Dark Light

Ireland’s Largest Library Is a 300-Year-Old Treasure Trove With 200,000 Rare Books: PHOTOS


A 300-year-old library chamber in the educational epicenter of Dublin, Ireland, has become world-famous for its stunning interior and treasure trove of rare titles, some of them over a century old. For book lovers of all ages, both the collection and the setting are the stuff of fairy tales.

The Long Room at the Old Library at Trinity College in Dublin—Ireland’s largest library—is a grand, 213-foot-long wood-paneled chamber with barrel-vaulted ceilings and uniform floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. On these shelves sit some 200,000 rare books, accessible by sliding ladders and cordoned off to all but those with express permission to handle them.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(Lukas Bischoff Photograph/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(STLJB/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Watercolour of the Long Room before the roof was raised in 1860 to accommodate more books. (James Malton (1761—1803), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The original Old Library building was built between 1712 and 1732. An Irish “legal deposit” law, passed in 1801, allowed the library to claim a copy of every book published in Britain and Ireland free of charge, a law that persists today, according to the library of Trinity College. As such, the building was extended in the 1850s to accommodate the library’s expansive collection.

In 1860, the roof of the Long Room was raised to accommodate an upper gallery for more books. Today, the library at large has over six million printed volumes representing 400 years of academic thought contained within its walls.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(JulianBuijzen/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(Mariangela Cruz/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(MichaelMaggs – CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Long Room, where the oldest books in this collection reside, is an homage to history in more ways than one.

The chamber houses one of the last remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, and the Book of Kells, a manuscript penned by monks over 1,200 years ago and now one of the most valuable books in the world.

Also on display in the Long Room is a 15th-century oak and willow harp with 29 brass strings, representing the emblem of Ireland and the oldest of its kind in the country.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(MayaTheB/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(Smolina Marianna/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(John D McHugh/Getty Images)

At the end of every row of bookshelves is a marble bust, the oldest dating from the mid-18th century, each one depicting a famous writer or great philosopher of the Western World. Some depict great male figures linked with Trinity College.

In November 2020, Trinity College added four busts featuring the female scholars Rosalind Franklin, Ada Lovelace, Augusta Gregory, and Mary Wollstonecraft to the Long Room’s collection.

This magical building, with its rich history and the treasures within, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each and every year.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(Benoit Daoust/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(STLJB/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(Nataliia Zhekova/Shutterstock)
Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
(Martina Lanotte/Shutterstock)

Share your stories with us at emg.inspired@epochtimes.com, and continue to get your daily dose of inspiration by signing up for the Inspired newsletter at TheEpochTimes.com/newsletter

Louise Chambers

Louise Chambers is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.



Source link

VIDOL COIN

Choose your membership level

$35 billed annually