Armagh Robinson Library
Armagh Robinson Library, the oldest library in Northern Ireland, was founded in 1771 by Archbishop Richard Robinson as part of his plans to establish a university and to improve the city of Armagh. Built to the design of Thomas Cooley, the building has housed both the Library and the Library Keeper’s residence from the start. Over the public entrance an inscription in Greek reads “the healing place of the soul”.
The nucleus of the collection is Archbishop Robinson’s own library which contains 17th and 18th century books on theology, philosophy, classic and modern literature, voyages and travels, history, medicine and law. There are many rare and valuable books such as incunabulas, first editions, and illuminated manuscripts.
The Library is also a registered museum and holds prints, ancient Irish artefacts, gems, coins, as well as other objects. The collections are on view both in the Library’s Long Room and in No 5 Vicars’ Hill, the former registry.
The collections are being kept alive and current by acquisitions of items on the following subjects: local history (Armagh City and county), church history, St. Patrick, and Jonathan Swift.