The Henry Miller Memorial Library – Big Sur, California - Atlas Obscura

The Henry Miller Memorial Library

It's not your typical library, memorial, or book store. 


Henry Miller wrote “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Perhaps that is the idea with Big Sur, not so much a destination but a new way of looking at things.

“It is not a Library where you can borrow books, it is not a memorial with dusty relics, it is not a fully stocked bookstore, it is not a trinket store where you’ll find a large selection of glossy photographs of the coast, t-shirts, mugs and baseball caps. It is not Henry Miller’s old home… So if it’s none of those things, what is it?” -From the Henry Miller Site.

The Henry Miller Memorial Library is in fact a Big Sur art hub and book store focused on promoting the literary and artistic works of Henry Miller. Miller was not just a fiction writer but also wrote some excellent travel books, particularly about Greece. The library was founded a year after Miller’s death by close friend Emil White, who decided to maintain his property as a memorial to his friend and as a gallery for local artists. Over the years it has also come to serve as a cultural experience for both visitors and residents alike.

Know Before You Go

When you're traveling up or down Highway 1, the library will be located a quarter mile south of Nepenthe Restaurant, (a quarter mile north of Deetjen's and Big Sur Inn) in a redwood grove on the mountain side of the road.

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