The writers among our guests or those seeking the sanctuary of absolute silence for some work on a laptop or for those visitors seeking to fulfil a fascination with the rich texture of the city’s and country’s history through books there is no need to look further than the firm five favourites of the locals of Ballsbridge.
Perhaps the first and most well-known is Trinity Library – the library of Trinity College Dublin - a 23 minute walk from the Mews. Trinity library is the largest research library in Ireland with over 5 million books. As a result of its historic standing the library receives over 100,000 new items every year. Three million books are held in the book depository off site from which requests are retrieved twice a day. The Old Library in Trinity houses the Book of Kells along with the lesser welll known Book of Durrow and the Brian Boru harp.
Then there’s the National Library of Ireland - Ireland's national library based on Kildare Street - beside Leinster House (or Dail Eireann – the Irish House of Parliament) and the archaeology section of the National Museum of Ireland. The national library collects, preserves, promotes and makes accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland. It is a reference library and does not lend. It has a big volume of Irish and Irish-related material which can be consulted at no charge; including books, maps, manuscripts, music, newspapers and photographs. The library holds exhibitions and holds an archive of Irish newspapers. The library also provides a number of other services including genealogy.
A hidden gem is the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle ( a 40 minute walk from the Mews). It was established in Dublin, Ireland in 1950, to house the collections of mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. The Library's collections are displayed in two collections: "Sacred Traditions" and "Artistic Traditions". Both displays exhibit manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts from the Islamic, East Asian and Western Collections. The Library is one of the foremost sources for scholarship in both the Old and New Testaments and is home to one of the most significant collections of far eastern artefacts.
Less well known is the RDS Library (10 minutes walk from the Mews) - the library of the Royal Dublin Society. It provides an interesting and diverse selection of material available for borrowing by Members of the Society. The RDS Library also holds the records of the Royal Dublin Society since its foundation and a general library which contains over 100,000 volumes including over 4,000 relating to Ireland, many of them old and rare. The collections of the RDS Library reflect the Foundation's interests in the areas of science, agriculture, industries and arts, especially within an Irish context.
Even less well known is the Pembroke Library (an 8 minute walk from the Mews) on Anglesea Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 - built in 1927 and opened in 1929. It was the last Carnegie Library opened in Ireland (one of four libraries funded by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919)) . The writer Frank O'Connor was appointed the first Librarian of Pembroke Library in December 1929.
Make space for your mind and indulge in the very centered and quiet that these beautiful libraries afford.