Chester Beatty Library A to Z exhibition

The word that quickly springs to mind as you survey the new A to Z exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin is colour. One page from a 16th-century Shahnama, Iran’s Book of Kings, is particularly striking. A phoenix-like creature called the Simurgh carries an abandoned child to its mountaintop nest, scarlet feathers soaring across lavender rock, and all still vibrantly vivid. “One notable thing about our collection is the quality,” says Dr Elaine Wright, the curator of the Library’s extensive Islamic Collection. “They’ve just been taken care of so well. Especially some of the manuscripts, the illustrations, it’s unbelievable. You’d swear they were done yesterday.”

Read More: The Wonderful Islamic Highlights of Chester Beatty Library’s A to Z