As you know by now paper is important to me together with pens. Places where the two come together hold a fascination for me. So, it is one of the reasons I love libraries.
Do you ever find that each library has its own unique atmosphere? Okay I know if I was working in them day after day, I suppose I wouldn’t be wafting on about atmosphere. But from a purely visitor’s view so far, each library I have visited is unique.
I had a return visit to one this week. Can you imagine a library set in a house on seventy-eight acres of land surrounded by farm, sunken gardens, a lake, and a view stretching out to the mountains and still in a city?
Farmleigh House, Dublin is the guest house for visiting dignitaries and guests of the Irish Nation. It is an Edwardian Period house originally purchased by Edward Cecil Guiness of the famous Guiness dynasty on his marriage to his cousin Adelaide Guinness in 1873. The Irish Government purchased it in 1999. It has since been restored and refurbished by the Office of Public Works. The craftsmanship in the restoration has been so high.
There are many wonderful rooms to view on the tour of the house. However, it was the library which stole my heart away. The Benjamin Iveagh Library, to give it it’s official title, is stunning.
It is a wooden panelled room filled with books some with exquisite binding. It has a hidden stair to access the upper library shelves. And no, the public cannot access the books. Although normally my hands are itching to pick up a book this was a time when I just gazed in rapture at the workmanship of those bindings.
In this room you can see the work of authors dating back to 1280. The work of amazing binders each binding adding to the work of the author. Then the work of the carpenters to allow for the storage of these valuable and read works.
This room like so many other libraries acknowledges the work of so many. Yet another library very much worth a visit.