


Austrian National Library - @nationalbibliothek


British Library - @britishlibrary


Bibliothèque nationale France - @labnf


National Library of Ireland - @nationallibraryofireland


National Library of Russia - @national_library_of_russia


National Library of Scotland - @natlibscot


Smithsonian Libraries - @silibraries


US National Archives - @usnatarchives


Library of Congress - @librarycongress


National Library of Wales - @librarywales


The New York Public Library - @nypl


Jefferson Market Library - @jefferson_market_library


Los Angeles Public Library - @lapubliclibrary


Historical & Research Libraries

These libraries are home to collections of rare books, maps, and other ephemera that grew from private libraries of the past and are now open to the public. Many are research libraries with only a small part of their vast collections available for viewing, so Instagram is a great way to look inside.

The Huntington Library - @thehuntingtonlibrary

A research library, art museum, and botanical garden established by Henry E. Huntington (railroad magnate and book collector), located in San Marino, California.


Library Company of Philadelphia - @librarycompany

Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin as a library; holds a massive collection of manuscripts and printed materials from the 17th to 19th centuries.


Thomas J. Watson Library (Met Museum) - @metlibrary

The central research library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.


Folger Shakespeare Library - @folgerlibrary

Home to the world’s most extensive Shakespeare collection, located in Washington, DC.


The John Rylands Library - @thejohnrylands

At the University of Manchester, it’s home to one of the world’s richest collections of books, manuscripts, maps, and artworks.


The Morgan Library & Museum - @themorganlibrary

Located in New York City, it was once the private library of J.P. Morgan and is now a museum, research library, music venue, and architectural landmark. (Our write-up here.)


Trinity College Library - @tcdlibrary

The research library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.


The Rosenbach - @therosenbach

The Rosenbach in Philadelphia, PA, offers exhibitions, programs, and tours showcasing rare books, manuscripts, and art. The heart of their collection is Bram Stoker’s original handwritten notes for Dracula.


Grolier Club - @grolierclub

This is America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts, located in NYC.


Boston Athenaeum - @bostonathenaeum

One of the oldest independent membership libraries in the US, founded in 1807 by the Anthology Club of Boston, MA.


Bodleian Libraries - @bodleianlibs

The research libraries at the University of Oxford, UK.


Harvard Library - @harvard.library

Research and lending library at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.


Harry Ransom Center - @ransomcenter

The humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin.


John Hay Library - @johnhaylibrary

The collection of rare books, manuscripts, and university archives at Brown University in Providence, RI.


Beinecke Library - @beineckelibrary

The rare book library and literary archive of the Yale University Library in New Haven, CT.


Archives & Preservation

Unlike libraries, archives are not lending institutions but instead collect and provide access to unpublished materials to preserve institutional and cultural memory. They’re often also tasked with preserving rare materials.

Preservation at US National Archives - @preservearchives

This group is responsible for preserving and protecting records at the US National Archives, so they’re safely available to the public.


Lilly Library - @iulillylibrary

The preservation team at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.


Smithsonian Archives - @smithsonianarchives

The Smithsonian Institution Archives collects, preserves, and makes available the history of the Smithsonian Institution.


Bodleian Conservation - @bodleianconservation

Photos and explanations of the daily activities of the Conservation & Collection Care section at The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, UK.


The Preservation Lab - @thepreservationlab

A collaborative book and paper lab that serves the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and the University of Cincinnati Libraries.


Special Collections

Pop culture, medical ephemera, historical issues, and even a cat — these libraries are home to curated books and other objects related to specific topics.

The Wiener Holocaust Library - @wienerlibrary

The Wiener Holocaust Library is the world’s oldest Holocaust archive and Britain’s largest collection on the Nazi era.


Yale Medical Historical Library - @yalemedhistlib

The historical and rare book library within the Yale School of Medicine; the collection has been building for more than 800 years.


Located at Bowling Green State University, this library is a treasure trove of zines, comics, toys, romance, mysteries, and more.


BGSU Music Library - @mlbssa

Also at Bowling Green, the BGSU Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives are a deep collection of music, books, and recordings across genres and history.


American Antiquarian Society - @americanantiquarian

Founded in 1812 by Revolutionary War patriot and printer Isaiah Thomas, the American Antiquarian Society is a society and research library for materials printed in the US up to 1876.


Little Free Library - @littlefreelibrary

Delightful photos of Little Free Libraries from all over the place.


Walt Disney Archives - @waltdisneyarchives

A retro peek in to Disney’s past.


Library Cats

We couldn’t resist these cats who love to read — or at least lie on top of books.

Lucy, North Central College Oesterle Library - @ncclibrarylucy

Lucy is a rogue cat that loves books and hangs out at North Central College’s Oesterle Library.


Stacks the Library Cat - @stacksthelibrarycat

Can be found at the New Castle Public Library in New Castle, PA.


Mito the Library Cat - @mitothelibrarycat

His forever home is at the Mystic & Noank Library in Mystic, CT.


And we are on Instagram at @strongsenseof, sharing travel photos, mini book reviews, and other things that delight us every day. Follow us there!

Top image courtesy of Will van Wingerden/Unsplash.

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