Trinity College Dublin is steeped in cultural heritage and its historic city centre campus is uniquely surrounded by a thriving cluster of cultural institutions with similar collections and traditions.
In an unprecedented level of collaboration, Trinity is partnering with each of these institutions to create dynamic new models and networks of learning, professional practice, research, and outreach, in tangible expressions of cultural heritage enabled by new technologies.
For over 400 years, Trinity has played a unique role in preserving, analysing, and advancing Ireland’s rich traditions and culture through research and scholarship in the Arts and Sciences. Its campus, library and diverse collections are also a living testament to its evolution as one of Ireland’s most distinguished cultural institutions.
In choosing the term ‘Cultural Heritage’ for this initiative, the intention is to focus on a facet of those disciplines that is particularly associated with tangible expressions of heritage and to develop this dimension in partnership with the common interests of the national and city cultural institutions, including libraries, galleries, museums and archives, and with cultural institutes such as the Goethe and Cervantes Institutes. In doing so this initiative builds on:
- The many programmes at Trinity with a cultural heritage dimension in the disciplines of Art History, Classics, History, Drama, Music, Languages and Literatures.
- Extensive well established informal connections between Trinity and the cultural institutions:
- A long tradition of staff from local cultural institutions hosting student internships and giving introductory lectures on their collections, allowing students, especially on specialist courses, access to materials in the institutions.
- Direct connections are often most evident through collections management and library activities, through movement, acquisition, cataloguing, exhibition, storage and preservation/conservation of the collections and holdings.
- Digitization is a key activity in all cultural institutions, and especially so in Trinity, and cooperation in this area has already contributed to a number of projects and resources.
- The expertise in Trinity in the Digital Arts and Humanities with 60 staff in associated subfields, many of whom are in the School of Computer Science as well as in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. For examples of projects in this area see http://www.tcd.ie/longroomhub/projects/ireland/ . The College Library has a digitization unit and oversees a number of major projects in this area. The potential of this paradigm to transform the traditional boundaries of knowledge and language is evidenced in the interest of leading IT companies, especially IBM, Microsoft, Intel and Google, in collaborating with Trinity to explore the vast depositories of knowledge and content to forge the research tools and technologies of the future. Trinity staff are also involved with many international (especially EU) and national groups, not least Humanities Serving Irish Society, an inter-institutional body which oversaw the development of the Digital Humanities Observatory.
- The potential for new interdisciplinary masters programmes with strong practitioner oriented dimensions which would draw on existing academic strengths and expertise in cultural heritage at Trinity and in the cultural institutions. For instance the proposed collaborative MPhil in Public History and Cultural Heritage takes its inspiration from postgraduate programmes in Museum Studies and/or Cultural Heritage Management and will combine academic theory and practical training based on the internationally recognised expertise in several cultural institutions and in the university.
- The Cultural Heritage Initiative at Trinity is underpinned by a distinctive collaboration between a set of academic disciplines – history of art and architecture, classics, drama, film, history, languages, literatures and music – and the College Library, Ireland's largest library and a renowned cultural institution with its own extraordinary historical and legal deposit collections.
- In seeking to forge new models of engagement with the cultural institutions in Dublin city centre, it draws on historic connections with Trinity dating back to the early years of their existence. A recent research report entitled Creativity, the City and the University, by Dr Johanna Archbold, has explored these connections.
- It has four components:
- The establishment of more formal and seamless connections with neighbouring cultural institutions with regard to collections, teaching, research and resources. The Library has a central role to play in this, as do the curators of the College's art and other collections.
- The establishment of new taught masters programmes with strong practitioner oriented dimensions with input from the cultural institutions, such as curation, conservation and/or public history and cultural heritage, with first intake in 2011/12 or 2012/13.
- ... components continued
- Leveraging the central role Trinity plays in advancing the Digital Humanities in Ireland and abroad.
- To facilitate the above a Cultural Policy Research Group, under the direction of Professor John O'Hagan and based in the Long Room Hub, will play a key role in looking at best practice elsewhere in developing new initiatives in terms of collaboration and interaction, and in examining the role of student extracurricular activity, particularly in the cultural area, and its links to academic departments and the wider cultural activity of the city.
- New positions have been created to provide strategic leadership in developing this major dimension of university activity. A new Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities, Dr Susan Schreibmann, was appointed in September 2010. A new Cultural Coordinator, Dr Catherine Morris, has been appointed in partnership with the National Library of Ireland to develop new joint programmes in education, scholarship and exhibition. This appointment is the first of its kind in Ireland. New adjunct positions are being created with other partner institutions and include the recent appointment of Curtis Wong, Principal Researcher in Microsoft Research, as Adjunct Professor in Cultural Heritage.
Michael Ryan is an Honorary Professor of the College. He is Director of the Chester Beatty Library and a former President of the Royal Irish Academy. He is a world authority on the art of metalwork in the early middle ages and the author of a wide range of publications.
Curtis Wong joins Trinity as Adjunct Professor in Cultural Heritage and Creative Technologies. Curtis is Principal Researcher in Microsoft Research within the eScience group focusing on interaction, rich media, and data visualization. He and his collaborators have built advanced prototypes that have influenced Microsoft products and are consistently featured in numerous executive keynotes on the future of computing. He also spends a portion of his time working with selected non-profit organizations to develop examples of next generation media such as his collaboration with PBS’s television series Frontline to produce The Age of AIDS on the global AIDS pandemic and the broadband enhanced documentary Commanding Heights ~ The Battle for the World Economy, winning a British Academy Award and nominated for the first interactive TV Emmy. Curtis will be working closely with Trinity’s staff to drive the development of programmes in Digital Humanities, Cultural Preservation and Creative Technologies.
Dr Catherine Morris
Dr Catherine Morris is the newly appointed National Library of Ireland/Trinity College Dublin Cultural Coordinator. She has long-standing connections with the National Library of Ireland – both as a researcher and as a curator – studied Literature at Cambridge before completing her doctorate at the University of Aberdeen. She has taught in several universities, including Cambridge, Sheffield, Aberdeen and the Institute of Irish Studies in Belfast. She has also worked as a researcher on the prestigious Oxford University Press series The Letters of WB Yeats, and is currently a contributor to the Dictionary of Irish Biography, the Field Day Review and other Irish cultural journals. In 2008, she co-edited the James Connolly Special Issue of Interventions, an international post-colonial journal. She has a forthcoming book on the career of Irish cultural and political activist, Alice Milligan (1866-1953).
New Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities
Susan Schreibman is the Long Room Hub Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities. Previously she was the founding Director of the Director of the Digital Humanities Observatory. Dr Schreibman is the Editor of The Thomas MacGreevy Archive <http://macgreevy.org>, Irish Resources in the Humanities <http://irith.org> and The Versioning Machine <http://v-machine.org>. Her publications include A Companion to Digital Literary Studies and A Companion to Digital Humanities. She is series co-editor of Topics in the Digital Humanities and the founding editor of the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative. Her professional activities include serving on the Executive of the Association for Computers and the Humanities, Vice Chair of the TEI Consortium, and a member of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Scholarly Editions. Her second area of expertise is Irish poetic modernism, particularly the life and work of the Irish poet and art critic, Thomas MacGreevy.
Robin Adams is the Librarian and College Archivist and is responsible for the organisation and development of the Library service, and for the care of the College’s records. He is also responsible for ensuring that the Library sustains its national responsibility as a Legal Deposit Library for Ireland and the United Kingdom. The Library is an international research resource, and attracts scholars to work on its collections of 4.5million printed books, manuscripts and other materials.
Johanna Archbold has been a research fellow on the Creativity, the City & the University research theme since September 2008. She authored the research report Creativity, the City & the University: A case study of collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and some nearby Cultural Institutions (Dublin: Trinity Long Room Hub, 2010) funded by Trinity College Dublin and Trinity Library, National Museum of Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive, Hugh Lane Gallery and the Chester Beatty Library. She is currently working on a report examining the role of student extracurricular activity, particularly in the cultural area, and its links to academic departments and the wider cultural activity of the city funded through the Trinity Long Room Hub through the JP Foundation, and due to be published in May 2011. Johanna completed her doctoral work on Irish Periodicals in their Atlantic Contexts, 1770-1830 at the Centre for Irish-Scottish and Comparative Studies in Trinity College Dublin in 2008 and held the National Library of Ireland Library Studentship from 2007-8.
Poul Holm is a specialist in maritime and environmental history. He has advised on cultural heritage policy in the Scandinavian countries and is a member of UK and European Science Foundation boards on landscape research. He is Academic Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub.
John O'Hagan is Professor of Economics with a keen interest in cultural economics research. He has been actively involved with the Association of Cultural Economics International and was its President from 1998-2000. He also chaired two major working Groups on Cultural Access; one for the Arts Council and Combat Poverty Agency in the 1990s and the other for the National Economic and Social Forum in 2006/07. He has published two books on the economics of the arts and over 30 journal papers and his main research interests cover the migration and clustering of creative artists and international comparisons of cultural participation. More recently his work has moved partly into the cultural links between universities and cities.
Jane Ohlmeyer is Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Modern History and an expert on the New British and Atlantic Histories and has published nine books with major academic presses on a number of themes in early modern Irish and British history. She has considerable expertise in overseeing major editorial projects and helped to secure over €1M in funding from the IRCHSS, the AHRC (the UK funding council) and Trinity College for the digitization and online publication of the ‘1641 Depositions’. She is a founding member of the Trinity Long Room Hub and an active proponent of ‘Digital Humanities’. She chairs the Irish Manuscripts Commission’s Digitization Taskforce and the IRCHSS-DARIAH digitization committee. She is the Irish representative on DARIAH, which has received FP7 funding for the preparatory phase, and on the European Strategic Framework for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), Humanities and Social Sciences working group which recently produced an updated roadmap.
Dr Casey is the author of the principal reference work on the architecture of Dublin city. She is an honorary member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and has served on the boards of the Irish Georgian Society and the Irish Architectural Archive and as a consultant to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Her particular area of interest is eighteenth-century Irish architecture and she has published widely on the subject, most recently as editor of The eighteenth-century Dublin townhouse. She is currently researching the European context for Irish architecture and ornament in the period.
Dr. Scott’s research areas are Modern and contemporary art, particularly from Ireland, and the theory of landscape, space and place in all periods and locations. She has worked on curatorial collaborations with a number of institutions in Dublin and elsewhere, including Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, the Royal Hibernian Academy, and the Hunt Museum, Limerick as well as on aspects of the College collection, including the Jack Yeats exhibition shown at the Douglas Hyde Gallery. She has written or contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues including for Ireland’s representation at the São Paolo Biennal, and the European Central Bank. She serves on the Boards of the Royal Hibernian Academy, and the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland.
Roger Stalley has a particular interest in the architecture and sculpture of the Middle Ages. His many books include Early Medieval Architecture (1999) in the Oxford History of Art Series, along with the award winning Cistercian Monasteries of Ireland (1987). He has served on numerous national and international boards and is an elected member of both the Royal Irish Academy and Academia Europaea. He is also an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. He is currently engaged in a major study of Irish Gothic architecture, a project supported by the Irish Research Council for the Arts and Social Sciences.
David Dickson is Associate Professor of Modern History. He was a founding editor of the journal Irish Economic and Social History and is currently President of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland. He was a co-founder of the African Studies Association of Ireland. He is currently Co-Director of the Centre for Irish-Scottish and Comparative Studies.
He served as College Registrar between 2004 and 2007. He has published extensively on the social, economic and cultural history of Ireland in the long eighteenth century.
Jennifer Edmond holds a PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Yale University, where she was a Prize Teaching Fellow and a Commencement Honorary Marshall, and received several named scholarships including the Giamatti Fellowship and the Enders Dissertation Grant. She joined the Trinity Long Room Hub in 2005 as a member of the developmental Steering Committee, becoming its Executive Director in 2008.
Catherine came to Trinity College as the first Curator of the amalgamated Historic and Modern Art Collections in late 2007. She was previously engaged in curatorial, educational, and consultancy roles at the Chester Beatty Library, Farmleigh, Fingal Arts Office, IMMA, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, the State Art Collections and an independent docent in Rome and the Vatican. She graduated in the History of Art and Architecture with French at Trinity College. Her Masters is in Museum Studies, from the University of Leicester, focusing on university heritage and ‘The Role of University Museums and Collections’.
Partners & Collaborators
- Chester Beatty Library
- Dublin City Council
- Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
- Dublin City Public Libraries
- National Archives of Ireland
- National Gallery of Ireland
- National Library of Ireland
- National Museum of Ireland