A day in Dublin

In Museums on February 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm

How many museums can you ‘do’ in a day?
I just ‘did’ seven. Well, kind of.

As part of a research project I’m working on at the moment for a client I found myself in Dublin for one day, running around museums and libraries, looking at exhibitions and sneakily taking photographs where I probably shouldn’t have been doing.

First up was Trinity College where they have the Book of Kells on display, along with an explanatory exhibition all about it and the hugely impressive Long Room, above. I’m currently trying to think of PhD I can go and write in Dublin, just so I can get to work in there. Although it’s so grand I imagine there’d be very little work done.

Round the corner I dropped into two branches of the National Library of Ireland – the conservation and manuscripts display and also the main library building exhibition space, which currently has an exhibition about Dublin’s own, Yeats.

Over the courtyard is the National Museum of Ireland, notable for its horde of hoards – if you want to see prehistoric Irish gold bling then this is the place! They also have an impressive display of bog bodies, which rivals those elsewhere for its sensitivity and taste.

Next up was the Chester Beatty Library, an old favourite of mine. Their permanent exhibition of religious manuscripts is ten years old this year and still sets the bar in terms of Library display and interpretation as far as I’m concerned.

In the Temple Bar cultural quarter it’s worth taking a look another branch of the National Library in the form of their photograph archive which hosts temporary displays on a rolling basis.

Finally, I dropped by An Post (the post office) to learn not only about the postal system in Ireland, but why for so many years this enigmatic building in the centre of the city plays an important part in the hearts of the Irish, whether at home or abroad.

There was just time for a Guinness before dashing home to London. Phew. It’ll take me a week to recover – and to look at all the photos.


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