Trinity College Old Library – Photo Escape

Beautiful Library at Trinity College

Beautiful Library at Trinity College

For all of you Library Lovers out there – this one is extra special!

Not only is the Trinity College Old Library home to the famous Book of Kells, but the building itself is part of Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I of England. It has been home to the Book of Kells since 1661 when it was given to library for safekeeping by the Anglican Bishop Henry Jones.

Ornate Staircases at the Trinity College Library

Ornate Staircases at the Trinity College Library

Holding over 6 million volumes, this Thomas Burgh masterpiece is the only legal deposit library in the United Kingdom (meaning a copy of every book printed and copyrighted in Ireland and the UK finds a home there). However, it’s the Old Library and the magnificent Long Room that has the ability to make a book lover cry.

The Long Room

The Long Room

Home of over 200, 000 of the library’s oldest and rarest manuscripts, the Long Room chamber stretches 213 feet and the barrel-vaulted ceiling rises above like a cathedral to awe and inspire even the most hardened e-book lover.

Marble Busts in the Long Room

Marble Busts in the Long Room

Marble busts line the Long Room, a collection that began in 1743 when 14 busts were commissioned from sculptor Peter Schemakers. The busts are of the great philosophers and writers of the western world and also of men connected with Trinity College Old Library – famous and not so famous. The finest bust in the collection (according to Trinity College) is of the writer Jonathan Swift by Louis Francois Roubiliac.

Upper Gallery

Upper Gallery

The upper gallery was added in the 1860’s as the rare book collection had outgrown the single floor below. When built, the library had a flat plaster ceiling. The barrel-vaulted gallery we see today was raised according to the designs of architects Deane and Woodward to allow for the expansion. Oh, to spend an afternoon in one of those quiet, secluded chambers…

Trinity College Old Library Dublin is one of the world’s great research libraries. Can you just imagine the hours spent climbing those well-worn ladder steps?

Book of Trinity College

Book of Trinity College

Admission to the Long Room is part of the Book of Kells ‘Turning Darkness into Light’ exhibition. The exhibition and library shop are open 7 days a week. Mon-Sat. 9:30a – 5p, and Sun (Oct-May) 12-4:30 (June-Sept) 9:30a-4:30. After you’ve enjoyed learning about the Book of Kells, you’ll enter the Long Room to gaze upwards in rapt amazement and inhale the sweet smell of old books and centuries of history (well, that’s what I did, anyway!). ENJOY!

 

 

About the author

Lisa Chavis

Lisa is a traveler, photographer and pharmacist. She and her partner Cheryl MacDonald enjoy sharing inspiration and good health with fellow travelers!

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