Trinity College Dublin
At Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin we provide a liberal environment where independence of thought is highly valued and all are encouraged to achieve their potential. We promote a diverse, interdisciplinary, inclusive environment which nurtures ground-breaking research, innovation, and creativity through engaging with issues of global significance.
Located in a beautiful campus in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, Trinity is Ireland’s highest ranked university
Trinity College Dublin was created by royal charter in 1592, at which point Dublin Corporation provided a suitable site, the former Priory of All Hallows. Its foundation came at a time when many universities were being established across western Europe in the belief that they would give prestige to the state in which they were located and that their graduates, clergy for the most part, would perform a vital service as civil administrators. By the 1590s England had two long-established universities, each with an expanding group of colleges, and Scotland four. The idea of a university college for Ireland emerged at a time when the English state was strengthening its control over the kingdom and when Dublin was beginning to function as a capital city. The group of citizens, lay and clerical, who were main promoters of the scheme believed that the establishment of a university was an essential step in bringing Ireland into the mainstream of European learning and in strengthening the Protestant Reformation within the country.
The organisational design of the new institution was influenced by Oxford, Cambridge and continental precursors, but from the beginning it was an autonomous corporation governed by ‘provost and fellows’, committed to teaching and to scholarship, the first and (as it turned out) only college of the degree-awarding University of Dublin. The College site, lying some distance east of the small walled city, was far larger than the small community of fellows and students required, and the first brick buildings of the 1590s occupied only a small part of what is now Front Square. But from the beginning the College’s library was a priority, and the energy with which early Trinity scholars (notably Luke Challoner and James Ussher) assembled the initial collections of books marked Trinity out from other sixteenth-century foundations.