Libraries are spiritual places, sanctuaries of knowledge, temples of wisdom, oases of silence. From the splendid baroque libraries of monasteries to the age-old archives of the most illustrious universities, from the rich cabinets of enlightened princes to the most sober and functional buildings, they all are imbued with a sort of sacral solemnity. Since the outset of her professional career as a photographer in the mid-1970s, Candida Höfer has taken pictures of the interiors of public buildings such as castles, museums, theatres, exhibition spaces and libraries. This book is devoted to the latter. In these pages as never before, the objectivity and terseness characteristic of Candida Höfer’s work succeed in glorifying libraries all over the world of every size and period: the Trinity Library in Dublin, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, the Anna Amalia Bibliothek in Weimar shortly before the catastrophic fire as well as the libraries of the Escorial and the Villa Medici in Rome. A witty introduction by Umberto Eco reflecting on the various purposes of an ideal library and how to obviate its managerial shortcomings precedes 137 colour photographs by Candida Höfer constituting a sumptuous celebration of bibliophilism.