Phillips Exeter Academy Library is the primary library for Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. The school is one of the oldest and most prestigious independent boarding schools in the nation with notable alumni including Mark Zuckerberg, Franklin Pierce, Daniel Webster, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, and many others.
Phillips Exeter Academy Library is the world’s largest secondary school library, with 160,000 books spread across nine stories and a 250,000-volume shelf capacity.
When it became evident in the 1950s that the original academy library was too small, the school initially commissioned an architect to construct a typical library structure. Phillips Exeter changed its mind and instead of building a traditional library, the school commissioned Louis Kahn in 1965 to develop a modern library. The library first opened its doors in 1971. The American Institute of Architects awarded the library the Twenty-five Year Award in 1997, an award granted to just one structure per year that acknowledges design of lasting significance.