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Silence is Requested

The entire Berkeley Library became a stage, with an audience comprising Trinity staff and students bearing witness to a celebration of the 1960s with all its groovy twists and turns. This was a play exploring many aspects of the building's history, context and purpose, its creators weaving a story of love, loss and betrayal.

As a promenade piece, vignettes were staged throughout the building with each performance demanding direction from its audience. The students interviewed Library staff to uncover real-life events; one strand followed a student trying to avoid her diplomat father so that she could elope to marry the Deputy Librarian!

Multiple performances took place over three warm summer days. Existing only in the memories of those who witnessed it, the ephemerality of the Silence is requested piece renders it at once a joyous if fugitive experience. This play was part of the students' final assessments. As Trinity continues to reimagine the undergraduate curriculum, it increasingly takes up the opportunity to showcase students' research. Performances like these throw down the gauntlet to librarians and archivists to respond to the challenge of preserving such commemorative events for future generations.

Siobhán Dunne

Siobhán Dunne is Sub-Librarian (Teaching, Research and User Experience). Siobhán is a passionate advocate for open science and is a member of the University's Open Scholarship Taskforce. She has a keen interest in ethnography; other research interests include virtual and augmented reality, the future of academic e-books, and lifelong learning