Armagh Robinson Library

Places to See | Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland.

Five hundred years of books and art in a Georgian setting.

One of the oldest libraries in Ireland, Armagh Robinson Library (formerly Armagh Public Library) was founded in 1771 by Archbishop Richard Robinson. Built to the design of Thomas Cooley, the inscription over the public entrance in Greek means ‘the healing place of the soul ‘. An Act of Parliament called ‘An Act for settling and preserving the Public Library in Armagh for ever’ established the Library and its former name – Armagh Public Library.

The nucleus of the collection is the Archbishop’s personal library of 17th and 18th century books, particularly in history and theology, there is archival material relating to Christian heritage in Ireland and Europe.

There are many rare and valuable books such as John Gerson’s ‘De Praeceptis Decalogi’ printed in Strasbourg, 1488; Sir Walter Raleigh’s ‘History of the World’, 1614; Fynes Moryson’s Travels, 1617 and Colgan’s ‘Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae’, 1645.

‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift is regarded as a classic in world literature. A copy of Benjamin Motte’s first edition dated 28 October 1726 is kept in the Library. This copy carries amendments and markings in Swift’s own handwriting.  The collections put the library high on the list of places to see in Co Armagh.

Also one of the registered museum and galleries in Northern Ireland, the Library holds ancient Irish artefacts such as stone axes, flint arrowheads and bronze implements.  The library also holds resources to aid family history research.

Address: Armagh Robinson Library, 43 Abbey Street, Armagh, Co. Armagh BT61 7DY

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