Trinity has confirmed that the Old Library Redevelopment proposal they submitted in July has been given the green light by Dublin City Council.
College has highlighted “significant conservation and environmental challenges” as a major factor in the decision to submit the proposal for redevelopment. The Library’s collections have been affected by “external pollution” and “dust accumulation” in recent years. There is particular focus on the “need to modernise environmental control and fire protection measures” in the plan.
The redevelopment plan also includes a research study centre for students and scholars and facilities for visitors to “enhance both public access and academic scholarship in the Library.” This will include the development of a digital library which will “provide digital access to the unique and distinct collections of the Library across the world.”
Trinity also plans to further develop the new Book of Kells Treasury and display that was unveiled earlier this month. The redesign of this exhibition is being undertaken by Opera Amsterdam and Studio Louter. It aims to “showcase the manuscript’s history, making and symbolism in a new gallery.”
On the official website, the goal of the project is stated as being “to safeguard the Old Library building and conserve its precious collections for future generations.” These collections housed in the Old Library have been in the care of Trinity for over 400 years. The updates also plan to bring the facilities “in line with the best library and museum experiences around the world.”
This project will garner its funding from Trinity’s “Inspiring Generations” philanthropic fundraising campaign. The Old Library Redevelopment Plan is described as the “centrepiece” of this campaign on its official website.
Heneghan Peng Architects are taking charge of the project, having recently completed a conservation project in the National Gallery of Ireland. The firm’s principal, Roisin Heneghan, said that the project would make “strategic interventions to allow the Old library to continue to be a space of knowledge and study for the 21st century student while welcoming visitors to share its stories”.
There is no timeframe as of now for the project’s completion.