This is probably my favourite bookish location on the planet and is an absolute “must-see” for anyone visiting Dublin, Ireland. The library was constructed in the 18th century and inside visitors are able to the not only the stunning Long Room, but also the historic Book of Kells – a 9th century manuscript famous throughout the world. The library itself houses 200,000 of the college’s oldest books and all the bookcases are made from oak. Interestingly, due to the library being built on marshy, soft land, the books in the Long Room are shelved by height and size so that the weight of the books are able to be more evenly distributed!
Exhibitions are held in the display cases running down the centre of the room, and the help to show visitors a selection of some of the amazing texts and documents that the library holds. Now, we all know that the harp is an instrument synonymous with Ireland (the Guinness beer logo anyone?), and one of the amazing artefacts to be found in the Long Room itself is the Brian Boru harp. It is the oldest harp of its kind in Ireland and dates back to the 15th century.
I have been lucky enough to visit this AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS library in person, and it was everything I hoped for and more. All the woodwork, ladders, alcoves and spiralled metal staircases set the scene in this hallowed space. Are you one of those people who love the smell of old books? Well, multiply that by about a thousand and that starts to paint the picture of what it is like to be in this magnificent room. I was only in Dublin for 3 days, and I managed to visit this place twice in that time. This is what I imagine heaven would look like!