From becoming a historian to working in the marketing industry, there are multiple career paths for a history major to travel down. Earning a degree in this field of study will take you anywhere from 2 to 10+ years depending on how advanced of a credential you want to earn. With an associate’s degree in history, you can expect to make around $30k to $40k a year. A bachelor’s degree will likely earn you about $40k to $60k a year. And a more advanced degree, like a master’s or doctorate, can easily propel you to make upward of $100k annually. As you earn your degree, you will notice that much of your time is spent collecting and researching information. There is a good chance you will spend much of your time in computer labs and libraries. Let’s take a quick look at the best libraries for history lovers.

Library of Congress

Well known for being one of the best national libraries, the Library of Congress has an amazing photo collection for history lovers. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and is drenched in history. Did you know that this library is actually the largest in the entire world? That’s right! You could spend days on end studying here and still not even get through a fraction of everything it has to offer. The library itself is comprised of more than one building and delivers a neoclassical style. From murals to sculptures, the library has an extensively intricate interior and a copper roof that over the years as aged into a color of sea green.

Harold Washington Library

One glimpse that this library and you will immediately notice how modern it is. Although there is a hint of neoclassical architecture, new construction techniques give the building a modernized appearance. You will find a wide collection of history books here as well as autobiographies and geography content. No matter the specific area of history you are wanting to go into, the Harold Washington Library is a great place to study.

Jose Vasconcelos Library

This beautiful library is found in the heart of Mexico. Going by the nickname “megalibrary,” the Jose Vasconcelos Library takes up an astonishing 409,000 square feet. If you find yourself wanting to complete your studies outdoors, you can always visit the library’s botanical garden. You’ll have access to more than 500,000 books when studying at this library, most of which are displayed on glass shelves that hang from the five stories found within.

Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library in Vassar College

Housing close to one million books, this is another impressive library that is very large in size. In addition to the million books, you will also find 7,500 periodicals as well as an overly-large microfilm and microfiche collection. There are three wings along with a central tower comprising the Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library in Vassar College, with the most part of the building being the stained glass window located within the West Wing. The stain glass display features Elena Cornaro Piscopia — she studied at the University of Padua and was the first women in Europe to earn a doctorate degree.

Palafoxiana Library

Another beautiful library perfect for history lovers and found in Mexico, the Palafoxiana Library was Mexico’s first public library, established back in 1646. From rare content to antique titles, you will find more than 41,000 books.

Beinecke Rare Book Library in Yale University

Created not to look pretty, the Beinecke Rare Book Library in Yale University was built with the sole purpose of protecting the extremely rare books that it houses. You will find windowless walls within as well as breathtaking marble structures. One of the most notable aspects of the library is that it is now considered the largest building all across the globe that is designed for the purpose of protecting rare information, including one of the 48 copies of the Gutenberg Bible as well as early American newspapers, ancient papyri, and more.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Library

You have likely heard of this library, yet probably under a different name — the New York Public Library. Featured in many popular movies, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Library features two stone lions that guard the building. Inside you will find mesmerizing marble walls that are about three feet thick. Because of the impressiveness that the architecture delivers, this building was deemed a National Historic Landmark in 1965. The shelves inside would extend more than 75 miles if they were all lined up together, and because the library has grown in collection size since it was first opened, it now has an underground part that goes under Bryant Park.

Library of Parliament

Originally a part of the Parliamentary headquarters located in Canada and constructed in 1876, the Library of Parliament was the only part structure that survived the massive fire that took place in 1916. This Gothic building is so well known and highly valued and treasured that it is found on the Canadian ten-dollar bill. A funny fact about this library is that it was under construction for 10 years before it became known that the construction workers did not know how to create the domed roof that was in the original plans. Because of the misunderstanding and inability to create the domed roof, the Fairbairn Engineering Company built a pre-fabricated dome.

The Takeaway

No matter the type of history degree that you are going to school to earn, you can always gain knowledge by visiting any of the libraries listed above. If you have the time, you should try to visit all of them to help expand your knowledge as much as possible.

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