The Arch C. Elias bequest of Jonathan Swift material

Frontispiece portrait of Swift from The Works of J.S, D.D, D.S.P.D. in four volumes …, Dublin, 1735. OLS L-11-396

This summer saw the completion of cataloguing of printed items from the Arch C. Elias bequest. This outstanding collection of material by and about Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was bequeathed to the Library in 2008 by Dr Archibald C. Elias, Jr (1944-2008). Continue reading

Launch of new exhibition ‘Drawing your Attention: Four Centuries of Political Caricature’

William Elmes’ John Bull Reading the Extraordinary Red Book, London: Thomas Tegg, [1816]. OLS CARI ROB 999

A new exhibition featuring four centuries of political cartoons opens today in the Library of Trinity College Dublin and runs throughout June and July 2019. Drawing your attention: Four Centuries of Political Caricature includes the Library’s own collections, with originals from its extensive 18th- and 19th-century collection gifted by Nicholas Robinson, alumnus, writer, lawyer and former cartoonist. The contemporary works in the exhibition are on loan from freelance artist Martyn Turner who is best associated with The Irish Times. Continue reading

Ireland in Late Georgian Caricatures

William Elmes, Irish Bogtrotters (published by Thomas Tegg, 1812). OLS CARI ROB 0132.

Our wonderful exhibition Ireland and the English Lake Poets continues for just one more week in the Long Room of the Old Library (final day to visit is Tuesday 4 June 2019). In this blog post, curator Dr Brandon Yen explores Ireland’s role in late Georgian Britain’s political cartoons, two of which are featured in the exhibition. Continue reading

Wordsworth’s Killarney

C. Hunt, after A. Nicholl, ‘Lower Lake, Killarney’, from Picturesque Sketches of Some of the Finest Landscape and Coast Scenery of Ireland (Dublin, 1835). V.g.29.

The exhibition Ireland and the English Lake Poets continues in the Long Room of the Old Library this month, running until the end of May. Amongst literary treasures on show, the exhibition features a rare print of Killarney’s Lower Lake by Charles Hunt (after Andrew Nicholl). In this blog post, curator Dr. Brandon Yen explores the impression Killarney made on Wordsworth and his fellow writers. Continue reading

Ireland and the English Lake Poets

Text by Dr Brandon Yen

Lower lake, Killarney, engraved by C. Hunt after A. Nicholl. V.g.29

A new exhibition featuring the English Lake Poets – William Wordsworth (1770–1850), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), and Robert Southey (1774–1843) – and their connections with Ireland has opened in the Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin and is on view throughout April and May 2019. Continue reading

A 250-year-old work from Trinity’s Printing House

Two items printed 250 years ago in Trinity’s Printing House are currently on display in the Long Room of the Old Library. Building of the Printing House began in 1734, two years after the completion of the Old Library, and the first book was printed at the University Press in 1738. Continue reading

Leaves for St Patrick’s Day from the ‘Garden of the Soul’

Pilgrims crossing to Station Island on Lough Derg, by W. F. Wakeman. From ‘St. Patrick’s Purgatory, Lough Derg’ by Rev. D. Canon O’Connor. Dublin, 1895. Shelfmark: 29.f.30

At our incunabula workshop last November we examined a striking two-leaf account in German of St Patrick’s Purgatory (shelfmark: Press B.6.3). As a follow-up to the workshop, and with St Patrick’s Day in mind, we have taken a closer look at this intriguing fragment which relates to what has remained one of the most well-known pilgrimages in Ireland, the pilgrimage to Lough Derg in Donegal.1 Continue reading

A leaf from the world’s most famous book

This month marks the 550th anniversary of the death of Johannes Gutenberg (1397?-1468), blacksmith, goldsmith, inventor and printer. To celebrate this, we have digitised our fragment from the Gutenberg Bible.

Leaf printed on vellum in black ink with manuscript rubrication in red

Recto of folio 317

The 42-line Bible in Latin was Europe’s first substantial book printed in ink on a printing press using moveable type, a technique of printing which Gutenberg invented. The ambitious work was completed by Gutenberg and his associates in Mainz, Germany, in around 1455. It is widely cited that about 180 copies were printed, comprising around a quarter on vellum with the rest of the edition on paper. Only 48 reasonably intact copies now survive (12 on vellum and 36 on paper) in addition to a number of fragments.1 Continue reading

Fifteenth-century delights with Dr Falk Eisermann

Dr Eisermann showing an incunabulum to participants at the workshop

Incunabula workshop led by Dr Falk Eisermann

On Tuesday 12th December 2017 the Department of Early Printed Books & Special Collections had the pleasure of facilitating an afternoon workshop on incunabula led by Dr Falk Eisermann.

Dr Eisermann is head of the Incunabula Division at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and is considered a world-leading expert in the field. The workshop was arranged by Dr Immo Warntjes, Ussher Assistant Professor in Early Medieval Irish History, and was attended by Trinity postgraduate students and staff.

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Celebrating 350 years since the birth of Jonathan Swift

A new display, ‘Swift350’, has opened in the Long Room of the Old Library to mark the 350th anniversary of the birth of one of Trinity College Dublin’s most famous graduates, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745).

Engraved portrait of Jonathan Swift

Frontispiece portrait of Swift from ‘The Works of J.S, D.D, D.S.P.D. in four volumes’, Dublin, 1735. OLS L-11-396

Among the most widely read of all Irish writers, Swift is best known as the author of Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World (1726), now universally known as Gulliver’s Travels. His other works include A Tale of a Tub and The Battle of the Books and as a political pamphleteer, Swift is particularly known for A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture, The Drapier’s Letters and A Modest Proposal. Continue reading