Trinity College in Dublin
Trinity College Library dates back to 1592, and is the largest library in Ireland. Located in the college campus in Dublin city centre, the library houses an incredibly 5 million printed volumes. To this day, it’s a famed research centre, and still proudly embraces its historical roots. Visitors to the library will have the opportunity to step back in time, and visit the 18th century library structure, literary displays, and the famed Book of Kells.
Wander through the Old Library
Walking through the cobbled stones of the college brings visitors back to the 18th century, the era when the Old Library building was constructed. To this day, it still houses over 200,000 books, in sturdy oak shelves. Exhibitions are also regularly held in this space, with the renowned Book of Kells permanently on display. Other special collections worth visiting include the Ussher Collection, which the college acquired in the 17th century, and the Fagel Collection, passed to the college in the 19th century.
Visitors to the Old Library will enter through the Library Shop, before proceeding to the Book of Kells exhibition, and then continuing onward to view the ancient literature on display in the Treasury. You’ll then finish up in the Long Room, which houses the majority of the classic texts in the college.
Visit the Book of Kells Exhibition
The Book of Kells is an acclaimed piece of Irish history. Written around 800, the book contains four beautifully illustrated gospels. The intricate designs within the pages have garnered international attention, and can be seen in the library’s exhibition. It’s been housed in the Trinity College Library since the 17th century, and has been displayed to the public for nearly as long, making it one of Europe’s longest standing exhibitions.
In the 20th century, the book was carefully split into four volumes, so that visitors could enjoy views of the illustrations and text during the same visit. The pages contain abstract decorations, and carefully coloured sketches of plant, animal and humans throughout. The text itself is also beautifully executed, though little attention was paid to spelling, grammar, or cohesiveness. This led to the belief the book was designed solely for ceremonial usage.
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