Mil Seymore

Mil Seymore

Modified & Updated: 11 Oct 2023


Welcome to the fascinating world of Burling Library! This iconic landmark holds a wealth of knowledge and history within its walls, captivating visitors from all walks of life. Located in the heart of Grinnell College in Iowa, Burling Library stands as a testament to the institution’s commitment to intellectual exploration and academic excellence.

In this article, we will delve into eight intriguing facts about Burling Library that will leave you awestruck. From its stunning architecture to its impressive collection of manuscripts, this library has much to offer in terms of cultural significance and educational value. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embark on this exhilarating journey through the history and heritage of Burling Library!

Table of Contents

The Oldest Academic Library in the Region

The Burling Library holds the prestigious title of being the oldest academic library in the region. Established in 1843, it has stood the test of time as a haven for scholars and researchers.

A Vast Collection of Rare Manuscripts

Among its treasures, the Burling Library houses a remarkable collection of rare manuscripts. Scholars have access to historical documents, ancient texts, and valuable literary works that offer invaluable insights into various fields of study.

An Architectural Marvel

The library’s stunning architecture is a sight to behold. Designed in the neoclassical style, its grand columns, intricate details, and soaring ceilings create an atmosphere of awe and inspiration.

A Home to Special Collections

The Burling Library is known for its special collections, which encompass a wide range of subjects. These collections include rare books, archival materials, and artifacts that provide a glimpse into the past and contribute to the advancement of knowledge.

A Haven for Intellectual Exchange

With its cozy reading rooms and tranquil study spaces, the Burling Library provides the perfect environment for intellectual exchange. Students, professors, and researchers come together to share ideas, engage in discussions, and collaborate on groundbreaking projects.

State-of-the-Art Technology

While steeped in history, the Burling Library embraces modernity with its state-of-the-art technology. From digital archives to interactive displays, it seamlessly integrates traditional research methods with cutting-edge advancements, fostering innovation and exploration.

Archival Preservation Efforts

The conservation and preservation of rare and delicate materials are of utmost importance at the Burling Library. Through diligent archival efforts, the library ensures that these invaluable resources are protected for future generations.

A Cultural Hub

Beyond its role as a center for academia, the Burling Library is a cultural hub within the community. It hosts literary events, exhibitions, and lectures, inviting people from all walks of life to explore the world of knowledge.

The Burling Library is not just a building filled with books; it represents the pursuit of knowledge, the preservation of history, and the celebration of intellectual curiosity. It stands as a testament to the power of libraries in shaping our society and inspiring generations to come.


In conclusion, Burling Library is not just a place to study and find books, but a treasure trove of history, knowledge, and fascinating facts. From its striking architecture to its unique collections, there is something to pique the interest of every visitor. Whether you are a literature buff, a history enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of libraries, Burling Library offers an experience that is truly captivating. So, the next time you find yourself on the campus of Grinnell College, make sure to pay a visit to Burling Library and discover its rich heritage for yourself.


1. When was Burling Library built?

Burling Library was built in 1966 as a replacement for the original Carnegie Library.

2. What architectural style is Burling Library?

Burling Library is an example of Brutalist architecture, characterized by its massive concrete structure and bold geometric forms.

3. Can anyone visit Burling Library?

Yes, Burling Library is open to the public. However, some areas may be restricted to Grinnell College students, faculty, and staff.

4. What kind of collections does Burling Library have?

Burling Library is home to a diverse range of collections, including books, manuscripts, rare books, maps, and multimedia materials.

5. Are there any special events or exhibitions held at Burling Library?

Yes, Burling Library often hosts special events, exhibitions, and guest speakers throughout the year. Check the library’s website for upcoming events.

6. Are there study areas available in Burling Library?

Yes, Burling Library offers various study areas, including quiet zones, group study rooms, and collaborative spaces.

7. Can I borrow books from Burling Library?

Books can be borrowed by students, faculty, and staff of Grinnell College. Visitors may have limited borrowing privileges.

8. Are there any notable landmarks nearby Burling Library?

Yes, Burling Library is located on the campus of Grinnell College, which is home to several other notable landmarks, including the Carnegie Hall of Music and the Noyce Science Center.