Virtual library tourism: visit 7 of the world's most beautiful libraries

Atlas Obscura has rounded-up seven different libraries that offer online virtual tours.

There's Harvard University's Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library, the Klementinum library in Prague (which is like something out of fairy tale), the Puratos Sourdough Library (no, really), which only allows virtual visits, King's College Library at Cambridge University (natch), the Admont Abbey Library in Austria, the Jerome Hall Law Library in Bloomington, IN, and the A.K. Smiley Public Library in Redlands, CA.

The Klementinum library
This baroque library in Prague, Czechia, was built in 1722 as part of a Jesuit university complex, and its ornate interior has changed little over the centuries. Step into its 360-degree tour and gaze at shelves of theological literature beneath a ceiling of frescoes. In addition to housing more than 20,000 books, the library includes a collection of terrestrial and celestial globes. You can also explore nearby chambers, such as a public reading room flanked by massive oil frescoes and an observatory in the astronomical tower.

The Puratos Sourdough Library

Founded in 2013 by the Belgian bakery supply company Puratos, this collection of sourdough starters in St. Vith is the largest of its kind. Although it is not open for public visits, you can virtually venture into its refrigerators, which collectively hold more than 100 blobs of yeast- and bacteria- laden flour in jars. After hearing a brief introduction from its sole curator, Karl De Smedt—who globetrots to acquire these glorious globs—check out short videos that spotlight varieties of yeast cultivated by bakers around the world, from Altamura to San Francisco.

See the rest of the Atlas Obscura piece.

Image: Klementinum Library, Prague. Bruno Delzant/CC BY 2.0