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Update from Librarian and College Archivist to staff and students

10 August 2020

Dear staff and students,

Today, the Early Printed Books and Manuscripts & Archives departments are opening a joint Research Collections reading room, in the fifth phase of the Library’s resumption of activities.

This new facility will be available three days a week by appointment – see our Opening Hours pages for details. A ‘scan on demand’ service for these collections is also available, as well as existing digital resources.

The John Stearne Medical Library at St James opens today as well, and joins the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton Libraries which reopened on 20 July. The John Stearne will open from Monday to Thursday from 10:00 – 16:00. The other contemporary libraries are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 – 17:00. With social distancing of 2 metres, there are about 700 spaces across the contemporary libraries instead of the previous 3000 spaces.

Please consult the Library’s Academic Continuity Guide for all up-to-date information for staff and students on how to access the Library’s reading rooms.

As the Research Collections reading room reopens in the Old Library, the Book of Kells and Long Room exhibitions are also re-opening today for visitors, with pre-booked, timed tickets only.

The Library’s expanded range of new services to support those continuing to work and study remotely continue, including ‘click and collect’, 'scan on demand’ and a postal delivery service.

If you have any specific query about any service, the best route is to email

We are also piloting a live online chat service, which can be accessed on the Library homepage. Please try it during its trial phase (it’s the bright yellow ‘Chat with us’ tab on the right of the screen).

The reopening of the physical Library is being phased in keeping with Trinity’s overall health and safety guidelines and the government roadmap. The safety of our staff and students is foremost in this process, ensuring a safe working and studying environment.

The phased reopening of the libraries continues to be focused on the essential needs of academic staff and postgraduate students, and undergraduate students who may be sitting reassessments. I would encourage you to plan your study and research in advance – see College’s ‘Working towards a safe reopening in September’ video series for information.

In preparation of the new academic year, the Library is developing online orientation for our incoming students in September/October, along with an online research skills programme, and online educational resources for blended skills programmes among other supports for staff and students.

I wish you a restful and restorative summer.

Best regards
Helen Shenton
Librarian and College Archivist