Joly Collection

Dr Jaspar Robert Joly donated his library to the RDS in 1863, with the proviso that "if … a public library should be established in Dublin under the authority of Parliament … analogous to the library of the British Museum in London … it shall be lawful for the said Society to transfer the collection to the trustees of such public library". The Joly Collection was therefore transferred to the National Library upon its establishment in 1877. Dr Joly was a discriminating and perceptive collector and his library of 25,000 volumes was rich in Irish material, including rare books and pamphlets, maps, music, portraits, topographical prints and drawings, and some important manuscripts. Among his books were first editions of many seventeenth-century Irish authors, a number of incunabula, French works from the Napoleonic period and over 700 volumes of sheet music.

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