Dun’s Library holds works representing 250 years of medical education and advancement in Ireland. It contains over 25,000 items, covering all aspects of medicine, and the related sciences, between the foundation of the College in 1654 and 1950. The cataloguing of the library is an ongoing project and the online catalogue currently contains details of over 14,000 items, including all the books and portions of the periodical and pamphlet collections.
What’s in Dun’s library?
Dun’s Library has been part of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland since 1713, when Sir Patrick Dun (1642-1713), an eminent physician and former President, bequeathed his personal library to the College.
For 250 years the library collection evolved and developed as a research and teaching collection for members of the College. While the focus is medicine, there are also works on other branches of science, law, classics, antiquaries and other subject that interested the College Fellows.
In the 1960s the difficult decision was taken to no longer maintain a current medical library, the focus instead shifting to preserving the historical collection.
Dun’s Library also holds a number of special collections including the personal libraries of the mid-nineteenth century obstetrician Fleetwood Churchill, the library of the Irish Cardiac Society, and the libraries of two noted Irish medical historians John Fleetwood and T P C Kirkpatrick.
The library holds a substantial collection of annual publications, including medical journals, governmental and annual reports. This collection is only partly catalogued, so please contact us if you can’t find what you are looking for.
Since the initial bequest by Sir Patrick Dun, the library has been greatly augmented by the donation of collections by College Fellows. These have added strength to the collections in the areas of obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, public health, communicable diseases and ophthalmology.
History of Medicine
We maintain a reference collection of publications relating to the history of medicine in Ireland, or with substantial Irish interest. This includes biographies and autobiographies of Irish medical practitioners, as well as histories of Irish hospitals, medical organisations and institutions.
Material in Dun’s Library is available for consultation in our research room by appointment. Appointment can be made Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 1pm, and from 2pm to 4pm. Please contact us by email or phone +353 (0)1 699 8817 to make an appointment.