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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

'Reimagining the National Library': plans unveiled

Plans for a major €10m capital investment plan for the National Library of Ireland’s historic Kildare Street premises in Dublin have been unveiled this morning.  The redevelopment will be the first major investment in the historic wing of the building since the 1890s and will address the following key areas:

  • Refurbishment of the 1890s building to meet modern standards for universal access, fire prevention, health and safety, circulation, security, mechanical and electrical services, and environmental sustainability;
  • Upgrading and enhancement of visitor and reader facilities;
  • Upgrading the conditions in which heritage collections are kept;
  • Improvement of both access and security;
  • Upgrading and rationalisation of operational areas; and
  • Provision of better linkages throughout the Library’s extended buildings complex.

Making the announcement Minister Humphreys said: “The National Library currently holds a significant amount of its collection in an historic Victorian era building, which is badly in need of upgrading and modernisation. I was therefore delighted in October 2015 to allocate €10m in funding to invest in this vital cultural institution.

"Appropriately this investment programme is called Reimagining the National Library, and will help transform the Library into a world class facility for the storage and display of our national collection, as well as enabling the Library to develop its capacity as a centre for research, culture, learning and tourism.”

Plans have now been finalised and the first phase of works, which will be carried out in partnership with the Office of Public Works, will get underway shortly. The space in need of redevelopment in the historic building is substantial: approximately 3,000 square metres.

The main disruption for visiting researchers will be the closure of the Main and Manuscript Reading Rooms on Mondays from 14 August. The Genealogy Advisory Service will continue to operate as normal. Further details of NLI service restrictions here.