THE CHESTER BEATTY LIBRARY – INTERVIEW WITH ITS DIRECTOR FIONNUALA CROKE

By Concetto La Malfa and  Marta Zaramella
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is not too far behind London in terms of galleries, libraries and museums. Two libraries in Dublin are world famous, just as famous is the British Museum in London. One is in the historical 16th century Trinity College hosting the most precious Book of Kells and the other, the Chester Beatty Library nestled in Dublin Castle.
The Chester Beatty Library, established in Dublin, Ireland in 1950, houses the collections of mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.
Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (7 February 1875 – 19 January 1968), who always signed his name A. Chester Beatty, was an American mining magnate, philanthropist and one of the most successful businessmen of his generation, who was given the epithet the “King of Copper” as a reference to his fortune. He became a naturalised British citizen in 1933, knighted in 1954 and made an honorary citizen of Ireland in 1957. He was a collector of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern manuscripts, rare printed books, prints and objects d’art. Upon his move to Dublin in 1950 he established the Chester Beatty Library on Shrewsbury Road to house his collection; it opened to the public in 1954. The Collections were bequeathed to the Irish people and entrusted to the care of the State in his Irish will.




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