America's Most Beautiful College Libraries
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Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University, Waco, TX
This Italian Renaissance–style building’s bronze doors—fashioned after those at St. John’s Baptistry in Florence—lead you into a foyer with a 23-carat gold-leaf dome. Look through the library for the 62 stained-glass windows that illustrate the works of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the Victorian poets who make up the focus of the research library’s collection. It began as the personal trove of Dr. A. J. Armstrong, head of the English department from 1912 to 1952. These days, the Hankamer Treasure Room (pictured) hosts lectures and string quartets.