For the book lovers, I was recently in Ireland and able to visit the famous library of Trinity College. The Long Room is the main area. It is over 200 feet long, with books floor to ceiling, and containing about 200,000 books! Many of the books are antique and rare. Photography was a bit challenging, as no flash was permitted, but we managed to get some half-way decent shots. To the above left, you can see a broad view of the room. It was breathtaking to first step in and see this room! In the other photo you can see me standing next to one of the bookshelves.
On display nearby is the Book of Kells. This book dates back to the 9th century, long before the invention of the printing press, when books were painstakingly handmade. The Book of Kells, as it is called, contains the 4 Gospels of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. What is unique about this book, besides its survival in such good condition, is that it is beautiful artwork. The Scripture is written in calligraphy, certain letters are embellished, and other colorful illustrations and drawings are found throughout it. A couple of volumes are on display under glass, and opened to sample pages for you to gaze at. It was quite surreal (for the book and history lover at least) to see pages of a beautiful book from the 9th century.
I purchased a book about the Book of Kells which contained reproductions of some pages. I took a photo of one of those pages. Excuse the flash. It is in Latin, if you wonder why you can’t read it. You can see some of the embellished letters that begin several sentences. The book I purchased was: Exploring the Book of Kells by George Otto Simms.
Speaking of Ireland, there is a Bible school in Dublin called the Irish Bible Institute. I learned about this institute when I began reading a wordpress blog called Faith in Ireland a couple years ago. The author of the blog is egalitarian and at the time he had a series of respectful posts critiquing complementarianism. Since then I have followed his blog and often appreciate his posts on a variety of Christian issues. The blogger, Patrick Mitchell, is a professor at the institute. While in Dublin, my spouse and I stopped in to visit the Irish Bible Institute. Unfortunately, Professor Mitchell was out on a study leave, but a friendly young woman spoke with us and I loved looking at the school library – of course!
Have you enjoyed visiting a famous, special, or unique library? Please feel free to share.