It describes a library made up of an “indefinite, perhaps infinite” number hexagonal of rooms, each lined on four sides by a bookshelf of five shelves, each self containing thirty-two books. Each book is four hundred and ten pages of forty lines, each line of eighty characters.
The character set in these books is limited to the twenty-six lower-case letters of the English alphabet, the comma, the full-stop, and the space. In the story, Borges actually says twenty-two letters, ignoring some he deemed unnecessary. The full alphabet is used on this site.
In its pages, the library contains every possible combination of these characters. No two books are the same — meaning that the library is “total — perfect, complete, and whole”. Everything that ever has been, or ever will be written using these twenty-nine characters is contained somewhere within the library.
This is a limited re-creation of the library, explorable from your web browser.
Try searching for your name, your date of birth, or maybe a line from your favourite song or poem. Search for a paragraph from a book, perhaps a book that is yet to be written.
This website deals with some very long URLs. Some web browsers may have problems with URLs over a certain length, so if you experience issues please try using Chrome, which seems to manage very long page URLs without trouble.