Trinity College Library Long Room Lower Gallery

The Library of Trinity College Dublin

The Library of Trinity College Dublin is renowned throughout the world for its distinctive collections. As on many campuses, the Library is literally – and metaphorically – at the heart of the University.

Find out more about the Library’s special role in Trinity College Dublin, Irish society and the wider world.

The Library of Trinity College Dublin

The Library of Trinity College Dublin is renowned throughout the world for its unique buildings and for the strength and distinctiveness of its collections. As on many campuses, the Library is literally – and metaphorically – at the heart of the University.

Ussher Library Internal HI (18)

Ussher Library

Trinity’s contemporary libraries occupy a suite of individualistic buildings, including the modernist Berkeley Library and the more recent Ussher Library. The Berkeley Library which was designed by the renowned architect Paul Koralek is one of the finest modernist buildings in Ireland.

The Berkley Library entrance

The Berkley Library entrance

The Library has 6.5 million volumes reflecting 425 years of academic development. The Library was endowed with legal deposit privilege in 1801 and continues to receive copies of material published in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  It includes extensive Irish and UK copyright material, e-resources and, increasingly, UK e-legal deposit material.

The Library pioneers the best methods of resource discovery and developments in teaching, learning and research processes. The Library’s recent Strategy  reinforces this by fostering innovation and creativity, catalysing research, and developing  partnerships with the academic and wider community.

The Library supports the learning and research needs across all disciplines of the University. As a major research library of international repute it also provides services to a wide range of external users and institutions.  Its exhibitions of manuscripts and other treasures are viewed and admired by hundreds of thousands of visitors to  the Old Library each year.

Trinity College Library Long Room Lower Gallery

Library Long Room Lower Gallery

The Old Library which is more than 300 years old, is home to the Long Room which is considered by many as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. This national heritage building has a unique dual role as a world-class library and a national cultural institution that is an international visitor destination. It is the custodian of rare and important works, including the Book of Kells, the 9th century manuscript which is widely regarded as Ireland’s greatest historical artefact. It is also recognised by UNESCO as a Memory of the World.

The Old Library’s range of world-class research collections span millennia and continue to be a source of inspiration and innovation. They include the Ussher Collection and the Fagel Collection among many more.  An exhibition marking the 250th anniversary of the College Historical Society the ‘Greatest of all Schools of Oratory’  opened in the Long Room in the Old Library this week and will run until May.

The Library is part of the Campaign for Trinity, launched last academic year. There are two major Library components. Firstly, the Old Library Redevelopment Project, a very significant programme to conserve and protect the Old Library and its collections; to create a new Research Collections Study Centre; and to create a new Book of Kells exhibition and new visitor facilities. Secondly, the ‘Virtual Trinity Library’, which aims to create a virtual library that is open for the world. By digitising the Library’s vast unique and distinct collections, we aim to create a new research entity available to all. Significant planning for both these major projects is currently underway.