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Access Gate Update – Berkeley Library Doors Re-opened

Berkeley Library gates have re-opened. Sign with access instructions in front of the barriers.

The Berkeley Library entrance has reopened today at 9am (Friday 28th October 2022).  The Berkeley foyer toilets have reopened and are operating as normal.

The Lecky Library entrance is now closed – please use the Berkeley entrance.

Make sure you have your ID card on you at all times, or phone for those using that service. Entering and exiting will require identification.

From 9am on Friday 28th October 2022, the access control gates can be opened by TCD staff and students.  You should simply hold your ID card to the card reader at the side of the pedestal for both entrance and exit.  The barcode reader (red light) at the top of the pedestal will not read the physical ID card.

Thank you for your patience while these important upgrade works are being carried out and apologies for any inconveniences.

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

Exam Strategies – Academic Year 2022/23

Yellow heart and fingers' crossed, wishing the students of academic year 2022/23 good luck.

Are you ready for your exams? If you’re feeling stressed or underprepared the Library is here to help, and we have dedicated a webpage with helpful links and tips. https://rl.talis.com/3/tcdlibrary/lists/DB551C29-210B-91C9-7234-F65C101DE2D7.html?draft=1&lang=en&login=1Exam Strategies | Trinity College Dublin (talis.com)

Check out recommended reading for study skills to get the most out of your revision time.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we have links to free online resources that give advice on coping with exams. Eg, Coping with exam stress – watch our video to learn how | ICAS

Practice makes perfect with our collection of past papers, practice answering exam questions that have come up in previous years. To view online resources expand the record by clicking on the title, click where it says “AVAILABLE ONLINE” or “1 COPY AVAILABLE” in the case of a book for example.

Student Learning – Exam Papers – Student Learning Development – Trinity College Dublin (tcd.ie)

We are always happy to take questions at the Library Counter or get in touch with your Subject Librarian.

Good luck from your Library!

Reader’s Choice is now Reader Recommendation

Based on the popularity of the Library’s Reader’s Choice pilot scheme for books received under UK electronic legal deposit (UK eLD), the Library has extended the scheme’s scope and improved how it works in Stella Search. Under the pilot scheme, print requests were limited to specific publishers and publication years and were mediated by single-purpose, pre-loaded records in Stella Search. With Reader Recommendation, the UK eLD records themselves include the link to the recommendation form; purchased print copies will be requestable via new records for the print version. Of course, the Library continues to be under pragmatic constraints in operating the scheme, particularly the availability of the print titles from its suppliers, and the availability of funds. As before, it will monitor and review the scheme in the context of evolving collection development policies and practices.

Access Gate Success – All Areas Complete

The Berkeley, Lecky, Hamilton, and John Stearne Medical Library, (St. James’s) entrances have all been upgraded with new access control gates. We thank you for your patience and cooperation while the refurbishment works were being carried out, and for adjusting to the changes.

The aim of the project is to provide seamless access to Library spaces for staff and students, while also improving the security of Library collections and enhancing the look and feel of Library entrances.

Make sure you have your ID card on you at all times, or phone for those using that service. Entering and exiting will require identification.

Continue reading “Access Gate Success – All Areas Complete”

Major Library collections move from Old Library as part of landmark conservation project

 One of the largest decants of a heritage building in Ireland − 350,000 early printed books and 700,000 collection items

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan visited the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin yesterday [October 19th] to see at close quarters the monumental task of decanting the Library collections as part of the Old Library Redevelopment Project.

In order for the landmark conservation project to start, all of the Library’s Research Collections housed in the Old Library must be transferred to special storage. This means removing 350,000 Early Printed books and a total of 700,000 items as part of the Library collections. Readers will continue to have access to all material in an Interim Research Collections Study Centre during the lifetime of the building conservation project. It is one of the largest decant processes to take place of a heritage building in Ireland.

Minister for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan was joined by Trinity Provost, Dr Linda Doyle, Bursar, Professor Eleanor Denny, Librarian & College Archivist, Helen Shenton during the visit and met with the Library team involved in the historic project.

Minister for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan pictured with Library staff and project assistants.

As part of the decant process, each book is carefully cleaned with a specialised vacuum, measured, electronically tagged and linked to an online catalogue record, before being safely relocated to a climate-controlled storage facility.

Minister Noonan said on the occasion of the visit: “I am delighted to be here today, witnessing this historic once in a lifetime decant as it unfolds. We have a shared responsibility towards our cultural heritage and Trinity College Dublin through this conservation project is ensuring this 18th century Old Library building and its collections are conserved for the next century. Significant care and consideration goes into moving a collection of this scale and the dedication of the Library team is impressive.”

Keeper of Preservation & Conservation, Susie Bioletti explains the steps to the decant and collection care while Daniel Sheridan, Senior Project Assistant demonstrates the specialised vacuum process.

Provost, Dr Linda Doyle said: “The Old Library Redevelopment Project is a transformative undertaking which will preserve this priceless cultural institution for the next generation and beyond. The decant, led by the Library team, is a massive operation, with more than 50 Library staff assisted by over 25 project assistants. It marks a key stage in this transformative redevelopment project.”

 
Minister Noonan, joined by the Provost, Dr Linda Doyle and Bursar, Professor Eleanor Denny, is shown a book on Kilkenny, his native county, ready for transfer by Project Assistant Supervisor, Dena Horan.

Minister Noonan met with Library staff who designed the project and are now carrying it out, helped by project assistants. The project assistants busily working away in the Long Room are early career archivists, conservators and museum professionals from across the country and internationally.

The first book to be decanted was a 19th century publication, ‘Reeves’ History of the English law: from the time of the Romans to the end of the reign of Elizabeth’ and many more have followed.

“This is a particularly complex and sensitive decant. There are so many precious books, manuscripts and objects held in the vast collections, which extend over many centuries. Imagine a house move at scale – thousands of times bigger and more complicated in order to move 700,000 items,” explained the Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton.

Minister Noonan takes his time studying the book with the Bursar.

Trinity Bursar, Professor Eleanor Denny is Chair of the Old Library Redevelopment Project and is leading the project for the University along with all other construction projects on campus:

“The decant process is critical for the next stage of the restoration project. Once complete, the Old Library will close at the end of Autumn 2023 and the urgent structural and environmental upgrades can then take place over a three-year period. It is a once in a lifetime project, and it will future-proof both the 18th century building and its collections for the 22nd century and beyond.” said Professor Denny.

For more information on the Old Library Redevelopment Project see: https://www.tcd.ie/old-library-campaign/

SUBSTANTIAL NEW ELECTRONIC RESOURCES ACQUIRED BY THE LIBRARY OF TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN  

Group of electronic device users logging onto their devices

The Library is delighted to announce the purchase of 14 new electronic resources supporting multiple disciplines across the Arts and Humanities.  

With access to millions of primary source collections this is a fantastic opportunity to expand your research and knowledge on a wide breadth of subjects, ranging from 18th-20th Irish history to global cultural and encyclopedic knowledge spanning the millennia.  

Continue reading “SUBSTANTIAL NEW ELECTRONIC RESOURCES ACQUIRED BY THE LIBRARY OF TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN  “

The Library of Trinity College Dublin – Retiree special 2020-2022

After 3 long years, the Library of Trinity College Dublin gathered last night in the Long Room of the Old Library and held a very special event in honour of ten members of staff who retired in 2020, 2021 and four more due to retire this week, September 2022.

Sean Breen, Readers’ Services (1974-2021), Carmel Carr, Librarian’s Office (1980-2022), Loretto Curley, Library Guard (2005-2020), Paul Doyle, Readers’ Services (1972-2020), Helen Flynn, Cataloguing (1982-2021), Peter Guilding, Cataloguing (1980-2021), Assumpta Guilfoyle, Cataloguing (1974-2021), Una Lynch, Readers’ Services (1976-2022), Paul Mulligan, Map Library (2007-2022) and Paula Norris, Readers’ Services (1977-2022).

These ten people in particular, have given an enormous amount over the decades – who combined, served a staggering 387.5 years and of themselves – incalculable dedication.

Continue reading “The Library of Trinity College Dublin – Retiree special 2020-2022”

Re-discovered Treasure from the Long Room

Giordani music manuscripts rediscovered during Old Library redevelopment preparations

The unseen high galleries and closed stacks of the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin are currently a hive of activity, as a small army of library staff and project assistants have begun to empty the shelves in preparation for the restoration and redevelopment of the building which is due to begin late next year. Each individual volume must be cleaned and measured, its physical condition assessed and recorded, an electronic tag attached, and its catalogue description checked for accuracy. All of this information must then be entered in the Library’s online database before the volume is carefully packed away and sent to secure off-site storage (where it will remain retrievable for researchers throughout the project).

This amounts to the most detailed and systematic shelf check of this material for many years, and already it has thrown up some interesting new discoveries. One such occurred when examining the contents of a volume of assorted vocal and instrumental sheet music collected in the late 18th century by a member of the Balfour family of Townley Hall, (a country house near Drogheda in Co. Louth, about 55 kilometres from Dublin). Bound in at the back of this volume (shelfmark OLS X-2-1) was a hitherto undocumented music manuscript, faintly headed “Giordani Solfeggio”.

Music score of 18th century composerTommaso Giordani, titled “Giordani Solfeggio”
Continue reading “Re-discovered Treasure from the Long Room”

Digitising Cultural Heritage Collections: Lessons Learned and Forging Ahead

A seminar organised by the Library of Trinity College Dublin and the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL).

The Library of Trinity College Dublin and Trinity Centre for the Book Research Seminar will host the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL) Annual Seminar on Tuesday October 4, 2022 (9:30am – 5pm), at the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute. Ten years since digitisation was last the subject of a CERL Seminar, we wish to bring people together to discuss the varied challenges research libraries face in the planning and realising of internal and collaborative programmes of digitisation for cultural heritage materials. 

Speakers from various international and Irish libraries will comment on the state of the art of digitisation and the role of research libraries therein, presenting a variety of recent and ongoing projects. These include the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Folger Shakespeare Library, John Rylands Library, and the libraries of the National University of Ireland Galway and Royal Irish Academy. Through the seminar we hope to instigate a community-focused discussion to problematise the maturing field of cultural heritage digitisation. 

The full programme is available here for the event
Registration is open to all. Please register before September 26 by emailing secretariat@cerl.org.

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
For further information contact Unlocking the Fagel Collection Project Manager, Dr Ann-Marie Hansen, anhansen@tcd.ie