Laidlaw Foundation to fund new research and innovation library at Trinity

Posted on: 19 March 2024

The new research and innovation library will be Trinity’s first stand-alone digital library and is expected to open in 2027, focusing on embracing modern and collaborative working and studying approaches.  

Trinity College Dublin is expanding its relationship with the Laidlaw Foundation with the establishment of a new research and innovation library at its Trinity East campus funded by a gift from the Foundation.  

Trinity has a strong partnership with the Foundation and is a member of the international Laidlaw Scholars Network, consisting of 20 universities around the world, and hosts the Laidlaw Trailblazers, which assists women from disadvantaged backgrounds in Trinity to pursue and achieve leadership positions. 

The new research and innovation library (seen in computer-generated  image below, on left of picture) will be Trinity’s first stand-alone digital library and is expected to open in 2027, focusing on embracing modern and collaborative working and studying approaches.   

CGI image

The new library will be created from the refurbishment of an existing building on the Trinity East campus in Dublin's Grand Canal Dock and will extend to over 2,000 square metres. Work is already underway to conceptualise the design of the building which will embrace the adjacent Innovation Hub, which is currently under construction. The buildings incorporate an event space and café which will host internal and external events and activities. The sustainable approach of refurbishment is at the heart of development work in Trinity East. 

Provost Dr Linda Doyle welcomed the announcement:  “We have developed a great partnership with the Laidlaw Foundation through the Laidlaw Scholars programme and the Trailblazers initiative. We are delighted that the partnership has been deepened further with a generous gift from the Laidlaw Foundation that will allow us to develop an outstanding library facility for our research community. It will be of enormous benefit to students and staff and will broaden access to a vast stock of copyrighted digital material.  

“The library is central to our vision for the Trinity East campus, which will be a vibrant hub for world-class research and cutting-edge innovation. I want to thank the Laidlaw Foundation and acknowledge its hugely positive impact on Trinity, not only with this wonderful new library, but also with the ongoing support for the fantastic Laidlaw Scholars and Laidlaw Trailblazers initiatives”. 

Lord Irvine Laidlaw said: “Funding a new library is not about bricks or even books. It is about investing in the limitless potential of intellectual curiosity and wisdom. As an Irish citizen, I am particularly proud to be supporting Trinity College Dublin’s new campus, and building a Research and Innovation library where students will gather to study, inquire and expand their knowledge”. 

Trinity’s Bursar Eleanor Denny said: “Creating this Research and Innovation Library is a crucial step in our Trinity East development plan. Over time, our ambition is that our new campus will foreground not only research and innovation, but also culture, community and sustainability. The Laidlaw Foundation’s incredible gift will allow us to take a large step forward”. 

The Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton said: “As the anchor of the new Trinity East campus, this new Research and Innovation Library is a major step-change in the evolution of the Library of Trinity College Dublin. From its iconic 18th century and 20th century buildings, this avowedly 21 century library will be digital first and foremost, a hive of innovation and a test bed for creating a sustainable digital library”. 

The new library will form part of the broader Trinity East project, which is redeveloping the 5.2 acre site in Grand Canal Dock through a programme of refurbishment and regeneration with a focus on sustainability and enhancing biodiversity.   

Media Contact:

Catherine O’Mahony | Media Relations |