The library of the Royal College of Science for Ireland is one of the most comprehensive Victorian science libraries in existence. It is unique in Ireland and UCD Library has had the privilege of inheriting this vast collection of approximately 15,000 items. The James Joyce Library and Special Collections contain thousands of books, maps, pamphlets, journals, and other printed materials which were once part of the RCScI library and that of its predecessor, the Museum of Irish Industry. The library includes many rare scientific monographs of the 19th century and earlier, and complete runs of periodicals which are not to be found in any other Irish library.

The Royal College of Science for Ireland existed between 1867-1926. It was an institution which marked a key moment in the development of science education in Ireland. Dr Catherine Cox (Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland) has completed a project with Evelyn Flanagan, Special Collections Librarian, UCD, on a Wellcome Trust project to make the library of the Royal College of Science for Ireland available for research.

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