#43 What Might Have Been 2

At the start of the year, we looked at a vision of the “Library Extension” from 1957. That was produced in an attempt to give donors something to visualise in the allotted space rather than a serious proposition of what the design should be. But there are many other more fleshed-out might-have-beens from the completion to design the Library – if you are interested in what some of those looked like, the excellent Archiseek website has a page devoted to themContinue reading “#43 What Might Have Been 2”

#41 The Mighty Atlas

Hidden behind normal freestanding shelving holding books, the second floor of the Berkeley Library contains a number of slightly odd deep shelves – with rollers at the front! – dotted around the outer edge of the reading rooms. They are original parts of Koralek’s design, intended to house large map volumes – “atlas cases”. The maps are long gone but the empty shelves demonstrate Paul Koralek’s attention to detail.

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#39 A Quick Observation

Did you know a TCD library building, that used to face the Berkeley, is now in UCD? Archivist Ellen O’Flaherty from our Manuscripts & Archives Library takes up the tale:

When the New Library was completed in 1967 its west side faced – across Fellows’ Garden – a small building of Portland stone in the style of a classical Grecian Doric temple. This building was known as the Magnetic Observatory, and was built in 1837 by the architect Frederick Darley, under the auspices of Provost Bartholomew Lloyd, for the purposes of conducting experiments in magnetic research.

The Magnetic Observatory – late 19th or early 20th century. From the College Archives.

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#37 In A Class Of Their Own

Over the next few posts we’ll look at some of the challenges faced in creating and maintaining the catalogues that index the Library’s large and ever-expanding collection. Here’s Niamh Harte, an Assistant Librarian with our Collections Management department:

Permanent library clerks were first employed in the 1830s for the purpose of cataloguing our collections, and it took around 50 years’ sweat and tears to complete a list of all holdings. Now known as the ‘1872 Printed Catalogue’, a copy of this eight-volume set is available to consult in the Iveagh Hall, and the reading room for Early Printed Books. An online, searchable version of the Printed Catalogue is also available. [Ed. – the story of how this entered the online world may feature another time!]

The 1872 Printed Catalogue.

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#35 A Conversation with Paul Koralek

On 13 October we were privileged to welcome the Berkeley’s architect Paul Koralek to speak to a sell-out crowd in the Edmund Burke Theatre, to discuss the Berkeley Library with John Tuomey and other guests.

Luckily, we captured it all for posterity (with decent sound too, thanks to our expert cameraman) – so let’s allow all our guests to speak for themselves. Enjoy!

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#25 Popcorn for a Prime Minister

We’ve already mentioned the promotional film Building for Books. Our colleagues in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library were able to unearth the following clippings relating to it.

The Irish Tatler & Sketch – a publication the young people of today are probably unfamiliar with, but which can still be found in newsagents as the Irish Tatler – featured the premiere of Building for Books which took place in the Savoy Cinema in O’Connell Street. Prominently at said showing is the then-Taoiseach, later President, Éamon de Valera.


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