Before applying to a postgraduate program at Trinity College in
Dublin, one of the first things I came across during my research was an
interior photo of the world famous Long Room. It is probably one of the
most beautiful scenes of academia, and along with the Book of Kells, it
draws large crowds of tourists to our campus every single day. Both
housed in the Old Library building, the sites made headlines last week
when Michelle Obama and her two daughters made a very high profile
The Book of Kells is an impressively detailed and
preserved gospel dating back to the 9th century and is one of the oldest
books in the world. The exhibit is very in depth and educational.
Visitors are led through a room detailing the history of the Book and
are able to view the Book’s contemporaries, which are also on display in
the rooms leading to the main exhibit. Films on calligraphy and book
binding can be viewed as well by visitors as they pass through.
Despite the contents of the Book, the exhibit is non-secular and focuses
on the artistry and history of the manuscript, rather than any
religious significance it may have.
My favorite part of Trinity
College both as a student and a visitor is The Long Room in the Old
Library. It is absolutely fascinating, and is rumored to have been the
inspiration for the Jedi Library in Star Wars: Episode II (Check out the images
for yourselves, they’re the same!) The building dates back to the 18th
century, and the Library itself houses around 200,000 of Trinity’s
oldest books, surrounded by busts of famous individuals associated with
the University. Since 1801, Trinity has had the rights to all books
published in England or Ireland, contributing to both the historic
collection on display in the Long Room and the vast collection available
to students in one of the four modern libraries. The Library also has
famous items from Ireland’s history, like the Proclamation of the Irish
Republic from the revolutionary Easter Rising in 1916, and one of the
oldest harps in the World, which is the national symbol of the country.
(It is also featured in both the Trinity and Guinness logos!)
Old Library is open to visitors from 9:30 am to 5 pm Monday through
Friday, and 9:30 am to 4 p.m. on the weekends in the summer. If you
choose to take a historic tour of the University, admission to both
exhibits is included in the price of the 10 euro ticket. The price of
admission without taking the tour is 9 euro for adults and 8 for
students and senior citizens. Group rates and tours are also available.
For more information visit http://www.tcd.ie/Library/bookofkells/trinity-tours/
Photo Credit: amandabhslater