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Marsh's Library, Dublin

4.6
#57 of 672 in Things to do in Dublin
Library Traveler Resource
Marsh's Library, situated in St. Patrick's Close, adjacent to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland is a well-preserved library of the late Renaissance and early Enlightenment. When it opened to the public in 1707 it was the first public library in Ireland. It was built to the order of Archbishop Narcissus Marsh and has a collection of over 25,000 books and 300 manuscripts.HistoryFoundationThe library was built for the Most Rev. Narcissus Marsh, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, and formerly Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. It was long claimed that the Library opened in 1701, but this is untrue. The Cathedral agreed in 1701 to provide a plot of land for a library, but building work only commenced in 1703. The First Gallery and the Old Reading Room seem to have been completed by 1705. The Library was formally established by Act of Parliament in 1707, and the Second Gallery was added during the course of 1708 or 1709.The design was by the then Surveyor General of Ireland, Sir William Robinson, also the architect of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Marsh donated his own library, which included the former library of Bishop Edward Stillingfleet, of over 10,000 volumes, regarded as one of the finest in England, which he had bought for 2,500 pounds.
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Dublin offers everything from luxury hotels to eclectic guesthouses. Explore over 1,000 years of history in the city on foot by staying at one of the hotels or hostels in the city center. The south side of the river has always been a popular place to stay, particularly near Temple University or the tourist nightlife center Temple Bar, but a new crop of attractive options has popped up on the north side as well. For more affordable accommodations, try a hostel or make your way toward St. Stephen's Green for a more comfortable stay at a mid-range hotel. If the artistic spirit of Dublin is what beckoned you, spend your holiday in a guesthouse near the creative Lower Gardiner Street.
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4.6
  • An amazing library packed with historical atmosphere, hidden from the crowds. A must see when in Dublin.  more »
  • Don't miss a chance to visit this historic library in Dublin! Very small in size but very vast in range of content and quirky stories. See ancient textbooks, locked "reading cages" and a great overvie...  more »
  • The staff is so nice!! She gave me a brief history. You cannot take photos which I understand you must preserve the area. One of the reasons you cannot take photos also is because they have had many b...  more »
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  • Really interesting library with books dating back from 1400's. They don't allow you to take pictures inside, but it is very nice inside and outside. There is a bathroom inside as well
  • Beautiful library full of medieval manuscripts. Great little stories and tales put up as you walk around. The library consists of two galleries so is quite small but the current exhibition is fascinating who knew graffiti in books is not a modern problem.
  • Excellent historical library - the guards are quite fastidious at protecting this treasure and rightly so. Do not come here expecting to be able to pour over the books or do research without prior consultation. They have a rotating selection of books open for view
  • Lovely feeling in this place- cozy library with plenty of old books for atmosphere. There are displays on a self-guided tour, and guides very willing to answer questions.
  • Minimal entry fee. But worth every penny if your a fan of books. The collection received battle damage during the 1916 Rising, books with bullet strikes are on display.