This week in our Time Travel series, we’re flipping through the history of libraries.
For thousands of years, people have traveled to libraries in search of knowledge. Once civilization dawned, people needed a place to store information and archives, and thus libraries were born. The earliest libraries are traced to present-day Iraq and stored cuneiform data on clay tablets. China’s creation of paper in the 2nd century BC helped spread knowledge westward at a faster pace, and more libraries appeared in sacred and private spaces.
During the Enlightenment, libraries experienced a golden age and development shifted to opening these troves of knowledge to the public. People founded more public libraries as time progressed, especially in Europe and the United States. Today, rather than shudder at technology, libraries embrace it, multiplying their catalogue of knowledge.
Flip through the gallery above to see how libraries have evolved over millennia.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Travel’s News Editor.