5 special libraries and archives in Dublin

1) The Old Library

Some of you may know that the Old Library is home to the famous Book of Kells, a 9th-century Gospel manuscript. The main chamber of the Old Library is called the Long Room; it is home to over 200.000 of the oldest books, which makes this one of the most impressive libraries in the world.

long room old library

2) National Library of Ireland

A sacred place for all book lovers and writers alike, the National Library of Ireland houses, amongst other things, the personal notes of Seamus Heaney, Roddy Doyle, James Joyce and their likes. In fact, it holds the most comprehensive collection of Irish history and writing, providing immaculate preservation of all manuscripts.

front side National Library of Ireland

More hidden secrets of Dublin?

Make the most of your trip to Dublin with this guide packed with the city's best-kept secrets. Hand-picked by our local author and presented in original lists of five.

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3) The National Photographic Archive

The NPA, opened in 1998, is located in Temple Bar. It is home to over 20.000 glass plate negatives from between 1870 and 1954 that have been digitised. They are available for viewing online or by appointment. There is also a reading room.

National Photographic Archive

Meeting House Square

+353 (0)1 603 0373


4) Marsh's Library

This is probably Dublin’s most eerie, Harry Potter-esque library. Founded in the 18th century and thus an example of the late Renaissance/early Enlightenment period, it’s still in use today. There are dozens of beautiful dark oak bookcases here and cages to read in privacy. There’s even a skull in one, where one poor chap never got out.

books Marsh's library

5) Military Archives

This is the place to go for all things on military record. With a huge database, there are dozens of collections of preserved historical documents. Many of them, such as the Air Corps Museums Collection, the Civil War Captured Documents and Emergency Defense Plans, can be viewed from special reading rooms. Appointment necessary.

Military Archives reading room

Cathal Brugha Barracks, Military Road

+353 (0)1 804 6457


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