Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, Ireland

Phone: 011–353-1–407-0750

Fax: 011–353-1–407-0760

E-mail: info@cbl.ie


Tue.–Fri. 10 am–5 pm

Sat. 11 am–5 pm

Sun. 1 pm–5 pm

Free Admission


Wed. 1 pm

Sun. 3 pm and 4 pm


The Reading Room is located on the first floor of the original Clock Tower building, which incorporates the Chinese-style lacquered ceiling that Chester Beatty had made for his home in London. Visitors can apply for a Reader’s Ticket. Facsimiles of the biblical papyri are available but these can also be studied in the Kenyon volumes at any good theological library.


An attractive gift and bookshop on the ground floor sells postcards, posters, art books, gift items and jewelry inspired by the library’s collections. Some of Sir Frederic Kenyon’s fascicles of the biblical papyri are also for sale, although the full set is out of print.

Food and Drink

Weary travelers can refresh themselves in the wonderfully named Silk Road Cafe. Ibrahim Phelan, a former Jerusalemite, has created a corner of the Middle East in Dublin’s Fair City. Lebanese, Turkish, Greek, Cypriot and Israeli dishes are available. His salmon stuffed with garlic, mint and other herbs in the Lebanese style is a real showstopper. Vegetarians will be delighted with the six different hot dishes. Desserts include homemade Turkish Delight; several types of herbal tea are also available. Note the beautiful black-lacquered serving cabinet in Chinese style.

Visiting On-Line

The library’s Web site www.cbl.ie gives a good overview of the galleries.

Thrilling Reading

Most scholars who come to the library end up publishing their reports in fine academic journals. But Denis McEoin, a Belfast-born lecturer in Islamic Studies who writes under the pen name Daniel Easterman, has produced two thrillers featuring dastardly goings-on at the old Chester Beatty Library in Ballsbridge. In The Judas Connection (HarperCollins, 1994), the Curator of the Western Collections comes up against dark forces and Vatican politics “in which nothing less than the future of Christianity and the free world is at stake.” The Brotherhood of the Tomb (Doubleday, 1990) uses the library and Dublin as the backdrop for a series of murders.