This project will enable the opening up of the Cotton Library as a cultural asset. We want to empower and encourage the entire community of Lismore and West Waterford to identify with the cultural gem that is nestling in their midst. The local community has embraced the library since we began opening more regularly and Culture Night has become a big event in the library calendar with over seventy visitors in three hours last year. The positive feeling towards the library on those occasions has made participation so worthwhile and has encouraged us to begin this ambitious programme to bring the library out of the shadows with the active participation of all the community. It is our intention to promote the library as an inclusive space where people off all faiths and none may engage with the literature of the past, both theological and secular.
The Cotton Library stands unique in Irish culture. It is the only surviving Diocesan Library to still be housed within the structure of its founding cathedral. The collection holds 2000 mostly leather-bound volumes and some ancient manuscripts in a total of twelve languages. The collection includes theological works from Robert Boyle, father of modern chemistry. As well as theology, the collection holds volumes on philosophy, antiquities and travel plus early Irish translations of the Bible. The collection holds ancient carved stones and what we believe to be the last surviving Georgian church furniture in Ireland.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.