‘It’s Merely A Closet, But Don’t Let This Fool You’

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Marsh’s Library in St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8

Christa Thompson writes:

Just past the medieval graveyard at St.Patrick’s Cathedral stands a Gothic stone archway and hinged door marking the path of stairs to Marsh’s Library, the first public library in Ireland. As I opened the door to its gallery I was immediately transported back three hundred years. My eyes scanned the thick and dramatic oak shelves. The spines of antique books so textured with age seemed like something from a Harry Potter Movie as if it were only possible they existed had someone imagined them. There was something about this place that made me want to stay. Perhaps this is what kept Bram Stoker, reading books of travel and death. Records of his readings are kept in a ledger where I saw the hand scrawls of the likes of Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and James Joyce.

Most every Dublin tourist knows of the famed Long Library at Trinity College, but few know of Marsh’s Library. In comparison, Marsh’s Library is merely a closet, but don’t let this fool you, it remains unchanged since its founding in 1638. It is home to 25,000 rare and extraordinary books with permanent residence on its original oak shelves.

The Dark Side of Dublin: the Haunting of Marsh’s Library (Fairytale Traveler)

Pic: Celtic Group Hostels

9 thoughts on “‘It’s Merely A Closet, But Don’t Let This Fool You’

  1. bisted

    …the Marsh’s Library Twitter/Facebook accounts are highly recommended. They are very prolific, always interesting and amazingly topical.

  2. shitferbrains

    Given that tours of Dublin are, generally speaking , a scam whereby young people with little or no knowledge work for free on the expectation of tips, the likes of this library is hardly likely to feature prominently.

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