LBH004 Thomas Street Public Library
Although provision had been made for the establishment of free public libraries in Ireland since 1855 it was not until 1883 that Dublin Corporation formed a Public Libraries Committee. Two Georgian tenement houses were secured at No 106 Capel Street and No 22 Thomas Street. The public library at Thomas Street was opened on 1 October 1884 by Lord Mayor William Meagher a few hours after its sister institution on Capel Street. The library was designed to serve the south side of the city. To mark the occasion, the Library Association of the United Kingdom held its Annual Conference in Dublin for the first and only time. Conference delegates attended the opening ceremony. Matthew D. Weir, formerly associated with the library at Clongowes Wood College, became the first librarian at Thomas Street. The staff was composed of a librarian, three library assistants, and a hall porter.
This photo is from the Dublin City Council Photographic Collection. This unique collection is an educational resource and provides a basis for original research on the history of Dublin in the second half of the twentieth century.