The Museum of Literature Ireland, MoLI, opens to the public on 21 September 2019. MoLI is a major collaboration between UCD and the National Library of Ireland to create a new landmark cultural institution in the heart of Dublin.
Named for James Joyce’s muse Molly Bloom and picturesquely located on the south side of St Stephen’s Green within the original home of the University, Newman House, one of Dublin’s finest historic houses, MoLI will celebrate Ireland’s literary culture and heritage.
Immersive multimedia exhibitions, priceless artefacts, including Joyce’s own ‘Copy No.1 of Ulysses’, lectures, performances, education programmes, historic house tours, digital broadcasting, research facilities and a café set in one of the city’s most tranquil gardens will make the Museum of Literature Ireland a major contribution to the local and international literary landscape.
Visitors experience a journey through diverse exhibits examining Ireland’s long poetic tradition, the history of writing in the new Irish State, contemporary Irish writers and young adult fiction. An ambitious temporary exhibition programme, including a rotating partnership with other literary cities, will see changing exhibitions focus on individual writers and works from the past to the present as well as Irish folklore and intangible literary heritage through artefacts, sound, film, new technologies and digital media.
Conversations began in 2010 between the National Library of Ireland and UCD around a creative alliance between two unique assets – the National Library’s Joyce collections and UCD’s most significant historic property, Newman House. A generous donation from Martin & Carmel Naughton propelled the idea to reality. Architects Scott Tallon Walker and exhibition designers Ralph Applebaum Associates were engaged to transform Newman House’s Aula Maxima building into a 10,000 square foot exhibition space, while creating universal access across all the buildings of the historic site where UCD itself was founded. Further generous funding and strategic advice from Fáilte Ireland brought the project to construction stage.
Newman House is the original home of University College Dublin. The building consists of two Georgian town houses (1738, 1765) and a Victorian hall. There are fine interiors & splendid plasterwork. The House is associated with John Henry Newman, Gerald Manley Hopkins & James Joyce.
The Commons is the museum café run by Domini and Peaches Kemp. Set in the original student dining halls in the basement of Newman House, the restored space is now an all-day Irish kitchen and dining room which opens out onto the garden terrace. This is a hidden south-facing oasis in the heart of the city centre. The gardens contain two protected trees, most notably the ash tree that James Joyce had his graduation photograph taken against. The gardens also connect to the Iveagh Gardens, sometimes called Dublin’s ‘Secret Garden’.
Opening times (from 21 September 2019)
10.00 am–6.00 pm, 7 days a week. Last entry at 5.00 pm.
Museum of Literature Ireland
86 St Stephen’s Green
Tel: 01 4779 811
Adults €8; concessions
Guided tour €12 – enjoy a unique 50-minute tour of the museum with an expert guide.