The Chester Beatty Library
Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.
Phone: +353 (0)1 4070750
Fax: +353 (0)1 4070760
Situated in the heart of Dublin, Ireland's capital city, the Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library which houses a great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). The Library's exhibitions open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. Its rich collection from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe offers visitors a visual feast. Chester Beatty Library was named Irish Museum of the year in 2000 and was awarded the title European Museum of the Year in 2002.
Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur'an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts are among the highlights of the collection. Turkish and Persian miniatures and striking Buddhist paintings are also on display, as are Chinese dragon robes and Japanese woodblock prints. In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 BC to the present day.
Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, born in New York in 1875, moved to Ireland in 1950 and became Ireland's first honorary citizen. From childhood he was a avid collector of stamps, Chinese snuff bottles and minerals. He continued collecting as an adult buying European and Persian manuscripts. Following a visit to Cairo he bought a house and spent many winters in Egypt. In the Cairo bazaar he came across some beautifully decorated copies of the Qur'an. He opened his library in Dublin in 1954 and following his death he bequeathed the entire collection to a trust for the benefit of the public. The library now has a home at Dublin Castle in the Clock Tower Building.
Arts of the Book, a new permanent exhibition of the Library's collections, opens in the first floor gallery in May 2008. Here, visitors will view books from the ancient world including the world famous Chester Beatty Love Poems (c.1160 BC), Egyptian Books of the Dead and beautifully illuminated medieval European manuscripts and fine European printed books, as well as Old Master prints.
Admission Free for more information visit The Chester Beatty Library Website www.cbl.ie