Collection Information


Accumulated by two bishops – Archbishop William King (1650-1729) and Bishop Theophilus Bolton (1678-1744) in the early eighteenth century, the Bolton Library reflects interests, knowledge and concerns at that time as they sought to build a library to encompass as much as possible of humanity’s knowledge of the world.

The history of theology, literature, science, technology and medicine is strongly represented in the collection, as is Irish history in the 17th and 18th centuries. It includes a number of manuscripts, the most significant of which is a medieval encyclopedia from 1168-1220 and a missal which is one of only three examples of hand written missals in Ireland prior to 1500. The collection presents numerous possibilities for research and historical study and will offer a valuable means of providing students and researchers with access to rare and unique materials that can enrich their learning.