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National Library of Ireland launches 2017 Annual Review
Clients, DHR News, Featured, Press Releases | 4th September 2018

The National Library of Ireland welcomed close to 200,000 people through its doors in 2017, with over 24,000 attending tours, talks, workshops and performances. In addition, the NLI attracted 18 million online interactions across its online platforms. That’s according to figures included in the NLI’s Annual Review 2017, which was launched today (04.09.18) by Minister of State at the Department of Culture with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD.

Speaking at the launch, Director of the NLI, Dr Sandra Collins said: “The mission of the National Library of Ireland is to share the story of Ireland with the world through our unique collections. We were delighted to see our communities engaging with the NLI in 2017 through our research facilities, online platforms, and extensive programme of events and exhibitions.

“This was particularly welcome as we began work on a major redevelopment of our Kildare Street building which will safeguard our national collections and transform the visitor experience. Our staff carried out extensive collection care ahead of a major book move to upgraded storage, renumbering 60,000 books and enhancing over 8,000 catalogue records.

“The National Library of Ireland actively continued to enrich the national collections through the year. We now collect an extraordinary range of material, from letters between James Joyce and WB Yeats, to the contemporary digital record of Ireland; in 2017 we carried out a full domain crawl (all websites ending in .ie), to ensure our online memory is safe. As Ireland’s memory-keeper, we look forward to welcoming more people through our physical and virtual doors in the coming years. We would like to invite all our visitors to share their experience of using their National Library through the hashtag #MyNLI.”

Key highlights from the Annual Review 2017 include:

  • 18 million online interactions.
  • Over 300,000 websites collected and preserved.
  • Major additions to the National Library’s Yeats collection, the most significant in the world. These included letters to Yeats from James Joyce, and family portraits of Lily and Lolly Yeats, purchased with generous funding from a family trust.
  • More than 14,000 new books, newspapers and periodicals were acquired.
  • More than 24,000 people attended 391 events.
  • Six exhibitions were staged during 2017, attracting 140,000 visitors.

Launching the NLI Annual Review 2017, Minister of State at the Department of Culture with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD, said: “The National Library of Ireland plays an integral role in preserving our culture and heritage. It does this through welcoming users to consult its vast collections, providing free genealogy advice to those looking to trace their family tree and engaging communities through its vibrant programme of events. I’m particularly delighted to see many of the exhibition tours and workshops offered through Irish.

“The Annual Review 2017 serves to highlight the impressive achievements of the NLI last year and shows that users and visitors from far and wide are utilising all that our National Library offers. I’d like to commend the Board and the staff of the Library for their hard work and dedication, and I look forward to seeing all that is achieved during the next stages of the Library’s redevelopment project.”

The NLI Annual Review 2017 is available for download from www.nli.ie.


Contact: Louise Archbold / Eleanor McGovern, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-2601145 / 083-4890321

Note to Editors:

  • Director of the NLI, Dr Sandra Collins is available for interview and comment.
  • Photographer Nick Bradshaw will issue photographs taken at the launch this afternoon.
  • A video complementing the launch of the NLI Annual Review 2017 is available to view here and download here. In the video, NLI users share how they engage with the Library.

About the Library: The National Library of Ireland is the library of record for Ireland. Established in 1877, it shares the story of Ireland with the world through its unique collections. The NLI cares for more than ten million items, including books, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, prints, maps, drawings, ephemera, music and digital media. The Library is open, free of charge, to all those who wish to consult the collections. The five strategic priorities for the National Library of Ireland for 2016-2021 are to collect, protect, connect, innovate and collaborate. Further information is available at www.nli.ie. Follow the NLI on Twitter @NLIreland, Facebook National Library of Ireland, Flickr on the Commons  and YouTube.