History Main / TheLibraryOfBabel

24th Nov '13 10:16:34 AM LordGro
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A Creator/JorgeLuisBorges short story, ''Literature/TheLibraryOfBabel''

to:

* A Creator/JorgeLuisBorges short story, ''Literature/TheLibraryOfBabel''
"Literature/TheLibraryOfBabel"
1st Apr '13 11:11:53 AM MacronNotes
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A Creator/JorgeLuisBorges short story, ''Literature/LibraryOfBabel''

to:

* A Creator/JorgeLuisBorges short story, ''Literature/LibraryOfBabel''
''Literature/TheLibraryOfBabel''
28th Mar '13 10:43:49 AM Willbyr
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A Creator/JorgeLuisBorges short story, ''Literature/LibraryOfBabel''

to:

* A Creator/JorgeLuisBorges short story, ''Literature/LibraryOfBabel''''Literature/LibraryOfBabel''

----
28th Mar '13 8:56:03 AM MacronNotes
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* A magical themed library with spellbooks, arcane information and other supernaturl things, MagicalLibrary.

to:

* A magical themed library with spellbooks, arcane information and other supernaturl supernatural things, MagicalLibrary.
27th Mar '13 4:35:57 PM MacronNotes
Is there an issue? Send a Message


%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1326341243038286200
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/TheSandman http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/boooooooks_5625.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:All that is written, all that never was, and all that ever might be.]]

->''Everything would be in its blind volumes. Everything: [[YouCannotChangeTheFuture the detailed history]] of [[PropheciesAreAlwaysRight the future]], {{Aeschylus}}''' The Egyptians, ''the exact number of times that the waters of the Ganges have reflected the flight of a falcon, the [[TheGreatestHistoryNeverTold secret]] and true [[TheGloryThatWasRome nature]] of [[AncientRome Rome]], the encyclopedia Novalis would have constructed, my dreams and half-dreams at dawn on August 14, 1934, the proof of [[FermatsLastTheorem Pierre Fermat's theorem]], the [[LeftHanging unwritten]] [[CutShort chapters]] [[AuthorExistenceFailure of]]'' [[Literature.TheMysteryOfEdwinDrood Edwin Drood]], ''those same chapters translated into [[OlderThanDirt the language spoken]] by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garamantes the Garamantes]], the paradoxes Berkeley invented concerning Time but didn't publish, Urizen's books of iron, [[{{Doorstopper}} the]] [[APortraitOfTheArtistAsAYoungMan premature]] [[{{Ulysses}} epiphanies]] [[InnerMonologue of]] [[AuthorAvatar Stephen]] [[JamesJoyce Dedalus]], which would be meaningless before a cycle of a thousand years, the Gnostic Gospel of Basilides, [[MindControlMusic the song]] [[EnthrallingSiren the sirens]] [[CompellingVoice sang]], the complete catalog of the Library, the proof of the inaccuracy of that catalog.''
-->-- '''Creator/JorgeLuisBorges'''

Step into this library quietly, with reverence. Don't raise your voice, don't run. And for god's sake, no smoking.

Few are the mortals who are allowed to enter, let alone read the tomes here. Have a question? There's a book here to answer it. [[GottaCatchEmAll Need to learn about a collection of MacGuffins]]? You'll find those half-way down [[FourIsDeath shelf four.]] [[GenreSavvy Wish to be privy]] [[MediumAwareness to the secrets]] [[MindScrew of the innermost universe]]? You may have to ask for assistance.

This is not your typical local library. Inside this library, you can find the TomeOfEldritchLore, TomesOfProphecyAndFate and the GreatBigBookOfEverything if you know where to search... which is quite unlikely, given that every book ever printed (and [[BlankBook some that aren't]]) sits on its dust-coated labyrinthine shelves in its cavernous, dimly lit rooms, and its organisational structure predates the Dewey decimal system by about 3 millennia. Sadly, even containing the knowledge of the whole universe, it seems to be lacking any sort of HotLibrarian. This place attracts the [[ScaryLibrarian spookier librarians]][[hottip:*:[[Literature/{{Discworld}} Ook]].

And trust us... you don't want to get Cheeto dust on these pages. [[TemptingFate You just don't.]]

The Internet and computers in general have made this a bit of a DiscreditedTrope[[hottip:*:(The "bit" part comes from the sheer non-conformity, spotty validation and difficulty searching for and accessing content online)]] as far as modern and sci-fi stories go; you can access information about almost anything in the same way you're reading this, so there's little reason to put it all in one place. And even if you want to centralize it, one 700-MB compact disk can hold over 200 novels, and compared to modern computers 700 megabytes isn't a lot of storage space at all. However, it's still a popular idea because shelves of books as far as the eye can see, big enough to get lost in, [[RuleOfCool looks cool]]. Of course, a [[TheMetaverse Metaverse]] / {{Cyberspace}} library may well look like a cross between the Library of Babel and a DesignStudentsOrgasm. [[XMeetsY With]] TronLines.

----

!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:General]]
* The Library of Alexandria sometimes gets this treatment in fiction. It held so much ancient knowledge that some say that if it had not burned down and been lost forever, technology would be significantly more advanced today. At the least, we'd know the content of many more classical works.
** If the work of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_Alexandria Hero of Alexandria]], who thought up the steam engine, were there, that is sure.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Infinity Library of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', has all the publications and data of every world, and has been described as containing the memories of the universe. It's so huge that nobody has catalogued even a small fraction of it, and people wanting to use it for research often form ''multi-week expeditions'' to do so. These are people who can use search magic to speed things up and read several books at once, mind you.
** There's a common bit of fanon that suggests that the Infinity Library is actually connected to one or more of the other entries on this list. When reading Nanoha fanfics ([[SturgeonsLaw the good ones, at least]]), any scene involving Yuuno and the Library has about a one-in-four chance of featuring a cameo appearance by an oddly intelligent [[Literature/{{Discworld}} orangutan]].
* ''MahouSenseiNegima'' has Library Island, a city-sized underground library so massive that Mahora actually has a school club dedicated to exploring it, with standard club equipment consisting of ''rock climbing gear''. It's known to contain books that make the holder more intelligent, golems, dragons, secluded lakes, hidden passages (also lined with bookshelves), ''waterfalls''[[hottip:*:that don't cause any water damage to the books behind them!]] the roots of TheWorldTree, and lots of booby traps. [[http://www.mangafox.com/page/manga/read/71/mahou_sensei_negima/chapter.11056/page.14/ See]] [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v14/c126/14.html for]] [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v14/c128/2.html yourself]].
* The Library of Spirits ("Fantasy Library") in the ''[[Anime/ReadOrDie Read Or Dream]]'' manga has every book ever written, as reading material for the dead. However, it appears on Earth for 1 hour every 10 years, and the living may borrow one book for a 10 year period.
** ''RODTheTV'' features one of the closed stack libraries mentioned in the real life section. It doesn't look as amazing as some examples of this trope, but damned if that isn't a lot of books.
* Although it isn't actually a library ''per se'', the Claire Bible from ''{{Slayers}}'' is very similar to this. The complete manuscript is a straight example (it's stored on an infinite number of stelae in an alternate dimension, so good luck finding what you want if the librarian doesn't want to help you), but the original is more of a telepathic fountain of knowledge.
* In ''EurekaSeven'', [[spoiler:the "inside" of the Command Cluster is an entire library ''city''.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'' contains a massive library so large that the foyer is large enough to be a seat of government and contain objects of mythical size (Excalibur has literally become as big as the legend of Arthur). Oddly even though it belongs to all sorts of magical creatures it's never implied to be magical in any way except for its extreme size.
* The Library of Dream in ''Comicbook/TheSandman'' is full of those books that were conceived by their authors but never written or completed. This not only includes things like Creator/GKChesterton's ''The Man Who Was October'', or Creator/PGWodehouse's ''[[CanonWelding Psmith and Jeeves]]'', but an awful lot of books like ''That Romantic Comedy Sci-Fi Thriller I Used to Think About on the Bus to Work''.
** WordOfGod has it that it has an annex that contains everything that actually was written, too. We just never see it because it's so tiny compared to the rest of the place.
* Elder of the Universe and SilverSurfer foe, the Possessor, founded the largest university and library in the Marvel Universe on the planet Rus, complete with a master computer containing his vast knowledge.
* In ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', the Library of Time in Shangri-La can magically summon up any book ever printed in all of history.
** Given that this is a FredPerry title, the (male) librarian is [[DoubleEntendre every inch]] the HotLibrarian.
* ''Comicbook/{{Superman}}''. The Fortress of Solitude has information from the 28 known galaxies. Supes decides to store up Earth's knowledge as well.
* ''InfiniteCrisis'': Superman and companions are in another universe, where they encounter a single, standard-size page which they're told contains every possible page from all of time and every possible universe. Not surprisingly, they can't move it.
** Appears again in Superman's trip to Limbo in ''FinalCrisis''. Except this time, Ultraman somehow manages to lift it and learn about [[spoiler:Mandrakk]].
* The library of the Crystal Ballroom in ''Nexus'' contains all the historical memory of (at least the known) universe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The Imperial Archives in ''FanFic/LegendsOfEquestria'' serves as one of these, holding all accumulated knowledge for the '''entire Earth''' in a 2.25 square ''mile'' room. The library itself is a cozy place, complete with fireplaces and warm lighting. It's also in the process of [[TechnologyMarchesOn being digitized and stored in a nearby server room]].
* ''FanFic/TheNuptialverse'' has the [[AncientKeeper Keeper's]] library, which seems to be the sole location of her plane of existence. [[AkashicRecords There's a book for every sentient being who's ever lived, containing every single detail of their lives.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The towering fortress-library in ''Film/TheNameOfTheRose'' contains all the accumulated knowledge of ancient Europe (see Literature, below). [[spoiler:[[DownerEnding It burns down at the end]]]] due to the [[TakingYouWithMe bastard antagonist]], forcing [[SeanConnery William of Baskerville]] to make a [[MortonsFork tough decision]] about which books to take with him. Oh, and it's also a labyrinth full of [[SecretPath secret passageways]].
* There are a few super-libraries in the ''StarWars'' mythos: The Jedi library seen in the prequels; an enormous data collection belonging to a former smuggler; a whole planet is devoted to being a galactic library. All three of these are implied to be the sum of all knowledge in the galaxy (or damn near, at least)
** To the point where when, in ''AttackOfTheClones'', gravitational calculations prove that a planet MUST exist at a certain location, yet there is no record of such a planet, the librarian believes the library's records over the laws of physics. Just to drive home the point of how [[VestigialEmpire complacent]] the Old Republic had become.
*** ''Possibly'' explainable with the attitude 'Well obviously you got your math wrong.', but that is not shown in the film.
* ''TheLibrarian'' films are about a librarian of this type of library. Not only does it contain legendary and magical books, but also all the world's greatest and most dangerous treasures. Noah Wyle makes a very cute librarian.
* The great library of Gondor in ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Fellowship of the Ring]]''. Careful with those torches!
* In ''AngelsAndDemons,'' the Vatican Archives are treated as this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The TropeNamer is a short story by JorgeLuisBorges. Interestingly, the library in Borges story is a lot less useful than most examples of this trope, because it is an infinitely large library that not only has every book ever, it contains every ''possible'' book. So yes, the true story of your own death is in there, but so is every conceivable ''false'' story of your own death, with nothing to distinguish them. Worse yet, the library is randomized, with no catalog or organization to help you find something specific. [[DeconstructedTrope And more than 99.9999% of the books are simply gibberish]].
** When Borges first published the story, a friend pointed out to him that the vastness of the Library was unnecessary -- all that was needed was ''one'' book, with an infinite number of infinitesimally thin pages. Twenty years later he used the concept in another short story, "The Book of Sand".
* The ''[[TheRiftwarCycle Kingdom of the Isles]]'' has the library-fortress of Sarth, maintained by an order of monks. The library spans entire levels burrowed into a small hill, while an old dwarven mine beneath the hill provides even more room for expansion.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' explains the phenomenon of L-Space, which can turn ''any'' collection of books into a Library of Babel, thusly: Knowledge = Power = Energy = Mass, which distorts time and space. "A good bookshop is just a genteel black hole that knows how to read." That said, it also has more specific examples.
** The library of Unseen University is a major "node" in [[PortalNetwork L-Space]] owing to the sheer weight of accumulated knowledge distorting the space-time continuum. The library itself is pretty much a universe of its own where the library dome is always directly overhead no matter where you are, creatures such as the [[GrammarNazi thesaurus]] lurk between the shelves, and lost research students have formed tribes in the stacks.
** The Library of Ephebe in ''Small Gods'' is clearly modeled on the real-life Library of Alexandria, i.e., a serious attempt to collect all known books in existence - with the added feature of an earthed copper roof in case one of the Disc's myriad deities [[BoltOfDivineRetribution takes issue with something in its collection]]. It seems large but otherwise normal [[spoiler: until it is burning down and The Librarian pops in and out via L-Space to save some of the books.]]
** [[TheGrimReaper Death's]] Library is a variation - every person's life story writes itself into a book somewhere on his shelves. As you go back, the histories are written on scrolls, then animal skins, then stone slabs... One character asks Death's daughter (adopted) what came before the slabs, because some people would "quite like to know". She replies that she didn't get that far, as she was running out of candles.
** Death also has a more straight version of this; in ''{{Discworld/The Last Continent}}'' he is looking for information on the Discworld's version of [[DeathWorld Australia]], [=XXXX=]. He walks into the library and asks for information on the dangerous animals, and is [[RummageFail buried in books]]. He then changes the request to the ''non''-dangerous ones, and one sheet of paper floats down, reading "[[EverythingTryingToKillYou some of the sheep]]."
* This is OlderThanTheyThink - there is a short story by Kurd Lasswitz, ''The Universal Library'', exploring this same idea and written in 1901, decades before Borges.
* The Great Library in the ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' books, which contains every book that will ever be written, and a few more besides.
* The Library of Alexandria in the ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries'' contains all sorts of arcane printed matter... and not so arcane. Everything with print must be handed over to the librarians upon entrance, even your shirt tags. Reading a book from the library, or even taking one off the shelf (no matter how accidentally) gets you turned into one of them. Place is scary!
* The Library of Celaeno in August Derleth's CthulhuMythos novel ''TheTrailOfCthulhu''. It's on the 4th planet of the star Celaeno in the Pleiades, and is full of arcane information.
** Another unusual library exists in the [[DreamWorld Dreamlands]] in the short story "Principles and Parameters," which very likely draws on some earlier story.
* Classic Creator/HPLovecraft example: the library of Miskatonic University in Arkham.
** Which is peanuts compared to the Pnakotus Archive of the Great Race of Yith hidden deep underground somewhere in the Australian Outback, which is supposed to contain the history and combined knowledge of every civilization that has ruled, or will ever rule, planet Earth.
** In HP Lovecraft's writing, some real world libraries also hold [[TomeOfEldritchLore tomes of Eldritch lore]]. The Necronomicon, one of the best known examples, can be found in the British Museum, the National Library of France, the Widener Library of Harvard University, and the University of Buenos Aires. Some of these (particularly the National Library of France) are so old and so large that they probably count as real life examples of the library of babel without the terrifying books which drive people mad. [[hottip:*: Then again, the National Library of France is where the original papers related to the Priory of Sion hoax were found, so it does contain written materials that have been shown to trigger delusions.]]
* A ShoutOut to this. The library of the abbey in ''Literature/TheNameOfTheRose''; though it does not literally contain every possible book, it is described as containing within it ''all the knowledge of medieval Europe,'' and entrance to it is forbidden. Also, the blind monk Jorge de Burgos is an obvious ShoutOut to Borges.
* The novel ''Endymion Spring'' has The Last Book, which is basically a Library of Babel condensed into one volume. It's also known as the Book of Sand, another ShoutOut to Borges' work.
* ''TheDresdenFiles'' has a variation of this: all the written knowledge in the history of ever, updated live. The Archive (dubbed "Ivy" by Harry) is a walking Library of Babel in the form of a young girl. Everything and anything that is written, she knows. Harry takes advantage of this in Book 10: [[spoiler: When Ivy is kidnapped, Harry, in the midst of figuring out what to do, grabs a piece of paper and writes a reassuring note, telling her that he's coming. Post-rescue, she mentions that she got it.]]
** A couple books later, he gets in touch with her by taking a napkin and writing the beginning of another note saying he needs her help. His phone rings with her on the line before he's finished writing it.
** Which means she knows [[BlessedWithSuck every trash novel and crappy fanfic ever]]. Best not to [[BellisariosMaxim think about that too much]]...
*** WordOfGod says that the Archive can also access every piece of electronic data as well. That means she can access [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking every porn site, every spam e-mail and every tweet]]. Even worse, she has access to [[FateWorseThanDeath this very website]].
** Hi, Ivy! How's it going?
*** Quite well Troper, thank you for asking.
* In ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'', Bastian creates a library with every story he has ever composed, for the benefit of a city of storytellers.
* ''ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' features several non-supernatural libraries which come close to this, including a massive system of filing cabinets, a collection of banned books, and a pile of valuable secret documents under a table.
** [[OnceAnEpisode Every single book]] features a library of some sort which is plot important.
* The Beast's library in RobinMcKinley's ''[[Literature/BeautyARetellingOfBeautyAndTheBeast Beauty]]''. Might not have all the books that will ever be written, but it certainly has books that haven't been written as of when the story occurs.
--> '''Beauty''': "RudyardKipling"? This is a ''name''?
* The book ''Literature/TheCityOfDreamingBooks'' by German author Creator/WalterMoers takes place in the city of Bookholm. On the surface, you can buy nearly every book in existence. But in the catacombes below, if you are able to survive long enough, you can find everything ever written. Somewhere.
* In ''{{Magnus}}'', the Library of Dragylon, Lucifer's fortress.
* The Galactic Library on Trantor, from Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''{{Foundation}}'' series, should count. [[spoiler: At least until it's sacked.]] Add in the 'finished' copy of the Encyclopedia Galactica which is used to 'provide' the chapter quotes, as the Encyclopedia project is intended as a compendium of human knowledge so it won't be forgotten, too.
* The Clayr's Great Library in Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' series, which first shows up in ''Literature/{{Lirael}}'', is under a mountain and doesn't limit itself to just books: odds and ends like sealed Free Magic beings and chambers large enough that it takes ten minutes to walk through them that contain only a pond, a tree, loads and loads of flowers and a fake sky (this is underground, remember?) are hidden here and there. Working in the library is apparently dangerous enough that whole parties of armed librarians are required for trips into the lower levels, and all librarians are required to have various weapons as well as a whistle and a clockwork mouse that will raise an alarm in case of emergencies on their person.
* {{Deconstructed}} in ''[[http://home.comcast.net/~bcleere/texts/draper.html Ms Fnd in a Lbry]]''.
* The Great Library of Pandathaway in the ''Literature/GuardiansOfTheFlame'' series appears to qualify -- though its librarians also charge ruinously high fees to actually ''find'' the information within its cavernous shelves and chambers.
* Elinor's library in ''Literature/{{Inkheart}}'' counts. It seems like there is every genre imaginable there!
* The eponymous location in ThomasLigotti's ''The Library Of Byzantium'' is implied to be one of these.
* StevenMoffat's ''Series/DoctorWho'' short story "Continuity Errors" has a planet-wide library (which he presumably autopilfered for "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" below).
* Occurs regularly as a location throughout Creator/GeorgeMacDonald's fiction, notably ''Phantastes,'' ''Lilith,'' and ''Alec Forbes''. Even in his realistic novels, the books in the library are definitely magical.
* The Archives of the University in ''[[TheKingkillerChronicle The Name of the Wind]]'' and sequels. It has no natural light, and it's so vast it's difficult to find anything, since no librarian could live long enough to implement an organization system, so there are different systems in place in different areas. It has TheBigBoard that marks locations in the world where teams of librarians are retrieving more books. There is one character, Puppet, who has lived in the Archives for years. There are "bad neighborhoods" of shelves with no organization whatsoever. There are secret passages that access the Archives from the undercity that was buried hundreds or thousands of years ago.
* In CliffordSimak's "The Goblin Reservation", a crystal planet containing all the knowledge of the previous universe (the one before the last Big Bang) is offered as payment for the book's McGuffin.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The collectors' library in ''Series/{{Andromeda}}''. Although it only appears once in the episode "Time out of Mind".
* The school library in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' is an approximation of this, with all those arcane references back in the rear stacks.
** ''Series/{{Angel}}'' has the templates, seemingly empty books that can retrieve any and all of the works in the extensive library of [[OccultLawFirm Wolfram & Hart]].
* The Library, so big it doesn't even need a name, just a The, from ''Series/DoctorWho'' in "Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead." The Library is the entire planet.
** On a related note, the DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse BigFinish audio "The One Doctor" features Mentos, a being created for a game show that remarkably resembles The Weakest Link. It can answer any question by going back in time and finding the answer, essentially acting as a LibraryOfBabel. [[LogicBomb It was only defeated by asking one question: What can't it answer?]]. A Libarary that supposedly contained "All there ever was" was used in the Audio Adventure "The Genocide Machine" as well, and it was hidden behind a waterfall behind an image of what the library would look like eons from now (A bit like a mirage)
** In a scifi novel written by [[DragonLance Weis and Hickman (or maybe just one or the other)]], computers similar to the one mentioned above make up the backbone of the plot.
* The protagonist of ''Series/JohnDoe'' carried TheLibraryOfBabel around in his head.
* The Gaia Library in ''KamenRiderDouble'' is a neverending white void filled with bookshelves that only Philip can access. However, its function is more like a Search Engine of Babel as Philip needs keywords before he can get any of the information he needs.
* Memory Alpha is the Library of Congress for the Federation in ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Since the Federation consists of multiple worlds, and new information is being brought in by Starships all the time, it's probably ''huge''. Logically, there are Memories Beta through Omega to back it up in case the facility is lost.
** In one of DianeDuane's ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novels, the ''Enterprise'' returns to Earth for a resupply, and while everyone else is on shore leave, Spock stays behind to update the ship's computers with information from all of Earth's major libraries. (He finds it relaxing.)
** Memory Alpha was {{defictionaliz|ation}}ed as the ''Star Trek'' wiki. Memory Beta covers the ''Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse'', while Memory Gamma is for fan works.
* ''{{Warehouse 13}}'': Myka discovers that the eponymous [[SecretGovernmentWarehouse Warehouse]] also holds a massive library containing first editions of everything ever printed.
-->'''Pete:''' Does that include comic books?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* The AkashicRecords are a sort of celestial repository of all knowledge within {{Theosophy}} and some of its offshoots, including much of the NewAge movement.
* Didn't your teacher always try to scare you with something going in your "permanent record"?[[hottip:*:Your real-life school transcripts are nowhere near as scary as the "permanent record". Usually.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Library of Yves in the TabletopRPG ''TabletopGame/InNomine''. Slightly subverted in that Yves' Library is actually well-organized ... it's the sheer scale of its contents that can make a search take days without assistance. Also notable is that the Library includes not just every book that ever existed, but every book that its author never actually got around to writing. (Such as the scripts for all seven seasons of ''Series/{{Firefly}}''.)
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has plenty of planetary libraries and eldritch stores of information:
** The Black Library contains the collected knowledge of the entire Eldar race, but is hidden in the Webway and guarded by the greatest of the [[MonsterClown Harlequins' Solitaires]]. Only one human has visited it, but has sworn never to speak of what he found there, while the Arch-sorcerer Ahriman is obsessed with plundering its secrets for himself.
** The Imperium has thousands, ranging from Alexandria-sized to covering all the planets in a system. Unfortunately they seem to think cataloging things is a sin, and only tend to pop up in the background when they're being razed by Orks or captured by Chaos.
*** Of particular note is the [[VastBureaucracy Adeptus Administratum]] offices on Holy Terra, where armies of robed scribes carefully record useless census data thousands of years out of date from worlds that don't exist anymore, then file the reports away in the kilometre-high stacks where they will never be read again. Meanwhile the [[MachineCult Adeptus Mechanicus]] never deletes anything and stores the majority of the Imperium's scientific talent.
** The Hidden Library of Tzeentch is even larger than the Black Library and contains every single scrap of knowledge, every thought of every creature across space and time, and is where Tzeentch himself concocts his eternal plots.
** The Solemnance Archive, being a Necron record, has been expanding for the last hundred million years as its undead robot master, Trazyn the Infinite, adds new objects to his 'collection'. Such curios include the preserved head of an Imperial hero and entire armies of soldiers held in temporal stasis to form dioramas of historical conflicts.
* The Library of Candlekeep in the ''ForgottenRealms'' has shades of this, most notably the 'arcane knowledge' part; you must donate a book to the library in order to gain access, and most of the people who wish to do so are mages who donate low-level spellbooks.
* The dwindling race of Callidians, from the ''{{Talislanta}}'' game setting, are the keepers of a LibraryOfBabel of pre-Great Disaster documents.
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu''
** The Library of Celaeno (see [[AC:{{Literature}}]]) makes an appearance in the adventure ''The Fungi From Yuggoth''. It's infested with byakhee, and anyone who tries to smuggle information (not just the books but any information from the books) out of it gets eaten.
** ''Spawn of Azathoth'' has an adventure in the Dreamlands where the {{PC}}s can search a library in Ulthar.
* The plane of Mirrodin from ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' gives us the Knowledge Pool at Lumengrid, home of an entire race of GadgeteerGenius [[BadassBookworm Badass Bookworms]] known as the Vedalken. While the Pool is ''technically'' less of a traditional library as it is a swirling mass of liquid wisdom compiled by its keepers over countless millenia, the Vedalken have made it their prerogative from Day 1 to collect as much knowledge as is concieviably possible.
* In ''{{Planescape}}'', Thoth's Library.
-->'''Magnum Opus:''' [[http://mimir.net/musee/thoth.html They say Thoth's Library holds all the books that have ever been written, or ever will be. Doesn't sound likely to me - in my experience, 'they' say many things which aren't true.]]
** In addition, [[http://mimir.net/mechanus/burgs.shtml there is said to be an immense library inside the great rod]] of [[http://mimir.net/mechanus/index.shtml Mechanus]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' verse, the Plane of Oblivion occupied by the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora is like this -- an entire plane of reality filled with a limitless number of books with identical, unlabeled covers, supposedly containing every bit of Forbidden Knowledge and every secret, ever, at all. You can obtain one book from this plane, the ''Oghma Infinium'', in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'', ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'', ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]''. In all cases, it basically acts as RareCandy, giving you a large boost in a number of stats and vanishing when read.
** In the third Skyrim DLC[[spoiler: you visit Hermaeus Mora's realm by reading more of his books. It is a nightmare realm full of seas of acidic ink and fossilized books, haunted by horrificly mutated beings known as Seekers. It doesnt have all knowledge, and part of the main quest has you helping him get a bit of the missing information, but it includes some knowledge that anyone but him cant even comprehend, such as ideas rejected from the world at its creation.]]
* ''WorldOfWarcraft'': The Library section of the Karazhan instance has bookshelves as tall as staircases, as well as books strewn all along the floor which can be picked up and used to give you one of a few buffs, depending on the tome.
** In addition to that, there are at least two libraries which might fit this trope even though they are physically small because they are larger on the inside than the outside, and/or because they have no normal doors and can only be reached by teleportation.
*** The Librarium located in the Nexus is said to contain the knowledge of the Blue Dragonflight, the guardians of magic on Azeroth
* In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' features Voile, the Magical Library[[hottip:*:It's yet to be officially referred to as such, but that's the name of the music track that plays there]] in the Scarlet Devil Mansion's basement. It's large enough to allow for a stage roughly five-minute-long aerial battle over the bookshelves traveling in one direction without ever reaching the end. The library is maintained by [[BadassBookworm Patchouli Knowledge]], who spends her days locked up inside adding to the already-massive cache of knowledge - she's not just the librarian, but also the author of an unspecified proportion of the tomes in her library, and probably the overwhelming majority of the magic books in the library, given the esoteric rules for wizardry in the ''Touhou'' 'verse. While 100 straight years of this this have given her [[SquishyWizard anemia, asthma, and Vitamin A deficiency]], you are more than likely to find anything you could ever want in there ([[KleptomaniacHero Marisa]] sure does).
** According to ''[[AllThereInTheManual Perfect Memento in Strict Sense]]'', there are a great deal of books from the outside world, as books in [[MagicalLand Gensokyo]] are primarily written by hand.
*** Fanon has run away with the notion of Voile as a repository for nearly every book every written. Case in point: the doujin anime ''FanFic/{{Touhou Musou Kakyou}}'' goes as far as to depict the library with a volume of ''[[http://rainbowsphere.oniichannoecchi.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/snapshot20090108231943.jpg Wikipedia]]'' in stock.
* The Dark People from ''TheLongestJourney'' seek to obtain every book ever written, which they store in their library, located on a moving island whose location is a secret for but a few.
* The first BatenKaitos had one of these in the haunted variety, with BooksThatBite.
* The Library of the Ancients in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyV'' has an unbelievable number a books, including a large number which decide to attack the party. [[UndignifiedDeath Being killed by a book is not a good way to go.]]
** Daguerreo in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyIX'' is a ShoutOut to this location, but its function is as a late-game optional town.
*** It also has a more minor shout-out in the form of Tantarian, an optional boss book-monster that lives in a library (in a town called Alexandria, no less).
* Candlekeep in ''BaldursGate'' has an enormous library of spellbooks and histories which are maintained and patrolled by a fanatical order of monks, as well as having at least one backup copy of the entire library in another dimension.
* The Duke's Archives, the personal collection of Duke Seath the Scaleless in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''. It takes of multiple rather large rooms and an entire tower(that also doubles as a dungeon), and considering that Seath is the creator of [[BlackMagic sorcery]], they're no doubt on [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow rather dangerous subjects.]] As Big Hat Logan found out.
* In ''[[VideoGame/EscapeVelocity EV Nova]]'', the space station Imperial Archives in the Amnaho System is basically an {{expy}} of Memory Alpha for the Aurorans.
* The Sunken Library stage from ''MegamanZero 3''.
* The library in ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlRevis, being located at a school for alchemists, is massive enough to serve as ''two'' dungeons. Of course, it's also a home to undead blobs, sorceresses, malicious fairies, fallen angels, and ghosts, including [[CuteGhostGirl Pamela]] and her [[SealedEvilInATeddyBear Teddy]]. Students beware.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'', one of the doors leads to a massive library filled with books on several different subjects. It was used by the ship's former owner as a storage for his book collection.
* The final Episode of ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' features the City of Books. The entire library is owned by Featherine and contains all the various books and stories (in the meta-world, various Fragments) that she ever created. The final battle between [[spoiler:Lambda, Battler and Ange against Bern]] takes place here.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The internet in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'''s BadFuture. They printed it out just before it was shut down. ''All of it''.
* DoubleSubverted in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt''. When the protagonist heads to the Court's library to get information for her school essay, you'd expect it to be an imposing, spooky, silent, mazelike place -- after all, the Court shown so far is a massive imposing castle with supernatural inhabitants and qualities. Turns out, the library -- at least, the sections not devoted to science and technology -- is [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=22 a single flimsy bookshelf with useless books.]] So the girls head to the [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=23 old part of the library]]... which ''is'' an imposing, spooky, silent, mazelike place.
* The Bibliothiki in ''WapsiSquare'' is an extra-dimensional library that contains every book ever written (but only things that have been written, no audio recordings). It is guarded by a sphinx librarian. It is implied that the Library of Alexandria was a physical manifestation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://everything2.com/user/sam512/writeups/I+have+always+imagined+that+Paradise+will+be+a+kind+of+library?author=sam512 I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library]].
* The SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy library in the WhateleyUniverse isn't infinite, but it is enormous for a high school library, and contains lots of stuff human libraries shouldn't even know about, sealed off in private areas: alien books, CosmicHorrorStory books, ...
* [[http://qntm.org/?library One of Sam Hughes stories]] was based on this, with the plot twist being that [[spoiler:the library is Heaven. And the narrator isn't supposed to be there yet.]]
* The Wiki World (a reference to TheOtherWiki) of ''AHDotComTheSeries'', which is an AlternateUniverse Earth that has been wholly converted into a huge spherical space station dedicated to the preservation of all knowledge. So large that entire lost civilisations of "Edit Gangs" roam its abyssal reaches. Its rulers, the Wikimasters, govern it from an intimidating "Dark Cathedral". Subverted, however, when it turns out that in fact they're [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything all just a bunch of pathetic anime nerds]].
* The online story ''DominionAndDuchy'' has one in the Galactic Library. It is run by an A.I. known as the Librarian and apparently holds the contents of the Great Library of Alexandria. The Librarian was apparently organizing it for the humans when they make first contact.
* In the ''AntiClicheAndMarySueEliminationSociety'', the Library Arcanium, the Society's base, has just about every book ever written, from every universe, and is basically in another dimension. It is ''very'' big.
* ''WarningReadersAdvisory'' is set in just such a library, under the watchful eye of its Librarian.
* TheWanderersLibrary uses one as a framing device.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* "The Library" in the desert in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' whose supernatural librarian, Wan Shi Tong, keeps humans outside because they [[HumansAreBastards have an annoying tendency to abuse his knowledge.]] The protagonists, after promising Wan Shi Tong that they were not going in the library with malicious intent, go up to the observatory and find the next eclipse -- but only because they're planning to launch an attack. Long story short, Wan Shi Tong overhears them and gets very, very mad.
--> "If you're going to lie to an all-knowing Knowledge-Spirit, you should at least put some effort into it."
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** In "The Why of Fry" the Brain Spawn are constructing a database of all the knowledge in the universe, and once it's full, they plan to destroy the universe to make sure no new knowledge appears. In Fry's own words, "[[ItsPersonal Now it's personal.]]"
** The Brain Spawn, amusingly, are actually scanning in EVERY SINGLE FACT (such as "2+2=4", "Puppies are cute", etc) not just tomes of knowledge or principles of mathematics. (FridgeLogic: If they wanted to store all mathematical facts, they'd need to record infinite facts of the form "n+n=2n" alone.)
** Spoofed in "Mars University". All the literature in the world is in the Mars U library -- on two disks. (Fiction and Nonfiction)
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Twilight Sparkle's library.
** The tree library in Ponyville, not so much. It's about the size of the average public library. The grand library tower in Canterlot, oh yes. Which makes perfect sense, as it's the library belonging to [[PhysicalGod Princess Celestia]]. Twilight just happens to have enough favor with Celestia to be permitted to ''live'' in it.
** And then there's the library of the Crystal Empire, which is big and ancient enough to make Twilight Squee despite having lived in said library tower for most of her adult life.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Internet itself could probably be the closest thing to a Real Life example; even the part about most of it being nonsense or forbidden knowledge is there with the networks and web databases that can't be accessed normally.
** Sites like Amazon and Google Books allow users to look inside select pages of millions upon millions of books, which could be thought of as a sort of immense library.
** [[http://archive.org The Internet Archive]], especially the [[http://archive.org/web/web.php Wayback Machine]], is this for quite a lot of WWW history.
* Pretty much all of the developed nations have national libraries: tremendous collections of books, articles, magazines, and other printed/recorded material. The libraries of large research universities also contain vast collections, often including priceless historical artifacts.
** Since the Library of Congress is used to store publications for the U.S. Copyright office, virtually every work copyrighted in the U.S. is sent there, with just under half being added to the permanent collection. That amounts to an additional 10,000 items ''per day.''
* While nowhere near as well known as the library of Alexandria, the House of Wisdom, located in ancient Baghdad, was for its time the largest repository of knowledge in the world and actually held a great number of Greek and Roman translated pieces that may have originated from Alexandria. Unfortunately, it too was destroyed, in their case when the Mongols sacked the city.
** It was said that when the Mongols sacked Baghdad, the Tigris River ran black with ink from the scrolls they dumped in it.
* Einstein spoke of a "vast library, stacked from floor to ceiling with books in many different languages, arranged in an order we do not understand, but can dimly suspect". He called it the world.
* A number of programming cultures, most notably scripting languages like Perl[[hottip:*:[[http://cpan.org The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network]] and Python[[hottip:*:[[http://pypi.python.org/pypi the Python Package Index]], have these; there are also chrestomathy sites like [[http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Rosetta_Code RosettaCode]] that translate problems into multiple languages. There's also NetLib for scientific computing, Boost for C++ libraries, and so on.
[[/folder]]
----

to:

%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1326341243038286200
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/TheSandman http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/boooooooks_5625.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:All that is written, all that never was, and all that ever might be.]]

->''Everything would be in its blind volumes. Everything: [[YouCannotChangeTheFuture the detailed history]] of [[PropheciesAreAlwaysRight the future]], {{Aeschylus}}''' The Egyptians, ''the exact number of times that the waters of the Ganges have reflected the flight of a falcon, the [[TheGreatestHistoryNeverTold secret]] and true [[TheGloryThatWasRome nature]] of [[AncientRome Rome]], the encyclopedia Novalis would have constructed, my dreams and half-dreams at dawn on August 14, 1934, the proof of [[FermatsLastTheorem Pierre Fermat's theorem]], the [[LeftHanging unwritten]] [[CutShort chapters]] [[AuthorExistenceFailure of]]'' [[Literature.TheMysteryOfEdwinDrood Edwin Drood]], ''those same chapters translated into [[OlderThanDirt the language spoken]] by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garamantes the Garamantes]], the paradoxes Berkeley invented concerning Time but didn't publish, Urizen's books of iron, [[{{Doorstopper}} the]] [[APortraitOfTheArtistAsAYoungMan premature]] [[{{Ulysses}} epiphanies]] [[InnerMonologue of]] [[AuthorAvatar Stephen]] [[JamesJoyce Dedalus]], which would be meaningless before a cycle of a thousand years, the Gnostic Gospel of Basilides, [[MindControlMusic the song]] [[EnthrallingSiren the sirens]] [[CompellingVoice sang]], the complete catalog of the Library, the proof of the inaccuracy of that catalog.''
-->-- '''Creator/JorgeLuisBorges'''

Step into this library quietly, with reverence. Don't raise your voice, don't run. And for god's sake, no smoking.

Few are the mortals who are allowed to enter, let alone read the tomes here. Have a question? There's a book here to answer it. [[GottaCatchEmAll Need to learn about a collection of MacGuffins]]? You'll find those half-way down [[FourIsDeath shelf four.]] [[GenreSavvy Wish to be privy]] [[MediumAwareness to the secrets]] [[MindScrew of the innermost universe]]? You may have to ask for assistance.

This is not your typical local library. Inside this library, you can find the TomeOfEldritchLore, TomesOfProphecyAndFate and the GreatBigBookOfEverything if you know where to search... which is quite unlikely, given that every book ever printed (and [[BlankBook some that aren't]]) sits on its dust-coated labyrinthine shelves in its cavernous, dimly lit rooms, and its organisational structure predates the Dewey decimal system by about 3 millennia. Sadly, even containing the knowledge of the whole universe, it seems to be lacking any sort of HotLibrarian. This place attracts the [[ScaryLibrarian spookier librarians]][[hottip:*:[[Literature/{{Discworld}} Ook]].

And trust us... you don't want to get Cheeto dust on these pages. [[TemptingFate You just don't.]]

The Internet and computers in general have made this a bit of a DiscreditedTrope[[hottip:*:(The "bit" part comes from the sheer non-conformity, spotty validation and difficulty searching for and accessing content online)]] as far as modern and sci-fi stories go; you can access information about almost anything in the same way you're reading this, so there's little reason to put it all in one place. And even if you want to centralize it, one 700-MB compact disk can hold over 200 novels, and compared to modern computers 700 megabytes isn't a lot of storage space at all. However, it's still a popular idea because shelves of books as far as the eye can see, big enough to get lost in, [[RuleOfCool looks cool]]. Of course, a [[TheMetaverse Metaverse]] / {{Cyberspace}} library may well look like a cross between the Library of Babel and a DesignStudentsOrgasm. [[XMeetsY With]] TronLines.

----

!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:General]]
* The Library of Alexandria sometimes gets this treatment in fiction. It held so much ancient knowledge that some say that if it had not burned down and been lost forever, technology would be significantly more advanced today. At the least, we'd know the content of many more classical works.
** If the work of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_Alexandria Hero of Alexandria]], who thought up the steam engine, were there, that is sure.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Infinity Library of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', has all the publications and data of every world, and has been described as containing the memories of the universe. It's so huge that nobody has catalogued even a small fraction of it, and people wanting to use it for research often form ''multi-week expeditions'' to do so. These are people who can use search magic to speed things up and read several books at once, mind you.
** There's a common bit of fanon that suggests that the Infinity Library is actually connected to one or more of the other entries on this list. When reading Nanoha fanfics ([[SturgeonsLaw the good ones, at least]]), any scene involving Yuuno and the Library has about a one-in-four chance of featuring a cameo appearance by an oddly intelligent [[Literature/{{Discworld}} orangutan]].
* ''MahouSenseiNegima'' has Library Island, a city-sized underground library so massive that Mahora actually has a school club dedicated to exploring it, with standard club equipment consisting of ''rock climbing gear''. It's known to contain books that make the holder more intelligent, golems, dragons, secluded lakes, hidden passages (also lined with bookshelves), ''waterfalls''[[hottip:*:that don't cause any water damage to the books behind them!]] the roots of TheWorldTree, and lots of booby traps. [[http://www.mangafox.com/page/manga/read/71/mahou_sensei_negima/chapter.11056/page.14/ See]] [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v14/c126/14.html for]] [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v14/c128/2.html yourself]].
* The Library of Spirits ("Fantasy Library") in the ''[[Anime/ReadOrDie Read Or Dream]]'' manga has every book ever written, as reading material for the dead. However, it appears on Earth for 1 hour every 10 years, and the living may borrow one book for a 10 year period.
** ''RODTheTV'' features one of the closed stack libraries mentioned in the real life section. It doesn't look as amazing as some examples of this trope, but damned if that isn't a lot of books.
* Although it isn't actually a library ''per se'', the Claire Bible from ''{{Slayers}}'' is very similar to this. The complete manuscript is a straight example (it's stored on an infinite number of stelae in an alternate dimension, so good luck finding what you want if the librarian doesn't want to help you), but the original is more of a telepathic fountain of knowledge.
* In ''EurekaSeven'', [[spoiler:the "inside" of the Command Cluster is an entire library ''city''.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'' contains a massive library so large that the foyer is large enough to be a seat of government and contain objects of mythical size (Excalibur has literally become as big as the legend of Arthur). Oddly even though it belongs to all sorts of magical creatures it's never implied to be magical in any way except for its extreme size.
* The Library of Dream in ''Comicbook/TheSandman'' is full of those books that were conceived by their authors but never written or completed. This not only includes things like Creator/GKChesterton's ''The Man Who Was October'', or Creator/PGWodehouse's ''[[CanonWelding Psmith and Jeeves]]'', but an awful lot of books like ''That Romantic Comedy Sci-Fi Thriller I Used to Think About on the Bus to Work''.
** WordOfGod has it that it has an annex that contains everything that actually was written, too. We just never see it because it's so tiny compared to the rest of the place.
* Elder of the Universe and SilverSurfer foe, the Possessor, founded the largest university and library in the Marvel Universe on the planet Rus, complete with a master computer containing his vast knowledge.
* In ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', the Library of Time in Shangri-La can magically summon up any book ever printed in all of history.
** Given that this is a FredPerry title, the (male) librarian is [[DoubleEntendre every inch]] the HotLibrarian.
* ''Comicbook/{{Superman}}''. The Fortress of Solitude has information from the 28 known galaxies. Supes decides to store up Earth's knowledge as well.
* ''InfiniteCrisis'': Superman and companions are in another universe, where they encounter a single, standard-size page which they're told contains every possible page from all of time and every possible universe. Not surprisingly, they can't move it.
** Appears again in Superman's trip to Limbo in ''FinalCrisis''. Except this time, Ultraman somehow manages to lift it and learn about [[spoiler:Mandrakk]].
* The library of the Crystal Ballroom in ''Nexus'' contains all the historical memory of (at least the known) universe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The Imperial Archives in ''FanFic/LegendsOfEquestria'' serves as one of these, holding all accumulated knowledge for the '''entire Earth''' in a 2.25 square ''mile'' room. The library itself is a cozy place, complete with fireplaces and warm lighting. It's also in the process of [[TechnologyMarchesOn being digitized and stored in a nearby server room]].
* ''FanFic/TheNuptialverse'' has the [[AncientKeeper Keeper's]] library, which seems to be the sole location of her plane of existence. [[AkashicRecords There's a book for every sentient being who's ever lived, containing every single detail of their lives.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The towering fortress-library in ''Film/TheNameOfTheRose'' contains all the accumulated knowledge of ancient Europe (see Literature, below). [[spoiler:[[DownerEnding It burns down at the end]]]] due to the [[TakingYouWithMe bastard antagonist]], forcing [[SeanConnery William of Baskerville]] to make a [[MortonsFork tough decision]] about which books to take with him. Oh, and it's also a labyrinth full of [[SecretPath secret passageways]].
* There are a few super-libraries in the ''StarWars'' mythos: The Jedi library seen in the prequels; an enormous data collection belonging to a former smuggler; a whole planet is devoted to being a galactic library. All three of these are implied to be the sum of all knowledge in the galaxy (or damn near, at least)
** To the point where when, in ''AttackOfTheClones'', gravitational calculations prove that a planet MUST exist at a certain location, yet there is no record of such a planet, the librarian believes the library's records over the laws of physics. Just to drive home the point of how [[VestigialEmpire complacent]] the Old Republic had become.
*** ''Possibly'' explainable with the attitude 'Well obviously you got your math wrong.', but that is not shown in the film.
* ''TheLibrarian'' films are about a librarian of this type of library. Not only does it contain legendary and magical books, but also all the world's greatest and most dangerous treasures. Noah Wyle makes a very cute librarian.
* The great library of Gondor in ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Fellowship of the Ring]]''. Careful with those torches!
* In ''AngelsAndDemons,'' the Vatican Archives are treated as this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The TropeNamer is a short story by JorgeLuisBorges. Interestingly, the library in Borges story is a lot less useful than most examples of this trope, because it is an infinitely large library that not only has every book ever, it contains every ''possible'' book. So yes, the true story of your own death is in there, but so is every conceivable ''false'' story of your own death, with nothing to distinguish them. Worse yet, the library is randomized, with no catalog or organization to help you find something specific. [[DeconstructedTrope And more than 99.9999% of the books are simply gibberish]].
** When Borges first published the story, a friend pointed out to him that the vastness of the Library was unnecessary -- all that was needed was ''one'' book, with an infinite number of infinitesimally thin pages. Twenty years later he used the concept in another short story, "The Book of Sand".
* The ''[[TheRiftwarCycle Kingdom of the Isles]]'' has the library-fortress of Sarth, maintained by an order of monks. The library spans entire levels burrowed into a small hill, while an old dwarven mine beneath the hill provides even more room for expansion.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' explains the phenomenon of L-Space, which can turn ''any'' collection of books into a Library of Babel, thusly: Knowledge = Power = Energy = Mass, which distorts time and space. "A good bookshop is just a genteel black hole that knows how to read." That said, it also has more specific examples.
** The library of Unseen University is a major "node" in [[PortalNetwork L-Space]] owing to the sheer weight of accumulated knowledge distorting the space-time continuum. The library itself is pretty much a universe of its own where the library dome is always directly overhead no matter where you are, creatures such as the [[GrammarNazi thesaurus]] lurk between the shelves, and lost research students have formed tribes in the stacks.
** The Library of Ephebe in ''Small Gods'' is clearly modeled on the real-life Library of Alexandria, i.e., a serious attempt to collect all known books in existence - with the added feature of an earthed copper roof in case one of the Disc's myriad deities [[BoltOfDivineRetribution takes issue with something in its collection]]. It seems large but otherwise normal [[spoiler: until it is burning down and The Librarian pops in and out via L-Space to save some of the books.]]
** [[TheGrimReaper Death's]] Library is a variation - every person's life story writes itself into a book somewhere on his shelves. As you go back, the histories are written on scrolls, then animal skins, then stone slabs... One character asks Death's daughter (adopted) what came before the slabs, because some people would "quite like to know". She replies that she didn't get that far, as she was running out of candles.
** Death also has a more straight version of this; in ''{{Discworld/The Last Continent}}'' he is looking for information on the Discworld's version of [[DeathWorld Australia]], [=XXXX=]. He walks into the library and asks for information on the dangerous animals, and is [[RummageFail buried in books]]. He then changes the request to the ''non''-dangerous ones, and one sheet of paper floats down, reading "[[EverythingTryingToKillYou some of the sheep]]."
* This is OlderThanTheyThink - there is a short story by Kurd Lasswitz, ''The Universal Library'', exploring this same idea and written in 1901, decades before Borges.
* The Great Library in the ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' books, which contains every book that will ever be written, and a few more besides.
* The Library of Alexandria in the ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries'' contains all sorts of arcane printed matter... and not so arcane. Everything with print must be handed over to the librarians upon entrance, even your shirt tags. Reading a book from the library, or even taking one off the shelf (no matter how accidentally) gets you turned into one of them. Place is scary!
* The Library of Celaeno in August Derleth's CthulhuMythos novel ''TheTrailOfCthulhu''. It's on the 4th planet of the star Celaeno in the Pleiades, and is full of arcane information.
** Another unusual library exists in the [[DreamWorld Dreamlands]] in the short story "Principles and Parameters," which very likely draws on some earlier story.
* Classic Creator/HPLovecraft example: the library of Miskatonic University in Arkham.
** Which is peanuts compared to the Pnakotus Archive of the Great Race of Yith hidden deep underground somewhere in the Australian Outback, which is supposed to contain the history and combined knowledge of every civilization that has ruled, or will ever rule, planet Earth.
** In HP Lovecraft's writing, some real world libraries also hold [[TomeOfEldritchLore tomes of Eldritch lore]]. The Necronomicon, one of the best known examples, can be found in the British Museum, the National Library of France, the Widener Library of Harvard University, and the University of Buenos Aires. Some of these (particularly the National Library of France) are so old and so large that they probably count as real life examples of the library of babel without the terrifying books which drive people mad. [[hottip:*: Then again, the National Library of France is where the original papers related to the Priory of Sion hoax were found, so it does contain written materials that have been shown to trigger delusions.]]
* A ShoutOut to this. The library of the abbey in ''Literature/TheNameOfTheRose''; though it does not literally contain every possible book, it is described as containing within it ''all the knowledge of medieval Europe,'' and entrance to it is forbidden. Also, the blind monk Jorge de Burgos is an obvious ShoutOut to Borges.
* The novel ''Endymion Spring'' has The Last Book, which is basically a Library of Babel condensed into one volume. It's also known as the Book of Sand, another ShoutOut to Borges' work.
* ''TheDresdenFiles'' has a variation of this: all the written knowledge in the history of ever, updated live. The Archive (dubbed "Ivy" by Harry) is a walking Library of Babel in the form of a young girl. Everything and anything that is written, she knows. Harry takes advantage of this in Book 10: [[spoiler: When Ivy is kidnapped, Harry, in the midst of figuring out what to do, grabs a piece of paper and writes a reassuring note, telling her that he's coming. Post-rescue, she mentions that she got it.]]
** A couple books later, he gets in touch with her by taking a napkin and writing the beginning of another note saying he needs her help. His phone rings with her on the line before he's finished writing it.
** Which means she knows [[BlessedWithSuck every trash novel and crappy fanfic ever]]. Best not to [[BellisariosMaxim think about that too much]]...
*** WordOfGod says that the Archive can also access every piece of electronic data as well. That means she can access [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking every porn site, every spam e-mail and every tweet]]. Even worse, she has access to [[FateWorseThanDeath this very website]].
** Hi, Ivy! How's it going?
*** Quite well Troper, thank you for asking.
* In ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'', Bastian creates a library with every story he has ever composed, for the benefit of a city of storytellers.
* ''ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' features several non-supernatural libraries which come close to this, including a massive system of filing cabinets, a collection of banned books, and a pile of valuable secret documents under a table.
** [[OnceAnEpisode Every single book]] features a library of some sort which is plot important.
* The Beast's library in RobinMcKinley's ''[[Literature/BeautyARetellingOfBeautyAndTheBeast Beauty]]''. Might not have all the books that will ever be written, but it certainly has books that haven't been written as of when the story occurs.
--> '''Beauty''': "RudyardKipling"? This is a ''name''?
* The book ''Literature/TheCityOfDreamingBooks'' by German author Creator/WalterMoers takes place in the city of Bookholm. On the surface, you can buy nearly every book in existence. But in the catacombes below, if you are able to survive long enough, you can find everything ever written. Somewhere.
* In ''{{Magnus}}'', the Library of Dragylon, Lucifer's fortress.
* The Galactic Library on Trantor, from Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''{{Foundation}}'' series, should count. [[spoiler: At least until it's sacked.]] Add in the 'finished' copy of the Encyclopedia Galactica which is used to 'provide' the chapter quotes, as the Encyclopedia project is intended as a compendium of human knowledge so it won't be forgotten, too.
* The Clayr's Great Library in Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' series, which first shows up in ''Literature/{{Lirael}}'', is under a mountain and doesn't limit itself to just books: odds and ends like sealed Free Magic beings and chambers large enough that it takes ten minutes to walk through them that contain only a pond, a tree, loads and loads of flowers and a fake sky (this is underground, remember?) are hidden here and there. Working in the library is apparently dangerous enough that whole parties of armed librarians are required for trips into the lower levels, and all librarians are required to have various weapons as well as a whistle and a clockwork mouse that will raise an alarm in case of emergencies on their person.
* {{Deconstructed}} in ''[[http://home.comcast.net/~bcleere/texts/draper.html Ms Fnd in a Lbry]]''.
* The Great Library of Pandathaway in the ''Literature/GuardiansOfTheFlame'' series appears to qualify -- though its librarians also charge ruinously high fees to actually ''find'' the information within its cavernous shelves and chambers.
* Elinor's library in ''Literature/{{Inkheart}}'' counts. It seems like there is every genre imaginable there!
* The eponymous location in ThomasLigotti's
''The Library Of Byzantium'' is implied to be one of these.
* StevenMoffat's ''Series/DoctorWho'' short story "Continuity Errors" has a planet-wide library (which he presumably autopilfered for "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" below).
* Occurs regularly as a location throughout Creator/GeorgeMacDonald's fiction, notably ''Phantastes,'' ''Lilith,'' and ''Alec Forbes''. Even in his realistic novels, the books in the library are definitely magical.
* The Archives of the University in ''[[TheKingkillerChronicle The Name of the Wind]]'' and sequels. It has no natural light, and it's so vast it's difficult to find anything, since no librarian could live long enough to implement an organization system, so there are different systems in place in different areas. It has TheBigBoard that marks locations in the world where teams of librarians are retrieving more books. There is one character, Puppet, who has lived in the Archives for years. There are "bad neighborhoods" of shelves with no organization whatsoever. There are secret passages that access the Archives from the undercity that was buried hundreds or thousands of years ago.
* In CliffordSimak's "The Goblin Reservation", a crystal planet containing all the knowledge of the previous universe (the one before the last Big Bang) is offered as payment for the book's McGuffin.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The collectors' library in ''Series/{{Andromeda}}''. Although it only appears once in the episode "Time out of Mind".
* The school library in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' is an approximation of this, with all those arcane references back in the rear stacks.
** ''Series/{{Angel}}'' has the templates, seemingly empty books that
Babel'' can retrieve any and all of the works in the extensive library of [[OccultLawFirm Wolfram & Hart]].
refer to:

* The Library, so big it doesn't even need a name, just a The, from ''Series/DoctorWho'' in "Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead." The Library is the entire planet.
** On a related note, the DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse BigFinish audio "The One Doctor" features Mentos, a being created for a game show that remarkably resembles The Weakest Link. It can answer any question by going back in time and finding the answer, essentially acting as a LibraryOfBabel. [[LogicBomb It was only defeated by asking one question: What can't it answer?]].
A Libarary that supposedly contained "All there ever was" was used in the Audio Adventure "The Genocide Machine" as well, and it was hidden behind a waterfall behind an image of what the library would look like eons from now (A bit like a mirage)
** In a scifi novel written by [[DragonLance Weis and Hickman (or maybe just one or the other)]], computers similar to the one mentioned above make up the backbone of the plot.
* The protagonist of ''Series/JohnDoe'' carried TheLibraryOfBabel around in his head.
* The Gaia Library in ''KamenRiderDouble'' is a neverending white void filled with bookshelves that only Philip can access. However, its function is more like a Search Engine of Babel as Philip needs keywords before he can get any of the information he needs.
* Memory Alpha is the Library of Congress for the Federation in ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Since the Federation consists of multiple worlds, and new information is being brought in by Starships all the time, it's probably ''huge''. Logically, there are Memories Beta through Omega to back it up in case the facility is lost.
** In one of DianeDuane's ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novels, the ''Enterprise'' returns to Earth for a resupply, and while everyone else is on shore leave, Spock stays behind to update the ship's computers with information from all of Earth's major libraries. (He finds it relaxing.)
** Memory Alpha was {{defictionaliz|ation}}ed as the ''Star Trek'' wiki. Memory Beta covers the ''Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse'', while Memory Gamma is for fan works.
* ''{{Warehouse 13}}'': Myka discovers that the eponymous [[SecretGovernmentWarehouse Warehouse]] also holds a massive library containing first editions of everything ever printed.
-->'''Pete:''' Does that include comic books?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* The AkashicRecords are a sort of celestial repository of all knowledge within {{Theosophy}} and some of its offshoots, including much of the NewAge movement.
* Didn't your teacher always try to scare you with something going in your "permanent record"?[[hottip:*:Your real-life school transcripts are nowhere near as scary as the "permanent record". Usually.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Library of Yves in the TabletopRPG ''TabletopGame/InNomine''. Slightly subverted in that Yves' Library is actually well-organized ... it's the sheer scale of its contents that can make a search take days without assistance. Also notable is that the Library includes not just every book that ever existed, but every book that its author never actually got around to writing. (Such as the scripts for all seven seasons of ''Series/{{Firefly}}''.)
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has plenty of planetary libraries and eldritch stores of information:
** The Black Library contains the collected knowledge of the entire Eldar race, but is hidden in the Webway and guarded by the greatest of the [[MonsterClown Harlequins' Solitaires]]. Only one human has visited it, but has sworn never to speak of what he found there, while the Arch-sorcerer Ahriman is obsessed with plundering its secrets for himself.
** The Imperium has thousands, ranging from Alexandria-sized to covering all the planets in a system. Unfortunately they seem to think cataloging things is a sin, and only tend to pop up in the background when they're being razed by Orks or captured by Chaos.
*** Of particular note is the [[VastBureaucracy Adeptus Administratum]] offices on Holy Terra, where armies of robed scribes carefully record useless census data thousands of years out of date from worlds that don't exist anymore, then file the reports away in the kilometre-high stacks where they will never be read again. Meanwhile the [[MachineCult Adeptus Mechanicus]] never deletes anything and stores the majority of the Imperium's scientific talent.
** The Hidden Library of Tzeentch is even larger than the Black Library and contains every single scrap of knowledge, every thought of every creature across space and time, and is where Tzeentch himself concocts his eternal plots.
** The Solemnance Archive, being a Necron record, has been expanding for the last hundred million years as its undead robot master, Trazyn the Infinite, adds new objects to his 'collection'. Such curios include the preserved head of an Imperial hero and entire armies of soldiers held in temporal stasis to form dioramas of historical conflicts.
* The Library of Candlekeep in the ''ForgottenRealms'' has shades of this, most notably the 'arcane knowledge' part; you must donate a book to the library in order to gain access, and most of the people who wish to do so are mages who donate low-level spellbooks.
* The dwindling race of Callidians, from the ''{{Talislanta}}'' game setting, are the keepers of a LibraryOfBabel of pre-Great Disaster documents.
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu''
** The Library of Celaeno (see [[AC:{{Literature}}]]) makes an appearance in the adventure ''The Fungi From Yuggoth''. It's infested with byakhee, and anyone who tries to smuggle information (not just the books but any information from the books) out of it gets eaten.
** ''Spawn of Azathoth'' has an adventure in the Dreamlands where the {{PC}}s can search a library in Ulthar.
* The plane of Mirrodin from ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' gives us the Knowledge Pool at Lumengrid, home of an entire race of GadgeteerGenius [[BadassBookworm Badass Bookworms]] known as the Vedalken. While the Pool is ''technically'' less of a traditional library as it is a swirling mass of liquid wisdom compiled by its keepers over countless millenia, the Vedalken have made it their prerogative from Day 1 to collect as much knowledge as is concieviably possible.
* In ''{{Planescape}}'', Thoth's Library.
-->'''Magnum Opus:''' [[http://mimir.net/musee/thoth.html They say Thoth's Library holds all the books that have ever been written, or ever will be. Doesn't sound likely to me - in my experience, 'they' say many things which aren't true.]]
** In addition, [[http://mimir.net/mechanus/burgs.shtml there is said to be an immense library inside the great rod]] of [[http://mimir.net/mechanus/index.shtml Mechanus]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' verse, the Plane of Oblivion occupied by the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora is like this -- an entire plane of reality filled with a limitless number of books with identical, unlabeled covers, supposedly containing every bit of Forbidden Knowledge and every secret, ever, at all. You can obtain one book from this plane, the ''Oghma Infinium'', in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'', ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'', ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]''. In all cases, it basically acts as RareCandy, giving you a large boost in a number of stats and vanishing when read.
** In the third Skyrim DLC[[spoiler: you visit Hermaeus Mora's realm by reading more of his books. It is a nightmare realm full of seas of acidic ink and fossilized books, haunted by horrificly mutated beings known as Seekers. It doesnt have all knowledge, and part of the main quest has you helping him get a bit of the missing information, but it includes some knowledge that anyone but him cant even comprehend, such as ideas rejected from the world at its creation.]]
* ''WorldOfWarcraft'': The Library section of the Karazhan instance has bookshelves as tall as staircases, as well as books strewn all along the floor which can be picked up and used to give you one of a few buffs, depending on the tome.
** In addition to that, there are at least two libraries which might fit this trope even though they are physically small because they are larger on the inside than the outside, and/or because they have no normal doors and can only be reached by teleportation.
*** The Librarium located in the Nexus is said to contain the knowledge of the Blue Dragonflight, the guardians of magic on Azeroth
* In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' features Voile, the Magical Library[[hottip:*:It's yet to be officially referred to as such, but that's the name of the music track that plays there]] in the Scarlet Devil Mansion's basement. It's large enough to allow for a stage roughly five-minute-long aerial battle over the bookshelves traveling in one direction without ever reaching the end. The library is maintained by [[BadassBookworm Patchouli Knowledge]], who spends her days locked up inside adding to the already-massive cache of knowledge - she's not just the librarian, but also the author of an unspecified proportion of the tomes in her library, and probably the overwhelming majority of the magic books in the library, given the esoteric rules for wizardry in the ''Touhou'' 'verse. While 100 straight years of this this have given her [[SquishyWizard anemia, asthma, and Vitamin A deficiency]], you are more than likely to find anything you could ever want in there ([[KleptomaniacHero Marisa]] sure does).
** According to ''[[AllThereInTheManual Perfect Memento in Strict Sense]]'', there are a great deal of books from the outside world, as books in [[MagicalLand Gensokyo]] are primarily written by hand.
*** Fanon has run away with the notion of Voile as a repository for nearly every book every written. Case in point: the doujin anime ''FanFic/{{Touhou Musou Kakyou}}'' goes as far as to depict the
huge library with a volume tons of ''[[http://rainbowsphere.oniichannoecchi.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/snapshot20090108231943.jpg Wikipedia]]'' in stock.
* The Dark People from ''TheLongestJourney'' seek to obtain every book ever written, which they store in their library, located on a moving island whose location is a secret for but a few.
* The first BatenKaitos had one of these in the haunted variety, with BooksThatBite.
* The Library of the Ancients in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyV'' has an unbelievable number a books, including a large number which decide to attack the party. [[UndignifiedDeath Being killed by a book is not a good way to go.]]
** Daguerreo in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyIX'' is a ShoutOut to this location, but its function is as a late-game optional town.
*** It also has a more minor shout-out in the form of Tantarian, an optional boss book-monster that lives in a library (in a town called Alexandria, no less).
* Candlekeep in ''BaldursGate'' has an enormous library of spellbooks and histories which are maintained and patrolled by a fanatical order of monks, as well as having at least one backup copy of the entire library in another dimension.
* The Duke's Archives, the personal collection of Duke Seath the Scaleless in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''. It takes of multiple rather large rooms and an entire tower(that also doubles as a dungeon), and considering that Seath is the creator of [[BlackMagic sorcery]], they're no doubt on [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow rather dangerous subjects.]] As Big Hat Logan found out.
* In ''[[VideoGame/EscapeVelocity EV Nova]]'', the space station Imperial Archives in the Amnaho System is basically an {{expy}} of Memory Alpha for the Aurorans.
* The Sunken Library stage from ''MegamanZero 3''.
* The library in ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlRevis, being located at a school for alchemists, is massive enough to serve as ''two'' dungeons. Of course, it's also a home to undead blobs, sorceresses, malicious fairies, fallen angels, and ghosts, including [[CuteGhostGirl Pamela]] and her [[SealedEvilInATeddyBear Teddy]]. Students beware.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'', one of the doors leads to a massive library filled with books on several different subjects. It was used by the ship's former owner as a storage for his book collection.
* The final Episode of ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'' features the City of Books. The entire library is owned by Featherine and contains all the various
books and stories (in the meta-world, various Fragments) that she ever created. The final battle between [[spoiler:Lambda, Battler and Ange against Bern]] takes place here.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
informational sources, GreatBigLibraryOfEverything.
* The internet in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'''s BadFuture. They printed it out just before it was shut down. ''All of it''.
* DoubleSubverted in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt''. When the protagonist heads to the Court's library to get information for her school essay, you'd expect it to be an imposing, spooky, silent, mazelike place -- after all, the Court shown so far is a massive imposing castle with supernatural inhabitants and qualities. Turns out, the library -- at least, the sections not devoted to science and technology -- is [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=22 a single flimsy bookshelf with useless books.]] So the girls head to the [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=23 old part of the library]]... which ''is'' an imposing, spooky, silent, mazelike place.
* The Bibliothiki in ''WapsiSquare'' is an extra-dimensional library that contains every book ever written (but only things that have been written, no audio recordings). It is guarded by a sphinx librarian. It is implied that the Library of Alexandria was a physical manifestation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://everything2.com/user/sam512/writeups/I+have+always+imagined+that+Paradise+will+be+a+kind+of+library?author=sam512 I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library]].
* The SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy library in the WhateleyUniverse isn't infinite, but it is enormous for a high school library, and contains lots of stuff human libraries shouldn't even know about, sealed off in private areas: alien books, CosmicHorrorStory books, ...
* [[http://qntm.org/?library One of Sam Hughes stories]] was based on this, with the plot twist being that [[spoiler:the library is Heaven. And the narrator isn't supposed to be there yet.]]
* The Wiki World (a reference to TheOtherWiki) of ''AHDotComTheSeries'', which is an AlternateUniverse Earth that has been wholly converted into a huge spherical space station dedicated to the preservation of all knowledge. So large that entire lost civilisations of "Edit Gangs" roam its abyssal reaches. Its rulers, the Wikimasters, govern it from an intimidating "Dark Cathedral". Subverted, however, when it turns out that in fact they're [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything all just a bunch of pathetic anime nerds]].
* The online story ''DominionAndDuchy'' has one in the Galactic Library. It is run by an A.I. known as the Librarian and apparently holds the contents of the Great Library of Alexandria. The Librarian was apparently organizing it for the humans when they make first contact.
* In the ''AntiClicheAndMarySueEliminationSociety'', the Library Arcanium, the Society's base, has just about every book ever written, from every universe, and is basically in another dimension. It is ''very'' big.
* ''WarningReadersAdvisory'' is set in just such a library, under the watchful eye of its Librarian.
* TheWanderersLibrary uses one as a framing device.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* "The Library" in the desert in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' whose supernatural librarian, Wan Shi Tong, keeps humans outside because they [[HumansAreBastards have an annoying tendency to abuse his knowledge.]] The protagonists, after promising Wan Shi Tong that they were not going in the
A magical themed library with malicious intent, go up to the observatory and find the next eclipse -- but only because they're planning to launch an attack. Long story short, Wan Shi Tong overhears them and gets very, very mad.
--> "If you're going to lie to an all-knowing Knowledge-Spirit, you should at least put some effort into it."
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** In "The Why of Fry" the Brain Spawn are constructing a database of all the knowledge in the universe, and once it's full, they plan to destroy the universe to make sure no new knowledge appears. In Fry's own words, "[[ItsPersonal Now it's personal.]]"
** The Brain Spawn, amusingly, are actually scanning in EVERY SINGLE FACT (such as "2+2=4", "Puppies are cute", etc) not just tomes of knowledge or principles of mathematics. (FridgeLogic: If they wanted to store all mathematical facts, they'd need to record infinite facts of the form "n+n=2n" alone.)
** Spoofed in "Mars University". All the literature in the world is in the Mars U library -- on two disks. (Fiction and Nonfiction)
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Twilight Sparkle's library.
** The tree library in Ponyville, not so much. It's about the size of the average public library. The grand library tower in Canterlot, oh yes. Which makes perfect sense, as it's the library belonging to [[PhysicalGod Princess Celestia]]. Twilight just happens to have enough favor with Celestia to be permitted to ''live'' in it.
** And then there's the library of the Crystal Empire, which is big and ancient enough to make Twilight Squee despite having lived in said library tower for most of her adult life.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Internet itself could probably be the closest thing to a Real Life example; even the part about most of it being nonsense or forbidden knowledge is there with the networks and web databases that can't be accessed normally.
** Sites like Amazon and Google Books allow users to look inside select pages of millions upon millions of books, which could be thought of as a sort of immense library.
** [[http://archive.org The Internet Archive]], especially the [[http://archive.org/web/web.php Wayback Machine]], is this for quite a lot of WWW history.
* Pretty much all of the developed nations have national libraries: tremendous collections of books, articles, magazines,
spellbooks, arcane information and other printed/recorded material. The libraries of large research universities also contain vast collections, often including priceless historical artifacts.
** Since the Library of Congress is used to store publications for the U.S. Copyright office, virtually every work copyrighted in the U.S. is sent there, with just under half being added to the permanent collection. That amounts to an additional 10,000 items ''per day.''
* While nowhere near as well known as the library of Alexandria, the House of Wisdom, located in ancient Baghdad, was for its time the largest repository of knowledge in the world and actually held a great number of Greek and Roman translated pieces that may have originated from Alexandria. Unfortunately, it too was destroyed, in their case when the Mongols sacked the city.
** It was said that when the Mongols sacked Baghdad, the Tigris River ran black with ink from the scrolls they dumped in it.
* Einstein spoke of a "vast library, stacked from floor to ceiling with books in many different languages, arranged in an order we do not understand, but can dimly suspect". He called it the world.
supernaturl things, MagicalLibrary.
* A number of programming cultures, most notably scripting languages like Perl[[hottip:*:[[http://cpan.org The Comprehensive Perl Archive Network]] and Python[[hottip:*:[[http://pypi.python.org/pypi the Python Package Index]], have these; there are also chrestomathy sites like [[http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Rosetta_Code RosettaCode]] that translate problems into multiple languages. There's also NetLib for scientific computing, Boost for C++ libraries, and so on.
[[/folder]]
----
Creator/JorgeLuisBorges short story, ''Literature/LibraryOfBabel''
22nd Mar '13 6:16:31 PM MacronNotes
Is there an issue? Send a Message
18th Mar '13 9:54:00 PM 4csinos
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Brutally {{deconstructed}} in ''[[http://home.comcast.net/~bcleere/texts/draper.html Ms Fnd in a Lbry]]''.

to:

* Brutally {{deconstructed}} {{Deconstructed}} in ''[[http://home.comcast.net/~bcleere/texts/draper.html Ms Fnd in a Lbry]]''.
18th Mar '13 3:35:40 AM Xtifr
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The Great Library of Pandathaway in the ''GuardiansOfTheFlame'' series appears to qualify -- though its librarians also charge ruinously high fees to actually ''find'' the information within its cavernous shelves and chambers.

to:

* The Great Library of Pandathaway in the ''GuardiansOfTheFlame'' ''Literature/GuardiansOfTheFlame'' series appears to qualify -- though its librarians also charge ruinously high fees to actually ''find'' the information within its cavernous shelves and chambers.
1st Mar '13 7:02:25 PM TheFirstMan
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The Library of the Ancients in ''FanFic/LegendsOfEquestria'' serves as one of these, storing the accumulated knowledge of the history of pony existence for the Order of Water. After spending a year learning as much as she could from it, [[spoiler: Princess Celestia burns it down to prevent others from accessing the knowledge's power]].

to:

* The Library of the Ancients Imperial Archives in ''FanFic/LegendsOfEquestria'' serves as one of these, storing the holding all accumulated knowledge of the history of pony existence for the Order of Water. After spending '''entire Earth''' in a year learning as much as she could from it, [[spoiler: Princess Celestia burns it down to prevent others from accessing 2.25 square ''mile'' room. The library itself is a cozy place, complete with fireplaces and warm lighting. It's also in the knowledge's power]].process of [[TechnologyMarchesOn being digitized and stored in a nearby server room]].
14th Feb '13 12:48:53 PM Dutchtica
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* The first BatenKaitos had one of these in the haunted variety, with BooksThatBite.
This list shows the last 10 events of 233. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TheLibraryOfBabel