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Chester Beatty Library

Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library which houses a great collection of manuscripts, small paintings, drawings, prints, rare books and decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.

Alfred Chester Beatty was born in New York in 1875. As a child he was a collector of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Minerals and stamps, as an adult he began to collect more widely, buying European and Persian manuscripts. In 1914 he and his wife Edith visited Egypt where he bought some decorated copies of the Qur’an in the bazaars. He then journeyed to Asia in 1917 and added Japanese and Chinese paintings to his inspiring collection. His eye was drawn to richly illustrated materials, fine buildings and stunning calligraphy but he was deeply committed to preserving texts for their historic value.

In 1950 Chester Beatty decided to move to Dublin where he built a library on Shrewsbury road to display his fine collection and opened it to the public in 1954. Upon Beatty’s death, the collection was bequeathed to a trust for the benefit of the people.

The priceless collection was eventually moved due to its vast size and is now housed in the Chester Beatty Library on the grounds of Dublin Castle.


Admission to the Chester Beatty Library is Free

 Opening Hours:

1 May to 30 September: Monday to Friday, 10.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.
1 October to 30 April: Tuesday to Friday, 10.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.
Saturday, 11.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. (All year)
Sunday, 1.00 P.M. to 5.00 P.M. (All year)

Please Note: Due to Ireland's hosting of the EU Presidency 1 January to 30 June 2013, access to the Library may be restricted from time to time. 

 If the Palace Street gate of Dublin Castle (off Dame St) is closed, access for visitors  will be via the Ship Street gate of the Castle.

The Chester Beatty Library is approx. a 15-minute walk from the Castle Hotel or a short ride on the No. 123 bus from just outside the hotel