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Old Library Redevelopment Project


The Old Library is one of the great libraries of the world. Renowned for the Book of Kells and the magnificent Long Room, it is one of Ireland's iconic treasures, and a globally recognised cultural landmark. A centrepiece of the Library of Trinity College Dublin, it combines heritage and scholarship in its unique dual role as a world-class library and a national cultural institution.

Its precious collections that span millennia have been in the care of the Library for over 400 years. But it now faces significant conservation and environmental challenges. External pollution and dust accumulation are taking their toll on the collections and the fabric of the Old Library building. There is a need to modernise environmental control and fire protection measures. Recent fires in similar heritage sites across the globe provide stark warnings.

This redevelopment plan will draw on 21st-century design and technology to safeguard the Old Library building and conserve its precious collections for future generations. It includes urgent physical and environmental upgrades; and the redevelopment of facilities in line with library and museum experiences around the world.

The Old Library Redevelopment Project will conserve and safeguard the Old Library and its world-class collections:

  • Implement urgent physical and environmental upgrades.
  • Foster scholarship with the Research Collections Study Centre for the Library's world-class collections.
  • Increase access to the Library's treasures in an enhanced exhibition space.
  • Create an immersive gallery that will re-envision the Book of Kells exhibition.
  • Align the Old Library with the best scholarly and museum experiences around the world.
  • Ensure universal access for visitors, scholars, and the College community.

Trinity has made the Old Library Redevelopment Project a centrepiece of its current philanthropic fundraising campaign, Inspiring Generations and will be investing to ensure its longevity. We are seeking support from philanthropy, government and the general public for the conservation of the Old Library for the future. This is a transformative opportunity, conserving this magnificent 18th-century building reinterpreted for the 21st century. 

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support that has been given by TCD Association and Trust in relation to the production of the Old Library Redevelopment videos in order to create awareness about the project. The Association & Trust provides grant support for a wide variety of College projects. The Trinity Affinity Credit Card is the main source of funding for these grants.