The Old Library in Dublin: a bewildering treasure of history and knowledge

See the impressive collection of the oldest books in Ireland
  • December 11, 2018 17:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium dublin 2344423 640
Source: Pixabay

What is the first thing that pops into one’s mind when they hear Dublin, Ireland? Well, for most people these are probably the Irish bars where one can taste local whiskey and a pint of cold Guinness beer or the famous Dublin Castle: at least that is what the top Google search says. Yet, any visit to Dublin will remain incomplete, if one fails to visit a major cultural hub in the Irish capital: Old Library of Trinity College, which has been keeping written records since the establishment of the College in 1592.

The largest in Ireland, the Trinity College’s library’s treasure exceeds 6 million printed volumes, which include a comprehensive title list of journals, manuscripts, music and tracks history of academic research and evolution for the past 400 years, including the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. Despite its longevity, the Library serves well the needs of its thousands visitors, all scientific fields of the College, as well as a wider international academic community through up-to-date resource discovery and teaching.

What is more fascinating about the library, however, is its exceptionally beautiful Long Room, located in the Old Library, belonging to the college. The main chamber is 65 metres long and showcases more than 200 000 of the oldest books in the Library shelved on several levers, but also a collection of historical pictures and documents, such as the Female register which depicts the history of female integration in higher education. Busts of Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Homer, Socrates, Francis Bacon, John Locke, William Shakespeare (Peter Scheemakers), Edmund Burke ( John Hickey) and other prominent educated men carefully keep an eye on the impressive book collection.

Last but not least, here is kept the one of the few copies of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic of 1916. The harp made of oak and willow is emblematic of Ireland and is arguably one of the oldest in the country.

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