Library & Museum

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Benburb Priory Library and Museum is an exciting new interactive and engaging visitor centre in a restored Victorian Stables, tucked away in the heart of Ulster. ​

At Benburb Priory Library and Museum, we are conserving and making accessible a uniquely valuable collection of books, archives and artefacts. We are also a welcoming hub for the entire Benburb Priory estate, a place where visitors can make an enjoyable and relaxing visit.

Mission Statement

“To preserve, protect and enhance the historical materials in the collections of the Library & Museum and make them readily accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds; to increase public awareness of the heritage represented in the collections through relevant exhibitions, lectures, seminars and educational programmes; and to advance the Library & Museum’s standing as a major centre for intellectual activity and community leadership and involvement within the overall ethos and values of the Benburb (Servite) Priory”.

The Library & Museum’s mission centres on and emanates from its major collections relating to:

  • The heritage of monasticism, including the Servite Order; its book collections going back to the 1500s and related artefacts encompassing the rare and valuable Servite and Marian collections and their journeys to Benburb.
  • The history of the Servites in England and Ireland through archives covering over 150 years.
  • The O’Neill Collection, including annals relating to the O’Neill dynasty, the Wingfield/Powerscourt (now the Priory) estate and other local history from pre-Plantation to the present time.
  • Literary and cultural treasures from Irish and world history, including a rare copy of the Book of Kells, an early translation of the Bible into Irish, a King James Bible from the 1600s, a resplendent cope from the French Revolution, and poems from Seamus Heaney unique to the Servite’s Everyman/Aquarius magazines.

The ‘open and interactive Library & Museum’ will promote this heritage locally, nationally and internationally.

 

Did you know?

  • The library and archive collection at the Servite Priory Benburb is unique within Ireland and Great Britain.
  • Our collection is is extensive (approx. 20,000 volumes) and includes two valuable collections, the Servite collection and the Marian collection, as well as extensive archival material and artefacts.
  • We house a large collection of general religious and theological books and periodicals and a collection of Irish literature. This latter collection will form part of the O’Neill collection being currently developed, covering the history of the O’Neill Clans, and the rich and significant local history of the area from pre-Plantation until today.
  • The library collections are now housed all under one roof & access is open to the public.
  • The development of the Benburb Priory Library and Museum is bringing together and presenting a number of strands of heritage which are unique to Benburb and the Priory estate.
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