I can’t be the only one in love with old books, right? The Morgan Library in New York City called my name ever since I came across it online. I finally got the chance (aka decided not to be lazy) to go over a long weekend and fell completely in love with the gorgeous library and beautiful old books. If you’re a fan of beautiful libraries with thousands of books, the Morgan Library is the place for you. It’s a MUST when you visit New York City! Plus, it is a perfect, quiet refuge in the middle of Manhattan.
A little history of the Morgan Library
The Morgan Library is an incredible collection of manuscripts, books and artifacts from around the world owned by J.P. Morgan. It was founded in 1906 and made a public institution in 1924 by J.P. Morgan’s son John Pierpont Morgan, Jr.
The building itself was declared a New York City Landmark, and a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
When I visited, I had the pleasure of seeing some beautiful artifacts from Mesopotamia as well as letters and poems by Emily Dickinson. While I wasn’t too impressed by the Emily Dickinson exhibition (too many letters in my opinion; although it could be because I saw it at the end of my visit), I loved the Mesopotamian artwork.
I’ve always been fascinated by ancient civilizations so seeing sculpted animals and intricately designed cylinder seals up close was incredible.
The Rotunda at the Morgan Library
This was the original entrance to the library and is beautifully ornate and airy. I loved the painted ceiling and the white stucco reliefs in the apse. Little did I know that the library would only get more beautiful!
The North Room
This room served as the librarian’s office in the early 1900s, whose job was to further increase Morgan’s collection of manuscripts and rare books. Today, you’ll find amazing Mesopotamian seals as well as Egyptian, Greek and Roman sculptures.
The West Room
The very red west room served as Morgan’s private study. While a little too red for my taste, I can definitely see why someone would want to work surrounded by beautiful old books!
To the left of the giant fireplace, there is an impressive vault housing the rarest of books.
The East Room—one of the most beautiful libraries in the world
I’m saving the best for last! The East Room is absolutely magical. I fell completely in love with the three floors of books (although they only let you see the ground floor), spending over an hour circling the grand room reading [almost] each and every title.
This is easily my definition of paradise. How could you not fall in love with the beauty of this place?
The Morgan Library is also extremely quiet, so if you’re looking for a respite from the busy streets of NYC, this is the place for you! If reading this post and seeing all these pretty books has got you inspired to do some reading of your own, find out what I’ve been reading recently.
Morgan Library Hours:
Tuesday-Thursday: 10:30 AM-5 PM
Friday: 10:30 AM-9 PM
Saturday: 10 AM-6 PM
Sunday: 11 AM-6 PM
Morgan Library Admission:
- $20 Adults
- $13 Seniors (65+)
- $13 Students (with ID)
- Members & children under 12: free
- Admission is free on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Admission to the McKim rooms only (Morgan’s Library, Study, Rotunda, and Librarian’s Office) is free: Tuesday, 3 PM-5 PM; Friday, 7 PM-9 PM; Sunday, 4 PM-6 PM
Oh my, I want my library to look like this.
So cosy and full of love for reading.
It’s an absolute dream! I would love to have a room like this one day too
Tanja (the Red phone box travels) says
oh wow!:) so dreamy..
I’m obsessed with beautiful libraries! I wish I’d known about this place when I was in NYC. It looks like the kind of place I could spend hours wandering through.
I spent so long wandering around. The guards definitely looked at me weirdly as I kept wandering from room to room on repeat but it was so worth it!
Siarra | Wander.Focus.Love says
I fell in love with it too!
This looks like a perfect place for me! The architecture is stunning. What a great place! Thanks for sharing.
It is amazing!
I love old books! When I finally visit NYC one day, this will be on my list!
Yes, it is definitely worth a visit! I hope you can come soon. Let me know if you need anymore suggestions for when you visit!
Yes, it is definitely worth a visit! I hope you can come soon. Let me know if you need any more suggestions for when you visit!
Ticket to Adventures / Piia says
Wow this place is a true gem! I love libraries and have recently discovered similar book lovers paradises here in my home town Helsinki as well. So much charm and history in these buildings!
It is magical! I couldn’t agree more.
The most beautiful library I’ve ever seen! I love both the east and west rooms. Thanks for the great photos and evocative description.
It’s the most beautiful I’ve seen too! Thank you so much for your kind words :)
Such a serene library to be in~
It was so peaceful!!
Wow such a beautiful library! I can’t believe I have never been while living or visiting NY. I will have to see this the next time I go!
It’s gorgeous! Definitely add it to your list–it took me ages to discover that it existed but it is easily one of my favourite places in the city
Laura Harris says
Ahhhh this is amazing and so beautiful and so many books plus the ancient scripts as well how did I not know this place existed?? Have to go there next time I’m in New York!
It’s amazing! I hope you get to go soon!! I’m obsessed with it now
Oh my goodness, how amazing it this library pleas?! I love book, especially old ones and I love old libraris, they have this special smell. Great post!
Yes the smell of old books is SO special! It’s one of my favourite smells!
Patricia Arsuengo says
Oh, Alex! What a find. The ceilings, I’d want to lie on my back to study them. The Mesopotamian exhibit would definitely be intriguing. God, I love history.
Yes! I sat myself on a bench for so long just staring at everything around me! And the Mesopotamian artifacts were beautiful. It brought back so many history class memories :)
Omygoodness! Can every library be like this? The ceiling work is stunning! If I went in there, I’d never want to leave! We’ll definitely add this to our next NYC itinerary! Tx!
I couldn’t agree more!! I stayed for hours (and definitely did not want to leave). I will definitely be making a trip back. I hope you get to visit when you’re in NYC :)