Saturday, October 9, 2010

Open House Dublin: National Library of Ireland

Earlier today I went to the Open House Dublin tour of the National Library of Ireland on Kildare Street. It was a fascinating tour, mostly because I've been in the building before and never realised how many wonderful architectural details and historical and literary links the Library has. As on Culture Night, I was struck by the degree to which the great buildings of the city are intertwined with many of the city's major historical figures.

The tourguide clearly loves the Library and was delighted to recount facts, dates and anecdotes. The National Library has, since the enactment of the Legal Deposit Act 1927, been legally entitled to a copy of each book and newspaper published in Ireland. Storage is therefore a major challenge, and microfilm is used extensively to reduce wear and tear - although the tourguide mentioned that film-makers sometimes get access to originals.

Mosaic in the main entrance hall

The Reading Room

I'll definitely return to the NLI - I'm keen to see their Yeats exhibition.


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