Hidden riches – the Library of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin
The Botanic Gardens was founded in 1795 by the Dublin Society (later Royal Dublin Society) as a national institution to aid and promote the study of agriculture and botany. A library essential for this purpose was established four years later and provided apprentices and staff with information to assist and further their work of curating the plants collections. The library at Glasnevin has had various locations throughout its 220-year history.
Although the library was shelved at the time. By 1801, it has been removed to the headquarters of the Dublin Society in Hawkins Street. It later returned to Glasnevin and was located in a lecture theatre and then in one of the gate lodges. Some of the items that would have been in the collection at the time include de Candolle’s Prodromus, Hooker’s Icones plantarum as well as Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and Lindley’s Botanical Reigster. Today we are fortunate to have a library building, desgined by OPW architect, Ciaran O’Connor, was opened in 1997. The library collection in the National Botanic Gardens focuses solely on the subject areas of botany and horticulture. However, the singularity of subject matter is made up for by the variety of format in the collection. It is not only comprised of books but also, of archives, art, photographs and ephemera.
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