Armagh Public Library
Five hundred years of books and art in a Georgian setting.
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 Publick Library in Armagh for ever' established the Library and its name - Armagh Public Library.
The nucleus of the collection is Archbishop Robinson's own library which contains 17th and 18th century books on theology, philosophy, classic and modern literature, voyages and travels, history, medicine and law.
In 2001 the Library received museum status in recognition of its role in the safe-keeping of a wider range of collections, such as Robinson's large collection of engravings known as the 'Rokeby Collection', with examples from the work of Piranesi, Hogarth and Bartolozzi. It houses many Irish artefacts collected by Archbishop Marcus Gervais Beresford during his lifetime. There are other items on view including the Silver Maces presented to Armagh when it became a city for the first time in 1656 and the only foreign flag ever captured on the island of Ireland.
Mon-Fri, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Closed 1.00pm - 2.00pm for lunch
Closed Bank Holidays
Other times by arrangement
Please contact venue for details
The nucleus of the collection is Archbishop Robinson's personal library which contains 17th and 18th century books on Theology, Philosophy, classic and modern literature, voyages and travels, history, medicine and law.
There are many rare and valuable books such as John Gerson's "De praeceptis .1 decalogi" printed in Strasburg, 1488; Sir Walter Raleigh's "History of theWorld", 1614; Fynes Moryson's Travels, 1617; and Colgan's "Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae" , 164 5. There is also a good collection of mediaeval and 17th and 18th century manuscripts. The Library contains Robinson's large collection of engravings known as the 'Rokeby Collection', which includes examples from the work of Piranezi, Hogarth and Bartolozzi. It houses many Irish artefacts collected by Archbishop Marcus Gervais Beresford during his lifetime. Although an independent foundation and under the control of a Board of Governors and Guardians, it has always had the closest links with the Church of Ireland.
Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Literature, Maritime, Religion, Social History
Key artists and exhibits
- John Gerson's "De praeceptis .1 decalogi"
- Sitr Walter Raleigh's "History of theWorld", 1614
- Fynes Moryson's Travels, 1617
- Colgan's "Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae" , 1645
- Archbishop Marcus Gervais Beresford
Morning on the Hill Visit for Groups
The Library and the Church of Ireland Cathedral invite groups to take part in a two-fold visit to the Hill of Armagh. During the visit groups will hear about the history of the Cathedral and will have time to view the Chapter Room, and, weather permitting, the crypt. Reference will be made to Brian Boru, the legendary High King of Ireland and to the connections of St Patrick with Armagh as his chosen city.
The second part of the visit will be to the Library and will include its history and reference to some of its collections.
How to obtain
The visit to both places is offered at the price of £5.00 per person from Tuesdays to Saturdays with an approximate length for the whole visit being 1.5 hours.
To seek further information or to make a booking, please contact the Library.
Morning on the Hill Visit for Schools
A threefold visit is offered to schools, involving staff of the Church of Ireland Cathedral. The Cathedral Steward will talk about the Cathedral building and its history, and the Cathedral Organist and Master of the Choristers will highlight the importance of music in worship on the Hill of Armagh, and play the music of Handel.
The Library will complete the visit with the opportunity for pupils to learn about the Library, handle old books with care and view the 1835 Ordnance Survey Maps to show how their townland looked many years ago.
How to obtain
If schools would like to take up the invitation for a Morning on the Hill, they are asked to contact the Library. The visit is offered free of charge, and is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the spring and summer terms.
Armagh Public Library
028 3752 3142
028 3752 4177