A Bibliographical Alphabet

Due to the current situation, we are all working from home, so we are unable to show you new images from our collections. However, we are keen to maintain our online presence, so do follow us on Twitter and enjoy looking back at previous blog posts. We are also available by email – epbooks@tcd.ie – but obviously there is a limit as to what research we can do to answer your enquiries. We will do our best, of course!

Bibliography, in the sense of the history and description of books, uses a number of words which are not common in everyday life, so we thought some of our followers might find this A-Z useful. Words in italics are further explained under their initial letter. Continue reading “A Bibliographical Alphabet”

The wanderer’s return from an odyssey

Christmas is a time for homecomings and in EPB we are delighted to welcome back a copy of William Wittich’s ‘A lexicon to Homer …’ (London, 1843). The volume, originally part of the old lending library, has been away for some time.


In September we received an envelope containing the book, a note and a cheque for €34 from Arthur Pritchard in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Arthur, who graduated from TCD in 1965, had visited the College for the August alumni celebrations this year and thoughtfully brought along the volume which he had recently discovered when clearing out his loft! Unfortunately the Library was closed when he attempted to return the work in person. His humorous note includes a photograph of his valiant effort to return the overdue text. Arthur’s generous cheque more than makes up for any accrued fines!



Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama visit The Old Library

The staff in Early Printed Books, M&ARL and Preservation & Conservation are well used to being called on to curate once-off exhibitions to welcome special visitors and the visitors on Monday 17 June certainly were special. The arrival of the Obama family, which shut down the city centre, was marked in the Long Room with a small but perfectly-formed display of carefully chosen items.


First of all Mrs Obama and her daughters Sasha and Malia had the opportunity to see the Preservation & Conservation Department assistants working on the Pollard Collection of children’s books, one of the Library’s great resources, the bequest of a former Keeper.

Then they examined the specially-curated exhibition which was made possible by theobama1 generous co-operation of two of the Library’s sister institutions. The Representative Church Body Library (with the agreement of the National Archives) lent some parish registers recording the birth, marriage and death of various members of the Kearney family (one of whom was named Triphenia) who are believed to have been Barack Obama’s Irish antecedents; and the National Library lent a map of the lands in Co Offaly from which the Kearneys sprang. The other items in the display were hand-coloured prints from EPB’s own collection, and a portrait of John Kearney, Provost from 1799-1806, from the College art collection.’

It was a very enjoyable inter-departmental and inter-institutional collaboration which did the Library proud. Thanks to theobamadiary.com for the images capturing the historic visit.  – Shane Mawe & Jane Maxwell

Two special collections libraries under threat in London

Staff in the Department of Early Printed Books were concerned to learn that the Women’s Library and the Trades Union Congress Library face an uncertain future following the decision by London Metropolitan University (LMU) to seek new homes, custodians, or sponsors for them. The libraries’ collections are an important resource for researchers in the areas of social history, social justice, and of course trade union and women’s history.Image of the Women's Library

More information can be found here

A online petition to show support for the Women’s Library is available at http://bit.ly/GHY1ZP