Trinity College Dublin on April 5 began a series of celebrations to mark the 300th anniversary of the institution’s Old Library building.
Started in May 1712, it took 20 years to complete the building, the scale of which was considered extremely ambitious at the time, given that the college had only a few hundred students.
For centuries, the library has housed famous alumni, such as writer Jonathan Swift and philosopher Edmund Burke, whose famous ceiling was not part of the original design. In 1860 the roof of the building was raised and a flat plaster ceiling was removed to make room for the present vaulted ceiling and upper bookcase of the gallery.
As part of the festive events it is planned to exhibit texts that are rarely shown. The exhibition, taken from more than a quarter of a million books and hundreds of manuscript collections stored in the library, includes the first edition of Martin Luther’s Old Testament, a sheet from Gutenberg’s Bible and a 12th-century handwritten Psalter by Winchcombe.
The library receives more than half a million visitors annually to view the Kiel Book in the Long Hall.