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Marsh's Library, Dublin
(4.7/5 based on 340+ 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
  • Well worth a visit. Check out the caged in area where one was allowed to read under lock and key. This was to ensure nothing was stolen from the library 
  • I'm a huge book junkie, and I've been wanting to visit this library for ages. Finally made in on my most recent trip to Dublin, and I'm so glad I did. Just gorgeous, if you're a book lover this is lik...  more »
  • We visited Marsh's library around Halloween on a beautiful autumnal day. From the moment we saw the entrance, we were entranced. It is a beautiful ambient building located beside an eerie graveyard an...  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.