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.
If she were alive in 2020, the Irish composer Ina Boyle (1889-1967) would be unfazed by the current Covid-19 restrictions. She was accustomed to living a relatively isolated and solitary life, rarely venturing far from her family home at Bushey Park, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. Yet that did not prevent her from seeking every opportunity to have her music performed and published, as she meticulously chronicled in her ‘Musical Compositions Memoranda’ (TCD MS 4172).
So Boyle would have been very gratified that a long-planned project to record most of her songs at the Wigmore Hall in London was not derailed by the pandemic, in spite of a few late obstacles. The original plan for a public lunchtime concert and live recording had to be abandoned, but the three Irish singers Paula Murrihy (mezzo-soprano), Robin Tritschler (tenor) and Ben McAteer (baritone), along with pianist Iain Burnside, assembled on the appointed day (28 October 2020) so that the recording team from Delphian Records could still capture their performances for a CD due to be released in 2021.
Only two of Boyle’s songs for voice and piano were ever published, so in preparation for the recording 35 songs had to be edited and typeset from the original manuscripts held at the Library of Trinity College Dublin. There was a last-minute hiccup when the editorial team needed to recheck some details in the manuscripts, but found that the campus was by then open only to TCD staff and students. Happily, Research Collections staff were able to save the day by calling up the manuscripts, taking photographs of the relevant pages and dispatching them urgently to the editors so that they could meet the deadline for preparing definitive typeset scores for the performers.
The 37 songs recorded – from a total of 66 preserved in the manuscript collection – represent the full span of Ina Boyle’s life as a composer, from 1909 until 1966 (only a few short months before her death). About half come from the 1920s, her most prolific decade. Boyle was inspired to set words by a wide range of poets, from Sir Philip Sidney, George Herbert and Robert Herrick to more recent writers such as Walt Whitman, Rudyard Kipling, Edith Sitwell, and Walter de la Mare. Settings of poems by several near-contemporary Irish poets also feature – Eva Gore-Booth, Patrick Pearse, W.B. Yeats, Austin Clarke, and James Stephens.
An RTE television news report on the recording session is available (Boyle segment at 39:00 – 41:00). And four of the songs were included in Ben McAteer’s recital at the 2020 Belfast Festival (Boyle songs at 26:06 – 37:40). As well as the forthcoming CD, the typeset scores will be published next year by TU Dublin so that other singers will be able to add some of Boyle’s songs to their repertoire. This project is another great success for the Ina Boyle Society and its indefatigable director, Katie Rowan, in achieving their primary aim of bringing the music of this pioneering Irish woman composer to the ears of a much wider audience.
UPDATE: A video report of the Boyle song recording at the Wigmore Hall, including interviews with the artists, score editors and others involved in the production, is now available. The central role of the manuscripts collection is acknowledged.
The opening of the first major Irish exhibition on Oscar Wilde was marked by a public interview with actor and writer Rupert Everett on Thursday October 12, 2017 in Trinity College Dublin. The highly personal exhibition in Trinity’s Long Room, featuring letters, photographs, theatre programmes, books and memorabilia, maps out the Anglo-Irish playwright’s meteoric rise to fame and also his dramatic fall from grace.
Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversation, Oscar Wilde is one of the best known Irish personalities of the 19th century and was one of the great writers of the Victorian era. Besides literary accomplishments, Wilde became a figure of some notoriety for his lifestyle and involvement in the ‘art for art’s sake’ aesthetic movement as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death.
Now Trinity College Dublin is celebrating one of its most famous alumni with an exhibition entitled ‘From Decadence to Despair’ in Trinity’s Long Room and an accompanying online exhibition. The exhibition opening takes place four days before Oscar Wilde’s birthday on October 16th. To mark the occasion a public interview with actor, writer and long-time Oscar Wilde fan Rupert Everett was conducted by Carlo Gébler, Adjunct Professor in Creative Writing at Trinity’s Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing this evening in the Robert Emmet Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity at 6.30pm.
The 30 items in the ‘From Decadence to Despair’ exhibition are drawn from the Library’s Oscar Wilde Collection, which is the only Wilde archive held in a public institution in Ireland. It is unique in its focus on the playwright’s downfall and exile years. The collection was acquired by Trinity in 2011 from Julia Rosenthal, a rare book dealer and life-long collector of Wildeana based in London.
Commenting on the significance of the exhibition Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton said: “The Oscar Wilde Collection held here at the Library of Trinity College Dublin comprises items of great symbolic significance for Wilde’s biography. All the great Wilde biographers have made extensive use of the archive. Now, with these new exhibitions, we are delighted to be able to bring this important collection to national and international audiences.”
Curator of the exhibition and Assistant Librarian at Trinity, Caoimhe Ní Ghormáin added: “Oscar Wilde’s life and work continues to captivate academics and the general public. Through this exhibition we hope to celebrate the extraordinary legacy of Oscar Wilde and to shed further light on his remarkable journey from his student days in Trinity right through to his downfall and the sad circumstances in which he found himself during those final years in exile.”
The Library of Trinity College Dublin has launched a Long Room exhibition to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising. Changed Utterly: recording and reflecting on the Rising 1916 –2016 will run from 1 March to the end of April.
The exhibition features exhibits of unique material from Trinity’s Manuscripts & Archives Research Library and Early Printed Books collections relating to the 1916 Easter Rising, including photographs, diaries, memorabilia as well as digital content. The display will trace methods of recording and reflecting on the Rising from the initial scramble to record the events as they happened in 1916; the commemorative activity of 1966 and through to the Library’s current project to capture and preserve the 1916 related websites produced in 2016.
Highlights of the exhibition include:
The Library’s copy of the Proclamation, said to have been torn from the walls of the GPO, along with the World War I recruitment posters found pasted to the back
Photograph of British Troops in the Front Square of Trinity College Dublin
The scrapbook of Elsie Mahaffy, daughter of Trinity Provost John Pentland Mahaffy, and occupant of the Provost’s house during the Rising
Silver cup presented to a member of the Dublin University Officer Training corps for service during 1916
The casing of a bullet which pierced the roof of the Library during Easter week 1916.
The exhibition also showcases the work of the Library’s 1916 Web Archiving project which sees the Library working in collaboration with the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and the British Library to archive websites from both the Irish and UK web domains as they reflect on the 1916 Easter Rising.
The exhibition and web-archiving project are part of the Library’s contribution to the Trinity College Dublin Decade of Commemoration.
The 7th conference of CERL’s (Consortium of European Research Libraries https://www.cerl.org/) European Manuscript Librarians Expert Group, hosted by the Library of Trinity College Dublin will take place 25-27 May 2016.
The primary aims of the Group are to act as a forum for curatorial concerns, and to enhance understanding and practical cooperation among curators across Europe. The conference will focus on these themes:
Commemorations and Anniversaries; Materiality; Post-digital issues and concerns.
Wednesday 25 May, 1315 – 2000
Estelle Gittins, ‘Commemorating 1916 in the Library of Trinity College Dublin’
Bernard Meehan, ‘The Faddan More Psalter’
Susie Bioletti, ‘Early Results from the “Early Irish Manuscripts” Project’
Jennifer Edmond, ‘CENDARI: what next?’
Jane Ohlmeyer, ‘The 1641 Depositions: what now?’
Reception in Old Library with Book of Kells and exhibition of treasures
Thursday 26 May, 0930-1900
Ad Leerintveld, ‘Authenticating the coat of arms in a Gruuthuse manuscript’
Birgit Vinther Hansen, ‘Exhibition and fading of manuscripts: microfadometry and a lighting policy to increase exposure and reduce risk’
Nicholas Pickwoad, ‘Ligatus: the importance of bindings and their description’
Claire Breay, ‘Commemorating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015’
Allen Packwood, ‘The Churchill Papers: a modern historical epic’
Gerhard Müller, “Understanding Archival Metadata and Shaping Perspectives on the Benefits of Standards beyond the Simple Search.”
Reception at Royal Irish Academy and viewing of early medieval Irish manuscripts. Conference dinner, 1930
Friday 27 May, 0915-1200, private visits to Marsh’s Library and the Chester Beatty Library
FURTHER PAPERS WILL BE ADDED. FULL INFORMATION AND BOOKING FORM WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY.