Trinity College Dublin Library
Set in the heart of Dublin city centre, the library of Trinity College Dublin was founded in 1592, shortly after the college had opened the doors to its first pupils. Its holdings then consisted of what had probably been the private collection of books belonging to the first Vice-Chancellor of the college, Luke Challoner, but the library soon began to expand significantly, mostly thanks to purchases made by Challoner himself, as well as by James Ussher, then a fellow of the college, who was to become Archbishop of Armagh.
With its five million printed volumes, as well as vast collections of manuscripts, journals, music and maps, the Library of Trinity College Dublin is now the largest in the country. Its most famous treasures in manuscript form, the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, from all over the world.
The Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections, in addition to early printed books and pamphlets, hosts private press items, limited editions, signed books, Irish literature in English, Irish Archival material and other valuable or vulnerable texts. Among its several named collections, the Fagel collection is one of the largest. Its 20,000 items were brought together by one of the most powerful families in Holland during the 17th and 18th centuries. This collection, acquired by the library in 1802, is particularly rich in the fields of history, politics, geography, natural history, maps and travel.
The department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections is located in the East Pavilion of the Old Library, and the Reading Room is accessed through the basement of the Berkeley Library. For the rules of admission and further details see the Trinity College Library website.