Tucked away on a side street adjacent to St Patricks Cathedral, Marsh’s Library is a hidden gem located in the centre of Dublin City.
This library has functioned for over three centuries and remains largely unchanged since it opened in 1707. Narcissus Marsh founded the library with the concept of making books readily available to the public.
During the 18th century, books were expensive and libraries such a Trinity Library were only accessible for scholars. Marsh wanted to give the local people an opportunity to immerse them into the literary world by giving them access to the expensive books that he possessed. Icons including Bram Stoker and James Joyce both frequented the library on various occasions and it is said that some of the books in the library may have influenced their works.
It is the oldest public library in the country and contains over 20,000 books today. From the moment you walk through the entrance it is obvious that much of the interior is original. Dark oak bookcases and wooden floors create a musky texture in the air. It is fascinating to see so many old books preserved and kept in pristine condition for such a long period of time.
There is an admission fee of €3 for adults and €2 for seniors/students that I believe is miniscule for the experience you have here. Some prints of art are available including some Bram Stoker artwork just before you exit the library. I recommend that you take your time walking through the library reading the different displays they have on offer.
If you fancy something different and off the beaten track then Marsh’s library is a place you will definitely appreciate.
I will be writing about more hidden gems in Dublin in my future blogs. If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out my other travel blogs here or scroll down on this page for more categories. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.