The Chester Beatty Library is rated among the top 10 places to visit in Dublin. Once the private library of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968), it is today a museum and one of Ireland's national cultural institutions. The collections comprise manuscripts, rare books and other treasures from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The Library's focus on global artistic heritage is unique in Ireland. Chester Beatty's relocation to Dublin from London in 1950 surprised many but, for a number of years, he had been concerned with how he might develop his private passion into an enduring legacy, and keeping the objects together was a priority for him. Once settled in Ireland, he built a library for his beloved collection and set up a Trust to ensure it would remain intact, for the benefit of the Irish nation. Today, the Library continues his ethos of ensuring the collections are accessible and engaging for visitors from all over the world. Fionnuala Croke, director of this exquisite collection, has selected over 30 works that will give the reader a sense of the quality and variety of Beatty's acquisitions, while featuring her own personal favourites.
Fionnuala Croke has been Director of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, since 2010. She was previously Keeper and Head of Collections at the National Gallery of Ireland. She has published on a wide range of art-related subjects and has organised and curated numerous exhibitions, most recently Chester Beatty's A to Z: from Amulet to Zodiac (2015). She is Adjunct Professor at University College, Dublin, in the School of Art History & Cultural Policy, and is Chair of the Asia Europe Museum Association (ASEMUS).