The Bolton Library

Over the coming months, we will post a number of highlights from the famous Bolton Library on our blog. The Bolton Library came to the Glucksman Library in 2016 from the Church of Ireland in Cashel, Co Tipperary. We have worked hard to preserve and catalogue this wonderful collection of early printed books and have made many discoveries. Before our first post, you can read more about the library below.


Introduction to the Bolton Library

The Bolton Library is a collection of 12,000 early printed books, manuscripts and incunabula of exceptional academic and bibliographic importance. Accumulated by two bishops – Archbishop William King and Bishop Theophilus Bolton – in the early eighteenth century, the 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 science, technology and medicine is strongly represented in the collection, as is Irish history in the 1640–1660 period. It includes a number of manuscripts, the most significant of which is a medieval encyclopedia from 1168–1220. The collection presents numerous possibilities for research and historical study and will offer a valuable means of providing readers with access to rare materials that can enrich their learning.

You can browse some of the research themes in the Bolton Library collection here.