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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

A Universal Design approach to improve everyone’s Library experience

Students using flexible seating in the Ussher Library

Our readers come from many different backgrounds and traditions. We are aware that a “one size fits all” approach cannot work for our readers – who may be staff, mature students, non-English speakers, first-generation College students, part-time students with busy family and work commitments…  or something else entirely. We want to ensure that any innovation or change we introduce for specific groups will also benefit the wider University community.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is one approach we are using to achieve change that helps all our users. Our recent collaboration with the Disability Service on the TCDSense project, which seeks to improve the Library’s sensory environment by introducing spaces, furniture and services for more conducive learning and comfort,  is not only benefiting students with sensory overload but all students.

Videographer and co-researcher students from Trinity’s Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities working on scripting “Getting to Know Trinity Library” library engagement video
Videographer and co-researcher students from Trinity’s Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities working on scripting “Getting to Know Trinity Library” library engagement video
Continue reading “A Universal Design approach to improve everyone’s Library experience”

Stella Search improvements

Pomodoro Sphere

Stella Search has got even easier to use! Finding books or other items that form part of our Library Catalogue Only collection is now more straightforward, as you can use the new tab Books & More on the Library homepage or in Stella Search itself. In Stella, you can flick between the default All Results, Books & More, or Articles & More, without having to rerun your search.

The Books & More tab searches for our print books, e-books, journals, subject databases, theses, DVDs, printed music… and more. You can now sort by the title or author surname, in alphabetical order, to make it easier to find the one you want. It *doesn’t* search within the millions of articles we have access to through our subscriptions – that’s what the new Articles & More tab in Stella does.

A search for "the Hobbit" within the new Books & More tab in Stella Search.
A search for “the Hobbit” within the new Books & More tab in Stella Search.

Most of these options were always there – but a little hidden, in the “facet” tickboxes at the side of the results. Those are still there. Don’t like the tabs? The default search (All Results) works exactly as it always has, with books and articles together.

Have feedback? Send us an email at library@tcd.ie with the subject “Stella Search tabs”.

Open Access Allocations 2022 (IReL)

In early 2021 IReL introduced a number of new transformative open access agreements.  This is a major development for the Irish research and publishing landscape and there has been an unprecedented uptake of open access publishing. To date IReL has enabled 24 such agreements across many disciplines, helping to ensure that Irish research is available to the broadest possible audience.

While some of these agreements allow unlimited OA publishing, several are based on a fixed number of OA articles per year, and in several cases our allocations for 2022 are due to run out in the coming weeks.  Once this happens, these publishers will cease offering immediate OA on publication without charges. From January 2023, they will resume offering OA with a fresh 2023 allocation. 

The agreements which will run out in the coming weeks are: 

  • Wiley fully-OA journals – from late July.  See items marked as “Wiley – fully OA journals” in the list.
  • Springer – from late August
  • ScienceDirect Elsevier – from late August

List of journals covered by the IReL agreements.

There remain alternative ways for you to make your work open access:

  • Submitting to the institutional repository, TARA (instructions).
  • If your publication was a result of funding, you may be able to use part of that funding to pay an article processing charge.

If you would like further information please contact publisherapproval@tcd.ie

IIIF4Research Network Online Seminar

Feb 28, 2022 04:00 PM GMT.

Registration link and more details.

Trinity College Dublin is one of the lead institutions in the IIIF4Research Network and the Library of Trinity College Dublin will host a IIIF4Research online seminar on Monday 28th February 2022, between 4pm and 6pm GMT.  The seminar is one of a series provided by members of the IIIF4Research Network.  The Network, led by the research partners at Trinity College Dublin, University of Glasgow, University of Durham and University of Wales, is investigating the potential for innovative forms of scholarly discussion and interchange offered by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF).
The aim of seminar series is to bring together academic researchers from a range of humanities disciplines with technical developers, librarians, archivists and other heritage professionals, to jointly explore issues involved in the adoption and development of IIIF and to identify areas where IIIF can have the greatest transformative effect in arts and humanities scholarship.

The focus of the Trinity College Dublin seminar, will be to illustrate how the potential of IIIF to unite dispersed collections can be valuable to scholars across a range of disciplines, including literary studies, Celtic studies, manuscript studies and the early modern cartographic materials in the Fagel collection.  This will be an informal and multifaceted session. Through a series of short case studies, and informal networking, this seminar will explore the potential of IIIF to transform scholarly and public engagement with digital collections and to facilitate innovative forms of arts and humanities research.  Prior knowledge of or experience in deploying IIIF is not required.

Speaking in advance of the event, Arlene Healy, Sub-librarian, Digital Systems and Services said:

“IIIF is one of the most exciting and widely adopted recent developments in digital humanities. The IIIF4Research network and the associated seminar provides an opportunity to demonstrate the scholarly potential of IIIF. The Network goals are fully aligned with the innovative technology strand of Virtual Trinity Library, a key part of the philanthropic campaign for the University.   Virtual Trinity Library is a long-term programme to advance research on and disseminate knowledge of the unique collections of the Library by cataloguing, curating, conserving and digitising these rich and rare collections.  Innovative technologies such as IIIF will be used to make these collections accessible and facilitate research.”

Speakers include:
• Dr. Mark Faulkner, Ussher Assistant Professor in Medieval Literature (Trinity College Dublin)
• Danielle Jansen of the KB, National Library of the Netherlands
• Benjamin Albritton, Rare Books Curator, Stanford Libraries

Registration is free and open to researchers, developers, librarians, archivists, heritage professionals and members of the public.

This research/project was funded by UKRI-AHRC and the Irish Research Council under the ‘UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Networking Call’ (grant numbers AH/V002260/1 and IRC/V002260/1).

IReL Open Access agreements update

In early 2021 IReL introduced a number of new transformative open access agreements. This is a major development for the Irish research and publishing landscape and there has been an unprecedented uptake of open access publishing. To date IReL has enabled 20 such agreements across many disciplines, helping to ensure that Irish research is available to the broadest possible audience.

While some of these agreements allow unlimited OA publishing, several are based on a fixed number of OA articles per year, and in several cases our allocations for 2021 are due to run out before the end of the year. Once this happens, these publishers will cease offering immediate OA on publication without charges. From January 2022, they will resume offering OA with a fresh 2022 allocation. 

Continue reading “IReL Open Access agreements update”

Wishing departing Library colleagues a long and happy retirement

Pomodoro Sphere

For the second time in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reached September and are unable to mark the imminent retirement of respected colleagues with the traditional celebrations and ceremonies we normally expect and that they deserve. This year, we are saying goodbye to Assumpta Guilfoyle, Sean Breen, and Peter Guilding. Between them, they have given the Library 136 years of service.

Sean (48 years) has worked in Reading Room Services and for many he is the embodiment of the BLU counter. Assumpta (47 years) and Peter (41 years) have worked in Cataloguing (Bibliographic Data Management Department), where they played significant and well-known roles: Keywords, Banned Books and Shared Cataloguing Programme.

They are joined by two colleagues, Paul Doyle and Loretto Curley who also retired in 2020.

Continue reading “Wishing departing Library colleagues a long and happy retirement”

Welcome to all new undergraduate students from the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Dear students,

A very warm welcome to all new undergraduate students starting classes today − we wish you every success in your studies at Trinity. The libraries are open and, in keeping with the Provost’s ‘Return to Campus’ guidelines and public health advice, face coverings and two metre social distancing are currently mandatory. Pre-booking is required to enter the Library with each individual booking being for 1 hour 45 minutes.

From today, we are also introducing extended opening hours to include evening and Saturday openings in the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton Libraries as well as Saturday opening in the John Stearne Medical Library.

Continue reading “Welcome to all new undergraduate students from the Library of Trinity College Dublin”

Digital Collections and persistent identifiers

person in black leather jacket using a laptop

We are delighted to announce that Digital Collections now have persistent identifiers in the form of DOIs attached to the objects in the repository. DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. These are unique persistent identifiers that can be used to consistently identify digital objects online. They will ensure the sustainability of users’ citations and bookmarks beyond the generational lifecycle of the platform.

Continue reading “Digital Collections and persistent identifiers”

Manuscripts for Medieval Studies Project: First manuscript online

The first digitised manuscript from the Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project has been published online and is accessible via the Library’s Digital Collections site.

Part of the Virtual Trinity Library Programme, the project is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and focuses on sixteen important manuscripts used in the teaching of medieval studies.  

The fifteenth-century manuscript (TCD MS 360) was once in the possession of Queen Elizabeth I’s famous astrologer, the mathematician John Dee (1527-1608/9), but its true significance lies in its status as the earliest surviving catalogue of the oldest recorded book collection in England. This was the library founded at Canterbury in the late sixth century by the Christian missionary St Augustine (d.604).

TCD MS 360 f.27r – opening page of the main catalogue list

The manuscript, which references over 1,700 texts, is a hugely important resource for anyone with a scholarly interest in the development of library collections during the medieval era. 300 of the texts identified within it are now housed across collections including the British Library, The Parker Library, the Bodleian Libraries and more. This is the first time it has been made so widely accessible, and the current project has utilised recent research in producing a detailed catalogue entry and bibliography of secondary sources. This is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, MARLOC.

You can read more about the Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project on our Research Collections blog. For more details on the contents and context of this manuscript, see this blog post.

There are many more manuscripts which will be featured as part of this project, and further updates and posts will appear on the Virtual Trinity Library website, the Research Collections blog, @TCDResearchColl twitter, and @TCDLibrary Instagram.

Estelle Gittins

Virtual Trinity Library is a digitisation initiative of the Library of Trinity College Dublin’s most valued collections. It will conserve, catalogue, curate, digitise and research these unique collections of national importance, making them accessible to a global audience, from schoolchildren to scholars.