Ah, libraries. What I wouldn’t give to be able to visit the Great Library of Alexandria that was unfortunately burned down over 2,000 years ago. Since I haven’t yet discovered a way to travel back in time, despite reading several marvelous books on the topic, I will have to settle for lusting after libraries that are spectacular in their own unique ways, oh and that still actually exist.
First up in my loving profile of awe inspiring libraries is the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1592, the library is home to the infamous Book of Kells, and other rare and ancient manuscripts including the Book of Durrow, and the Book of Howth, among 5 million other fascinating books. The main gallery or Long Room, as it’s called, was constructed in the early 18th century and houses the library’s oldest and most treasured texts in floor-to-ceiling oak bookcases, which are all carefully watched over by busts of famous authors and poets.
Other treasures in the Long Room include one of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic which was read outside the General Post Office at the start of the Easter Rising. The harp displayed is the oldest of its kind in Ireland and dates from the 15th century. It is made of willow with 29 brass strings, and is the model for the emblem of Ireland.
When the sun is shining, light streams in through the high arched windows, although the gloom on a rainy Irish day only heightens the romantic setting. Unfortunately climbing the elegant ladders is off limits, but one can still imagine how wonderful it would be to scale the rungs, and pull down a fox-eared copy of Yeats’ poetry.