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The Library

The Library of Trinity College is crucial to the university’s mission in education and research and attracts scholars from round the world. The heart of the Library is the Old Library, a national and world treasure, celebrated globally for its historic building, magnificent Long Room, and unique collections and treasures, including the Book of Kells.

As an historic building housing unique collections and artefacts, and as a repository of world knowledge, the Old Library is vulnerable: to pollution and environmental degradation and to damage through fire or flooding. Recent fires in heritage sites across the globe provide stark warning.

The Old Library Redevelopment Project and Virtual Trinity Library are vital and timely initiatives to protect and conserve the historic building, safeguard its unique collections, physically and digitally, and improve access for scholars and visitors, both in-person and online.

The Library has always depended on the outstanding generosity of donors, going right back to the 17th century and the bequests of Archbishop Ussher and Charles II. Among the first of the 21st century benefactors to the Old Library Redevelopment Project are Carol and Murray Grigor who generously supported the refurbishment of the Book of Kells Treasury. We are proud to recognise other benefactors on the frieze in the Long Room.

Thanks to the vision and commitment of our donors, both the Old Library Redevelopment Project and Virtual Trinity Library are progressing at pace:

  • The cleaning, RFID-tagging, digitisation and transfer of 350,000 early printed books and 20,000 manuscript and archive collections is currently underway;
  • Significant progress across a diverse range of Virtual Trinity Library projects to digitise the Library’s unique collections, share cultural memory and facilitate international links between people and collections;
  • Construction work, including fit-out of the interior, the creation of a Research Collections Study Centre and a reimagined Book of Kells exhibition, will start in 2023, for completion in 2027. Award-winning architects, Heneghan Peng, known for their design of iconic heritage sites in Ireland and internationally, have developed an integrated design addressing all aspects of conservation, research and public engagement.
Read more about The Old Library Redevelopment Project here Donate to the Old Library Redevelopment Project