The world’s longest nonfiction work is The Yongle Dadian, a 10,000-volume encyclopaedia produced by 5,000 scholars during the Ming Dynasty in China 500 years ago.

When Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1912, 6 replicas were sold as the original, each at a huge price, in the 3 years before the original was recovered.

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, stores 18 million books on approximately 850 km (530 miles) of bookshelves. The collections include 119 million items, 2 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4 million maps and 53 million manuscripts.

Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote Meteorologica in 350 BC – it remained the standard textbook on weather for 2,000 years.

The first Oxford English Dictionary was published in April 1928, 50 years after it was started. It consisted of 400,000 words and phrases in 10 volumes. The latest edition fills 22,000 pages, includes 33,000 Shakespeare quotations, and is bound in 20 volumes. All of which is available on a single CD.

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