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Marsh's Library, Dublin

(4.7/5 based on 360+ reviews on the web)
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 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.Dr. Elias Bouhereau, a Huguenot refugee from La Rochelle who fled from France after the Revocation of the edict of Nantes, was the first librarian or Keeper, and also donated his personal library.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We have the bib visited after we had visited the Trinity Library. I have to honestly admit that the Marsh's library which disappeared into nothing. A small bib but no less beautiful. We were pleasantly surprised by the story that we got there. The books are incredibly beautiful. for example, we have learned that most covers are made from animal skin. You may take pictures anywhere. Bit of a shame but understandable. We paid € 3 per adults.
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  • I was sent on a tour with Fáilte Ireland as part of my internship with a hotel, to gain an understanding of what there is to do in Dublin. I never knew this places existed. It's so amazing, I've been ...  more »
  • Was really happy to we stopped in this little library. They had a little exhibit on about the marginalia and doodles found in some of the books in the collections, which was a nice way to highlight so...  more »
Google
  • Worth a visit The library is a little gem especially for book lovers or for those interested in history. With a number of prize books, the library tour starts with a short intro. You are free to browse the library at your own pace after. If you want to spend sn hour in tranquil surroundings, this is definitely worth a visit. Dont touch the books!
  • Best part of my recent trip to Dublin. Knowledgable and welcoming curators, reasonable entry charge (€3), lots of interesting things to see. Great if you are interested in literature, history or books.
  • A great find!
  • An amazing little library. Has a huge amount of history books. The building itself has an interesting history. A must visit for book lovers.
  • The earliest public library in Ireland.