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Chester Beatty Library Tips (18)


Although i passed by here after the library was closed i thought that i would mention a few words about Chester Beatty.
Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968) nick-named "KING OF COPPER" because he was an American mining magnet and multi millionaire was made an honorary citizen of Ireland in 1957. His first job was in a Colorado mine as a 'mucker' earning $2 a day clearing away rock and dust. Within a few months he was promoted several times and soon became the superintendent and by 1899 he started his own consultancy business. He soon relocated to the gold mines in Colorado and was a millionaire in his early 30's. He always was a collector, and had excellent stamp collections, snuff boxes and Chinese Oriental art and books. He collected books and manuscripts, donating many to the British Museum, and he also supported the war effort when he lived in London (since 1922) and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1954. He became disillusioned with Great Britain and moved to Ireland where his books were stored in the Chester Beatty Library at Dublin Castle. He is one of the few Irish citizens that was given a state funeral in 1968.

davidjo's Profile Photo
Aug 01, 2015

Chester Beatty Library

When I was in Dublin most of the Museums are free of charge. So was the Chester Beatty Library. It's a great place if you're interested in old manuscripts and papyrus! You can see many biblical papyrus and Quran fragments in original here. Chester Beatty was a very famous collector in his days and there are some exihibitions each years.

yvgr's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2012


The library is housed in the clock tower building and has treasures from cultures and religions around the world including, manuscripts, prints and books.
These items were bequeathedin 1956 to the nation by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968).
Sir Alfred was an American mining magnate and is one of the few people to be made an honorary citizen of Ireland.

alyf1961's Profile Photo
Aug 15, 2011

Chester Beatty Library

This has to be one of, if not the best museum that I've been to. The breadth and depth of some of the collections was amazing and everything was labelled with interesting peices of information as was each section with more general comments. Collections varied from Asian artefacts, peices and artefacts relating to the writings of all the major religious tomes to ancient Egyptian writings plus many more! There is also a really nice roof garden which is accesible and is a great place to eat lunch with views across to Dublin castle. It's no wonder the museum won European Museum of the Year in 2002 and Irish Museum of the Year in 2000. Admission is free as well.

monkeytrousers's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011
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Chester Beatty Library

Unfortunately I cannot give too much of a tip on the library as it was closed on a monday when I decided to visit from October to April.

I believe though from Annemariebyrne that you pay so much to see one page in the Book of Kells at trinity college that it is far more preferable to visit this library set in the gardens behind the Dublin castle with a lovely coffee shop

jo104's Profile Photo
Apr 12, 2010

Chester Beatty Library

I really couldn't figure out why people rave so over going to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College. From the descriptions I read, I was not at all enticed-long lines, an 8E admission fee and the chance to see a mere two pages of the book displayed inside a wooden cabinet behind bulletproof glass. The Chester Beatty library, on the other hand, has no lines, no admission fee and gives you the opportunity to see not just two pages of one book, but hundreds of beautifully crafted rare manuscripts, books, paintings, prints and other decorative arts collected by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, a wealthy American of Irish heritage.

The collection spans the globe, you'll find items on display from Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe ranging from 2700 BC to the present.

I'm not sure how long I spent here but it was well in excess of an hour, it's very close to Dublin Castle, the attached photo was taken from the rooftop garden.

Dabs's Profile Photo
Nov 29, 2009

A man's passion

The Chester Beatty Library was named European Museum of the Year in 2002, and though I wouldn't say I was exactly that enthusiastic about it, it really was an interesting visit - and of course, it doesn't hurt that it was completely free! Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, born in New York City in 1875, made a fortune in the mining industry. Some of the money he made went towards building an impressive book collection that also includes some rare manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints and drawings. The items in his collection come from all over the world and cover over 40 centuries of writings. In his quest to increase his collection, Chester Beatty was always on the lookout for richly illustrated material, fine bindings and beautiful calligraphy. Without completely being disregarded, the content of the books he purchased was not necessarily as important as their aesthetic and historical value.

In 1950, he moved his collection to Dublin, where he was to live until his death in 1968. The present Chester Beatty Library opened in 2000 and its collection is presented in two exhibitions called "Arts of the Book" and "Sacred Traditions". I really enjoyed the first one which presented beautifully ornated pieces, along with some information on the various techniques used throughout the years to create such exquisite works of art. The second exhibition focused on religious texts, especially on the numerous versions of the Qur'an and New Testament Chester Beatty acquired over the years. To me it wasn't quite as interesting as the first one, but it was still worth looking at.

Before you leave, don't forget to go up to the roof garden for a really nice view of Dublin Castle and the surrounding area :o)

Jefie's Profile Photo
May 23, 2009

Alfred Chester Collection

Located within the grounds of Dublin Castle, Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library which houses the great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. The Library houses an unrivalled collection of Islamic manuscripts, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and other oriental art. Early papyri including some of the earliest known texts of the Bible and other early Christan manuscripts, western prints and printed books complete what is one of the richest collections of its kind in the world.

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Mar 31, 2009
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European Museum of the Year in 2002, and I can see why. Beatty was a collector of art and books, who donated the collection to Ireland on his death.

It includes relics of Buddhist, Islam and Christian religions, such as medieval copies of the Koran. Many truly beautiful items, and some just interesting because of their provenance and antiquity. They are well displayed, and the viewing experience is educational as well as pleasurable - for example I already knew quite a lot about Buddhism, but learned a lot more about the various strands as practised in different parts of Asia.

Half the space was closed for renovation when we visited (April 08) and I would go out of my way to return to see the bits we missed.

The museum is located in the delightful grounds of Dublin Castle. It has an award winning cafe/restaurant specialising in middle eastern food (we only managed coffee & baklava, but were tempted to hang around longer just to try the lunch menu!)

It is not the kind of collection which takes all day to enjoy - say 2-3 hours at most - but it was a highlight of our visit and highly recommended.

Oh, and its free!

iaint's Profile Photo
Apr 08, 2008

Chester Beatty Library

Close to Dublin castle and a few years ago voted "best museum". A private collection of precious books from every corner of the world. Unique book ilustrations ... medieval bibles, hour books, chinese or islamic kalligraphy ... and interesting insights into the history of books and their significance in different times and cultures.

MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo
Mar 19, 2008


This museum is located right beside the castle, on the other side of Dubh Linn Gardens and contains a large array of objects which were collected by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. Mostly art and manuscripts from all different eras and areas of the world.
The main displays are split over two floors. The first is concerned with printing styles and manuscripts from all around the world while the second floor concentrates more on the manuscripts concerned with the different religions.

The library was named European Museum of the Year in 2002 which gives some indication of the standard.

Entry Free

hevbell's Profile Photo
Nov 26, 2006

Chester Beatty's collection of books

This is a very impressive library/museum. Chester Beatty, an American who made a fortune in mining collected manuscripts from all over the world. In 1950, he moved his collection to Dublin and eventually donated it to the city. The collection has displays separated by religions of the world with books and other artifacts, including hundreds of texts from both Western and Eastern civilizations. It is a very interesting museum that wasn't very crowded. Admission is free. Also, there is a cafe in it that has some very good meals at very reasonable prices (rare for a museum).

leplaya's Profile Photo
Jul 03, 2006

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Getting to Chester Beatty Library


Dublin Castle, Dublin 2


  • Sunday 13:00 to 17:00
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Wednesday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Thursday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Friday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Saturday 11:00 to 17:00