When I found out I got into this study abroad program in Dublin, Ireland, my family and friends bombarded me with places to see and things to do. The most common recommendation was The Book of Kells at Trinity College. I’ve walked by Trinity’s campus multiple times, but had never gotten the chance to take a tour.
As I walked around Trinity College’s campus, I noticed the architecture of the buildings. It reminded me of the White House in Washington D.C., probably because of the columns. The campus was so lively and beautiful, but as I made my way to the library, I couldn’t help but feel nervous. You’re probably thinking WHY I was nervous. The Book of Kells is one of the oldest known books in history, and Trinity’s library holds thousands of books in its shelves. I was about to walk into that library; a library filled with books that are 10 times my age. The Book of Kells is ancient, and I was about to see it. I walked down The Long Room, which holds about 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books.
The fact that I was in the Long Room and saw the Book of Kells is utterly amazing. I’m not sure what I was expecting on my tour, but seeing such an old artefact exhilarated me. 680 pages of the book survived, and two out of the 680 lacked any artistic embellishments. The Book of Kells told stories through drawings and it is probably one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen. It’s amazing seeing the book and thinking this is how people communicated; this was their entertainment and reading. It’s a bit odd to think that this book, a source of stories, is now history, but the people who contributed to this book did not think that the book they made would be one of the most famous books in the world. The Book of Kells is full of history, and an artefact as such informs us of how people lived, and how we have evolved.
I am one of the luckiest people alive; I got to see the Book of Kells, and I got to wander through the vast Library, looking through thousands of books that I would never have time to read in my lifetime. Walking around the Trinity Library is an experience everyone should have when they find themselves in Ireland; it is a must-see!