The Mountaineering Ireland Members' Library now contains almost 3,000 books and magazines, making it the biggest collection in Ireland of books dedicated to hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering.
The collection has been added to by various members, who have generously donated their own books to the Mountaineering Ireland Library. The biggest collection donated to the library was from Joss Lynam
, RIP, with over 1,000 books and periodicals. Another significant addition is the loan of the Irish Mountaineering Club's
collection of more than 600 books. In addition to these donations, all books reviewed in the Irish Mountain Log over the years have also been added to the library.
The library is located in Mountaineering Ireland's office in Blanchardstown, where it is accessible to all members by arrangement. It contains various types of books from biographies, travel, training and instruction books, to expedition reports, accounts of geographical, historical and botanical studies, and magazines. Many first editions are available and some are even signed by their authors. It also contains fascinating books from the beginnings of mountaineering as a sport in the middle of 19th century onwards by authors such as Whymper, Tyndall, Smythe, Conway, Shipton, Herzog and Hillary, who were pioneers of climbing in the Alps and the Himalayas. These older books are a very good source of information for historical research but, due to their age and the fact that they are sometimes in a poor condition, they will only be available for viewing in the Moutaineering Ireland office.
The library contains a very wide range of old and more recent guidebooks and maps. Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England are very well covered by walking and climbing guides. Ireland alone is covered by over two hundred books, mainly walking guidebooks such as the ones to the Wicklow, Dingle, Western, Bangor and Foxford Ways, and climbing guidebooks such as the ones to Donegal, Fair Head, Ballykeefe, Dalkey, Wicklow and the Mourne Mountains.
Most countries with mountains are represented in the collection but a lot of the books are related to the Alps and the Himalayas. However, there are also guidebooks to other mountains, such as Kilimanjaro, Mount McKinley and Aconcagua, and to other European mountains such as the Pyrenees, Mount Elbrus and the Tatras.
Training is also well-covered and there are many useful books, from those from the beginnings of modern mountaineering, such as ‘Mountain Craft' by Geoffrey Winthrop Young to more recent publications.
The magazines include the Himalayan, American, Indian and Alpine Journals. The latter starts from its first edition and continues up to the present.
If you wish to borrow book/s, you need to send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Confirmation of the books availability will be confirmed by email. You can then either go to Mountaineering Ireland's office to collect your book/s or request them to be sent to your home address, postage will be charged and all loans must be returned within the agreed timeframe.
Up to six books can be borrowed at the same time for a period of three weeks. Depending on requests from other members an extension of the loan period may or may not be possible.
Who catalogued the Members' Library?
Bénédicte Reau began cataloguing the entire library in June 2013 and over the course of more than 6 months completed the project. Bénédicte is a member of the Bogtrotters' Hillwalking Club, based in Rathfarnham. She is French by birth but has been living in Ireland since 2003. She has been hillwalking for many years and has traveled to many countries, such as Nepal, Argentina, Madagascar, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia. However, she always goes back to her favourite place, Corsica, where she grew up.