The Library of Parliament in Ottawa, Canada holds a special distinction on our list, as it is the only library of such prominence that its likeness is printed on the country’s currency (it is featured on Canada’s ten dollar bill). The design of this national landmark was inspired by the British Museum Reading Room, and includes walls supported by 16 flying buttresses, a vaulted ceiling in the main reading room, and white pine paneling with beautifully detailed carvings of flowers, masks, and mythical creatures. The collection encompasses more than 600,000 items, which is curated by a dedicated 300-member staff. While access to the facility is generally restricted to Canadian parliamentary business, tours are often made available to the public.
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