Northern Ireland’s oldest Library, and one of Ireland’s greatest heritage Libraries, starts a new chapter today, 28th March 2017. As part of a transition project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Armagh Public Library becomes Armagh Robinson Library and, over the coming months, will reveal a host of amazing new stories and discoveries aiming to attract new visitors and secure its future ahead of its 250th Anniversary in 2021.
The transition project, which started in May 2016 and finished today, featured a range of improvements focusing on stronger governance structures, and on opportunities to raise the Library’s profile and increase visitors. These included a new name, a new brand and the opportunity to reveal new stories and discoveries which will ‘open up’ the Library to new and existing audiences.
Over the past few months, experts from across the UK and Ireland have uncovered amazing stories about the Library’s collections. Essentially discovering collections within collections, these included rare casts of Louis XIV commemorative medals from 1690; 15th- 18th century fine art prints collected by Archbishop Robinson featuring such famous names as Hogarth, Vouet, Mellan and Piranesi; new stories associated with the age of enlightenment; a rare and complete collection of ‘gems’ produced by James Tassie (1735-1799); rare architectural books by Christopher Wren, Robert Adam and Inigo Jones.
Paul Mullan, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland, commented;
“At HLF, we think the UK’s heritage is precious. That’s why we invest National Lottery player’s money to help protect and sustain it for future generations. Heritage organisations, such as Armagh Public Library are adapting so they can not only survive in these challenging financial times, but thrive. The Library is an amazing repository of heritage within a fantastic heritage building which was created through the vision and foresight of Archbishop Robinson. We congratulate the current custodians for all the work they have done over the past year to ensure that the ‘new’ Armagh Robinson Library has a bright and secure future.”
The Chairman of the Library’s Governors and Guardians, The Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh, said;
“As an independent heritage library with limited funds we are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding the Transition Project. Thanks to a team of consultants, expert advisers, and our own Library staff, an enormous amount of work has been completed. This expertise has also been incorporated into our governing structures on an on-going basis. We are delighted with the treasures and stories that have been uncovered and we look forward to sharing these with our visitors.”
Armagh Robinson Library is open Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm & 2-4pm. For further information visit www.armaghrobinsonlibrary.co.uk and Armagh Robinson Library on Facebook and Twitter.