Rare books provide rich social commentary

Just one of the Diocesan Library Project books which will be display at the Chapter House Museum.
Just one of the Diocesan Library Project books which will be display at the Chapter House Museum.
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Some of the conserved rare and historic books and pamphlets held at the University of Ulster will be displayed in a unique exhibition to mark the completion of the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library Project. 

The exhibition, in the Chapter House Museum of St Columb’s Cathedral from December 7 to December 19, marks the culmination of a £500,000 Heritage Lottery Funded project to conserve the Church of Ireland’s Diocesan Library.  

The books form part of the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Collection. This collection, most of which dates from the 16th-19th centuries, contains many books of national and international importance and is considered to be one of the most significant diocesan libraries in Ireland. 

Outreach officer Mary Delargy explains the historical significance of the collection: “Books from this period are generally richly annotated and, since most of the books in this collection have never been rebound, they still have their original notes in the margins and on the inside cover.

“This gives us a fascinating insight to life during this time which is why the collection is considered to be one of the most significant diocesan libraries in Ireland.

The Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library Project takes place in the Chapter House Museum from Wednesday, December 7 to Monday, December 19 (Monday-Saturday, 9 am until 5 pm.)

Admission is free.