The Old Library at Trinity College Dublin was built by Thomas Burgh between 1712 and 1732. The library's main chamber is the magnificent 18th century Long Room, filled with 200,000 of the library’s oldest books. It houses the Book of Kells, a breathtaking, illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament, created around AD 800 by monks on the Scottish island of Iona, one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript.
Other treasures in the Long Room include one of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic which was read outside the General Post Office on 24 April 1916 by Patrick Pearse at the start of the Easter Rising. The harp is the oldest of its kind in Ireland and probably dates from the 15th century. It is made of oak and willow with 29 brass strings. It is the model for the emblem of Ireland.