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Chester Beatty Library

Director's Choice

Fionnuala Croke

    ISBN: 978 1 78551 096 0

    Size: 190 x 165 mm (6½ x 7½ in.)

    Binding: Hardback

    Pages: 80

    In association with:

    Date published: March, 2017

    UK £12.95 /US $19.95


  • A beautifully illustrated guide to what has been described as the finest collection of manuscripts and books made by a private collector in the 20th century
  • Features a wide array of texts – from the earliest known copies of the four gospels to Renaissance manuscripts, Islamic calligraphy and Japanese woodblock prints
  • Written from the uniquely informed view of the Library’s Director


The Chester Beatty Library is rated among the top 10 places to visit in Dublin. Once the private library of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875–1968), it is today a museum and one of Ireland’s national cultural institutions. The collections comprise manuscripts, rare books and other treasures from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The Library’s focus on global artistic heritage is unique in Ireland. Chester Beatty’s relocation to Dublin from London in 1950 surprised many but, for a number of years, he had been concerned with how he might develop his private passion into an enduring legacy, and keeping the objects together was a priority for him. Once settled in Ireland, he built a library for his beloved collection and set up a Trust to ensure it would remain intact, for the benefit of the Irish nation. Today, the Library continues his ethos of ensuring the collections are accessible and engaging visitors from all over the world. Fionnuala Croke, director of this exquisite collection, has selected over 30 works that will give the reader a sense of the quality and variety of Beatty’s acquisitions, while featuring her own personal favourites.

Author information

Fionnuala Croke has been Director of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, since 2010. She was previously Keeper and Head of Collections at the National Gallery of Ireland.