Ireland’s Gorgeous Largest of Libraries

old library trinity college dublin ireland

For the first time in about ten years I have sat a test in a university. I did a token amount of study for my first Japanese test. Perhaps I should have visited the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin sooner so I would be inspired to strive towards academia.

I cannot believe I have spent so much time in Ireland – even living in Dublin at one point – and never visited this beautiful place!

Tiernan and I needed to kill half an hour before a tedious bank appointment so I suggested we pop in to see the Book of Kells (no photos allowed). Two of the four books of Kells are on display in a large and detailed exhibit below the Long Room.

old library trinity college dublin ireland

This room has exquisite proportions. It was build in the 18th Century, although the library at Trinity College dates back to 1592. The famous Book of Kells was gifted to the library in the 17th Century. I cannot fathom what it would have been like to live in Dublin, in the 1600s, walking about the college around the time of its inception. To try and put it in perspective, New Zealand had only just been sighted about 20 years prior.

The Old Library itself holds around 6 million works and is the largest library in Ireland. it is one of four libraries in Ireland which are entitled to receive a copy of all works published in Ireland. It’s also entitled to, on request, receive copies of all works published in the United Kingdom. That’s a lot of books!

old library trinity college dublin ireland

old library trinity college dublin ireland

I am a bit gutted that we had to, almost literally, race through it. I want to learn more about the busts and the books. Yes, I know I could probably Google it, but I’d like to have a decent look in person.

If I were to do it again, and I am sure I will, I would opt to take a student-led guided tour. Tours last just over half an hour and only cost a token amount more than the Library entrance fee. Only €13 when the entrance fee is €10! You could go so far as to say it is a bargain.

Have you ever done a student tour at Trinity College? Let me know below!


4 thoughts on “Ireland’s Gorgeous Largest of Libraries

  1. It certainly is an amazing Library. Will visit it again when I’m back in Dublin & take the tour you mentioned.
    When I was there in 2012 I was led to believe you weren’t allowed to take photos in the Library also. I was gutted when I realised it was for the Book of Kells only.


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