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OU Named Among Architectural Digest's Top 18 Stunning Libraries Around the World

Susan Walden


NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma’s Bizzell Memorial Library has been named among 18 stunning university libraries around the world, according to Architectural Digest. OU is the only Big 12 University to be recognized, joining the ranks of other university libraries such as Duke Humfrey’s Library at Oxford University in England; Trinity College Library at the University of Dublin in Ireland; Library of the Sorbonne at Paris-Sorbonne University in France; University of Salamanca Library in Spain; the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University; and Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University.

 “This recognition of Bizzell Memorial Library as one of the most stunning university libraries in the world is truly well deserved,” said OU President David L. Boren. “It is not only an academic and architectural treasure for the state of Oklahoma but also for the nation and world.”

Built in 1929, Bizzell Memorial Library, a National Historic Landmark that sits at the heart of the campus, features unique Cherokee Gothic architecture and serene study retreats. Influenced by the Native American style evident since the institution’s founding in Oklahoma Territory in 1890, the Cherokee Gothic style is apparent throughout many buildings on OU’s campus. Among the most stunning architectural components of the Bizzell Memorial Library is the Peggy V. Helmerich Great Reading Room which serves as the home of theses and dissertations by OU graduates as well as one of the most visited study spaces on campus. The library provides undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty with innovative access to technology-enabled study spaces through the Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center and the Digital Scholarship Laboratory. Scheduled to open in fall 2017, the Zarrow Faculty and Graduate Student Center will provide graduate students and faculty with space for interdisciplinary, collaborative research.

Bizzell Memorial Library contains more than 6 million volumes, 1.3 million eBooks, 3.6 million microform materials and 116,000 serial subscriptions. The largest library in the state of Oklahoma, it also is home to one of the most important History of Science collections in the nation. The collection contains 12 original works by Galileo, four of which contain his own handwriting.

Previously, OU was named in the top 10 most impressive historic college campuses in the nation. For the full list of Architectural Digest’s 18 stunning university libraries around the world, visit

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