Trinity College Library, Dublin in Dublin

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Trinity College Library Dublin, the centrally-administered library of Trinity College, Dublin, is the largest library in Ireland. As a "copyright library", it has legal deposit rights for material published in the Republic of Ireland; it is also the only Irish library to hold such rights for the United Kingdom.

The library is also the permanent home to the famous Book of Kells. Two of the four volumes are on public display, one opened to a major decorated page and the other to a typical page of text. The volumes and pages shown are regularly changed.

The current librarian, Robin Adams, is Chair of the Irish Universities Association Librarians' Group.

Staff and students of the University of Dublin also have access to the libraries of Tallaght Hospital and the Irish School of Ecumenics, Milltown.


The Library proper occupies several buildings, four of which are on the campus of Trinity College itself and another at St. James's Hospital, Dublin:

  • the Old Library, incorporating:
    • the Early Printed Books Reading Room;
    • the Manuscripts Reading Room;
  • the Berkeley/Lecky/Ussher (BLU) Libraries complex, incorporating:
    • the Berkeley Library (including the Multimedia Area);
    • the Lecky Library;
    • the Ussher Library;
    • the Glucksman Map Library and Conservation Department;
  • the Hamilton Science and Engineering Library;
  • the 1937 Reading Room (for postgraduate use);
  • the John Stearne Medical Library, housed at St James's Hospital.

Further materials are held in storage, either in closed access stacks on campus or at a book depository in the Dublin suburb of Santry.

Starting at 4 pm on Saturday 29 November 2009, the Trinity Students' Union organised a 24 hour sit-in in protest at a reduced book-buying budget, lack of access to books on Sundays, and a proposed reduction of counter services.


James Ussher (1625–56), Archbishop of Armagh, whose most important works were "Veterum Epistolarum Hibernicarum Sylloge", published in 1632, and "Brittanicarum Ecclesiarum Antiquitates", which appeared in 1639, left his valuable library, comprising several thousand printed books and manuscripts, to Trinity College, Dublin, and his complete works were published by that institution in twenty-four volumes.

Legal Deposit Library status

According to the Republic of Ireland's Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, the Library is entitled, along with the National Library of Ireland and the libraries of the National University of Ireland, the University of Limerick, and Dublin City University, to receive a copy of all works published in the Republic of Ireland. Also, as a result of the British Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003, which continues a more ancient right dating from 1801, the Library is entitled, along with the British Library, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Wales and the National Library of Scotland, to receive a copy on request of all works published in the United Kingdom.

See also

Further reading

  • Fox, Peter Treasures of the Library: Trinity College Dublin. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1986
  • Fox, Peter "The Librarians of Trinity College", in: Vincent Kinane, Anne Walshe, eds., A History of Trinity College Library, Dublin. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000

External links