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Trusts and Foundations

Grants from trusts and foundations have provided essential support for the Library in several areas. Described below are just a few of these projects.

If you are involved with a trust or foundation and think that we might have a project your organisation would be interested in supporting, please contact Lucy Durack, Head of Development by phone: (+353 1) 407 0762 or email:

  • The Getty Foundation provided a generous grant to support the first two years of a major project to produce a new and comprehensive catalogue of our internationally acclaimed collection of Arabic manuscripts. The 2,655 non-qur'anic manuscripts in the Arabic language form a critical part of the Library's holdings. The collection consists of a highly diverse and extensive range of texts, and scholars worldwide regard it as a resource of immense importance for the study of Islamic culture. The manuscripts document the full gamut of the cultural and intellectual heritage of Islam and are particularly significant because so many are unique copies of texts preserved only in the Chester Beatty Library. A new ten-volume catalogue with more detailed and comprehensive entries on each manuscript will enrich general and scholarly knowledge of Islamic culture and acknowledge the debt that Western society owes to medieval Islam. A greater understanding of the latter is perhaps more important in the West today than ever before.


  • The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation supported a three-year arts-education programme between the Library and four local schools. This was a memorable exercise where children and teachers learned about the Chester Beatty collections in an imaginative and enjoyable way. The project included storytelling workshops with characters from the Silk Road such as Marco Polo and Alexander the Great. In response, the children created their own logbooks tracing the travels of their chosen character and drawing on the different styles found in the collections. The books were then displayed in a special exhibition at the Library. To mark the completion of the project, the stories were recorded on a CD, which was presented to the participating schools and sponsors.