The first known library in the world was Ashurbanipal’s. It was in Nineveh (near modern day Mosul, in Iraq) in the 7th century BC. Ashurbanipal was a King of Assyria, and he collected thousands of clay tablets, as well as writing on wood, papyrus, and wax.

What made a king spend time tracking down obscure texts like “The instructions for ‘Hand-Lifting'” when he could have been off fighting wars (or lions)? When I first heard about Ashurbanipal I wanted to know more.

Insert montage of internet searches, JSTOR researching, half-written-articles, and clay models of a sheep’s liver.

Eventually I made a short video, The First Librarian, to share what I learned. I hope you find it worth your time.

I intend to make more videos about interesting firsts. The next one will focus on the first chemical element that we know was discovered by a specific person. Catchy title: check.