Photo © David Iliff, under CC-BY-SA 3.0, file: The Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
The Trinity College Library Dublin serves Trinity College and the University of Dublin. It is the largest library in Ireland and, as a legal deposit or “copyright library”, it has rights to receive material published in the Republic of Ireland free of charge; it is also the only Irish library to hold such rights for the United Kingdom. The Library is the permanent home to the famous Book of Kells. Two of the four volumes are on public display, one opened to a major decorated page and the other to a typical page of text. The volumes and pages shown are regularly changed. Members of the University of Dublin also have access to the libraries of Tallaght Hospital and the Irish School of Ecumenics, Milltown.
The Trinity College Library began with the founding of Trinity College in 1592. In 1661, Henry Jones presented it with the Book of Kells, its most famous manuscript. James Ussher (1625–56), Archbishop of Armagh, whose most important works were “Veterum Epistolarum Hibernicarum Sylloge” (1632) and “Brittanicarum Ecclesiarum Antiquitates” (1639), left his valuable library, comprising several thousand printed books and manuscripts, to the Library. His complete works were published by the Library in twenty-four volumes.
In 1801, the Library was given legal deposit rights, making it the only library in Ireland to have such rights for the United Kingdom. Starting at 4 pm on Saturday 29 November 2009, the Trinity Students’ Union organized a 24-hour sit-in in protest at a reduced book-buying budget, lack of access to books on Sundays, and a proposed reduction of counter services.
The 65-metre-long (213 ft) main chamber of the Old Library, the Long Room, was built between 1712 and 1732 and houses 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books. Initially The Long Room had a flat ceiling, shelving for books only on the lower level, and an open gallery. By the 1850s the room had to be expanded as the shelves were filled due to the fact that the Library had been given permission to obtain a free copy of every book that had been published in Ireland and Britain. In 1860, The Long Room’s roof was raised to accommodate an upper gallery… more on Wikipedia.
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