New book on the medics of Trinity College in the 1960s.

This most recent post has been written by an esteemed alumnus John G. Brock-Utne who has edited a book of reminicences by his fellow class-mates:

‘In 1962, 120 students started pre-med studies at Trinity College. Six years later, in 1968, 50 students qualified. As of December 2021, there are 41 of the original class left. I have been in contact with 34 of these and, of that number, 29 have contributed to a new book telling of the events in their professional lives during fifty years following their Trinity days.  Some have included stories of life in the medical school during the pre-medical year and pre-clinical years, as well as the clinical residency years spent at several of the hospitals of the ‘Federation’ – Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital, the Adelaide Hospital, the Meath Hospital, Dr. Steevens’ Hospital, the Royal City of Dublin Hospital, Mercer’s Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital (the first children’s hospital in Great Britain and Ireland) – along with placements at the Rotunda Hospital, Holles Street Maternity Hospital, and St. Patrick’s Psychiatric Hospital.  The clear impact of these experiences, and the impressions created by the many wonderful mentors during those years, pour from these pages, mostly within a humorous context; after all, laughter is a great anxiolytic, and was much needed in regular doses by most of us back then.  The final section of the book shows a collection of pictures from our time in Trinity, our internships and the reunions we have had in Dublin over the years. Also included are copies of our final exam papers, with the editor’s 1962 acceptance letter to TCD and an index of the many wonderful medical personalities, teachers and students mentioned in the text. Inexorably, Trinity modified, reshaped and tempered our characters and personalities and left its mark upon all of us forever.

The medical graduation year of 1968 is exceptional as we went to work in well over 25 different countries and have settled in all SIX of the habitable continents on this planet.

We all hope that you will enjoy our reminiscences from our times at Trinity and beyond. “

John G. Brock-Utne (ed.), The medics of Trinity College, Dublin in the 1960s. Anecdotes, reflections from Dublin and their professional lives (2021).

John G. Brock-Utne, MA, MB, BCh, (TCD) MD, PhD, (Bergen), FCMSA.

Professor of Anesthesia, Emeritus , Stanford University Medical Center

‘Babbling in the Vernacular’: The English Language in the Middle Ages

Among the riches being digitised as part of the Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York are three codices containing English, one eleventh-century, one thirteenth- or fourteenth-century and one fifteenth-century. Collectively, these three manuscripts give us an interesting snapshot of the status of English in the Middle Ages and the complex history of its emergence as a written language.

We now take reading and writing in English for granted. Netflix sends us emails telling us what we should next stream, we can buy a range of daily newspapers, or browse their websites, to find out what is going on in the world, and we can visit a library to borrow a novel to make the commute seem painless. Our primary and secondary educations habituate us to reading, writing and a life mediated through the medium of text.

All this rests, however, on a long process of technological, linguistic and ideological innovation that, for English at least, took perhaps 1,500 years. It requires a conviction that English ought to be written; an alphabet; a set of accepted mappings between the sounds of speech and these symbols of writing; upgrades to the vocabulary and syntax of spoken language so that abstract concepts can be conveyed clearly and without circumlocution; and a highly-developed set of conventions for the presentation of text on the page.

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Splitting the Atom: Marking 70 years since Ernest Walton was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics

Ernest Walton (1903-1995) graduated in maths and physics from Trinity College Dublin in 1926 and after a year’s work as a postgraduate, travelled to Cambridge to study in the Cavendish Laboratory under Ernest Rutherford. Working with John Cockcroft (1897-1967), he successfully split the nucleus of an atom in April 1932. They were subsequently jointly awarded the Nobel Prize on 10 December 1951 for ‘their pioneering work on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles’.

Walton returned to Trinity College in 1934 where he became Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy. He was well known for his personal integrity, his compelling lectures and his commitment to the improvement of the standards of science education in Ireland.

He is commemorated on campus with a blue plaque on the Physics Building and the nearby sculpture Apples and Atoms by the artist Eilís O’ Connell RHA. In 1993 he presented his Nobel medal and citation to the Library of Trinity College Dublin along with his personal and scientific papers. The medal and citation are on display in the Long Room of the Old Library to mark the anniversary of the award of the Nobel prize.

Estelle Gittins

“If a female had once passed the gate”: Trinity Women Graduates Archive Project

Research Collections is delighted to announce the start of the Trinity Women Graduates Archive Project. This project marks the centenary of the Trinity Women Graduates Association (TWG) in 2022. The records of the association are currently being catalogued as part of a Virtual Trinity Library project to make them accessible to researchers and students.  

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Digitising Medieval Manuscripts: Common challenges in the studio and insights into using the conservation book cradle

Greetings everyone! I am the Project Photographer for the Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project. My role within this project is to use my photography expertise to create digital surrogates of 16 medieval manuscripts selected from the Manuscripts and Archives Research collections within the Library of Trinity College Dublin. The photographic process for the Medieval Digitisation Project may be quite unfamiliar to most, especially the unique and large equipment we use. This blog will provide a brief introduction into our digitisation process for medieval manuscripts as well as some of the challenges encountered and give an insight into the most unique piece of equipment we use within our studios, a motorised book cradle.

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