The domed reading room of this august establishment is the main visitor highlight, and it was here that Stephen Dedalus expounded his views on Shakespeare in James Joyce's Ulysses. For everyone else, it's an important repository of early manuscripts, first editions and maps. It was built between 1884 and 1890 by Sir Thomas Newenham Deane to echo the design of the facade of the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. There’s a Genealogy Advisory Service on the 2nd floor.
For those prints that are worth a thousand words, you’ll have to head down to Temple Bar to the National Photographic Archive extension of the library, for which you'll need to pick up a reader's ticket (look for the Readers Ticket Office in the main building).