“Keeping the Books” – Daily Talks in the Long Room

A Preservation Assistant at work

A Preservation Assistant at work

What challenges and risks do the books in the Old Library face every day and how do we ‘keep’ the books? What is red rot and what does foxing and acid books mean?

What measures do we take so that library visitors can continue to enjoy and use special collections in the future? Why do we clean books, and what is the dirt? What are Smoke Sponges, Backuums and unbleached cotton tape?

How has the Old Library building changed over the years since 1712? What type of books do we have in the Long Room and when were they made? How many books are there and how have the collections grown over the years?

To learn the answers to all of these questions and more, come to the Long Room in the Old Library to hear about keeping the collection of early printed books. The Preservation Assistants are part of an ongoing project, started in 2004, to systematically clean the 220,000+ books of the Old Library. The Preservation Assistants will explain the challenges of preserving an historic collection in a historic setting and explain how the books are cleaned and preserved for the future. Examples of books from the collection, dating from the 15th century to the 19th century will be shown.

Occasionally, other staff from the Preservation & Conservation Department may speak about preservation activities in the Old Library.

Talks run Monday to Friday at 3pm until 30 April 2019 and last 15-20 minutes.

Want to know more? Sarah Timmins, one of our former Preservation Assistants, has written a great piece on how our precious books in the Long Room are repaired.

Alumni and current students can see the Book of Kells, access the Long Room, and attend these talks for free, with up to three guests.

Other visitors who have paid for entry to the Old Library are welcome to attend the Keeping the Books talks for no additional charge.

Donations gratefully received…

While the Library of Trinity College Dublin is well known as a Legal Deposit library, many of our rarer and more obscure works are donated to us, especially those from outside the English-speaking world.

Recently, Giovanna Lenny Vidal Sejas (“call me Lenny”), the Charge d’Affaires of the Bolivian Embassy in London, came to the Library to donate a collection of 35 Bolivian books.

The books have been published as part of the Biblioteca del Bicentenario de Bolivia, Bolivia’s Bicentenary Library, a project which is dedicated to reprinting 200 classics from Bolivian literature, history, anthropology, social commentary etc. to coincide with the country’s bicentenary in 2025. 

Clíona Ní Shúilleabháin, Subject Librarian for Hispanic Studies, and Patricia Quigley, Accessions Librarian, met the Chargé d’Affaires for the presentation of the books, and afterwards showed her around the Long Room.  All in all, a very pleasant occasion.

Early Irish Manuscripts Project Shortlisted for Major Award – Again!

Over the past few years the Early Irish Manuscripts Project has focused on the conservation, research and digitisation of four of the Library’s most important early medieval insular Gospel Books, funded by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project. This online exhibition gives a good short overview of the project.

We are delighted that the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch & Trinity College Dublin have been shortlisted AGAIN for the Allianz Business to Arts Award for Best Long Term Partnership and also the Judges’ Special Recognition Award for Portfolio of Investment. So keep those fingers crossed, we were robbed back in 2016.

The Awards will take place on September 4 at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Wish us luck!

Student Shelvers (Term Time) Vacancies, 2018/2019

Applications for student shelvers are now being accepted for the coming academic year 2018/2019.

Each year the Library employs a number of student shelvers who work 10-12 hours per week at the Libraries on Campus and in the Trinity Centre at St James’s Hospital. The primary role of student shelvers is to sort books and return them to the shelves each morning before the Library opens.

A full job description and short-listing criteria are available on the application website. Please ensure you read these in detail before completing the form on the website.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Friday 3 August 2018.

Please Note: Interviews for these positions will take place on 31 August 2018. Successful candidates will be notified by e-mail of their interview time at least one week in advance of the interview date.

If you have any questions please contact Maria Kelly, Reading Room Maintenance Executive: kellyM10@tcd.ie

Summer Opening Hours

We are now heading into our summer hours for opening and closing – the BLU & Hamilton will close at 20:00 on Friday 25 May and from Saturday 26 May our Summer Vacation hours are in place.

Note the 1st floor of the Ussher will move to being a constant 24-hour space accessible only from outside the Library for the rest of the summer.

Trinity’s Early Irish Manuscript Project – Friends of the Library Lecture

The Friends of the Library – Trinity College Dublin are delighted to announce their next lecture. Admission is free. All welcome! Enquiries to 01 8961544 or LibraryFriends@tcd.ie.

Susie Bioletti

Keeper of Preservation and Conservation, the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Trinity’s Early Irish Manuscript Project: Conservation, Research & Connections

19:30, Thursday 12 April 2018

Thomas Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Building Concourse, Trinity College Dublin

The Library of Trinity College Dublin, in partnership with the Department of History of Art and Architecture, received generous support from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to fund an exciting project focused on four of the most important early medieval insular Gospel Books in the Library. See the Early Irish Manuscripts website.

Susie Bioletti joined the Library of Trinity College Dublin in 2002 as Keeper of Preservation and Conservation. She is Chair of the CONUL Unique and Distinct Collections Group, and Chair of the Institute of Conservator Restorers in Ireland. Her research interests include materials and techniques of works of art, and the study of dust.

Trinity Ball 2018 – Library Arrangements

Due to the Trinity Ball, all Library buildings on the main College campus will close early on Friday 6 April 2018.

  • The Berkeley/Ussher/Lecky (BLU) Libraries and the Hamilton Library will close at 5pm, Friday 6 April and reopen at 9:30am Saturday 7 April.
  • Kinsella Hall, Ussher Library will close at 5pm, Friday 6 April – the 1st floor and the computer room will reopen at 8:00am Saturday 7 April.
  • The 1937 Reading Room will close at 4:30pm, Friday 6 April and reopen at 8:00am, Saturday 7 April.

The John Stearne Medical Library is unaffected as it lies off campus, and will close at 10pm Friday 6 April and reopen at 9:30am Saturday 7 April.