Diocese of Derry & Raphoe

Biography/History

The Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library was formed by the amalgamation of both diocesan libraries in 1881. William King, Bishop of Derry in 1690, was responsible for providing the stock for setting up a diocesan library in Derry in frst instance. He purchased the library of his predecessor Ezekiel Hopkins and left it and his own donations in Derry when he was translated to the archbishopric of Dublin in 1703. By 1709 there was a catalogue and a librarian had been appointed. It is thought that the old Cathedral Library which was in existence in 1668 also forms part of the original Derry Diocesan Library. The Raphoe Diocesan Library was founded in 1737 by Bishp Nicholas Forster. The library of George Hall, Bishop of Dromore forms the largest part of this library. It came to the Raphoe Diocesan Library in 1811 as a bequest.