Thomas Deane and Son were appointed architects for a new National Library and the new buildings opened for the first time on the 29th of August 1890. The architect was knighted on the day, and the papers were full of admiring accounts of the craftsmanship, Irish and international, visible throughout the building. Starting in the hall, with the wonderful mosaic tiled floor, view the magnificent wood work, some from the Italian firm of Carlo Cambi, in Sienna, and some from Mulligan of Dublin. The stained glass windows in the hall depict a very Victorian take on the greatest figures in world literature. There is only one Irish writer, – the 19th century favourite Thomas Moore. The stained glass artists, Jones and Wallis of Birmingham, chose to give particular prominence to Leonardo and Michelangelo, who appear in the windows as one travels up the staircase to the magnificent reading room.

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