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Upcoming Friends' Events

Due to technical issues we have had to temporarily suspend online bookings. We hope to have this facility back up and running shortly. In the meantime, please note that you can book events over the phone with the Friends Membership Office: (01) 4070759. 
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and please be assured that any payments made to date are completely secure.
Guided tour at The Honorable Society of King’s Inns

Thursday 14th September from 12.15pm

The Honorable Society of King’s Inns was founded in 1541 during the reign of Henry VIII and is the oldest institution of legal education in Ireland. The formal records of King’s Inns (the “Black Book”) date from 1607. Initially formed as a voluntary society by 1634 membership became compulsory for barristers wishing to practise in the courts. Designed by James Gandon and located on Dublin’s Constitution Hill, King’s Inns is an important example of Ireland’s Georgian architectural heritage.

**We will enjoy a fascinating guided tour followed by tea & coffee.


Cost: €10 per person 

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Thursday 28th September at 2.15pm

Film Club screening - Departures                                                                         

To end our celebrations for the 60th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan we are delighted to show the Oscar winning Japanese film Departures, a beautiful story about a concert cellist who undergoes a transformation following the death of his father and the dissolution of his Tokyo orchestra. Beginning a new career as a mortician, in an industry that carries much taboo in Japan, he gradually learns to perform highly stylized and meticulous ceremonies to prepare bodies for burial or cremation. This moving and often funny film uses the rituals of death to foster a greater appreciation of life, as a young man finds pride in helping grieving family members cope with the loss of their loved ones.

Running time – 130 minutes

Language – Japanese with English subtitles

Cert – CLUB


Cost: €5 per person 

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Thursday 19th October from 6pm

Greek Film Festival 2017 - Xamou

Boasting breath-taking cinematography, haunting music and some mouth-watering food and wine, this mellow pick-me-up puts Greece's economic crisis in perspective through the experiences of an unemployed man who begins an odyssey around the island he calls home.

Running time – 87 minutes

Language – Greek with English subtitles


Cost: €10 per person 

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Saturday 21st October at 2.30pm

Film Club screening – Burma VJ

To tie in with our temporary exhibition of Francisco Goya’s 19th century representations of war, we will look at modern responses to violence and unrest with the powerful documentary Burma VJ. In 2007 Buddhist monks in Burma lead a massive uprising. With foreign TV crews banned from entering the country a young man is forced to take on the role of tactician as he co-ordinates a group of undercover reporters. These citizen journalists documented events by filming covertly and, risking their own lives, they smuggled the footage out of the country. Their actions helped to keep the revolution in focus on TV screens around the world, and in Burma itself via satellite.

Running time – 84 minutes

Language – Burmese with English subtitles

Cert – CLUB


Cost: €5 per person

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Evening lecture series –
Insights into Dublin's Historic Private Book Collections

Wednesday 15th November at 6.30pm - Talk with Dr Jason McElligott Finding Hidden and Forgotten Library Collections

This talk will look at the ways in which we can detect the book collections of unknown men and women which survive in part within much more famous and substantial library collections. Among the topics to be discussed are the eclectic books and pamphlets of two intriguing but obscure seventeenth-century Irish book lovers, William Williams and Margaret Ussher. It will be shown that when we know where and how to look, we can begin to appreciate that the great library collections of the world are often constructed from the most surprising and unusual elements.

Dr Jason McElligott is the Keeper of Marsh's Library, Dublin. A native of Cabra in Dublin, he was educated at UCD and St John's College, Cambridge. He is a former Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, with research interests in seventeenth-century history and literature. He is currently writing a book on thefts from libraries. 


Cost: €10 per person

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Wednesday 22nd November at 6.30pm - Talk with Kristine Rose-Beers – Exploring The Walsingham Bible: making a manuscript in twelfth-century Norfolk (CBL W 022)

Kristine Rose-Beers, Senior Conservator at the Chester Beatty Library, will discuss the Walsingham Bible- a magnificent twelfth-century manuscript made in East Anglia, England. This talk will look briefly at how the Walsingham bible came to be in Dublin, but will concentrate on the unique perspective from which a conservator can examine the materiality of this manuscript-that is the way in which it was made, and the evidence of its lifetime as preserved in its pages today.


Cost: €10 per person

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Wednesday 29th November at 6.30pm - Talk with Regina Whelan Richardson – The Fagel Collection at the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

The Fagel library was created during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by several generations of the Fagel family, who held high public office in the province of Holland. The collection consists of texts covering a wide range of topics including history, politics, law, theology and the visual arts, and many are finely illustrated. Its map collection, consisting of over 11,000 maps, is noted as one of the finest in the world. As the working library of a professional family keenly interested in acquiring knowledge of new discoveries in geography and science, and of events at home and abroad, it is a rich source of unique material spanning three centuries and five continents.

Regina Whelan Richardson is an assistant librarian in the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections at the Library of Trinity College Dublin. She has published on the history of the Irish Colleges in Spain and her research interests also include the history of the book in the era of the Dutch Republic. She is a Fellow of the Library Association of Ireland.


Cost: €10 per person

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Thursday 23rd November at 2.30pm - History on our Doorstep

Talk with Joe Harbourne – Dublin’s Assay Office

In this talk we will learn about the history of the Company of Goldsmiths from 1637 to 2017 including the presentation of the Charter by Charles 1st, the opening of the Assay Office in 1638, and refer to events that have affected the precious metal trade since then.

**We will enjoy tea & coffee after the talk.


Cost: €5 per person


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Friday 8th December from 7.30pm

Handel’s Messiah

Join us to celebrate the festive season in the stunning surroundings of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin in the company of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the wonderful Resurgam choir. Peter Whelan directs a first-class line-up of Irish soloists, including Sarah Power (Soprano), Sharon Carty (mezzo-soprano), Peter Harris (tenor) and Brian McAlea (bass).

**The price includes a drinks reception in the beautifully restored Lady Chapel.


Cost: €30 per person


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Thursday 18th January at 10am

Guided tour & printmaking demonstration at the National Print Museum

The remaining years of Francisco Goya’s life were a time of political turmoil and he transformed what he saw happening in the world around him into visionary paintings, drawings and etchings. In this digital age where information is at our fingertips & traditional letterpress printing is being made redundant, the craft of letterpress is still very much alive at the National Print Museum. During our visit we will enjoy a demonstration with some active retired printers giving us an opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the importance of the invention of the printed word.

**We will enjoy tea & coffee during our visit.


Cost: €10 per person

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Saturday 20th January at 3pm

Book Club meeting – Old Man Goya by Julia Blackburn  

At the age of forty-seven, the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya contracted a serious illness which left him profoundly deaf. In this extraordinary book Julia Blackburn follows Goya through the remaining years of his life, taking the reader along on a journey to Madrid, Paris and Bordeaux. During a time of political turmoil, war, violence and confusion, Goya transformed what he saw happening in the world around him into his visionary paintings, drawings and etchings. Dedicating this book to the memory of her mother, the author writes with the intimacy of an old friend, seeing through Goya’s eyes and capturing his ferocious energy, passion and genius.

***We will enjoy tea & coffee during the meeting and the book is for sale in the Chester Beatty Library gift shop. Please show your Friends’ card to receive a 10% discount.


Cost: €5 per person

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Chester Beatty Annual Lecture 2018



The Library is planning a year of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty’s death and the donation of his incredible collection to the nation. With this anniversary in mind, the Library has invited Inge Reist (Director of The Frick Collection's Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Art Reference Library) to present the Annual Lecture on Wednesday 7 February 2018.



Born and raised in New York, Beatty returned to live and work there from around 1907 to 1912. At that time he moved to London although he retained his home at 16 East 73rd Street until 1917 and returned at least once a year to the US. The theme of Inge’s talk will be ‘Collecting in the Gilded Age’ placing Chester Beatty’s early life and collecting in context.



**Bookings for this free event will be open to Friends in the new year.


Evening course with Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty


Before the French Revolution, much of the most innovative art and architecture in Europe and Asia was produced in and for major, and even rather minor, courts.  From London to Kyoto courts sponsored architecture supported political power, and painting, sculpture, furnishings and clothing sustained the impression of their magnificence. Focusing on Eleanor de Medici, Shah Abbas II of Iran, Shah Jahan of India, and the Prince Bishops of the German city of Würzburg, this series of four lectures will explore the art, much of it in Dublin collections, and the people who made it possible.


Kathleen James-Chakraborty is Professor of Art History at University College Dublin, a trustee of the Chester Beatty Library, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and a member of the board of the National Museum. In 2015 and again in 2016 she was the Vincent Scully Visiting Professor of Architectural History at the Yale School of Architecture.


Wednesday 14th February at 6.30pm - Lavinia Fontana's “Visit of the Queen of Sheba” in the National Gallery

Wednesday 21st February at 6.30pm - Safavid Isfahan

Wednesday 28th February at 6.30pm - Mughal Delhi

Wednesday 7th March at 6.30pm – Würzburg, Germany


Cost: €50 per person


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Friends Holiday – Armenia

Over the past few years our Friends have enjoyed overseas trips to Milan, Berlin, Lisbon, Amsterdam, London and Paris, and also exciting visits to St Petersburg, Japan and India. Each tailor-made trip features guided visits to local sites of historic and cultural interest, and meals at popular restaurants to experience the local cuisine. 
In October 2017 our Friends will make a special journey to Armenia to learn about the country's rich culture and history, to visit monasteries, museums and libraries, and to enjoy the local cuisine. The Armenian Collection of the Chester Beatty Library consists of manuscripts, painted miniatures and detached metal covers, acquired by Chester Beatty over a thirty-year period.
This trip is currently fully booked. To join the waiting list please contact the Friends office: friends@cbl.ie

Refund Policy- Friends Events:
The Chester Beatty Library reserves the right to cancel any event which is under-subscribed or rendered impossible due to circumstances beyond our control, in which case ticket holders will receive a full refund. 
We regret that refunds cannot be issued for events where the ticket price is €15 or less. For events where the ticket price is over €15, refunds will be given less an administrative fee of 20% when the place is cancelled seven days before the event.