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Trinity College Dublin
Known as one of the oldest and most famous universities in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin is located in the centre of our capital city, Dublin, Ireland, on College Green opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament (now a branch of the Bank of Ireland). The College was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 and among its famous graduates are Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift.
The campus occupies 190,000m² (47 acres), with many buildings, both old and new, ranged around large courts (known as "squares") and two playing fields. The Library of Trinity College is a copyright library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million books and significant quantities of maps, manuscripts and music.
The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland. As a result of its historic standing, Trinity is a legal deposit library (as per Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003) for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and has a similar standing in Irish law. The college is therefore legally entitled to a copy of every book published in Great Britain and Ireland and consequently receives over 100,000 new items every year. The library contains 4.5 million books, including 30,000 current serials and significant collections of manuscripts, maps, and printed music. Six library facilities are available for general student use.
The €27 million James Usher Library, opened officially by the President of Ireland in April 2003, is the newest addition to Trinity's library facilities. The eight story 9,500 m² building provides 750 new reader spaces and houses the Glucksman Map Library and Conservation Department. The Glucksman library contains half a million printed maps, the largest collection of cartographic materials in Ireland. This includes the first Ordnance Surveys of Ireland, conducted in the early 19th century.
The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells visited recently by the First lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama and her daughters is by far the Library's most famous book and is located in the Old Library, along with the Book of Durrow, the Book of Howth and other ancient texts. The Book of Kells is widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure. Transcribed by Celtic monks around the year 800, it contains the four Gospels of the New Testament in Latin, and is a spectacular example of the tradition of illuminated manuscripts. Also incorporating the Long Room, the Old Library is one of Ireland's biggest tourist attractions, and holds thousands of rare, and in many cases very early, volumes.
Three million books are held in the book depository in Santry, from which requests are retrieved twice daily.
In the 18th century, the college received the Brian Boru harp, one of the three surviving medieval Gaelic harps, and a national symbol of Ireland, notably used on the Irish Euro coins.
Trinity College Dublin and The Book of Kells is one the most popular visitor attractions in Ireland and well worth a visit during your tour. The library is open all year round except for a week around the Christmas and New year period.
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