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->''"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."''
-->-- '''Creator/JorgeLuisBorges'''

A magical library is a mystical library that is explicitly magical or is infused with magic. These libraries tend to be small and hidden in a remote area. They usually contain dangerous and forbidden spells, arcane {{Spell Book}}s and priceless {{Ancient Artifact}}s and {{MacGuffin}}s. They also may have supernatural books such as TomesOfProphecyAndFate and TomeOfEldritchLore. The libraries also might be home to monsters, creatures and {{Magic Librarian}}s that are there to protect the library. The library might be quite old, and may even be as old as the universe itself.

Because these things are valuable - and it would be disastrous if these items were to fall into the wrong hands - these libraries are usually almost impossible to find without a special map, not to mention being well-guarded. The objects that allow the library's location to be found are sometimes scattered across the world. The heroes and villains alike might have to engage in a GottaCatchThemAll plot in order to have access to the library's valuable information.

If the magical library is easily accessible for most people, it's usually part of a school. The protagonists may regularly visit the school library to find out how to solve a problem or gain information about the current plot. Characters that are a bit more rebellious might simply steal from the library instead, setting up the main conflict.

These type of libraries tend to appear mostly in {{fantasy}}, UrbanFantasy and works that have a FantasyKitchenSink.

!!Compare with:
* GreatBigLibraryOfEverything
* TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday

!!Contrast with:
* SecretGovernmentWarehouse: Both are repositories of strange and/or dangerous items, but the Secret Government Warehouse is ''never'' interested in sharing.
* SpookySilentLibrary: The Spooky Silent Library need not be magical. It is, of course, perfectly possible to overlap.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* 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.
* The appropriately-named Mysterious Library from ''Anime/SmilePrettyCure'', which contains every fairy tale known to man and can be reached through a combination of book shuffling on any bookshelf.
* The Great Library in ''VisualNovel/YamiToBoushiToHonNoTabibito'' consists of books that ''contain'' every single world of the multiverse down to the smallest detail. And it also comes with {{Magic Librarian}}s.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', the Library of Time in Shangri-La can magically summon up any book ever printed in all of history.
* Lucien's library in ''ComicBook/TheSandman''. As Dream's domain includes everything conceived by the imagination, it has many books which were never written down, perhaps just coming to people as idle fancies and being immediately forgotten about.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone'': The library in Tevri'ed, to a degree; it has dangerous [[TomeOfEldritchLore tomes of arcane lore]] in the guarded basement, but it is otherwise a large, accessible, well-attended civic place with ordinary civilian librarians.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* Occurs in ''Film/{{Interstellar}}'', just replace "magic" with "TimeTravel". Crossing a black hole's event horizon left the hero in a four-dimensional representation of every moment his daughter's room/library ever had.
* ''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.
* ''Film/MirrorMask'' features a magical library where books fly around and have to be caught with a net.
* In the movie ''Film/WhatDreamsMayCome'' there is a library. It is massive and there is no floor, only water. People just fly to get the books. Also, it is in Heaven. In the [[FilmOfTheBook original novel]], it's explained that every kind of knowledge is available in this Library, including when someone will die. Also, it contains every book ever written, including the ones that haven't been written ''yet''. People who are still alive can [[OutOfBodyExperience visit the Library in their dreams]], but very few remember upon waking.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore'': The library in the Oracle House in ''Voices''. Its doorway is a blank wall opened with some magical gestures, and it's protected by Ansul's gods (they prevented the Waylord from betraying its location during his long torture by the Alds), plus [[spoiler:it houses the Oracle of Ansul ''way'' in the back]].
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** The library of Unseen University leads to other dimensions thanks to the sheer weight of accumulated knowledge distorting the space-time continuum. This is known as L-Space. The library itself is pretty much a universe of its own with all the magical books, library creatures such as the [[GrammarNazi thesaurus]] or the kickstool-crab, and tribes of lost research students inside. The books meanwhile are chained to the shelves; not, as in medieval Roundworld libraries, to protect the books themselves, but to protect the readers.
*** It's also stated that ''any'' large collection of books, magical or not, distorts the space-time continuum. After all, knowledge equals power equals energy equals matter equals mass.
** There's also Death's library of biographies, one for everyone in the world, where those for the living are still in the process of writing themselves.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': The school library is this, especially the restricted section. In the first book, when Harry was trying to find out who Nicholas Flamel was, he sneaks in, opens a book, and it starts screaming at him, attracting Filch.
* ''Literature/TheInvisibleLibrary'' exists on a separate plane of existence and the {{Magic Librarian}}s do not age while they are there. They are sent out to all kinds of parallel universes to acquire rare books, sometimes by illegal means, using their very own magic, the [[CompellingVoice Language]] to manipulate the reality around them. It is hinted at that this collecting of specific books that only exist in one universe serves some higher purpose, and might even stabilize reality, but it is not entirely clear in the first book of the trilogy.
* 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 title story in Kelly Link's ''Literature/MagicForBeginners'' centers around an irregularly broadcast [[ShowWithinAShow TV show]] called "The Library", which takes place in one of these.
* ''Literature/TheMagicTreehouse'', whose books can transport the reader to the event described.
* The Library of the Clayr from the ''Literature/OldKingdom'' series. It's carved out of a glacier and is the largest repository of magic books and monsters around. It's kept in order by CrazyPrepared {{Magic Librarian}}s.
* ''Literature/SchooledInMagic'': The school library is filled with books of (and book on) magic. Emily spends a great deal of time in there for both classes as well as personal study. Eventually she even begins working as an aide to the librarian. The punishment for making noise in the library is an hour as a stone statue. This punishment is magically enforced and automatic.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'' has a visit to Nespis 8, a Jedi-aligned SpaceStation that has a massive old library, old enough to be stocked with ''[[NoPaperFuture paper books]]''. [[spoiler: The library was actually burned years ago, and re-stocked with fakes that drain LifeEnergy.]]
* In ''Literature/TheWardstoneChronicles'', it's implied that all good spooks have a library with information on denizens of the dark and how to defeat them. We only specifically hear of John Gregory's and Bill Arkwright's, though.
* ''Literature/TheZombieKnight'' has the Library of Erudition, a vast and [[GeniusLoci semi-living]] compendium of knowledge, still standing despite being in the [[DeathWorld death continent]] of Exoltha. It has books on every subject, but has been known to [[YourSoulIsMine devour the souls and knowledge]] of those who take any of them without the [[MagicLibrarian magically bound Keeper's]] permission.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Angel}}'' the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart has an enormous archive of supernatural info.
** The firm's "Files and Records" department has 35 full filing cabinets devoted to Angel / Angelus alone. The employee there seems to embody the department, with all the info stored in her brain.
** In a more space-efficient version, they later use [[http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Wolfram_%26_Hart_Source_Books some enchanted books]] with which you can call up anything in their archive.
* The Sunnydale High Library from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', as it's run by a Watcher and directly over the Hellmouth (the heroes knew the school was built on it, but even Giles didn't know it opened right there). And it has a ton of weird magic books that Snyder totally doesn't get being there, naturally.
* ''[[Series/TheLibrarians2014 The Librarians]]'' has the same Library as [[Film/TheLibrarian the film series it's based on]], though its nature is expanded upon. In addition to holding many magical books and artifacts, it's also sentient on some level, BiggerOnTheInside (due to being housed in a separate dimension), and capable of [[ChaosArchitecture re-arranging rooms at will]]. At the start of the first season, the main Library is cut off from this world, leaving only the Annex for the protagonists to use. Flynn, the Librarian, spends the season trying to bring it back.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Sites]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1726 SCP-1726 ("The Library and the Pillar")]]. The Library has many volumes of philosophy, theology, and history from cultures that are mythological in the real world (such as Shambhalla (sic), Lemuria and Mu). It has animated statues that can speak various languages and act as guides for visitors.
* The website ''Wiki/TheWanderersLibrary'' (an offshoot of the Wiki/SCPFoundation verse) is set around an apparent extradimensional library which houses numerous books of secret lore.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Podcasts]]
* ''Podcast/TheMagnusArchives'' has several episodes involving books from the library of one Jurgen Leitner, which seem to be very nastily magical.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion & 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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Library of Candlekeep in the ''TabletopGame/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.
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' from Creator/WhiteWolf had a stat for arcane libraries.
* The ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' has quite a few:
** The biggest is the Athenaeum, a domain of TheUnderworld with a copy of ''everything'' in history that's been written and then lost, from cave paintings to blog posts. On the other hand, it's an unmappable EldritchLocation with no indexing system, an [[SmallAnnoyingCreature owl infestation]], and guardians who really hate mages. There's also the matter of arranging a trip to the Underworld that isn't one-way.
** ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' has a Merit for characters who want their own arcane library. One of the magical orders, the Mysterium, dedicates itself to filling and maintaining magical archives, usually with [[SecretGovernmentWarehouse vaults of magic artifacts]] attached.
** ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' has some options for adding fey magic to a library, including archives stored in [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles talkative skulls]] and books that multiply when nobody's watching.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' setting, the lich-king Azalin has a library which houses the self-updating life stories of every sentient being who has ever been born in his domain of Darkon, or who's entered it and stayed long enough to lose all memory of their previous life. Destroying your own book is one of the few ways to recover from Darkon's insidious IdentityAmnesia effect.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has many such libraries in its background. The biggest and most extensive is that maintained by the High Elf Loremasters of Hoeth in the White Tower, but each of the Imperial Colleges of Magic has its own library, and most wizards and sorcerers from the more civilized races will tend to keep their own. The realm of the Chaos God Tzeentch in the Realm of Chaos is often perceived as including a vast library, and he has even created two special Blue Horror daemons - the Blue Scribes - to traverse the multiverse and copy down knowledge of all the spells in existence for his collection.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has the Black Library of the Eldar - an ancient craftworld adrift in the Webway between reality and the Warp. It contains the race's gathered knowledge of Chaos and Sorcery, and is maintained in order to better understand and combat the machinations of the Infernal Powers. Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons is particularly obsessed with the Library.
* The Grand Spellbook Tower in the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh TCG'' is an educational research facility that has produced many excellent sorcerers who specialize in a variety of fields from means of combat to technological developments. Its library has a great collection of many "Spellbooks" with knowledge collected throughout the ages. A small portion of these books are now available to the general Spellcaster public.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Candlekeep in ''VideoGame/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.
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, the realm of Hermaeus Mora, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] of [[KeeperOfForbiddenKnowledge Knowledge]], is Apocrypha, which crosses this trope, a GreatBigLibraryOfEverything, and an extreme EldritchLocation. It is said to contain all knowledge, kept within the tomes on its shelves. The sky is an illuminating green in color and it is covered by a sea of roiling acidic waters. Some areas of Apocrypha are consumed by a darkness which kills any mortal who tries to enter it. The realm is haunted by the ghosts of mortals forever searching for knowledge, and is maintained by Mora's servants, the Seekers and Lurkers. You get a chance to visit it in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'''s ''Dragonborn'' DLC.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' gives us the Library of the Ancients, where there are possessed books, a book split in two by the splitting of the worlds, and a book that burns other books...
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleOfAges'' has the Eyeglass Island Library. In the past it's locked by a key, staffed by sages, and the magical fairy powder inside is impossible to retrieve. In the present it's just a regular library. Link cannot retrieve the fairy powder in the past until he makes a StableTimeLoop.
* The library in ''VideoGame/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.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'', there's Voile, the Magical Library. Maintained by [[BadassBookworm Patchouli Knowledge]], who spends her days locked up inside adding to the already-massive cache of knowledge and {{Spell Book}}s. While 100 straight years of this have [[SquishyWizard given her anemia, asthma, and Vitamin A deficiency]], you are more than likely to find anything you could ever want in there ([[KleptomaniacHero Marisa]] sure does).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The fairies own a magical library in ''WesternAnimation/BenAndHollysLittleKingdom'' from which they store, among other things, a talking recipe book.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' made it the focus as a [[VanishingVillage vanishing castle]] that only appeared during the full moon and disappeared at dawn. If you don't make it out before then you go along with it and become bound as its guardian, forced to transform and attack any uninvited guests.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'': Papa Smurf belongs to the Wizard's Library, which contains "the most powerful spells in all the world" as he puts it. (You must be certified by the Board of Wizards to get a library card, as he tells Greedy, who expresses interest in reading the magical cookbooks the place has.) Unfortunately, in that same episode, the villain [[EvilSorcerer Nemesis]] breaks into the place's forbidden vault of black magic, [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow the Archives of Evil.]]
[[/folder]]

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