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Current Exhibitions

Admission prices to the Book of Kells include entrance to all current exhibitions in the Old Library building.

The Book of Kells and Long Room Exhibitions

The Book of Kells "Turning Darkness into Light" Exhibition is currently on view in the Colonnades of the Old Library. It can be viewed prior to visiting the original manuscript in the Treasury. The exhibition places the 9th-century manuscript in its historical perspective and allows the visitor to acquire a greater appreciation of the work than is usually possible. Related manuscripts are also on show and may include the Book of Armagh, the Book of Durrow, the Book of Mulling and the Book of Dimma.

The Long Room is lined by 48 marble busts; look out for the bust of Jonathan Swift by Louis Francois Roubiliac. Also look out for one of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic and Ireland's oldest harp, dating from the 15th century. As an emblem of early bardic society, this is the harp which appears on Irish coins. The attribution to Brian Boru, a High King of Ireland (died 1014) is legendary rather than factual.

Upon the Wild Waves: a Journey through Myth in Children’s Books

The transformation of the children of Lir
Illustration from "The Children of Lir" illustration © PJ Lynch 2014 - taken from "The Names Upon The Harp" by Marie Heaney, published by Faber and Faber

This exhibition, which will be on display in the Long Room, Trinity College Library from 23 October 2014 until April 2015, aims to serve as a celebration of the wealth of children’s literature held in the Library. Drawing upon material published over several centuries, the exhibition will explore some of the varying ways in which writers and illustrators have used myth to engage younger readers, from creation myths of Polynesia and tales of Greek Gods to Biblical myths and Celtic legends.

This exhibition is curated by Dr Pádraic Whyte, co-director of the Masters programme in children’s literature at the School of English in Trinity. The varied and delightful content is sourced from the Library which holds almost 150,000 children’s books - over 10,000 of which are from The Pollard Collection of Children’s Books, bequeathed to the Library by a former Keeper of Early Printed Books, Mary ‘Paul’ Pollard.

Articles from World War 1 exhibition

'…manage to exist and try and be cheerful…'

A small exhibition which runs from mid July 2014 in the Long Room and which will also be available online.

In this centenary year of the Great War there is no shortage of exhibitions to mark the events of 1914-1918, and here is something unusual that will be of special interest. This intimate display, giving us a flavour of what the soldiers (many of whom were students of Trinity) were experiencing at the time, consists of diaries, letters, photographs, maps, sketches and other paraphernalia from servicemen posted throughout Europe during this 'war to end all wars'. Also on show will be a cigarette box and a Christmas card given to the troops at the front in 1914 by Princess Mary, daughter of King George V, and some dress medals awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel James Johnston Abraham (1876-1963).

There is a fascinating account of Captain Stanley Cyril Beresford Mundey’s capture and incarceration in a Turkish prisoner of war camp in Yozgad (including watercolours of the view from the room where he was being held prisoner) and an amusing 'New Year’s Dinner, 1915-1916' menu from the trenches - we don’t imagine that the fare on offer was particularly festive!

It is hoped that these highly-personal exhibits will provide a glimpse into the camaraderie, fear, gallows humour and long stretches of boredom of those risking their lives for king and country.

Other Library-Related Events

Forthcoming Exhibitions

Forthcoming Lectures and Events

Friends of the Library Lectures

All Friends lectures take place at 19:30 unless otherwise specified.

Admission for Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5. Library Alumni can avail of the concessionary rate. All are welcome to attend the lectures listed.

What Really Happened at the Battle of Clontarf

Prof. Seán Duffy (Trinity College Dublin)
19:30, Thursday 27 November 2014
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

Seán Duffy is Associate Professor of Medieval History at Trinity College Dublin. He is one of the foremost historians of medieval Ireland, specialising in the period from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries. Among his many publications are: Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf (Dublin, 2013); Encyclopedia of Medieval Ireland, (London, 2005); Atlas of Irish History (Dublin, 2000); and Ireland in the Middle Ages (Dublin, 1997).

Other Lectures and Events


Past Exhibitions - Still Available Online

A Window on the Middle Ages

A Window on the Middle Ages (requires Flash)

Medieval manuscripts at Trinity College Library Dublin

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Marking the 260th Anniversary of the graduation of Edmund Burke

Napoleon: Emperor of the French

Napoleon: Emperor of the French (requires Flash)

18 June to 1 November 2009

Even today Napoleon casts a long shadow over Europe. His law reforms and political ideals remain important influences on the shape of the continent and its sense of identity. The exhibition examined his career and political philosophy through the use of contemporary image and print from the Library's rich collection of 19th-century French materials, showing his meteoric rise and fall and the consequences of his reign for France.

Dublin: the College and the City 1250-1950. View of Front Arch

Dublin: the College and the City 1250-1950 (requires Flash)

05 November 2009 to 13 May 2010

One of the oldest cities in Europe, Dublin's settlement spans over 1000 years. The collections of Trinity College Library offer fascinating glimpses of that vibrant history. They reflect the everyday economic, social and intellectual concerns of Dubliners throughout the centuries, whether they were scholars, patriots, rebels, churchmen, politicians, landowners, servants or students. Since its foundation in 1592, Trinity's identity has become inextricably linked with that of Dublin, and the College's archives illustrate this relationship. This exhibition provides a rich view of life in Dublin, based on the words and experiences of generations of citizens of, and visitors to, the city. It begins with manuscripts generated by the Anglo- Norman administration, when Dublin emerged as the capital of Ireland, progressing through 700 years of change and renewal.

An explanatory leaflet (PDF 2.7MB) is available.

Nurse from the Adelaide Hospital

Adelaide Hospital (requires Flash)

The archives of the Adelaide Hospital, including those of the School of Nursing, were donated to the Manuscripts and Archives Research Library, Trinity College Library Dublin in 2007 by the Adelaide Hospital Society. A major project was initiated in September 2009, with the support of the Society, to catalogue the collection and make it available to the public.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Adelaide School of Nursing, and to celebrate the start of the Adelaide Hospital Project, Trinity College Library Dublin mounted a display of items from the archive that relate to the School of Nursing, in the West End of the Long Room. This exhibition was on view until 23rd December 2009.

Nabobs, Soldiers and Imperial Service: the Irish in India. 28 May - 3 October 2010. The Long Room, Trinity College Library Dublin
Nabobs, Soldiers and Imperial Service: the Irish in India
(requires Flash)

27 May to 03 October 2010

Nabobs, Soldiers and Imperial Service: The Irish in India explored the experiences of Irish men and women living in India within the wider colonial context. Themes covered included the East India Company; trade and territorial expansion; the Indian Mutiny; Christian missionaries, including the Dublin University mission; the Indian Civil Service; big game hunting; and the road to Independence.

The links with South Asia and Trinity College Dublin are very old, reaching back at least to the establishment of the Chair of Oriental Languages in 1762. The exhibition detailed the links between Trinity, Ireland, Britain and Europe with India, concentrating on the wealth of printed books and other related material from the 19th and early 20th century that is held in the Library.

Ireland in Turmoil: the 1641 Depositions

Ireland in Turmoil: the 1641 Depositions (requires Flash)

07 October 2010 to 03 April 2011

The 1641 Depositions (TCD MSS 809-841) are witness testimonies, mainly by Protestants, concerning their experiences during the rebellion of the Catholic Irish in 1641. This unique body of material contains vivid, and often harrowing, accounts of murder, assault, imprisonment, loss of goods and military activity across the country. The exhibition draws on a rich collection of manuscript material, original depositions, maps, contemporary pamphlets and printed works. The material documents the sectarian tensions in colonial Ireland that erupted in 1641, the course of the rebellion, and the fallout that shaped the course of Irish political and social history over the following centuries. The 1641 Rebellion is discussed in the wider context of the sectarian massacres of the period across Europe and the Americas, and its enduring place in the myth and memory of Irish Protestants.

The 1641 Deposition Project to conserve, digitise, transcribe and make the Depositions available online reached a conclusion in September 2010.

Exhibition concept and text: Eamon Darcy, Bernard Meehan, Jane Ohlmeyer, Felicity O' Mahony, Micheál Ó Siochrú.

‘The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman’ (Jonathan Swift). The School of Medicine 1711 – 2011. 7 April - 2 October 2011, the Long Room, Trinity College Library Dublin

‘The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman' (Jonathan Swift). The School of Medicine 1711 - 2011 (requires Flash)

7 April 2011 to 2 October 2011

For centuries, Trinity medics have contributed to medical education and practice around the world. This exhibition will explore Trinity College Library Dublin's collections relating to 300 years of the School of Medicine and the history of medicine in Ireland.

An exhibition leaflet (PDF 465KB) is available.

Troubled Magnificence: France under Louis XIV

Troubled Magnificence: France under Louis XIV (requires Flash)

12 October 2011 to 1 April 2012

Under Louis XIV France became the most powerful land power in Western Europe. Considerable territorial expansion was achieved through a series of wars which were hugely expensive in lives and money. By the end of the reign in 1715 the state was almost bankrupt.

Despite the warfare, there were immense cultural achievements: in drama the works of Corneille, Molière and Racine; in architecture the building of the palace of Versailles; in music, the operas of Lully. In common with many other countries, there was repressive legislation against religious non-conformists who in France were the Huguenots. This culminated in 1685 in the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes of 1598 which had granted limited toleration.

This exhibition looks at various aspects of French life in the seventeenth century including taxation, warfare, trade and religion. The exhibition is entirely drawn from the very rich visual and textual resources of Trinity College Library which has the finest collection of seventeenth-century French books in Ireland.

An explanatory leaflet (PDF 1.42MB) is available.

A Great Many Choice Books

A great many choice books: 300 years of the Old Library

Summer 2012

Trinity College Library's history reflects that of the nation: periods of stability, prosperity and growth interrupted by political turbulence and stagnation. The wealth of the Library's collections owes much to the foresight of the College's founders and the generosity of its benefactors dating from shortly after its foundation in 1592. This long history is celebrated with a display of fine books and manuscripts alongside records relating to the construction and fabric of the Old Library building. Among the exhibition highlights are: the 12th-century Winchcombe Psalter; the 14th-century Dublin Apocalypse; a first edition of Martin Luther's Old Testament; a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible; fine bindings from the collection of the 18th-century connoisseur Henry George Quin; and books from the superb Fagel Library.

Drawn to the Page: Irish Artists and Illustration 1830- 1930

Drawn to the Page: Irish Artists and Illustration 1830 - 1930

24 October 2012 to 21 April 2013 - part of our Tercentenary celebrations.

This exhibition serves as an introduction to and a celebration of, Irish artists' involvement with illustration from the 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century, a significant period in the history of European book and periodical illustration.

Sourced from Trinity College Library, the display includes some of the finest illustrated texts from this period, many of which are illustrated using original hand-cut plates or blocks. Artists such as George Petrie, Daniel Maclise, Margaret Stokes, Jack Butler Yeats and Robert Gibbings will be included. Given the location in the Long Room, and its association with one of the most important illuminated manuscripts in the world, the exhibition illustrates the continuing heritage of the artist and the book in Ireland.

Preservation & Conservation: What's that? May - September 2013.

Preservation and Conservation: What's That?

25 April to 20 October 2013

Providing a link between the sciences and the humanities, this exhibition looks at the fascinating and varied activities of the Library's Preservation and Conservation Department.

Among the highlights are display cases exploring: the pigments used in manuscript illumination; the conservation of manuscripts, photographs and early printed books; the development of book structures; the analysis of the environment and its effect on collections; the study of Old Library dust; and the impact of the Save the Treasures campaign on the preservation of the collection in the Long Room.

The exhibition promises a rare glimpse of items not usually seen while offering an introduction into the world and work of the conservators.

In Tune: A Millennium of Music in Trinity College Library

In Tune: a Millennium of Music in Trinity College Library (click for virtual exhibition)

The Library boasts an astonishing wealth of evidence of the history of music. To showcase this, and to mark the 250th anniversary of the Chair of Music in Trinity, the Library invites you to get ‘in tune' and visit the forthcoming exhibition in the Long Room.

The Library's music collections have been built up over the course of four centuries, and in their range and diversity reflect a thousand years of Irish and European musical history. In Tune - our Winter exhibition in the Long Room - aims to reveal the richness of our music holdings by highlighting a selection of the most significant items, many of which are unique or extremely rare.We also take this opportunity to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the University of Dublin's Chair of Music, first held by Garrett Wesley, the first Earl of Mornington, a talented amateur musician and father of the Duke of Wellington.

The exhibition has five main themes:

Early Music Treasures - including medieval liturgical manuscripts, music of the Reformation, and domestic music from the Elizabethan era. These sources also illustrate the development of musical notation and music printing in its early experimental stages.

Music in Eighteenth-Century Dublin - Dublin's busy musical calendar encompassed royal birthday odes at Dublin Castle; benefit concerts in aid of Mercer's Hospital and other charitable institutions; cathedral and College chapel music; and the first performance of Handel's Messiah in 1742.

Irish Folk Music and Song - folk music collectors such as Edward Bunting, George Petrie and James Goodman made a vital contribution towards saving Ireland's native musical heritage by transcribing traditional tunes directly from folk musicians.

Collection Expansion - from the beginning of the 20th century music collections have increased rapidly, boosted by the purchase of Ebenezer Prout's music library in 1910 and the acceptance of printed music under legal deposit. Music of all genres is collected and preserved - from plainchant to rock'n'roll.

Modern Irish Masters - the Library continues to add to its rich archives of Irish composers of the twentieth century. Four of these are represented in the exhibition: Ina Boyle, Frederick May, Brian Boydell and Gerald Barry.

The exhibition is enlivened by music playing in the background in the Long Room and by an accompanying series of lectures and concerts.

The exhibition, sponsored by KBC Bank, runs until 1 April 2014.

An explanatory leaflet and worksheet (PDF 858KB) is available.

Emperor of the Irish: Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf, 1014

Emperor of the Irish: Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf, 1014

April to 19 October 2014

2014 will see the celebration of an important medieval milestone in the Long Room of Trinity College Dublin: the one thousandth anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf. In the popular imagination that battle was the culmination of a long war between Viking invaders/settlers and the most powerful of all Irish kings, Brian Boru. The historical reality was not so simple, and both the history and the legend of Brian will be examined in a new exhibition: Emperor of the Irish.

Pride of place in this unique exhibition will be given to the only item known to have been in Brian’s presence: the famous 9th-century decorated manuscript known as the Book of Armagh. The exhibition will include some of the Library’s greatest medieval Irish treasures such as the Book of Leinster and the Brian Boru harp. The display will incorporate large-scale graphics designed by Cartoon Saloon (producers of the Academy Award nominated animated film The Secret of Kells), which have been inspired by the exhibition’s themes.

Other events related to the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf can be seen at the external official events website.

Other Past Exhibitions

Michael de Larrabeiti (1934-2008) - author

This exhibition, situated in the West End of the Long Room, was in honour of Michael de Larrabeiti - author, travel writer and editor of Trinity Tales: Trinity College Dublin in the Sixties (2009). Larrabeiti was born in Battersea, London. He drew on his surroundings and upbringing when he created his best known work The Borribles (1976), The Borribles go for Broke (1981) and The Borribles: Across the Dark Metropolis (1986). In the author's own words "The Borribles are scruffy London runaways living in derelict houses and cellars".

Michael de Larrabeiti's papers were acquired by Trinity College Library Dublin in February 2009.

Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

April 2010

This exhibition was mounted in conjunction with the Dublin City Council initiative Dublin: One City, One Book, which this year features The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The exhibition displayed some of the rich material the Library has on one of its most illustrious former graduates.

Boyne Valley Art Competition

The work done by winners of the Boyne Valley Art Competition using the Book of Kells as inspiration was on view in the Long Room of the Old Library until 7 May 2010.

The Day of the Rabblement

One City, One Book

April 2012

2012 saw a special anniversary for Trinity College Dublin, with the celebration of 300 years since the laying of the Old Library's foundation stone. The tercentenary celebrations include an exhibition in the Long Room which is part of the 'Dublin: One City, One Book' event. One City, One Book encourages everyone each year to read the same book during the month of April and this year Dubliners was chosen.

The focus of this display is the life and works of Joyce and highlights places and events associated with the 1914 publication. The exhibition of 13 items includes an early printing of Ulysses signed by Joyce and a contemporary map of the city to help visitors plot the various locations referred to in the text. The exhibition ran for the month of April.

Bust of Beckett

Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906-1989)

July 2012

Beckett graduated from Trinity College in 1927 and his first published work appeared in 1929. His writing was influenced by the work of his friend James Joyce, but he later developed his own unique style. His first novel, Murphy was published in 1938; he subsequently began writing in French. In 1948-9 he wrote the play which was to bring him worldwide acclaim: En attendant Godot/Waiting for Godot was premiered in French in 1953 and in English in 1955. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969.

Beckett continued to work until the end of his life and produced some of his major work when he was in his 70s. To mark the second annual Samuel Beckett Summer School, the Library mounted a small exhibition in the Long Room of the Old Library to showcase the range and depth of materials in the Library's internationally-renowned collection of Beckett manuscripts and correspondence. The display included the earliest item in the collection, an undergraduate Italian-language exercise; the annotated copy of En attendant Godot, used as a prompt copy during the first stage rehearsals; drafts of Imagination dead imagine; reading and lecture notes; correspondence and photographs.

Ernest T.S. Walton

Ernest T.S. Walton (1903-1995) Physicist and Nobel Laureate

10 July to 30 September 2012

Ernest Walton was born in Dungarvan in Co. Waterford to John Walton, a Methodist minister, and his wife Elizabeth Walton née Sinton. Walton was educated at the Methodist College in Belfast and entered Trinity College Dublin in the year 1922. He became a Scholar in 1923 and graduated in mathematics and physics in 1926. After a year's post-graduate work in TCD Walton went to study in the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge under the Nobel prize-winner Professor Sir Ernest Rutherford. Working with John Cockcroft, the two men successfully split the atomic nucleus in April 1932. The two men were jointly awarded the Nobel prize in 1951 for ‘their pioneer work on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles'.

Walton returned to Trinity College in 1934 where he became a fellow and the Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy. He was well known for his personal integrity, his commitment to the improvement of the standard of science education in Ireland, and as a compelling lecturer. In 1993 he presented his scientific papers and his Nobel medal and citation to Trinity College Dublin.

This exhibition included the Nobel medal and citation, research notebooks from Walton's undergraduate career, photographs, correspondence (the letter written to his future wife immediately after splitting the atom), as well as evidence of Walton's concern about the teaching of science and of his enduring commitment to Methodism.

Skellig MichaelTrinity Week celebrations 2013: The Irish Diaspora - On Bolus Head

25 March 2013 till end April 2013

As part of Trinity Week 2013, on the theme of the Irish Diaspora, the College Library is pleased to present, under the auspices of the School of English and the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies, and with the support of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, a display in the Long Room of the original etchings (texts and images) from On Bolus Head, by the Irish American artists Michael Carter and Brian Gormley. Published by Cill Rialaig and En Garde Books, the portfolio, kindly donated to the College Library by the artists, will be exhibited from 25 March till end April 2013.

Based on poems written by Michael Carter and associated images created by Brian Gormley during residencies at the Cill Rialaig Project in Co. Kerry, the On Bolus Head series (2011), etched on 38 metal plates in an edition of 20 at the Cill Rialaig Print Centre, is an artist's book inspired by personal experiences and observations upon the history, mythology and landscape of Kerry, particularly the environs of Cill Rialaig and Bolus Head, a point at the extreme southwest of Ireland.

The portfolio, and its printed facsimile edition, are prefaced by David Scott, Professor of French (Textual & Visual Studies) at Trinity College Dublin, a specialist in the field of text/image interaction, who writes:
Like many artists' books since their heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Michael Carter's and Brian Gormley's On Bolus Head, in setting out to explore one of the wildest and most magical corners of Ireland at the same time investigates the complementary relation between text and image. In it we see two different media mastered by two different artistic temperaments responding to a common environment - in this case that wild and romantic extremity of the Kerry coast that is Bolus Head -, aware of each other's approach but exploring the potential of their different media in relation to a common scene.

Michael Carter is a poet, critic and essayist, and publisher of the quintessential East Village arts and literary ‘zine redtape. Author of Broken Noses and Metempsychoses, his work has been published in numerous anthologies.
Brian Gormley is an internationally acclaimed painter and printmaker who has exhibited his prints at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and The Graphic Studio Dublin, among other venues in Ireland and abroad.
Rising from the ruins of a pre-famine village near Bolus Head, The Cill Rialaig Project was founded in 1991 by Noelle Campbell-Sharp and has provided haven and retreat to thousands of artists; it is currently celebrating its 21st anniversary with multiple events across Ireland, including this presentation of On Bolus Head.

TCD MS 4174/2. Photograph of the composer Ina Boyle (1889-1967) as a young woman, in the garden of her family home in Bushy Park, Co. Wicklow

Ina Boyle's Symphonic Journey

April-June 2013, to coincide with a symposium held at DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama in April 2013.

Ina Boyle (1889-1967) was a prolific Irish composer whose life and works have recently begun to capture renewed attention and interest. Boyle lived all her life in her family home at Bushy Park, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. In her early years she studied with Percy Buck, C.H. Kitson, and Charles Wood, and between 1923 and 1939 she made occasional visits to London to take private lessons in composition with Ralph Vaughan Williams. She had the distinction of being the only female composer to receive an award from the Carnegie Trust - for her orchestral work ‘The magic harp', published by Stainer & Bell in 1921. However most of her music remained unpublished and unperformed.

Boyle continued to compose a broad range of music throughout her life, including songs and choral pieces, chamber music and orchestral works, ballets and an opera. She composed three symphonies: ‘Glencree' (1924-27), ‘The dream of the Rood' (1929-30), and ‘From the darkness' (1946-52), the third being a setting for contralto and orchestra of three poems by Edith Sitwell. This exhibition includes the autograph full scores of all three works, as well as the short score of ‘From the darkness' in which Boyle added alternative words when Sitwell refused permission for her poems to be used. Also on view are Boyle's ‘Musical compositions memoranda' showing the entry for the ‘Glencree' symphony, her notebook describing a lesson with Ralph Vaughan Williams on 15 March 1930 in which they discussed her second symphony, and Sitwell's letter withholding consent.

TCD MS 1550. Nineteenth-century copy, by Mouhamed Ibrahim Shirazi, of Hakim Abu'l-Qasim Firdawsi’s Shah Nâmeh, or Book of Kings, detail from title page

The Book of Kings: Middle-Eastern Manuscripts in the Library (click for virtual exhibition)

June 2013, to coincide with the meeting of the Middle East Libraries Committee in Dublin.

This year's MELCOM (Middle East Libraries Committee) UK meeting is being held in Dublin on 25 June. To celebrate this, an exhibition has been installed featuring some of the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library's Middle-Eastern materials.

Chief among the exhibits is a 19th-century copy of the 'Shahnameh' (alt. 'Shahnama') or the Book of Kings. Written by the 11th-century poet Firdausi, the Shahnameh, completed in eastern Iran in March 1010, is a work of mythology, history, literature and propaganda; a living poem that pervades and expresses many aspects of Persian culture. The Shahnameh contains approximately 50,000 verses and is generally divided into mythical, legendary and historical sections.

Another even older copy of the work forms part of the Preservation & Conservation Department's exhibition also on display in the Long Room, along with some clay tablets from modern-day Iraq. The cuneiform script on these artefacts is the earliest-known form of script.

Included in the Book of Kings exhibition is an Iman's wooden staff, of uncertain age, which is inscribed with verses from the Koran; an exquisitely-decorated Koranic scroll taken from the battlefield at the Liberation of Venice in 1683; and some of the Library's important collection of Syriac manuscripts.

Take a look at M&ARL's Asian, Middle Eastern and Ethiopic manuscripts website for more information about the Middle-Eastern collection.

TCD MS 10948/4/1. Samuel Beckett watching a rehearsal of Waiting for Godot at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London, in 1984. Photograph by Chris Harris

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) - Poet, Novelist, Playwright, Nobel Laureate

July 2013, to coincide with the third annual Samuel Beckett Summer School.

Trinity College Library is one of a handful of internationally-significant repositories of the unpublished papers of Samuel Beckett. The collection was founded in the 1960s by a gift of four notebooks from the author himself, and the Library has continued to add to it by bequest, by purchase and by the generosity of donors, principally the Beckett Estate.

The School of Drama, Film and Music in TCD is co-ordinating the third annual Beckett Summer School, a week-long celebration of the man, his life and his works. The Manuscripts & Archives Research Library has curated an exhibition to mark the occasion.

The exhibits are drawn from right across the collection, to give a full flavour of how diverse it is. It ranges from tiny black-and-white photographs of Beckett relaxing at his cousin's house to the notebook in which he composed his Imagination dead imagine in the mid 1960s. This is a fascinating item and one of the stars of Trinity's Beckett collection: it not only reveals something of the author's creative process, it also offers evidence of linguistic choices, which are unique to Beckett. There are three different texts contained in this manuscript: part of All strange away, which was started first, in English; then Imagination dead imagine, which clearly arose from the former work, but composed in French, and which then developed into an independent work; and some fragments called 'Faux Départs', associated with the previous works, in both English and French.

TCD MS 502 folio 10r. Twelfth-century English chronicle showing the genealogy of the English kings, beginning with Adam

Transmitting the Anglo-Saxon Past (click for virtual exhibition)

29 July-2 August 2013, to welcome the delegates to the conference of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists.

This conference, the initiative of Professor Mary Clayton of UCD, is being supported by the School of English in TCD who are also sponsoring the conference reception in the Long Room.

The conference theme is ‘Insular Cultures', and the focus will be on relations between Anglo-Saxon England and Ireland in the early Middle Ages.

To mark the occasion an exhibition is being curated by medievalists Dr Alice Jorgenson of the School of English and Dr Laura Cleaver of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, facilitated by the Library.

Drawing on the rich sources for insular history in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library the curators will display, among other items, the Anglo-Saxon history by John of Worcester with its copy of Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica, and a 16th-century transcript of the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, along with medieval ‘Lives of saints' and genealogies.

TCD MS 7534/5. Graduation photograph of paediatrician Dr Dorothy Price née Stopford (1890-1954)

What Price the Children: the Work of Dorothy Price among the Dublin Poor (click for virtual exhibition)

August 2013, to mark the centenary of the 1913 Lockout.

As the city of Dublin commemorates the events of August 1913, the industrial dispute which led to the Lockout, the Library takes the opportunity to focus on one of the principal underlying causes of the unrest, the degrading levels of poverty experienced by the poorest citizens of Dublin. It was children who bore the brunt of this poverty, and who continued to live, and die, in the most abject circumstances long after the dust settled in 1913. Well into the 1930s the Dublin slums were notorious, disease-ridden sumps in which a high percentage of the population lived in one-roomed accommodation; the infant mortality rate, and the rate of TB infection, were much higher there than in anywhere else in Western Europe.

Dorothy Stopford Price was graduate of Trinity College's medical school. Her master's thesis was on childhood tuberculosis and she devoted her entire professional life to the well-being of the poorest children of Dublin, working mostly in St Ultan's hospital.

Price made her professional reputation through her research in Germany, Austria, and Sweden into tuberculosis and BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, which prevented TB). She believed the disease was a ‘closed book' in Ireland due to ‘the fact that doctors in Ireland did not read or visit German-speaking centres' (Dictionary of Irish Biography). Price studied under Dr Wassen, who introduced BCG with great success in Sweden and it was Price who brought the BCG to Ireland. Included in this exhibition is the envelope in which it first arrived.

Price's work was recognised by Dr Noel Browne, minister for health, when the National BCG Centre was located at St Ultan's in 1949, with Price as its first chairman.

The Library has a very full collection of Price's professional papers, including her correspondence with Dr Wassen and the notes she took during her visits to medical institutions in Europe.


BLAST at 100: a Centenary Symposium in Trinity College Dublin

A small exhibition which is being curated in conjunction with a symposium to mark the centenary of the art journal Blast. It will be on show in the Long Room from 26 June to 10 July and is available online.

Published on the eve of the First World War in July 1914, the first issue of Blast marked the emergence of Vorticism, a new, modernist, British art movement. Led by Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), Vorticism was responding to other avant-garde and nationally-defined art movements such as Futurism in Italy, Expressionism in Germany, and the Celtic Revival in Ireland. With its bright cover and bold type, Blast distinguished itself from other art vernaculars then popular in Britain and Ireland, such as academic painting or colourful post-Impressionist styles. The volume included a manifesto for Vorticism signed by Lewis, Edward Wadsworth, Ezra Pound, William Roberts, Helen Saunders, Lawrence Atkinson, Richard Aldington, Cuthbert Hamilton, Malcolm Arbuthnot, Jessica Dismoor, and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. The content in the magazine was not limited to these signatories, however: a whole issue of Blast presents a fascinating overview of avant-garde artists and authors working in Britain at this time.

The different fields of painting, design, sculpture, poetry, prose and drama are encompassed in the two issues. The journal was also an experiment in typography, testing new ways of designing and presenting visual and written material. It can be seen as a predecessor to later ventures in modernist print and visual culture.

The second, and final, issue of Blast was published in 1915. Entitled the ‘War Number’, this issue again featured the work of artists, authors, poets and playwrights. Among them was Helen Saunders, one of three female artists who contributed to the publication. The issue also included work by Christopher R.W. Nevinson, then working as an official war artist, and a tribute to sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, who died fighting in France in 1915. Following the war, Wyndham Lewis continued to paint, write art-criticism and fiction, and to produce occasional modernist magazines such as The Tyro.

Past Lectures

Character in Costume: Lady Lavery

Nora Connolly
19:00, Thursday 24 September 2009
J.M. Synge Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Dressed in appropriate costume, Nora traced the glamorous life of Hazel Lavery from her birth in Chicago in 1880 to her death in London in 1935. The lecture included her relationships with Ned Trudeau, John Lavery, Michael Collins and Kevin O'Higgins among others.


Dr Hubert O'Connor
19:30, Thursday 15 October 2009
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

All Welcome. A well known gynecologist, Dr O'Connor is also an enthusiast for Napoleon, and has made a special study of the deposed Emperor's last years on St Helena seen through the eyes of his Irish doctor Barry Edward O'Meara. His medical attendant's records of the long, almost daily conversations with the Emperor are one of the main sources we have for the personal views of Napoleon. In his lecture Dr O'Connor shared his insights into not only Napoleon's years of exile but also his years of power.

Yesterday and Long Ago

Professor David Simms
19:30, Thursday 26 November 2009
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

All welcome. Dr Simms talked about the extraordinary life and times of his mother's family, the Goold-Verschoyles of Co. Donegal - including internment in the Curragh, kidnap and sentence to Stalin's Gulag, and family reunion in Moscow after many years.

His own childhood was marked by the experience of being torpedoed in the South Atlantic, with his mother and siblings, and their fourteen days in a lifeboat.


Goodnight, sorry for sinking you : the story of the S.S. City of Cairo

The family on Paradise Pier

Left to the wolves : Irish victims of Stalinist terror

The twentieth Congress & after

A Donegal summer

Doorways of Ireland

Michael Fewer
19:30, Thursday 18 February 2010
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Michael Fewer practiced as an architect for many years before becoming a fulltime writer. A keen walker and mountaineer, he has written fifteen books about the topography of Ireland and his travels around the country. His most recent book is ‘Doorways of Ireland', published in 2008. In it he examines doors, ranging from the Seefin cairn at Kilbride, dating from 3000 B.C., to the 18th-century doors of Merrion Square and the contemporary entrance of the National Gallery Millennium Wing.

Architecture is made up of many facets and elements, all of them intertwined and only a part of the whole. The handling of the approach and entrance to a building has always been a powerful tool in the architect's repertoire for informing those who view the building about the building's purpose. The doorway, the portal to the interior, most thoroughly expresses the character, purpose and soul of the building.

Antony Trollope: In, On and About Ireland

Michael Gleeson
19:30, Thursday 18 March 2010
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Michael Gleeson was Secretary to the College and is now the College's Director of Strategic Initiatives. Attendees may remember his enjoyable lecture on C.P. Snow.

Michael has a great interest in Anthony Trollope - in particular his Irish novels and his time in, and views on, Ireland.

Trollope came to Ireland as a Postal Surveyor's Clerk in 1841 and lived here, with a few intermissions, until 1859. His first novel “The Macdermots of Ballycloran” is set in Ireland and was written here; his forty-seventh and last novel, the unfinished “The Landleaguers” is also set in Ireland as are three others: “The Kellys and the O'Kellys”, “Castle Richmond” and “An Eye for an Eye”. Phineas Finn, the central figure of the Palliser or parliamentary novels, was educated at Trinity!

Trollope had a very complex relationship with Ireland; his views on politics, the Famine, religion, Daniel O'Connell and Parnell will be explored in the talk against the background, and in the context of, the Irish novels and other writings.

The Discovery and Recovery of the Fadden More Psalter: The Book in the Bog

John Gillis
19:30, Thursday 15 April 2010
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

In July 2006 one of the most significant Irish archaeological discoveries was uncovered in peat bog at Faddan More in north County Tipperary - an early medieval manuscript on vellum containing a copy of the Psalms in a contemporary leather cover. This was the first discovery of its kind in Ireland and indeed anywhere in the world and is of international importance. Dr Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum, compares the discovery of the Psalter with the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

John Gillis is a senior conservator in Trinity College Library and was seconded to the Museum for this major conservation task. In recognition of his “incredible work” the Heritage Council is presenting its inaugural conservation award to John.

The lecture offered a glimpse into the recovery, assessment and the complex and groundbreaking conservation process that followed and how the unique circumstances of this discovery will add to our understanding of early monastic life in Ireland.

William Burton Conyngham's circle of Irish topographical artists ca. 1780

Dr Peter Harbison
19:30, Thursday 23 September 2010
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Dr Peter Harbison is an archaeologist and historian. The leading authority on Irish high crosses, he has written extensively on Irish art, archaeology and antiquities.He is Honorary Academic Editor at the Royal Irish Academy, Honorary Professor of Archaeology at the Royal Hibernian Academy and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

William Burton Conyngham was an 18th-century Irish MP and landowner who had a lifelong interest in the antiquities and archaeology of Ireland and was a major patron of the arts. He renovated Slane Castle and presented the harp, often known as Brian Boru's Harp, to Trinity where it is on display in the Long Room.

Dr Harbison, in reconstructing the contents of William Burton Conyngham's portfolio of Irish topographical drawings through originals, copies and prints, revealed the work of forty different artists from Europe and America who were sketching in this country around 1780. Conyngham's desire to produce his own albums of engravings from them to show off the beauty of Ireland's ancient monuments was thwarted by dissension among members of the Hibernian Antiquarian Society, but many items from his collection were finally published in Grose's Antiquities of Ireland of 1794-96.

Sean Keating RHA - a Painter and his Times (1889-1977)

Dr Eimear O'Connor, Trinity Irish Art Research Centre
19:30, Thursday 21 October 2010
Robert Emmet Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

All welcome. Éimear O'Connor received a PhD from UCD for her thesis on Seán Keating. Her book “Seán Keating in context: responses to culture and politics in post-Civil War Ireland” was published in 2009. She is presently Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at TRIARC and is editor of a collection of essays on the life and work of little-known Irish women artists, shortly to be published.

In the Foreword to her book she says “As a result of recent research it has become abundantly clear that Keating was an extraordinarily interesting and interested man who was prepared to roll up his sleeves and contribute in whatever way possible to the cultural creation of postcolonial Ireland.”

The talk included an overview of Keating's training and professional life from 1907-1977, with a particular focus on themes within his work, such as portraiture, political paintings and allegories. Keating's little-known use of photographic technology was addressed, while issues pertaining to aspects of conservation of his work were also highlighted.

The Corporal and the Celestials: in North China with the 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 1909 - 1912

Bill Jackson
19:30, Thursday 25 November 2010
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Bill Jackson is the editor of this extraordinary archive of photographs and recollections by James Hutchinson (1886-1963), published by the Ulster Historical Foundation in 2008. The photographs of China in the early years of the twentieth century were taken by a young corporal of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, James Hutchinson, when stationed there from 1909. His battalion was guarding the British Legation in Peking and Concession in Tientsin in the wake of the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, which had seen the massacre of civilian and military personnel of the foreign powers and of Christian Chinese. Despite the alien and volatile setting, Hutchinson, born in Co. Laois, was fascinated by the ancient civilisation of ‘the Celestials' and its dawning modernisation.

Wounded later at Gallipoli, Hutchinson re-settled with his family in Northern Ireland in the 1920s. His recollections, together with his photographs of the great monuments, the people of China and of his comrades-in-arms, make for a very personal, uniquely Irish and visually stunning record of a transient moment when the paths of two great empires, the British and the Chinese, collided.

Discovering the Irish Flora

Matthew Jebb
19:30, Thursday 17 February 2011
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Matthew Jebb became Director of the National Botanic Gardens in 2010, having been Keeper of the Herbarium and Taxonomist (Ainmneoir Plandai) at the Gardens since 1998. A noted botanist, he is currently Chairman of PlantNetwork, the Plant Collections Network of Britain and Ireland, which represents nearly 100 of the leading plant collections in these islands. His research interests range from the tropical plants of S.E. Asia to the origins and conservation of Irish flora, the flora of Clare Island and other small island floras.

His lecture gave a brief history of how plant knowledge was compiled in Ireland, from the first flora of Caleb Threlkeld, a dissenting clergyman and physician, who published his essay in 1726. Dr Jebb described the discovery of the remarkable links of the Irish flora to the Iberian Peninsula and our knowledge of how the flora is related to the rest of Europe. The story was told through particular plant species, both native and foreign.

Travels with my Voice

Virginia Kerr
19:30, Thursday 24 March 2011
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Virginia Kerr is one of the most distinguished Irish sopranos of her generation, equally well known on the operatic stage, concert and oratorio platform and as a recitalist. She has sung with many of the world's leading orchestras and her operatic and concert performances have taken her to the Far East, Russia and North and South America. Nearer home she has sung with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, with Opera Ireland and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

Virginia Kerr has also made a significant contribution to contemporary music and is much in demand for her interpretations of new works, giving many premieres of new music by Irish composers. She teaches at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and has conducted master classes across the world.

Mrs Delany: An 18th-Century Lady of Accomplishment

Nora Connolly, in costume!
19:30, Thursday 14 April 2011
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Many members will remember Nora Connolly's enchanting recreation, in period costume, of Lady Lavery and her world. Here she brought to life a different woman from a different century - another powerful woman who made a lasting impression in the society in which she lived and to this day.

For much of her long life, Mary Delany (1700-1788) was in many ways a typical 18th-century society lady of accomplishments. She had already made a name for herself with her exquisite works of embroidery, decorative shell work and landscape sketches and was an avid student of botany, zoology and the natural sciences. Mrs Delany was 72 when she embarked on the 1000 flower collages that became Flora Delanica; the crowning achievement of a long and creative life. Her "paper mosaicks" of flowers, each made from hundreds of pieces of cut coloured paper, are incredibly intricate and delicate, the level of detail and botanical accuracy stunning. Admirers of her work included the artist Sir Joshua Reynolds and the botanist Sir Joseph Banks.

Mrs Delany was never very wealthy and held no powerful positions at court but she was extremely well-connected and respected in the influential circles of Georgian Britain. Her perceptive and lively letters reveal her often strong views on the events of the period and on the social life of her circle. Luminaries of social, political and artistic life enliven her correspondence. She was a friend of Handel and Pope and the correspondent of Swift and Johnson.

RMS Titanic: a Fateful Voyage

Arnold Edge
19:30, Thursday 22 September 2011
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

This illustrated lecture was an historic account of the most famous maritime disaster of all time. It featured details of the ship and its construction, the voyage route photographed as it happened, and the influence of selected passengers, officers and crew who made that fateful maiden passage.

Arnold Edge is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and taught science in Wesley College. He now teaches at the Institute of Education. He has had a lifelong interest in all aspects of the Titanic.

Science and Poetry: Not So Different?

Lecture by Professor Iggy McGovern, Scientist and Poet
16:30, Thursday 24 November 2011
Seminar Room, Long Room Hub (beside Arts Building), Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

It is over 50 years since C.P. Snow's Rede Lecture ‘The Two Cultures'; Snow's theme was that Western intellectual life had fractured into polar opposite groups of Science and Literature. This lecture examined how that theme plays out today in poetry, noting the recent publication of a number of science poetry anthologies. It looeds back to when no distinction existed, traced the beginnings of the fault lines in the 19th century and reviewed the developing links of our time. The writing of some scientist-poet hybrids was discussed, including the Irish scientist and poet William Rowan Hamilton and the Czech immunologist and poet Miroslav Holub.

Marie Antoinette

Lecture by Professor Hugh Gough
19:30, Thursday 23 February 2012
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Hugh Gough is Professor Emeritus of Modern European History at University College Dublin and has published extensively on the history of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France.

Marie Antoinette was sent by her mother, Maria Teresa, Empress of Austria, from Vienna to Versailles as a fourteen-year-old to marry the future Louis XVI, with the expectation that she would further Austrian interests at all times. Yet, Marie Antoinette was by nature far more interested in the arts than in affairs of state. Despite this, the French accused her of political interference and wrote scandalous tracts against her, mocking her lack of sophistication. Famously known for her excesses, Marie Antoinette was blamed for instigating the French Revolution, becoming a scapegoat of the Ancien Régime. However, her courageous defence at her trial before she was sent to the guillotine reveals a woman of great intelligence and character, winning the respect even of her enemies.

Flann O'Brien: Man of Books

Lecture by John Wyse Jackson
19:30, Thursday 22 March 2012
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

John Wyse Jackson is a graduate of TCD, with which his family has long time connections. He is currently a Gorey-based writer and bookseller, the author of many books relating to Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and Flann O'Brien, including "Myles before Myles" and "Myles at War", editions of the great man's early and middle writings. He knows more about the intricacies of the work of the mysterious Myles than anyone else, perhaps even than Myles himself.

Much of Brian O'Nolan's life was dominated by books. He was, variously, a book consumer, parodist, reviewer, scholar, plagiarist and of course author. John Wyse Jackson will look briefly at selected aspects of this interest in and relationship with books and their contents, from his earliest reading (when he was Brian Ó Nualláin), through his 'Bookhandling' schemes (as Myles na gCopaleen), to the volumes that came posthumously from his pen (as Flann O'Brien). Along the way, he will quote illuminating (and unfamiliar) extracts from this mercurial - and eminently literary - writer.

Gulliver's Travels

Andrew Carpenter, Emeritus Professor of English
19:30, Thursday 26 April 2012
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library and concessions €2.50, non-members €5

Andrew Carpenter is Emeritus Professor of English at University College Dublin and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. He has written extensively on the English-language poetry and prose of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Ireland, particularly that of Jonathan Swift, and has edited many texts. His best known publications are the two anthologies Verse in English from Tudor and Stuart Ireland (2003) and Verse in English from Eighteenth-Century Ireland (1998). He was founding chairman of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society and founding editor of Eighteenth-Century Ireland. He is currently General Editor of the Royal Irish Academy's five-volume publication The Art and Architecture of Ireland: this is to be published by Yale University Press in 2014.

Gulliver's Travels (1726) is not only the best known of Jonathan Swift's satires but also his most entertaining. In this lecture, Professor Carpenter explained the intellectual and social context in which Swift was writing, and suggested ways of interpreting each of Gulliver's four voyages. Other topics included Swift's wonderful use of the English language and the extent to which we can see Swift's satire as corrective.

The Book of Kells: an art historian's perspective

Dr Roger Stalley
19:30, Thursday 27 September 2012
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Dr Roger Stalley (Professor Emeritus of History of Art, Trinity College Dublin) has been given a new perspective on the Book of Kells in using digital images, produced by the latest technology, which allow us to see things virtually unknown before. There are so many interesting issues to investigate and discuss - the extraordinary range of colour, the humour, the microscopic detail (how was it done?), the purpose of the book and the reasons it remained unfinished. He shared his enthusiasm and knowledge of the Book of Kells, Trinity's, and Ireland's, national treasure.

Rare Readers and Curious Old Books - 40 years in Early Printed Books

Dr Charles Benson
19:30, Thursday 25 October 2012
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Charles Benson (Former Keeper, Trinity College Library Dublin) can be described at a scholar librarian - or a librarian scholar. The Early Printed Books Reading Room can be viewed as a select club, with many long term members pursuing various lines of research, the expertise and interest of staff interacting with those of the reader in searching the treasure trove of the EPB collections. Charles combines scholarship with a real feeling for books - and their readers. Charles' memories of his years in Early Printed Books (a parallel world to the busy undergraduate reading rooms) can only be intriguing and entertaining.

Drawn to the Page: Irish Artists and Illustration Public Symposium

Emmet Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
10:00 to 13:30, Saturday 17 November, 2012

  • Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe (NCAD) on the Arts and Crafts Movement and the book
  • Adrian le Harivel (NGI) on Daniel Maclise and Moore's Melodies
  • Mary Plunkett (Distillery Press) on the making of an artist's book
  • Dr Philip McEvansoneya (TCD) on George Petrie and illustration
  • Dr Angela Griffith (TCD) on artists, illustration and contemporary theory

Oliver Goldsmith: Citizen of London

Professor David O'Shaughnessy
19:30, Thursday 29 November 2012
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

Mapping Ireland, c.1550-1625: the Collections of Sir George Carew

Annaleigh Margey, Dundalk Institute of Technology
19:00, Monday 21 January 2013
Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin
Admission free, all welcome!

The map collection of Sir George Carew, who served as an English soldier and administrator in Ireland, is one of the largest collections of early modern maps of Ireland. Carew's manuscript maps reflect the diversity of his career and interests in Ireland incorporating provincial maps, plantation maps, military maps and urban maps. On his death in 1629, he bequeathed his papers to his son Sir Thomas Strafford. At his death, the collection ran to 72 volumes. Carew left two catalogues of his maps within this collection. From these papers, Thomas Strafford published Pacata Hibernica in 1633. After Strafford's death, his wife sold his papers to a London bookseller, Cornelius Bee in 1655. By 1677, the bulk of the papers had been deposited at Lambeth Palace Library. On arrival at Lambeth, however, the map material had almost completely disappeared from the collection. It was not until 1780 that a reference was made to the maps again in Richard Gough's British topography. In this volume, Gough noted maps of the reign of Elizabeth I at Trinity College Dublin. James Hardiman, however, only noted their definite existence within the TCD Manuscripts Department in a brief catalogue of the materials in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy in 1824. In 1964, William O'Sullivan, the Keeper of Manuscripts at TCD, argued that the Trinity maps were indeed the missing Carew maps, exploring how the collection at Trinity was identical to Carew's own lists of maps. How these materials arrived at Trinity is unknown. During her lecture, Annaleigh Margey will explore this collection of Carew maps, focusing on their role within early modern governance and plantation planning and administration.

The Pollard Collection of Children's Books: Constructing a History of Irish Children's Literature

Dr Pádraic Whyte, Trinity College Dublin
19:00, Monday 11 February 2013
Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin
Admission free, all welcome!

The Pollard Collection of Children's Books, a generous bequest to the Trinity Library from Mary ('Paul') Pollard (1922-2005), is a collection of over 10,000 books covering the period from late the 17th to early 20th centuries. Extensive holdings of works by Maria Edgeworth, Barbara Hofland and Mary Sherwood feature in the collection. It contains many books of Irish interest, and includes moral tales and tracts, learner readers, chapbooks, 19th-century annuals and magazines. One of the most significant of its kind, the Pollard Collection offers enormous opportunities for research and scholarship.

During the lecture, Dr Whyte will provide an overview of the collection, research underway, its significance nationally and internationally, and also conduct a close analysis of certain texts within the collection. More specifically, he will discuss his current research and his use of the collection in constructing a history of Irish Children's Literature.

Dr Whyte is Assistant Professor of English and co-director of the MPhil in Children's Literature at Trinity College Dublin. He is author of 'Irish Childhoods: Children's Fiction and Irish History' (2011).

Drawn to the Page: Irish Artists and Illustration 1830 - 1930

Dr Angela Griffith & Dr Philip McEvansoneya
19:30, Thursday 21 March 2013
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
Friends of the Library €2.50, non-members €5

This joint lecture is an introduction to the current exhibition in the Long Room by its two curators. The exhibition is a celebration of Irish artists' involvement with illustration from the 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century, a significant period in the history of European book and periodical illustration.

Drawn from sources in Trinity College Library, the lecturers will describe some of the finest illustrated texts from this period, many of which will be illustrated from the original hand-cut plates or blocks. Artists such as George Petrie, Daniel Maclise, Margaret Stokes, Jack Butler Yeats and Robert Gibbings will be mentioned. Given the location of the exhibition in the Long Room, and its association with one of the most important illuminated manuscripts in the world, the lecture will illustrate the continuing heritage of the artist and the book in Ireland.

The River Dodder - Environment and History

David Rowell
19:30, Thursday 25 April 2013

David Rowell's lecture to the Friends of the Library on 'The River Dodder' dealt with three aspects of the journey of the river to the sea: first, the river itself, the social and industrial development and the people who lived along it; second, the old Milltown path; and three, the Harcourt Street railway line. David will use some appropriate poetry to explore aspects of the Dodder and its history. Duration: about one hour.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “A Giant at My Shoulder"

Dr Patrick Wallace (National Museum of Ireland)
Thursday 26 September 2013

This year marks the 50th anniversary of both the visit of John Fitzgerald Kennedy to Ireland in the summer and of his assassination in Dallas in November. Pat Wallace evokes the affect that the visit had on the mind and imagination of the 14 year old boy that he then was and how it affected his outlook for the rest of his life. These feelings, he believes, are widely shared in his generation.

Dr Paul Rouse (University College Dublin)
'Strumpet City'

Thursday 24 October 2013

Paul Rouse lectures in the School of History and Archives in University College Dublin. His topic is the novel by James Plunkett dealing with the years in Dublin before the Great War which saw the rise of James Larkin, a true classic of modern Irish writing.

Professor Andrew Smith (University College Dublin)
Cyrene, a Greek city in North Africa

Thursday 28 November 2013

Cyrene was an ancient classical city in present-day Libya. It is the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times, being recalled as the battle field between the Allies and the Germans in WWII as well as the scene of fighting in the more recent struggles in Libya.

Reading Irish Landscape: The Representation of the Landscape in Modern and Contemporary Art

Thursday 20 February 2014
Dr Yvonne Scott (Trinity College Dublin)
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College.

Dr Scott explores agendas in the representation of Irish landscape, space and place. Her talk will deal largely with 20th-century art treated in an inter-disciplinary approach.

Professor Stanley E Gontarski

Working with Beckett

Monday 3 March
Prof. S.E. Gontarski
18:30, Long Room Hub, all welcome

Professor Stanley E Gontarski, whose letters, papers and books relating to Samuel Beckett have been acquired by the Library, will discuss his working relationship with the playwright from 1973. In May 1980, Gontarski persuaded Beckett to write a new play for a conference he was organising at the Ohio State University to celebrate Beckett’s 75th year. This became Ohio Impromptu; the Gontraski collection brings to the Library four drafts of this important work which will be on display in the old Library during March.

MS56 fol 34r

Book of Kells Free Admission for St Patrick’s Day 2014

Monday 17 March 2014 - The Old Library and the Book of Kells exhibition are open from 12:00 to 16:30 and as part of the celebrations admission is free of charge on that day.

In Tune Exhibition - Related Lectures

Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute, Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre

  • Thursday 20 March 2014, 18:00: 20th-century Irish composers - Dr Mark Fitzgerald

In Tune Exhibition - Related Concerts

Print of Burke after Reynolds, c.1767-1769. Aged 38-40. TCD MS 8402/20
The Callino Quartet
  • Thursday 13 March 2014, 20:00, Examination Hall, Trinity College Dublin:
  • Performance by the Callino Quartet.
  • Programme: Gerald Barry: First Sorrow; Ina Boyle: String Quartet in E minor; Brian Boydell: Adagio & Scherzo for String Quartet, Op. 89; Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73. Tickets at door: €10 (concessions €5).

Being “Just Mary”: My Experiences In and Out of Politics

Thursday 20 March 2014
Mary O’Rourke (retired TD & Minister)
Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College

Recently-retired politician – and award-winning author – Mary O’Rourke shares her experiences in public life at the local and national level.

Andrew MacKillop

People and Property: Irish Human Capital and the Eighteenth-Century British Empire in Asia

Thursday 13 March
Dr Andrew MacKillop
18:00, Long Room Hub, all welcome

Current Long Room Hub Fellow Dr Andrew MacKillop, senior lecturer in the Department of History in the University of Aberdeen, will lecture on ‘People and Property: Irish human capital and the eighteenth-century British Empire in Asia’.

The lecture, which reflects on the role of Irishmen in the establishment of British power in India in the second half of the eighteenth century, will also highlight the multi-faceted significance of one of the Library’s own manuscripts – MS 1516, A Persian and Hindustani Dictionary, presented to the College in 1788.

The TCD Booksale

The Secondhand Booksale

6-8 March
Exam hall, TCD
The Booksale is held every Spring to raise funds for Library materials.
Over the past 24 years more than €415,000 has been raised. It is disbursed through the TCD Association & Trust to various departments of the Library.

Medicine in Trinity College Dublin, An Illustrated History

Professor Davis Coakley, Medicine in Trinity College Dublin, An Illustrated History (Dublin: Trinity College Dublin, 2014)

Davis Coakley was Professor of Medical Gerontology in Trinity College Dublin (1996-2011). He is the author and editor of books on medicine, medical history and literature.
The medical school in Trinity College Dublin is one of the oldest in Europe and because of this a history of the school is also a history of the development of medical education and clinical practice in Ireland over the centuries. This new book, much of it based on the medical archives held in the Library, is due out in April.

Trinity College Library Dublin: a history

Trinity College Library: collectors, copyright and criminals in Georgian Dublin

Peter Fox
Edmund Burke Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin
17:30, Thursday 15 May 2014

Free admission, all welcome!

Lecture to accompany Trinity College Library Dublin: a history (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), a comprehensive history of the Library by Peter Fox, former Librarian of Trinity. This will be the first thorough and scholarly history of this Library, covering the whole 400 years from James Ussher in the seventeenth century to the electronic revolution of the twenty-first century.

Following the lecture, the book will be formally launched by Dr Edward McParland, Pro-Chancellor.

Samuel Beckett: Worstward Ho

‘Fail better’ at the Science Gallery

The Science Gallery’s new show Fail Better asks the question ‘Does failure drive innovation?’ The exhibition celebrates ‘inspirational and serendipitous’ failure in the development of work by designers, inventors and scientists.

The phrase ‘Fail better’ comes from Samuel Beckett’s Worstward Ho! (1983). Three manuscript drafts of Worstward Ho!, belonging to the Library, have been loaned to the exhibition, which is curated by Jane ní Dhulchaointigh and Michael John Gorman, and which runs until 27 April. Other exhibits include Flann O’Brien’s hat and Christopher Reeve’s wheelchair.

Portrait of Beckett

2014 Annual Samuel Beckett Summer School

Trinity College Library is one of a handful of repositories of the internationally-significant unpublished papers of Samuel Beckett. The collection began in the 1960s with a gift of four notebooks from the author himself; the Library has continued to add to it by bequest, by purchase and by the generosity of donors, principally the Beckett Estate. To coincide with this year’s Samuel Beckett Summer School, taking place from 10th -16th August, a small exhibition will be on display in the Long Room and will contain a mix of literary works, correspondence and photographs.

Now in its fourth year, the week-long Beckett Summer School is fast becoming a favourite for students, scholars and lovers of Beckett’s works from around the world. Of particular interest will be a lecture by Lois More Overbeck, where the emphasis will be on Beckett's correspondence (including the Library's most recently-acquired material in this category: Beckett’s letters to leading Beckett scholar Stan Gontarski).

TCD MS 17 folio 4r Fifteenth-century hebrew psalter

Teaching Hebrew in Trinity

This small exhibition is timed to coincide with the annual conference of the British Association for Jewish Studies (BAJS), which this year will be held in Trinity in July.

The exhibition, curated by Zuleika Rogers, Head of the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, will honour the memory of Professor Jacob Weingreen, Erasmus Smith's Professor of Hebrew at Trinity College between 1939 and 1979. Professor Weingreen was the author of the Hebrew grammar textbook that is still recognised as the standard teaching work on the subject.

The exhibition will include Professor Weingreen's medals - a gold medal from his sizarship and his Wall Scholarship in Hebrew; grammar books written by Trinity College staff; some photos and some academic texts.

If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin in poetry and song

One City One Book

This year’s One City One Book choice has been announced. If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin in poetry and song, edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth, is due out in March. It is a unique invitation to explore, street by street, one of the world's most famous literary capitals through the poems and songs it has inspired down the ages, from both residents and visitors alike. It will be published by Dedalus Press.

The 400-page book includes works by several poets with close links to Trinity, and the Library, among them ‘The Long Room Gallery’ by Julie O’Callaghan; ‘Visiting the Book of Kells’ by Rosemary Canavan; and ‘Trinity New Library’ by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin. Other contributors connected with the College include Brendan Kennelly, Iggy McGovern and Gerald Dawe, while former TCD Writer Fellows include Derek Mahon, Eavan Boland, Paula Meehan, Sebastian Barry, Harry Clifton, Dermot Bolger, Anne Haverty and Michael O’Loughlin. Among many mentions of the College, perhaps the most intriguing glimpse is in Thomas Kinsella’s ‘The Pen Shop’ where he writes: “Into Nassau Street. / The thick back of an enemy / disappearing in the side entrance of Trinity”.

An Illustrated History of Howth through the Eye of the Artist

Vincent J. McBrierty
19:30, Thursday 25 September 2014
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

Vincent J. McBrierty is Physics Professor Emeritus and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. He was a member of the Bishops’ Council for Justice and Peace. Professor McBrierty is also a local historian and has published two books on Howth: The Howth Peninsula, its History Lore and Legends (Dublin, 1981), and Howth through the Eye of the Artist (Dublin, 2005).

Why Chuck Feeney Wants his Last Cheque to Bounce

Conor O'Clery (formerly of the Irish Times)
19:30, Thursday 23 October 2014
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

Conor O’Clery is a former news editor and foreign correspondent of the Irish Times in London, Moscow, Washington D.C., Beijing and New York City. Among his many books are: The Billionaire who Wasn’t. How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune without Anyone Knowing (2007); Panic at the Bank. How John Rushnak Lost AIB $7000 Million Dollars (co-authored with Siobhan Creaton) (Dublin, 2002); Daring Diplomacy. Clintons’s Secret Search for Peace in Ireland (1997).


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