<p>George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University — Baltimore, America.</p> <p>Opened in 1878, the library collection contains over 300,000 volumes largely from the 18th and 19th centuries. Transferred between various institutions, the library is now

From Harry Potter to high-tech glass domes, these universities have some serious libraries to their names

You can't have a university without a library. The hub of any academic's life, some of these libraries have been feeding the minds of scholars for nearly 500 years.

From Duke Humfrey's Library at Oxford, built in the 16th century, to the Joe & Rika Mansueto library built only a couple of years ago, to the Stirling Memorial library built in the 1930s, each has its own unique look and feel.

How we expect our libraries to appear and function has changed. Irrespective of age, the following buildings each demonstrate unusual and beautiful approaches to the focal point of any university.

As you prepare to head off to university for the first time - or perhaps if you're already studying in one of these institutions - all these libraries stand testament to the brilliance of books.

Have a look through our gallery here