Armagh Robinson Library Collection

Armagh Robinson Library (formerly Armagh Public Library) was founded in 1771 by Archbishop Richard Robinson, first Baron Rokeby of Armagh. It was later added to by Archbishop Beresford in the 1830s. The nucleus of the collection is Archbishop Robinson's personal library which contains 17th and 18th century books on theology, philosophy, classic and modern literature, voyages and travels, history, medicine and law. Included in the collection are many rare and valuable books such as John Gerson's "De praeceptis decalogi" printed in Strasburg, 1488; Sir Walter Raleigh's "History of the World", 1614; Fynes Moryson's "Travels", 1617; and Colgan's "Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae", 1645; Seneca - Tragoediae, Venice 1493; Richard Fitz Ralph - Defensiones curatorum, 1496; T. Coryate - Coryats crudites, 1611 and Jeremiah Rich's shorthand New Testament of 1659 amongst others. There is also a good collection of medieval and 17th and 18th century manuscripts. There are circa 350 STC, 2,150 Wing items and 4 incunabula. The Library contains Robinson's large collection of engravings known as the "Rokeby Collection", which includes examples from the work of Piranesi, Hogarth and Bartolozzi. It houses many Irish artefacts collected by Archbishop Marcus Gervais Beresford during his lifetime. Although an independent foundation and under the control of a Board of Governors and Guardians, it has always had the closest links with the Church of Ireland. More recent additions to the Library cover such subjects as Armagh City and County, St Patrick, the Church of Ireland and Dean Jonathan Swift.


The strength of the collection lies in its many fine and rare books and manuscripts.

Physical characteristics

43,000 books, of which approximately 12,000 are pre 1851.

Description or Catalogue

The Collection is catalogued and available online at:




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Added by Armagh Robinson Library | Last updated on: 24 May 2018