Animals in the Library

By Dr Jane Carroll

Once upon a time, someone nearly bought a stuffed tiger for the Early Printed Books Reading Room [when we were preparing a Long Room exhibition about India – Ed.]. Sadly, the tiger was never bought but, nevertheless, EPB is full of animals if you know where to look for them.

Last week, I brought a group of sophister students from the School of English to EPB to look at animal books, mainly from the Pollard Collection.

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“Death of a Naturalist” at 50

On Tuesday 8th March, Dr Rosie Lavan from the School of English held an undergraduate class in the reading room. The students were examining twentieth-century material relating to Seamus Heaney, partly for their course work and partly in preparation for one of the first student-curated small exhibitions in the Long Room. This exhibition marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Death of a Naturalist, Seamus Heaney’s first collection of poetry.

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A touch of class

Two of our regular visiting researchers, Professor Andrew Pettegree (a Long Room Hub Fellow) and Arthur der Weduwen, both from the University of St. Andrews School of History, have been living in the reading room for the past fortnight, working their way through about 2,500 pamphlets in the Fagel Collection and identifying, with a hit-rate of 12-13%, unique copies for the Universal Short Title Catalogue, of which Andrew is director.
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Battling brothers and Moore’s ‘Irish Melodies’

Two editions of the eighth issue of Thomas Moore’s ‘Irish Melodies’ are currently displayed side by side in the Long Room exhibition ‘In Tune’. At first glance their title pages look similar, but on closer inspection they bear witness to a bitter dispute between two brothers, the music publishers James and William Power. This will be the theme of the next lecture in the ‘In Tune’ series, given by Dr Una Hunt: ‘Thomas Moore: his musical collaborators and publishers’. The lecture will take place in the Trinity Long Room Hub on Thursday 16 January at 6.00pm (admission free).

Thomas Moore: Poetical works (London, 1840)

Thomas Moore: Poetical works (London, 1840)

In 1807 the Power brothers commissioned Moore to produce a collection of songs based on Irish airs. The first ‘Selection of Irish Melodies’ proved highly popular and led to a contract for further selections, giving Moore his first regular income. The music, with accompaniments by Dublin composer Sir John Stevenson, was printed first by James Power in London, who then sent the plates to William in Dublin.

Thomas Moore: A selection of Irish melodies, 8th number (London, [1821])

Thomas Moore: A selection of Irish melodies, 8th number (London, [1821])

Thomas Moore: A selection of Irish melodies, 8th number (Dublin, [1821])

Thomas Moore: A selection of Irish melodies, 8th number (Dublin, [1821])


After the seventh number of ‘Irish melodies’ was published, an acrimonious legal dispute between the Power brothers brought the customary arrangement between them to an end.  Thereafter, any further publications in the series were to be issued solely by James Power in London, using accompaniments by then-fashionable English composer Henry Rowley Bishop. The eighth number was published in London in 1821, with accompaniments by Bishop. However, a pirated edition soon appeared from William Power’s press in Dublin, with accompaniments by Moore’s original collaborator, Sir John Stevenson. But James had the last word  – the final two issues were published in London alone.

In Tune, sponsored by KBC Bank, runs until April 2014.The exhibition is also available online. Full details of the lecture series are available here.

– Roy Stanley, Music Librarian.

A Universally Acknowledged Classic

Jane Austen portrait

Jane Austen, ‘Pride and prejudice’, London: [1912].

One of the world’s most loved novels ‘Pride and prejudice’ celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2013. Written by Jane Austen, the work has managed to retain its popularity and continues to attract generations of readers and inspire writers of all genres. To mark the anniversary the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections has a small exhibit on display in the foyer just inside the door of the Berkeley Library. Among the titles on show is volume II of the 2nd edition of the work (1813).

Pride and prejudice title page

Jane Austen, ‘Pride and prejudice’, London: 1813

This exhibit is not the only event to take place in Trinity College to record the bicentenary. As part of the UNESCO / Dublin City of Literature programme for 2013, P.D. James visited a packed exam hall on 8th October. The discussion with Declan Burke focused on her novel ‘Death comes to Pemberley’ and her great love of Jane Austen’s works.  5th November will see Darryl Jones deliver his talk on ‘Pride and prejudice’ as part of the English literature evening lectures series 2013.

Have You Registered Yet?

Building Collections: 300 years of the Old Library. Programme. Monday 25th June, 2012. The Thomas Davis Theatre, Trinity College Dublin, followed by a celebratory reception in the Long Room.The full programme is now available for TCD Library’s Tercentenary Conference, ‘Building Collections: 300 years of the Old Library’, which takes place on 25th June.

Featuring internationally renowned speakers, the conference is part of a series of events commemorating the laying of the foundation stone of the Old Library in 1712.

Toby Barnard, Bernadette Cunningham, Jane Ohlmeyer, Marianne Elliott, David McKitterick, Elizabethanne Boran, Charles Benson, and Peter Fox will all be giving papers. And if that’s not enough to entice you to register, delegates are invited to attend a celebratory reception in the Long Room that evening, during which Dr Edward McParland will give an address.

For further details of the conference, or to register online, go to

Early Italian Printings

Image of Veronic Morrow at the workshop

Veronica Morrow

This morning staff from the Department of Early Printed Books were pleased to facilitate a workshop on Early Italian Printings organised by Dr. Clare Guest of TCD’s Long Room Hub and Department of Italian.

Subjects covered were varied, with Dr. Guyda Armstrong of the University of Manchester speaking about the Manchester Digital Dante project and Veronica Morrow, a former Keeper of Collection Management in TCD library, speaking about the Bibliotheca Quiniana (a particularly beautiful collection now in the care of the Department of Early Printed Books). As Dr. Helen Conrad O’Briain of TCD’s School of English was unfortunately unable to attend in person, Professor Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin gave Dr. O’Briain’s paper, entitled “Grammar and gardens: a pirate’s garden in the commentary tradition, Georgics IV, lines 125-48”. The final paper of the workshop, “The development of the modern classic: format and criticism”, was given by Dr. Clare Guest.

Image of scholars examining the books used in the workshop

Scholars examine some of the books used in the workshop

Following the papers there was an opportunity to examine the books discussed by the speakers in more detail. Here’s a few pictures of some of the treasures that were on display.