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Trinity College Library in Dublin is 400 years old, the largest and oldest library in Ireland and home to the world-famous Book of Kells. This is the first comprehensive, scholarly history of the Library, covering its buildings, collections and characters – librarians, readers, politicians, book-collectors and book-thieves.
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'Hugely informative and thoroughly researched.' Irish Times
'Equally at home with incunabula, cataloguing systems and techniques of conservation and digitization, no better analysis of the vicissitudes and riches of the library than Fox can be imagined.' Times Literary Supplement
'This handsome volume ... is a very welcome addition to the college's history and to the intellectual history of Ireland ... This book is not a dry recitation of facts, figures and money expended, it is an engrossing read, with shots of humour and quirky sidelights. It is well illustrated with portraits, plans for library buildings, and manuscript documents. The good-value price for an academic book should ensure a wide readership.' Máire Kennedy, Irish Arts Review
'I commend this excellent history of Ireland's finest library. It contains an intriguing 'what if?' - what would have been the Library's later history had David Webb been appointed College Librarian in 1949?' E. Charles Nelson, Archives of Natural History
This is the first comprehensive, scholarly history of Trinity College Library Dublin. It covers the whole 400 years of the Library's development, from its foundation by James Ussher in the seventeenth century to the electronic revolution of the twenty-first century. Particular attention is given to the buildings and to the politics involved in obtaining funding for them, as well as to the acquisition of the great treasures, such as the Book of Kells and the libraries of Ussher, Claudius Gilbert and Hendrik Fagel. An important aspect is the comprehensive coverage of legal deposit from the beginning of the nineteenth century, viewed for the first time from the Irish perspective. The book also draws parallels with the development of other libraries in Dublin and with those of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and features throughout the individuals who influenced the Library's development - librarians, politicians, readers, book collectors and book thieves.
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