Marsh's Library

St. Patrick's Close, Dublin 8

Marsh’s Library was founded in the early eighteenth century by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh (1638-1713). Designed by Sir William Robinson (d.1712) the Surveyor General of Ireland, it is one of the very few 18th century buildings left in Dublin that is still being used for its original purpose. Many of the collections in the Library are still kept on the shelves allocated to them by Marsh and by Elias Bouhéreau, the first librarian, when the Library was opened.

The Library was formally incorporated in 1707 by an Act of Parliament called ‘An Act for Settling and Preserving a Public Library for Ever’. The Act vested the house and books in a number of trustees known as ‘Governors and Guardians’ of Marsh’s Library.

The interior of the library with its beautiful dark oak bookcases has remained largely unchanged since it was built three hundred years ago. It is a magnificent example of a late Renaissance and early Enlightenment library.

Marsh’s Library is a charity. In recent years, thanks to an annual grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and to the generosity of corporate and individual donors, we have created improved facilities for readers and visitors; built a conservation bindery;  computerised the catalogue and made it available on our website at

Exhibitions are on display throughout the year featuring books from our collections, either based on a theme e.g. 'Hunting Stolen Books', a particular person e.g. 'Bram Stoker and the Haunting of Marsh's Library' or area of interest.  These exhibitions are also available online.

Our friendly staff and volunteers are well known for their knowledge of the library and exhibitions and will be happy to greet you and guide you through our galleries.


We regret that this historic building is not fully accessible for those with restricted mobility, as the galleries are on the first floor, which is reached via several flights of stairs. Special arrangements for access to parts of the ground floor can be made with advance notice. Please contact us for further information.

Contact Us

Marsh's Library
Opening Times
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 9.30am-5.00pm

Saturday 10.00am-5.00pm

We are closed on Sundays and Tuesdays.
Admission Rates
Visitors are asked to pay an entrance fee of €5.00, with €3.00 for students and senior citizens. There is no charge for children under 18, and jobseekers are also admitted free.

Guided tours last approx. 40 mins and are of no extra charge but booking is essential at least 2/3 weeks before your date of arrival. To make a booking inquiry please email

NB: Additional charges may be included for more specialised tours.
Marsh’s Library is located on St Patrick’s Close, just beside St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Most Dublin tours pass right by our door, and we are only a 10 or 15 minute stroll from Grafton Street.