Armagh Public Library

Armagh Public Library information

Armagh City , Northern Ireland
43 Abbey St
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Opening hours
10am-1pm & 2-4pm Mon-Fri
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The Greek inscription above the main entrance to Armagh Public Library, founded in 1771 by Archbishop Robinson, means 'the medicine shop of the soul'. Step inside and you'd swear that the archbishop had just swept out of the door, leaving you to browse among his personal collection of 17th- and 18th-century books, maps and engravings.

The library's most prized possession is a first edition of Gulliver's Travels, published in 1726 and annotated by none other than Swift himself. It was stolen in an armed robbery in 1999, but was recovered, undamaged, in Dublin 20 months later.

Other treasures of the library include Sir Walter Raleigh's 1614 History of the World, the Claims of the Innocents (pleas to Oliver Cromwell) and a large collection of engravings by Hogarth and others.

The collection spills over into the nearby Registry , a depository for Church of Ireland records, where you can see ancient coins, early Christian artefacts and other curiosities from the library's archives.