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1937 Postgraduate Reading Room

Project Detail

Our Prestigious 1937 Reading Room is closed from the 1st June 2021 to carryout works to electrical/essential life safety systems.

These include general lighting, fire alarm, power, and emergency lighting systems.

This will result in much improved facilities for all users well into the future.

We look forward to having all building users back when works are completed by early September.

We thank you for your understanding while these essential works are ongoing.


The 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room is one of the most distinctive buildings on Campus, standing between the Old Library and the Examination Hall.

In 1919 College invited design submissions for a war memorial dedicated to its staff and students killed in the Great War. Sir Thomas Manly Deane (1851-1933) was the selected architect, and his design placed a “Hall of Honour” at the entrance to an octagonal building that would accommodate a new Library reading room.

In 1928 that initial Hall of Honour was completed, housing the Roll of Honour commemorating the 471 Trinity students, staff and alumni who lost their lives in the war. Above the entrance is inscribed “NIKH,” for Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

The Hall features Kilkenny black marble columns and white marble wall panels into which are carved the names of the dead in gold lettering. But it wasn’t until nearly a decade later - 1937 - that the whole building was complete.

The finished Reading Room, surrounded by a raised gallery, contained 160 seats with a perimeter room below the gallery reserved for academic staff and women readers.

It was formally opened by Éamon de Valera, President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State