Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search

#TCDLIBRARYSURVEY − A BIG THANK YOU TO TRINITY STAFF AND STUDENTS FOR YOUR FEEDBACK

We are extremely grateful to everyone who took the time to complete our recent Library Life Pulse survey.

Congratulations to all our survey prize draw winners whose names were selected to win from a selection of One for All gift vouchers and T-Card credit. 

A special mention to our overall winners Ioana Raducu and Victoria Lawlor who were the lucky recipients of airpods and Galaxy buds respectively. 

Over the coming months, we will be analysing the findings in greater detail in order to create an action plan that addresses your feedback. We will provide a further update during Hilary term. 

LIBRARY STUDY SPACE CAMPAIGN

A messy desk cluttered with laptop, notes, food, drinks, papers and personal belongings. Not leaving room for others.

On Monday 13th November, the Library will be launching its Study Space Campaign to address the issue of ‘desk-hogging’ (i.e., the practice of leaving books and personal belongings unattended for long periods of time at Library study spaces, thus preventing others from using those spaces). A dedicated team of stewards will be freeing up study spaces that have been left unoccupied for more than 60 minutes. Belongings are moved to clear plastic boxes to designated storage areas on the same floor.

Full details of the campaign are available on the Library regulations webpage: https://www.tcd.ie/library/about/regulations.php

The Library Study Space Campaign relies on the cooperation of all readers. We ask that you be respectful and support the Steward Team to ensure that everybody has a fair chance of finding a suitable study space during this stressful pre-exam period. You can also assist us by not leaving personal belongings (especially laptops, phones, USB drives or other valuables) unattended for any length of time, and by sticking to the 60 minute break rule.

Reminder to take breaks, stay hydrated and eat all snacks and meals outside of the Library, but do take your valuables with you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at: library@tcd.ie.

Welcome from the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Librarian Helen Shenton pictured in front of Berkeley Library

A very warm welcome to all returning students, academics, researchers and staff.

Library Supports & Services

We have a new orientation guide which is a result of students’ questions about the Library; a special thank you to the Global Student Ambassadors who were so generous with sharing their top tips in this new Getting to know your Library video.

We in the Library kickstarted the new academic year with in-person student orientation programmes. They included tours for postgraduates, mature and Trinity Access Programme students.

Sensory Library tours are also taking place this week as part of Trinity’s Autism orientation programme, and we look forward to welcoming incoming first year undergraduate students with the wonderful S2S Mentor team. Keep an eye out for new sensory furniture and spaces as part of the TCD Sense project.

This semester’s Library HITS (Helpful Information for Trinity Students/Staff) are starting next week and the first module will focus on skills for postgraduate and returning students. The interdisciplinary taster sessions co-delivered with Student Learning & Development are relevant for all students and cover everything from essay writing, academic integrity and critical thinking to publishing and promoting your research.

If you have any queries, Library staff are here to assist you with virtual consultations, skills workshops and a range of services. Please  email Library@tcd.ie and a Library staff member will get back to you, or contact your Subject Librarian directly.

The Welcome to the Library page has everything needed for you to get started.

Library entrance refurbishment

A refurbishment project of the Library entrances will start in the coming months. It will involve the installation of new access control gates at the entrances of the Berkeley, Lecky, John Stearne and Hamilton Libraries, providing automated access to the Library using the physical ID card and Trinity Live App. The aim is to give seamless access for staff and students, while improving security for Library collections and enhancing the spaces. All information on the project will be available on the Library website.

Virtual Trinity Library

In June 2022 the Library released the digitised version of the one of the world’s finest manuscripts, the Book of St Albans by the 13th century scribe, historian and artist Matthew Paris. The Book of St Albans received conservation attention, cataloguing updates, and was fully digitised, as part of the Virtual Trinity Library’s ‘Manuscripts for Medieval Studies’ project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The digitised version is being used by students of the M. Phil in Medieval Studies. Its launch received extensive media coverage in the Irish Central, Irish Times and Irish Independent.

Discover more at European Researchers’ Night on September 30th and join the Library and those involved in the research theme ‘Manuscript, Print and Book Cultures’ for a range of activities on Trinity’s outstanding Library collections.

Old Library Redevelopment Project 

The Old Library Redevelopment Project is progressing apace with the decant of the collections from the Old Library, involving the gargantuan task of transferring 350,000 early printed books as part of a total 700,000 items.

Access to all the Library’s Research Collections and its staff expertise will continue throughout the lifetime of the Old Library Redevelopment Project (OLRP).

The Joint Research Collections Reading Room is currently housed in the East Pavilion of the Old Library. In 2023 it will transfer to an Interim Research Collections Study Centre in the basement of the Ussher Library. You will find up-to-date information on the Old Library Redevelopment: Update for Readers section of the Library website.

The Old Library and Long Room remain open and accessible to you and visitors for the next year. The restoration and construction phase will require its closure from the end of 2023.

The Book of Kells Interim Exhibition will ensure that the 9th century manuscript remains on view throughout. Subject to planning permission, the plan for the Interim Exhibition is to restore the historic Printing House to display the Book of Kells and erect a temporary pavilion in New Square to host a temporary exhibition for the three years of the Old Library’s closure.  

Join us on Culture Night, 23rd September, when the Conservation team will be giving talks on the conservation process as part of the Old Library Redevelopment Project.

The Old Library Redevelopment Project has received significant international media coverage, including The Guardian, New York TimesBBC World News, the German national broadcaster ZDF and most recently France 2 aired a piece in August.

Please enjoy the Long Room, often called the ‘most beautiful room in Ireland’, this year – as a reminder, every member of Trinity’s community is welcome to visit for free, but it is important to book ahead, for more details email BookofKells@tcd.ie. The Library will also be organising tours for staff and students in the coming months with more information to follow.

Finally, the 87th IFLA World Library and Information Congress was held in Ireland for the first time at the Dublin Convention Centre in July. I was honoured to give a keynote presentation on intertwined digital and cultural heritage, and the former Chancellor Mary Robinson gave an outstanding keynote address on ‘Climate Justice’ to the 2000+ delegates at the opening ceremony. Her challenges to us all were stark, simple and clear, and highly recommended viewing, as we figure out our collective and individual responses to the environmental crises.

With warmest good wishes for the forthcoming semester,

Helen Shenton


Librarian and College Archivist

Mitigating the temporary loss of access to UK Electronic Legal Deposit

Black student typing on a laptop

The disruption of the Library’s access to publications normally available via UK Electronic Legal Deposit is ongoing, following the cyberattack on the British Library at the end of last October. As a UK Legal Deposit Library, the Library of Trinity College Dublin along with the  other legal deposit libraries, the British Library the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford and Cambridge University Library, share the infrastructure for UK electronic legal deposit publications.

This incident has since received wide press coverage, e.g. in the Financial Times and the New Yorker. For up-to-date information on the steps towards recovery, see the British Library’s blog. The Library continues to work with colleagues in the British Library and the other four UK legal deposit libraries to review and ‘build back better’ the access infrastructure for the e-books, e-journals, archived websites, and other digital publications.

Anticipating that it will be months before access is restored, the Library has issued a guide to describe the mitigating actions taken, and to point readers to alternative information resources. An action to highlight is a trial subscription to a large package of more than 230,000 e-books. You will encounter them in search results in Stella Search; they stand out because they include cover images and an access button labelled ‘eBook’. If you want to target them, click on ‘eBooks’ under ‘Format’ in the selection options on the left-hand side; or select ‘eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)’ under ‘Content Provider’ further down.

The Ecological Emergency Book Club – next book and February meeting

Happy New Year Book Clubbers! 

The first book club of the year will take place on Friday 9th February in the North Training Room in the Library (former Berkeley Library). The Book Club is open to all staff (professional, research, academic). 

This month we’re reading Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist

We have multiple copies in the Library but we love this one so much you might want to use one of your Christmas book vouchers! It’s widely available in paperback (it’s €13 in Easons for example) and you might find it second hand or in your local public library. 

Kate Raworth (Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University) in 2013, image by Stephan Röhl
Continue reading “The Ecological Emergency Book Club – next book and February meeting”

Ongoing disruption of the Library’s UK Electronic Legal Deposit

Group of electronic device users logging onto their devices

Please be advised there is an ongoing temporary disruption of the Library’s UK electronic legal deposit service, due to a technical issue. Content including e-books, e-journals and the web archive are likely to be unavailable for a period of time. The Legal Deposit Libraries are working hard to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Our electronic Legal Deposit collection is a shared endeavour with the other UK Legal Deposit Libraries. Our access to this content is via the British Library. Unfortunately, they are experiencing a major technology outage following a cyber-attack. The outage is affecting their website, online systems and services, and includes electronic Legal Deposit. They anticipate restoring many services in the next few weeks, but some disruption may persist for longer. Please see their blog  https://blogs.bl.uk/living-knowledge/2023/11/cyber-incident.html

British Library cyber-attack:

A cyber-attack on the British Library (BL) means that our “electronic Legal Deposit (UK)” items, which are normally available on our reading room PCs and borrowable Library laptops, are currently unavailable. Additionally, UK theses normally accessed through the EThOS system cannot be viewed.

The outage is affecting the BL website, online systems and services, and includes electronic Legal Deposit. They anticipate restoring many services in the next few weeks, but some disruption may persist for longer.

BL updates and contacts

Regularly check the British Library blog and their X feed @britishlibrary for updates on the current status of their services. You can contact the BL via X or emailing customer@bl.uk (be prepared for delay to responses).

Finding alternative copies of books and articles

Our readers can obviously double-check Stella Search for alternative copies, but may also want to consider HathiTrust or Archive.org for older and out-of-copyright material.

If you are looking for a book and no print or other e-book version is available, contact your Subject Librarian for assistance with sourcing alternative content options; we may be able to purchase an e-book copy, for example, or show you how to request an Inter-Library Loan.

If you are looking for a specific article and we don’t seem to have the journal via a subscription, again, contact your Subject Librarian for help.

Although the British Library catalogue is not available, you can still check for British Library published material in Library Hub Discover. This resource is a database of 204 UK and Irish academic, national & specialist library catalogues. If you want to easily find a copy in another library in the UK or Ireland, then make friends with Library Hub Discover.

Do you have a BL login? Consider resetting your password on other accounts

The BL says: ‘As our systems remain unavailable, you won’t be able to change the password you have used to access British Library services. However, if you use the same password to login to other, non-British Library services we recommend that you change it.’

Many thanks to our colleagues at the Bodleian Library who originally created much of the above guidance. This is also included in the our https://libguides.tcd.ie/bl-cyber-attack.

We will keep  readers updated during this process. If you require urgent access to a title available on UK eLD only, please contact library@tcd.ie for assistance.

Celebrating the Library’s medieval manuscript conservation and digitisation project

Two monkeys pictured in a page from West-Dereham-Bible-TCD-MS-51-f.100vlores.jpg

Precious medieval manuscripts and fragments that illuminate the art, music and literary culture of medieval Europe are being made available to the public for the first time thanks to a two-year conservation and digitisation project at the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

While the Book of Kells is Trinity’s best-known medieval manuscript, the Library of Trinity College Dublin is also home to 600 other precious medieval manuscripts dating from the 5th to the 16th centuries with origins right across western Europe. 

Sixty of these manuscripts have been conserved and digitised, rendered as 16,000 high quality images, and are now available to the public on as part of the Library’s Manuscripts for Medieval Studies Project.  

The material illuminates the social, creative, medicinal and culinary culture of medieval Europe. It forms part of the Virtual Trinity Library programme, a digitisation initiative of the Library of Trinity College Dublin’s most valued collections.  

Support for the project was provided by a philanthropic grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Dame Louise Richardson, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, said: “The founder of Carnegie Corporation of New York, Andrew Carnegie, often said that books contain the treasures of the world. Over 140 years ago, he began funding libraries in the belief that providing a library exceeds anything else a community can do to help its people.

 
Dame Louise Richardson, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York speaking at a launch event last night.

“Today our foundation honours that legacy by supporting Trinity College Dublin’s stewardship in preserving knowledge for future generations. Through the careful restoration and digitisation of the medieval manuscripts, these cultural artifacts will be accessible to both the curious and the scholarly for the benefit of us all.”  

Commenting on the significance of the project, Helen Shenton, Librarian & College Archivist said: “The Library of Trinity College Dublin is delighted to make these magnificent medieval manuscripts accessible to a global audience. For the first time in their existence, these exquisite manuscripts can now be viewed digitally by anyone. As part of the Virtual Trinity Library’s Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project they are part of teaching and research at Trinity College Dublin and foster international collaboration with other universities and libraries.” 

The most significant manuscripts in this collection include the highly decorated medieval manuscripts, the Winchcombe Psalter (12th century), the Life of St Alban by Matthew Paris (13th century) and the West Dereham Bible (pictured above). These manuscripts of exceptional artistic quality have been photographed in their entirety in colour for the first time.  

Estelle Gittins, Manuscript Curator, Trinity Library, said: “The types of manuscripts represent virtually every area of medieval thought and activity across Western Europe and further afield, including lavishly decorated religious manuscripts; histories and chronicles; literary works in prose and verse; music manuscripts for communal singing; a whole host of recipes and cures; and fragments from long-lost manuscripts from a variety of eras. 

“These manuscripts’ significance lies not only in their beautiful illumination, but in the fact that they survived the Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries, not to mention the chaos and destruction wrought by accident, fire, flood, and warfare over several centuries of history. All are unique and irreplaceable.” 

The collection also includes manuscripts which give rare insights into medieval Irish culture. These manuscripts include Irish medieval music manuscripts, containing hymns and chants dating from the 15th Century.  

At the launch event choral ensemble Schola Hyberniae performed a chant from the 15th-century manuscript ‘Clondalkin Breviary’. The music was transcribed from medieval notation into modern musical notation and prepared for performance and wider scholarly study by Dr Ann Buckley, Medieval History Research Centre, Trinity. It is one of only a handful of manuscripts containing musical notation to survive from medieval Ireland and is one of the manuscripts conserved, digitised and now freely available to the public. 

To mark the culmination of the project the Library is also hosting a two-day conference (Nov 30-Dec 2) entitled The Many Lives of Medieval Manuscripts which is showcasing research outputs arising from the digitisation of these manuscripts including research papers on conservation of vellum manuscripts and using AI to transcribe medieval manuscripts. 

Dame Louise Richardson & University Chancellor, Dr Mary McAleese pictured with the Library team behind the project, Laura Shanahan, Head of Research Collections, Estelle Gittins, Manuscripts Curator, Curatorial lead, Claire McNulty, Carnegie Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Caroline Harding, Senior Digital Photographer, Digital Collections and Angelica Anchisi, Project Conservator, Preservation & Conservation.

#TCDLIBRARYSURVEY – HAVE YOUR SAY

A Library survey was launched university-wide today seeking feedback from all staff and students on their experience of using the Library.

The Library is at the heart of the University, providing services, resources, training and space. This is an opportunity for you to have your say in relation to your Library and how it can best support you currently, and in its future development.

As a thank you for taking part, all participants will have the option of entering a prize draw to win AirPods, Galaxy buds, One4all vouchers and T-card top-ups.

Start the library survey now!

The survey is being administered on behalf of the Library by an independent research agency called Alterline.

If you would like the survey to be provided in an alternate format, please email Alterline at llphelp@alterline.co.uk

Please note, all responses are confidential. You can find information about Alterline’s General Data Protection Regulation policy on their website.

The Ecological Emergency Book Club – next book and December meeting

Are you a member of staff who would like to know more about the climate emergency but don’t know where to start?

We’ve teamed up with Dr. Clare Kelly in the School of Psychology to bring you a monthly book club to showcase some of the best readings on the climate and biodiversity crisis.

December’s Book Club

Photo of author Richard Powers, and the cover of his novel, The Overstory

Our third book club takes place on Friday, 8th December and this month’s pick is:
Richard Powers’ The Overstory. The Library has seven copies!

Continue reading “The Ecological Emergency Book Club – next book and December meeting”

Temporary Disruption of the Library’s UK Electronic Legal Deposit Service

Group of electronic device users logging onto their devices

Please be advised there is a temporary disruption of the Library’s UK electronic legal deposit service, due to a technical issue. Content including e-books, e-journals and the web archive are likely to be unavailable for a number of days. The Legal Deposit Libraries are working hard to resolve the situation as soon as possible. We will keep readers updated during this process. If you require urgent access to a title available on UK eLD only, please contact library@tcd.ie for assistance.

Our electronic Legal Deposit collection is a shared endeavour with the other UK Legal Deposit Libraries. Our access to this content is via the British Library. Unfortunately, they are experiencing a major technology outage following a cyber-attack. The outage is affecting their website, online systems and services, and includes electronic Legal Deposit. They anticipate restoring many services in the next few weeks, but some disruption may persist for longer. Please see their blog  https://blogs.bl.uk/living-knowledge/2023/11/cyber-incident.html

for updates from them.

The Ecological Emergency Book Club – next book and November meeting

Are you a member of staff who would like to know more about the climate emergency but don’t know where to start?

We’ve teamed up with Dr. Clare Kelly in the School of Psychology to bring you a monthly book club to showcase some of the best readings on the climate and biodiversity crisis.

November’s Book Club

Cover of Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and photo of author

Our second book club takes place on Friday, 10th November in the North Training Room in the Library (former Berkeley Library). This month’s pick is Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.

Continue reading “The Ecological Emergency Book Club – next book and November meeting”