Arts of the Book

Exploring the richness of East Asian, Islamic and Western manuscript and printing traditions.

The Cream of Histories (Zubdat al-tawarikh) by Sayyid Luqman-i 'Ashuri
CBL T 414

Woman's apricot silk dragon robe
c. 1900
CBL C 1055

Arts of the Book display

A fascinating insight into the rituals and rites of passage of the major world religions.

Thebaid of Statius
c. 1380
CBL W 076

Composite demon and bull
CBL In 69.11

Arts of the Book, a permanent exhibition of almost 600 objects from the Library’s collections displays books from the ancient world, including the world famous Chester Beatty Love Poems (c.1160 BC), Egyptian Books of the Dead and beautifully illuminated European manuscripts. One of the highlights is the display of Western book-bindings (5th-20th century) and Old Master prints. The exhibition also explores the richness of the Islamic manuscript tradition including illustrations and illuminations, calligraphy, and exquisite bindings from across the Middle East and India. Highlights from East Asia include one of the finest collections of Chinese jade books in the world, Japanese picture-scrolls depicting fables and legends, and deluxe woodblock prints. Audio-visual programmes complement the exhibition, helping the visitor to learn more about the arts of the book throughout the world


  • List
  • Grid
  • Slideshow
  • Shiva Ardhanari riding on Nandi
    18th century
    Lucknow, India
    CBL In 11A.71

    1 / 8

  • Dressing gown from Journal des Dames et des Modes
    Gerda Wegener
    CBL Wep 0958

    2 / 8

  • Four Gospels
    17th century
    CBL Arm 577

    3 / 8

  • Thebaid of Statius
    c. 1380
    CBL W 076

    4 / 8

  • Elephant manual folding book
    early 19th century
    CBL Thi 1301

    5 / 8

  • Blue silk dragon robe
    19th century
    CBL C 1053

    6 / 8

  • Treasure binding
    Greater Armenia
    CBL Arm 584

    7 / 8

  • Judgement of the soul from the Book of the Dead for Lady Neskons
    c. 300 BC
    CBL Pap XXI.4

    8 / 8

Open today 10am–5pm

Monday to Friday 10am–5pm
Saturday 11am–5pm
Sunday 1pm–5pm

Closed Mondays: Nov - Feb

**Closed 1 Jan; Good Friday; 24-26 Dec & Monday Public Holidays.**

Admission is free
Suggested donation €5


Chester Beatty
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92