The library of Celsus was built for Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus and completed in AD 135 in Ephesus, Asia Minor (Anatolia) (now Turkey). Celsus’ son, Gaius Julius Aquila (consul AD 110), built the library in honor of his father who was consul in AD 92, former governor of Asia in AD 115, and a wealthy and popular local citizen. The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus. It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within city limits, so this was a special honor for Celsus.
Though the building itself does not have much historical significance, it is important today because it is one of the few remaining examples of an ancient Roman influenced library. It also shows how public libraries were not only built in Rome itself, but also all throughout the empire. After a massive restoration project, which is considered to be very true to the historical building, the front façade of the building was rebuilt and now serves as a prime example of Roman architecture on public buildings.