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