There’s something for every interest in the vast, intriguing, and educational collections of these five specialty libraries. Expand your knowledge by exploring these local spots today.
The Mercantile Library
Since its establishment in 1835, this subscription library has amassed 80,000 volumes, featuring such rarities as bound first sets of Dickens’s serialized novels and the early works of Cincinnatian Harriet Beecher Stowe. The collection has survived multiple fires and nearly two centuries downtown.
414 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 621-0717, mercantilelibrary.com
Lloyd Library & Museum
Founded by prominent pharmacist and botanist John Uri Lloyd and his brothers in the 1870s, today this library houses a collection of books, periodicals, photographs, and illustrations pertaining to the studies of plant-based science, medicine, conservation, art, and history available to researchers and curious visitors.
917 Plum St., downtown, (513) 721-3707, lloydlibrary.org
John Miller Burnam Classics Library
The nearly 300,000 volumes housed in the University of Cincinnati’s Blegen Library comprise one of the largest and highest quality collections of Classical Studies in the world, containing everything from medieval Latin and Greek manuscripts to thousands of centuries-old philology dissertations to the latest scholarship on the ancient world.
2602 McMicken Cir., Clifton, (513) 556-1315, libraries.uc.edu
With a collection of more than half a million books, Hebrew Union College is home to one of the top Jewish research libraries worldwide. Students, researchers, and visitors can peruse scholarship pertaining to Ancient Near East Studies, Bible, Cabala, Jewish Americana, and much more, including the 14,000 volumes housed in the Rare Book Room.
3101 Clifton Ave., Clifton, (513) 487-3276, huc.edu/research
Cincinnati History Library and Archives
Now housed in the depths of the Cincinnati Museum Center, this collection was founded in 1831 to gather and preserve materials relating to the history of the Greater Cincinnati area. In addition to books, history enthusiasts can access newspapers, maps, genealogical records, photographs, and more to explore the Queen City’s past.
1301 Western Ave., West End, (513) 287-7030, cincymuseum.org