Teaching with Special Collections

As the Early Printed Books reading room opens at 10am daily, and department staff are here earlier than that, the hour between 9 and 10 can be used for class teaching, and we welcome this opportunity to share our collections with a wide range of undergraduates and postgraduates. A member of EPB staff will give an introduction to the reading room and our reference collection if required, then the group tutor is free to teach using original materials which students might not otherwise see.

If you are a lecturer and would like to use these resources, please contact the department on ext.1172 or at epbooks@tcd.ie to arrange a suitable date.

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‘a pin in the very quickest part of my body’

By Jack Quin and Tom Walker

Poster for Thomas Bodkin's book Hugh Lane and his pictures (1932)

Shelfmark: TCD MS 6911/16

This poster for Thomas Bodkin’s book Hugh Lane and his pictures (1932) is included in the exhibition ‘Writing Art in Ireland, 1890–1930’, currently on display in the Long Room. The advert reproduces William Orpen’s Homage to Manet (1909), a group portrait of the novelist George Moore reading from his pamphlet Reminiscences of the Impressionist Painters (1906) to an audience in London made up of the collector Hugh Lane, the painters Philip Wilson Steer, Walter Sickert and Henry Tonks, and D.S. MacColl, the Keeper of the Tate Gallery. Above them hangs Édouard Manet’s painting of another impressionist painter Eva Gonzales. Continue reading

‘Writing Art in Ireland’ — online exhibition launched

Following on from our blog post on 29th September about the new ‘Writing Art in Ireland’ exhibition which is on display in the Long Room of the Old Library, we are delighted to announce that the online version of this exhibition is now available to be viewed here.

AE: 'Jack B. Yeats', in "The Book-Lover's Magazine" v.8 (1908). Shelfmark: 65.a.71

AE: ‘Jack B. Yeats’, in “The Book-Lover’s Magazine” v.8 (1908). Shelfmark: 65.a.71

Cecil Salkeld: 'The principles of painting', in "To-morrow", August 1924. Shelfmark: 202.u.1 no.1A

Cecil Salkeld: ‘The principles of painting’, in “To-morrow”, August 1924. Shelfmark: 202.u.1 no.1A

A gift we Kant refuse

At the beginning of term, a student, Catherine Costello, presented us with a copy of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of pure reason, translated by J. M. D. Meiklejohn and published in London in 1887. Although we are always happy to consider donations when they are offered, we are not always in a position to take them. However, the connection with Trinity meant that there was no hesitation over accepting this one. Continue reading

‘Writing Art in Ireland’ — a new exhibition opens in the Long Room

A new exhibition has opened in the Old Library, Trinity College Dublin. ‘Writing Art in Ireland, c.1890–1930’ explores the ways in which the visual arts were written about during a period that saw a surge in cultural activity take place against a backdrop of tumultuous constitutional change. From Margaret Stokes’s emphasis on the aesthetic value of medieval Irish artefacts in Early Christian art in Ireland (1887) through to Mainie Jellett’s defence of abstract painting in the magazine Motley in 1932, the exhibition also serves as a celebration of the wealth of material relating to the visual arts held in the Library.

Page from Margaret Stokes, Early Christian art in Ireland (1887) containing reproduction of initial from the Book of Kells.

Page from Margaret Stokes, “Early Christian art in Ireland” (1887) containing reproduction of an initial from the Book of Kells.

The texts and images displayed highlight how commentators looked to the achievements of the past as well as to continental innovations in debating how best to forge a distinctly modern national artistic identity. Also outlined are the links between the visual arts and the emerging Irish state, as vigorous discussion took place around the role art should play in the economy, in educational institutions, and in the Church.

The exhibition was prepared by Dr Tom Walker, with assistance from Jack Quin, from the School of English, TCD, as part of the Irish Research Council New Horizons research project ‘W.B. Yeats and The Writing of Art’. It will be on view in the Long Room until January 2017.

 

An online version of the exhibition launched on 7 October.

A symposium related to the exhibition and wider research project will be taking place at the Trinity Long Room Hub on Saturday 8 October.

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I remember that summer in Dublin

frontisAnne Plumptre was a writer of fiction and non-fiction, both with considerable political content, and a translator of drama, correspondence, travel writing and more. She was born in Norwich in 1760 and died there in 1818 but spent much time in London and three years in Napoleonic France. Her A Narrative of a three years’ residence in France … 1802–5 (1810) is a political enquiry into the views of Napoleon held by the French people, particularly those outside Paris. Plumptre came to the conclusion that he was not a monster but generally popular within France and was being misrepresented in Britain. She refuted with detailed descriptions many of the claims made by contemporary writers and advocated making peace with Napoleon, a view which was not popular at home. Continue reading

A book worth googling

Colour plate depicting the Gogo (or Camel Bird)

The Gogo (or Camel Bird)

Long before the Internet was invented, an English economist named Vincent Cartwright Vickers (1879-1939) wrote and illustrated The Google Book. This charming children’s book features a colourful assortment of imaginary Google birds described in humorous verse.

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Alice – still looking good at 150

OLS Pol 739 portrait

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written in 1865 by the mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898) under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The story of the title character’s fall down a rabbit hole, the strange creatures she meets and the odd circumstances in which she finds herself have made this fantasy one of the most popular children’s books ever written.

The first print run, of 2,000 copies, was suppressed because John Tenniel, the illustrator, objected to the ‘disgraceful’ print quality and fewer than 25 of these withdrawn copies survive. A new edition was released in time for the Christmas market the same year, but carrying an 1866 date. Trinity’s copy is at shelfmark Press K.3.7.
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And there was Light – Day Four

Shedding light on … Christianity

Trinity College Library holds a huge number of pamphlets on various subjects. Many of the early ones are religious as it was common for preachers to publish their sermons. These are often bound together, but some were bound by their owners with completely unrelated subjects. These volumes sometimes have a handwritten index which can be as interesting to researchers as the content of the tracts. This volume, from the Crofton Collection of about 2,000 items, contains a mixture of mainly political and religious material bound in an apparently random order.

Shelfmark: Crofton 34

Shelfmark: Crofton 34

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Happy Days! Stanley E. Gontarski Beckett Library now available in EPB

happy days

S.E. Gontarski: Beckett’s Happy Days: A Manuscript Study (Colombus, OH, 1977) Shelfmark: OLS L-10-771

As Beckett scholars and enthusiasts gather at Trinity College Dublin for the 2014 Samuel Beckett Summer School, the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections is delighted to make another significant collection of Beckett holdings available to researchers – the Stanley E. Gontarski Beckett Library.

This working library of the renowned Beckett scholar was part of a major acquisition of Samuel Beckett papers and manuscripts purchased from Professor Gontarski in March of this year. It comprises a comprehensive collection of critical works on Beckett, and includes internationally published scholarship not previously held in Trinity Library. There are also examples of Beckett works in a variety of languages – Polish, Hebrew, Japanese and more – and some inscribed first editions of his original works.

The Stanley E. Gontarski Beckett Library is a fine addition to the Beckett holdings in EPB and complements the Con Leventhal Collection which was catalogued earlier this year. The availability of these collections strengthens Trinity College Library’s position as a leading academic destination for Beckett research and enhances the College’s teaching capacity in Beckett studies.

For anyone with an interest in Beckett’s works, the Beckett Summer School has organised a public programme of events on the 13th and 14th of August. These talks and performances aim to give audiences a rare insight into the life and works of Samuel Beckett.