Redevelopment and restoration of Old Library in Trinity College Dublin approved

The Long Room of Trinity College, Dublin is dubbed "Ireland's most beautiful room".
The Long Room of Trinity College, Dublin is dubbed "Ireland's most beautiful room". Image: Daniel Mennerich Flickr CC BY NC SA 2.0

The work will involve the conservation and protection of the 18th-century Trinity College library. A new research collections study centre for students and scholars will also be developed. The refurbishment will include addition of a “one-of-a-kind immersive exhibition” for visitors said the university. The library houses a collection of 350,000 rare books and a Long House.

Recognised as one of the great libraries of the world, the Old Library holds 350,000 early printed books, and 20,000 manuscript and archive collections which have been collected over 400 years. However, the building is now facing conservation and environmental challenges. Old Library requires “urgent structural and environmental upgrades” the university said.

“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.” In addition to repairs and conservation, a number of non-historic elements including steps, ramps, doors, ceiling materials and partition walls will be removed.

The new research collections study centre will provide national and international scholars with an accessible study environment on the ground floor. It will overlook the Library Square, one of the original historic courtyards at Trinity College. Digitisation of the library will create a “virtual Trinity Library” which will make the collection accessible across the world.

“In its totality, the project supports and enhances both public access and academic scholarship in the library.”

Read more about the Library refurbishment project at the Irish Times.

Read more on Conservation and Restoration.