Emelina Muncy

Emelina Muncy

Published: 18 Sep 2023

Source: Designingbuildings.co.uk

Located in the heart of Dublin, Trinity College Library is a true treasure trove of knowledge and history. With its rich collection of books and stunning architecture, it has not only become a landmark in Ireland but also a world-renowned institution for learning.

This historic library, founded in 1592, boasts a collection of over 6 million books, including rare manuscripts, ancient maps, and exquisite prints. Its Long Room is a sight to behold, with its magnificent barrel-vaulted ceiling and marble busts of famous scholars lining the shelves.

But there’s more to Trinity College Library than meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into 12 mind-blowing facts about this iconic institution, uncovering its fascinating secrets and shedding light on its remarkable contributions to academia and culture.

Table of Contents

The Long and Storied History

Trinity College Library, located in Dublin, Ireland, has a rich history that dates back to its foundation in It is the largest library in Ireland and houses over 6 million books and manuscripts, making it a treasure trove of knowledge and culture.

The Famous Old Library

The centerpiece of Trinity College Library is the Old Library, known for its breathtaking beauty and architectural grandeur. With its stunning Long Room, which stretches over 65 meters, it is an exquisite example of the 18th-century library design. The Long Room houses over 200,000 of the library’s oldest books and is a sight to behold.

The Book of Kells

One of the most renowned treasures of Trinity College Library is the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript gospel book dating back to the 9th century. With its intricate calligraphy and stunning artwork, it is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Western art. The Book of Kells is displayed in a specially designed case in the Old Library for visitors to admire.

The Marble Busts

Visitors to Trinity College Library will be greeted by an impressive collection of marble busts. These busts, representing prominent figures from history and literature, line the Long Room and add an aura of scholarly elegance to the library.

The Brian Boru Harp

The Library is home to the iconic Brian Boru Harp, also known as the Trinity College Harp or the Cláirseach. The harp is believed to have belonged to Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland in the 11th century. It is one of the oldest surviving Gaelic harps in the world and is a symbol of Irish heritage and culture.

The Legal Deposit Collection

Trinity College Library has been a legal deposit library since 1801, meaning it is entitled to a copy of every publication in Ireland and the United Kingdom. This vast collection ensures that the library remains a comprehensive resource for researchers and scholars.

The Long Room’s Exhibition

In addition to its impressive collection of books, the Long Room also houses fascinating exhibitions showcasing rare and unique artifacts. From ancient manuscripts to historical maps, these exhibitions offer visitors a glimpse into the library’s incredible collection.

The Harry Potter Connection

Did you know that Trinity College Library served as inspiration for the library scenes in the Harry Potter movies? The grandeur and grandiose architecture of the Old Library provided the perfect backdrop for Hogwarts Library, immersing viewers in the magical world of the beloved wizarding series.

The Digital Repository

Trinity College Library is at the forefront of preserving and digitizing historical works. The library’s Digital Repository houses a vast collection of digitized books, manuscripts, and other resources, making them accessible to researchers and scholars worldwide.

The Long Room’s Famous Visitors

Over the years, Trinity College Library has welcomed many famous visitors, including notable figures like Queen Victoria, William Wordsworth, and Bram Stoker. The library’s rich history and impressive collection continue to attract visitors from all corners of the globe.

The Stunning Architecture

The architectural beauty of Trinity College Library is not limited to the Old Library. The library complex incorporates various architectural styles, from the classical architecture of the Berkeley Library to the modernist design of the Ussher Library, making it a unique blend of old and new.

The Preservation Efforts

Preserving and maintaining the vast collection of Trinity College Library requires dedicated efforts. The library has a team of expert conservators who work tirelessly to ensure the books and manuscripts remain in excellent condition for future generations to explore and enjoy.

These mind-blowing facts about Trinity College Library showcase its significance as a cultural and educational institution. With its rich history, magnificent architecture, and impressive collection, it continues to captivate visitors and scholars alike, offering a glimpse into the world of knowledge and discovery.


Trinity College Library is undoubtedly a remarkable landmark that captivates visitors with its rich history, architectural grandeur, and vast collection of priceless literary treasures. From its iconic Long Room to the famous Book of Kells, the library offers a glimpse into the world of academia and knowledge.

Whether you’re an avid reader, a history enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates stunning architecture, Trinity College Library is a destination that should not be missed. Its beauty and significance make it a place that leaves a lasting impression on everyone who visits.

So, if you find yourself in Dublin, Ireland, make sure to pay a visit to Trinity College Library and experience the magic and wonder that it has to offer.


Q: How old is Trinity College Library?

A: Trinity College Library was established in 1592, making it over 400 years old.

Q: Can I visit Trinity College Library?

A: Yes, visitors are welcome to explore the awe-inspiring Trinity College Library. However, certain areas may have restricted access during busy periods.

Q: Is the Book of Kells on display at Trinity College Library?

A: Yes, one of the main attractions of Trinity College Library is the Book of Kells, an ancient manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. It is displayed in a specially designed exhibition area.

Q: Are photography and filming allowed inside Trinity College Library?

A: Photography and filming are not permitted inside the library’s Long Room or exhibition areas. However, you are allowed to take pictures in the entrance hall and courtyard.

Q: Can I borrow books from Trinity College Library?

A: Borrowing books from Trinity College Library is only available to registered students and staff members of the college. However, visitors can enjoy the collection by browsing through the open shelves or accessing digitized material online.