Marsh's Library, Dublin

4.6
#83 of 663 in Things to do in Dublin
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
440 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 15, 2017
    Ticket from minimal cost, only reason to come in and browse around. Ancient library. Offers temporary exhibitions. Absolutely nothing to brag about.
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  • August 14, 2017
    Old books leather bound a place of inspiration very friendly people small but worth the stairs to climb. Bram Stoker was in this place go and hear who else frequented this enchanted old library . Love...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    If you love books or literature, this is a great place to explore. I fell upon it by accident, but I was very happy to do so. The entry fee is very small (2 pounds for students and 3 pounds for adults...  more »
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  • May 22, 2017
    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
  • March 11, 2017
    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.
  • January 28, 2017
    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
  • March 4, 2017
    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.
  • December 5, 2016
    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.

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