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Trinity College Dublin

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A Great Many Choice Books: 300 Years of the Old Library

Welcome to the online exhibition of A great many choice books: 300 Years of the Old Library, which celebrates the 300th anniversary of the Old Library.

This site was designed to complement the physical exhibition on display from April to October 2012 in the Long Room of the Old Library, which showcased manuscripts, printed books and College archives from the Library’s collections. The story of the building, its collections and its people is told through the exhibits, which include an illuminated psalter and books of hours, rare incunabula and sumptuously illustrated printed books, Library records, tradesmen’s building accounts, as well as maps and photographs.

The foundation stone of the Old Library was laid in May 1712, but the genesis of the collection of manuscripts and books pre‐dates the building by more than a century. As well as marking the tercentenary of the Old Library building, this exhibition also celebrates the first decades of the College Library when the collections were stored elsewhere, and before the building of the impressive accommodation which today houses its finest manuscripts and early printed books.