Contemporary Irish literary Culture…in Early Printed Books!

By Orlaith Darling, Ph.D. student, School of English

An oft forgotten aspect of the Department of Early Printed Books is its holdings of modern Irish and Anglo-Irish fiction, which can be consulted in the peaceful reading room in the Old Library. As a researcher of contemporary Irish short fiction, I was delighted to find the entire run of The Stinging Fly among the modern Irish holdings. As Shane Mawe, one of the friendly Early Printed Books librarians put it, a Sierra search for ‘Short stories, English Irish authors 20th century’ will return over 250 works held  by the Department , meaning that Early Printed Books is, in fact, a hotspot for contemporary Irish literary culture. Continue reading

A reader’s-eye view

By Maggie Masterson, Pollard Fellowship recipient

Without question, the highlight of my year in the M.Phil. in Children’s Literature has been time spent in the Early Printed Books reading room, researching the Pollard Collection of Children’s Books. The students on my course are lucky enough to have a tour arranged by our lecturer, but don’t let a lack of formal orientation stop you from finding your way up there. Marvelous things await your visit. Continue reading

New Exhibition: “On Speaking Terms: Eight centuries of communication disabilities”

Text by Dr Caroline Jagoe & Dr Deborah Thorpe

Florence Fenwick Miller, An atlas of anatomy, London, 1879. Gall.TT.32.9

Communication is at the heart of who we are as human beings and communication disorders reflect the diversity of our humanity. As the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College Dublin celebrates 50 years of educating speech and language therapists in Ireland, this exhibition in the Long Room provides a glimpse into eight centuries of communication disabilities. Continue reading

Banned books in Trinity College

This post was written by Assumpta Guilfoyle and Louise Kavanagh, both in Collection Management, TCD Library.

On preparing an exhibition on banned books, we knew a certain amount about censorship in Ireland. After a bit more research on the topic it became clear that the banning system failed our now-renowned Irish writers, and denied the Irish public the right to read the very best of literature. The Censorship Board did not set out to ban so many books, but they ended up doing just that. We kept reminding ourselves that it was the 1920s, a Catholic country that was trying to revive its national identity, it was a complex time both at home and abroad. Benedict Kiely, banned, said a prohibition was ‘the only laurel wreath that Ireland was offering to writers in that particular period’. Continue reading

Wilde about Oscar

By Monica Sanchidrian and Christoph Schmidt-Supprian, Collection Management Department

OL safe

Have you seen our online exhibition, Oscar Wilde: From Decadence to Despair? Making use of gorgeous images from rare photographs, trade cards, theatre programmes, and other printed works and manuscripts, it brings to life key moments in Wilde’s life. The Rosenthal collection of Wildeana, acquired in 2011 from the rare book dealer Julia Rosenthal, includes over 500 printed items by or about Oscar Wilde, his family and his friends. Many of them are first editions and/or inscribed copies, which makes them particularly valuable. Among these is a first edition of An ideal husband inscribed by Wilde to the book’s dedicatee, Frank Harris. Another rarity in the collection is a copy of the auction catalogue for the sale of Wilde’s possessions at his home in Tite Street at the time of his trial in 1895 – only four copies of this catalogue are known to survive. Continue reading

Preservation book repairs – carrying out in-situ treatments in the Long Room

By Sarah Timmins, Preservation Assistant

Tool roll at the ready

Introduction

As Preservation Assistants, we help address some of the challenges and problems affecting the books of the Long Room in the Old Library. The collection of some 220,000 Early Printed Books range from the dawn of the printing press in the 1450s and incunabula, to the end of the Victorian era.  A systematic preservation project, beginning in 2004 as ‘Save the Treasures’, is ongoing today.  The focus of the project is on the cleaning of the books, and the recording of data for use by the Preservation & Conservation Department. We note key information about each book: where and when it was printed, the materials from which it is made, features of the bindings, and so on.  We also carry out a condition report, and note any stabilising treatments we carry out in situ. Continue reading

Boxes with integrated book cradle: one object, two roles

By Erica D’Alessandro, Heritage Council Conservation intern

Introduction

As conservators, our job is to conserve Library books but also to preserve them from dust, light, improper handling and fluctuations in humidity, and to protect them during movement and handling. This is why we create made-to-measure boxes for many of the books we treat. Continue reading

Animals in the Library

By Dr Jane Carroll

Once upon a time, someone nearly bought a stuffed tiger for the Early Printed Books Reading Room [when we were preparing a Long Room exhibition about India – Ed.]. Sadly, the tiger was never bought but, nevertheless, EPB is full of animals if you know where to look for them.

Last week, I brought a group of sophister students from the School of English to EPB to look at animal books, mainly from the Pollard Collection.

P1030857 Continue reading

A Swift repair

Introduction

As a Heritage Council intern at Trinity College Library, I have the opportunity to work on several conservation projects supervised by conservators.  Last month, I worked with Andrew Megaw on a book entitled Letters written by the late J. Swift, D.D. Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, and several of his friends. From the year 1703 to 1740. Published from the originals; with Notes explanatory and historical, by John Hawkesworth, L.L.D. In three volumes. A new edition. Volume I. London, 1766, shelfmark OLS L-11-584. Continue reading

Study of a quarter parchment laced-case binding from the Fagel collection

By conservation intern Julie Tyrlik

Image 1: Fag.H.2.65

Image 1: Fag.H.2.65

As part of my six-month internship in the Preservation and Conservation Department of the Library of Trinity College Dublin, I recently conserved a book from the Fagel collection, Fag.H.2.65 (image 1).

Continue reading