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Transcript of Lost Libraries
A Map of Destruction
Epang Palace Library
Xiang Yu, rebelling against emperor Qin Er Shi,
led his troops into Xianyang in 206BC and ordered
the destruction of the Palace by fire.
Library of Alexandria
One of the largest and most significant libraries of the Ancient World. The cause of it's destruction is disputed.
Library of Antioch
The Library was burnt by Emperor Jovian.
It had been heavily stocked by the aid of his
non-Christian predecessor, Emperor Julian.
Library of Ctesiphon
In 651AD Arab invaders were ordered to throw
books into the Euphrates on the order of Caliph Umar.
Library of Al-Hakum II
All books consisting of ancient science were
destroyed in 976AD in a surge of ultra-orthodoxy.
Nalanda University complex (the most renowned repository of Buddhist knowledge in the world at the time) was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khilji; this event is seen as a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India.
Imperial Library of Constantinople
In 1204AD the library became a target of the knights of the Forth Crusade. The Library itself was destroyed and its contents burned or sold.
House of Wisdom
Allegedly destroyed during the Battle of Baghdad, however modern scholars point to the library's loss of importance after the capital moved to Samarra and the foundation of a library in Persia using books collected by the Mongol King responsible for the city's capture.
The Library was attacked by troops of Cardinal Cisernos in late 1499AD, the books were taken to the Plaza Bib-Rambla, where they were burned in public.
In 1548AD the Cornish colleges were looted bringing to an end the formal scholarship that had helped sustain the Cornish language and cultural identity.
Maya Codices of the Yucatan
Mexico and Guatemala
'We found a large number of books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which were not to be seen as superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they (the Maya) regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction'
-Bishop De Landa, A Franciscan monk and conquistador during the Spanish conquest of Yucatan
Burnt during the English Civil War by forces under the command of Thomas Fairfax in 1646AD
The ghost of a librarian reportedly watches over his hidden cache of literary treasures!
Library of Congress
The Library was destroyed during the war of 1812 when British forces set fire to the US capital during the Burning of Washington.
Royal Library of the Kings of Burma
The British looted the palace at the end of the 3rd Anglo-Burmese War and burned down the Royal Library.
Library of the Catholic University of Leuven
1914 The Germans set the library on fire as part of the burning of the entire city in an attempt to use terror to quell Belgian resistance to occupation.
1940 Caught fire during WWII bombings.
Public Records Office of Ireland
Perpetrators disputed- possibly destroyed by Anti-Treaty IRA or accidental ignition of stored explosives due to shelling by Provisional Government forces.
Institut für Sexualwissenschaft
On 6 May 1933, the Deutsche Studentenschaft made an organised attack on the Institute of Sex Research. A few days later, the Institute's Library and Archives were publicly hauled out and burned in the streets of Opernplatz.
During WWII, Japanese military forces destroyed or partly destroyed numerous Chinese libraries.
National Library of Serbia
Destroyed during WWII bombing of Belgrade
The Library was burned down during the Nazi suppression of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The burning of this library was part of the general setting on fire of a large part of the city of Warsaw.
National Library of Cambodia
The Khmer Rouge burnt most of the books and all bibliographical records in 1976-9. Only 20% of materials survived.
Sikh Reference Library
Before it's destruction in 1984, the library contained rare books and handwritten manuscripts on Sikh religion, history, and culture. It could have been a desperate act on failure to locate letters or documents that may have implicated the then Indian government and its leader Indira Gandhi.
Central University Library of Bucharest
In 1989 the library burnt down during the Romanian Revolution
National and University Library of Bosnia
In 1992 the library was completely destroyed
during the Siege of Sarajevo.
Several libraries looted, set fire, damaged and destroyed in various degrees during the 20013 Iraq War.
Glasgow School of Art
In May 2014 the iconic library was lost to fire that swept through the building.