January 24, 2022

Ireland: Trinity College Dublin Begins €90m [$102 Million/USD] Project to Relocate Vulnerable Books

From The Guardian:

It is known as Ireland’s “front room”, where esteemed visitors including the Queen, Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been taken to get a sense of the “land of saints and scholars”.

Biden, vice-president at the time, was so moved by the atmospherics in the dimly lit, barrel-vaulted hall when he visited Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in 2016 that he came back a year later to contemplate the history of its old library, known as the Long Room.

Source: Wikimedia

But if he were to make a third visit, he may not be so lucky. Three hundred years after the first foundation stone was laid, the 250,000 ancient books and manuscripts – including the ornately decorated ninth-century Book of Kells – printed on vellum, paper or silk are to be moved one by one, along with 500,000 others, to make way for the restoration of the building.

It is a monumental task that will take the best part of five years and cost €90m (£75m).

“Moving 750,000 vulnerable books is quite an undertaking, so we are having to pilot everything to see what is involved,” says TCD’s librarian and archivist Helen Shenton, who is leading the daunting project involving a 50-strong team.

Read the Complete Article (about 980 words)

Additional Resources

Trinity College Library’s Treasures Go Online in New Exhibition (July 6, 2021)

Permission Granted for ‘Major Conservation and Redevelopment’ of Old Library in Trinity College Dublin” (October 7, 2020)

Tour: The Library of Trinity College Dublin (via Google Arts & Culture)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.