If you love books, you’ll find hugely valuable works from all over the world in this free museum
One of the greatest book collections in the world
The copper magnate Sir Alfred Chester Beatty donated his collection of books, incunabula, papyrus and extraordinarily valuable documents, in order that the public could have access to it. What he perhaps never imagined was that the Chester Beatty Library would be built in his name, a free entry library, internationally recognised as holding some of the greatest bibliographic treasures in history. The Library, which opened in 1950, won the European Museum of the Year award in 2002 for its contribution to the propagation of different religions and cultures. Here you’ll find objects from the Far East, the Middle East, Africa and Europe; jade miniatures from China and copies of the Qur’an dating from the 9th century. One of the most prized parts of its catalogue is the section dedicated to religious traditions, where scriptures from the year 1,100 BC sit alongside some of the best preserved copies of the Old Testament.