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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Old Library Redevelopment Project entail?

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

Central to the redevelopment plans will be the conservation and protection of the 18th century building, and its precious manuscripts and research collections. It will also include the development of a new state-of-the art Research Collections Study Centre for students and scholars both nationally and the world over. It will also re-envision the Library's treasures with a one-of-a-kind  exhibition.

Why are you doing this now?

The Old Library 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.

When will restoration and construction works start?

The Old Library Redevelopment Project commenced in 2021. Restoration and construction works are due to start in 2023 and are scheduled to last three years. During the construction period a new interim Research Collections Study Centre will be located in the Ussher Library Basement. An interim Book of Kells exhibition will also be open to visitors.

For Library readers seeking operational updates on the Old Library Redevelopment Project please see our Library Guide.

Will there be continuity of Library services and access to the Research Collections and Staff?

There will be continuity of overall Library services, access to Research Collections material, and the expertise of Research Collections staff throughout the lifetime of the project (2021-2026). An interim Research Collections Study Centre will be located in the basement of the Ussher Library for the duration of the construction work, where readers can access material under usual conditions. Disruption will be kept at a minimum. There may be brief periods when material will not be available during the process of relocation. There will be extensive communication with the College community, researchers, visitors and public well in advance of the planned relocation and regular updates on potential disruption. For Library readers seeking operational updates on the Old Library Redevelopment Project please see our Library Guide.

Has planning permission been granted?

Dublin City Council granted planning permission for the Old Library Redevelopment Project in October 2020, and the historic unveiling of the new Book of Kells Treasury and display which forms the first component of these redevelopment plans also took place in autumn, 2020.

Who are the architects?

The award-winning architects Heneghan Peng who successfully conserved and revitalised the National Gallery of Ireland are leading the project.