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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Old Library

Front image of the old building


Main Campus (Fellows' Square)

Accessibility rating:

Building is accessible at all levels

Opening hours

Monday to Fridays: 0800 to 2200hrs

Saturdays: 1000 to 1630hrs

Sundays: Closed

Building description

Throughout most of the building's life it was the main library for Trinity College, during 1968 significant internal modifications to the building were carried out to install concrete stairways and lifts. During 1992 a major fit-out of the ground floor was carried out to convert areas accommodating the 'Exhibition Area', Treasury Room (Book of Kells room) and Library Shop.

The building is shaped in an rectangular plan layout comprising; ground floor, first floor level is dominated by the 'Long Room' books storage and reading room area, there are upper gallery areas for further books storage in the east and west sides of the Long Room, upper floor levels at both east and west ends of the building accommodating Early Printed Books and Manuscripts Sections, there is also an 'attic' level area to each east and west end.

The main doors from the south elevation provides general public access into the building, a further west access door at ground floor allows staff to enter the Manuscripts section, an underground corridor link from the Berkeley Library gives students and staff access to the Early Printed Books section of the building from the east side. The public access areas of the building is a main visitor attraction in Dublin city, housing the national treasure 'Book of Kells' and viewing of the historic 'Long Room' library, Annually the building receives 600,000+ visitors, making it the third most visited tourist attraction in Dublin City.

The main entrance frontage has steps to the south, with accessible stone built ramps approaching from the east and west sides. Double front doors to the main pedestrian entrance gives good access and passing through inner lobby doors, once in the building there is reasonably good access to the ground floor public spaces, a Library Shop is utilised as a reception area for visitors wanting to access the Exhibition, 'Book of Kells' and Long Room.

Facilities available

  • Library Shop (with Tickets Sales desk and shop central cash counter desks)
  • Exhibition Area Treasury Room (Book of Kells on display)
  • East access internal staircase
  • Treasury Room to first floor Long Room Central Staircase exit route from Long Room to Library Shop Students access: Early Printed Books: Library Books and Reading areas (east side upper first floor) Manuscripts Section: Library Documents and Reading areas (west side upper first floor) Link basement access corridor to Early Printed Books section (situated in north side of Berkeley Library building) (refer to Report ID: 6676 Berkeley Library - Zone 3)
  • Staff restricted access areas: Henry Jones Conference Room facility (first floor west end) WC Room facility adjacent to staff rest room (Library Shop) Librarian's Dept Offices East and West Long Room upper floors and work areas South and north upper gallery areas to The Long Room.
  • Cell Offices to Library Shop and Exhibition Staff
  • WC Cubicle room facilities off west staircase
  • Staff and students staircases east and west
  • Staff and Students lifts east and west