Tap to start
Sponsored by Qatar Tourism
A look inside the jaw-dropping Qatar National Library
Searching for an escape from the hustle and bustle of Doha? Look no further than the Qatar National Library, a haven for inquisitive minds and curious bookworms that is filled with surprises.
It collects and provides access to Qatar’s global and heritage knowledge, functions as a university and research library, and provides resources to foster information literacy – all services essential to national libraries as defined by UNESCO.
The current building was designed by Rem Koolhaas and was officially inaugurated in 2018. The design is meant to look like a diagonally folded piece of paper being pulled open.
The interior allows the perfect amount of natural light inside- enough for reading and socializing, but not so much that books fade or deteriorate.
How many books does the Qatar National Library hold?
Answer: 1 million
The QNL contains about 1 million books, including 137,000 children’s books.
The Heritage Library is a great place to learn about Qatar’s history. It contains the QNL’s archives, which protect important Qatari and Arab historical and cultural documents, some of which are centuries old.
Other items in the Heritage Library include 15th-century printed materials from Europe, writings by travelers and explorers who visited the Arab world, manuscripts about Islamic and Arab science, early European translations of the Qur’ān, and more.
It also contains a large collection of early photographs and maps related to the region, as well as a collection of historical globes and an array of 18th and 19th-century instruments used by explorers, including compasses, astrolabes, and more.
The first map to include Qatar was created in what year?
The first map to include Qatar is known as the ‘Tabula Asiae VI.’ It was engraved by Conrad Swenheym and printed in Rome in 1478. It’s written in Latin, so Qatar is referred to as ‘Catara.’
Visitors can also take advantage of the Library’s calendar of events. Music lovers can attend one of the free public performances the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra puts on every month at the library, among other scheduled activities.
Carefully crafted collaboratively between Qatar Tourism and Lonely Planet. Both parties provided research and curated content to produce this story. We disclose when information isn’t ours.
Go to page
We're sorry, it looks like your browser doesn't support this experience.