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Dublin, Ireland

Marsh's Library

The oldest public library in Ireland. 

Founded in 1707, Marsh’s Library holds some 25,000 books and 300 manuscripts, and is the oldest public library in Ireland.

Narcissus Marsh, Archbishop of Dublin, donated many of the books in the library from his personal collection, and is buried nearby on the Cathedral grounds.

The library has seen much of Dublin’s history. In some of the bookcases, there are bullet holes from the Easter Rising, when the hotel next door was occupied. A unique feature that still stands is the three wired alcoves, or “cages,” which were created in the late 18th century in response to thefts at the library. Readers would have to be locked inside to peruse the rarest books.

Know Before You Go

Located on St Patrick’s Close, just behind St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin