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#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. 

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.

Bound to please: Exhibition of fore-edge paintings and bindings go on display in Long Room

Pictured in the main image are Principal Librarian, Early Printed Books & Special Collections, Dr Lydia Ferguson and exhibition curator, donor, Bettina Bollmann.

Intricate scenes painted on book edges depicting landscapes, flowers and buildings are the subject of a new exhibition in the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

Château de Fontainebleau on the fore-edge of M. Menzikof & F. Dolgorouki: Histoire russe v.2 (London, 1805)

The exhibition features highlights from the Library’s Bollmann Collection which includes fore-edge paintings executed over 250 years. They were painted on books printed between 1639 and 1895, with a wide variety of subjects – landscapes, mansions, religious buildings, boats, coats of arms, and flowers. Many of the books in the collection are in decorative bindings and the most beautiful of these will be on view in the exhibition alongside the fore-edge paintings.

Entitled “Bound to please: the Elsbeth and Bettina Bollmann Collection of fore-edge paintings and bindings”, the exhibition in the Long Room of the Old Library will run until the end of November and forms part of the Book Of Kells exhibition.

The unusual art of painting on the flat fore-edges of books goes back many centuries but the more subtle art of creating a hidden picture which is only visible when the leaves of the book are fanned appeared in England in the middle of the 17th century. There are three 17th-century fore-edge paintings in the Bollmann Collection, one of them probably executed in 1652 and the other two dated 1685 and 1688.

The art of fore-edge painting was taken up by the firm of Edwards of Halifax in the late 18th century and is often associated with that family. Founded by William Edwards in Halifax, Yorkshire, William was joined in his business by his sons, two of whom opened their own premises in London.

Apart from fore-edge paintings, the Edwards are known for their Etruscan-style bindings, described as such because motifs typical of Etruscan vases were used to decorate them, and for illustrated vellum bindings, on which a drawing on the cover is covered with a thin layer of transparent vellum to protect it. Both of these designs by the Edwards family are represented by several books in the Bollmann Collection. These stunning bindings are among those forming part of this exhibition.

Most fore-edge paintings are not dated and some of them were added to books many years after the books were published. Double fore-edge paintings and triple edge paintings, which are not commonly found, are believed to date from the early 20th century. Books with these paintings are among the highlights of this exhibition.

Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist, commented:

“The Bollmann Collection of fore-edge paintings and bindings is the largest collection of fine bindings acquired by the Library of Trinity College Dublin since the early 19th century. Most of the volumes are decorated with fore-edge paintings and many of them are in fine bindings, making this the most important collection of bindings to be acquired by the Library in over 200 years, since the Quin Collection was received in 1805.

We are most grateful to Bettina Bollmann for making this donation of exquisite fore-edge paintings and bindings to the Library’s precious Research Collections. We are delighted to showcase highlights in this physical exhibition as well as an online exhibition and videos.”

The books on display in the Trinity exhibition form part of a collection of 52 books which was donated to the Library in 2022 by Bettina Bollmann, who had joined her mother Elsbeth over several decades in assembling the collection.

Most of the volumes are decorated with fore-edge paintings and many of them are in fine bindings, making this the most important collection of bindings to be acquired by the Library in over 200 years, since the Quin Collection was received in 1805.

Pictured in the main image are Principal Librarian, Early Printed Books & Special Collections, Dr Lydia Ferguson  and exhibition curator, donor, Bettina Bollmann.

Read more here:

Intermittent noise in the Ussher Library, 9-18 August

Due to ongoing construction works, there will be periods of noise during weekday office hours from Wednesday 9 to Friday 18 August in the Ussher Library – we apologise for any disruption caused. Due to the nature of the works these are likely to be quite loud and constant this week; next week should be more intermittent.

Students wishing to use reading rooms with less distraction may wish to temporarily move to the Lecky Library, former Berkeley Library, or indeed the Hamilton Library at the East End of College.

Library Vacancies – Student Shelvers 2023/2024

Student Shelvers (Term Time), 2023/2024

Applications for student shelvers are now being accepted for the coming academic year 2023/24.

Each year the Library employs a number of student shelvers who work 10-12 hours per week at the Libraries on Campus and in the Trinity Centre at St James’s Hospital. The primary role of student shelvers is to sort books and return them to the shelves each morning before the Library opens.

A full job description and short-listing criteria are available on the application website. Please ensure you read these in detail before completing the form on the website.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Monday 7th August 2023.

Please Note: Interviews for these positions are likely to take place at the end of September 2023. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by e-mail of their interview time at least one week in advance of the interview date.

If you have any questions please contact Maria Kelly, Reading Room Maintenance Executive: kellyM10@tcd.ie 

School of Education authors publish new book on Universal Design for Learning in Academia

Authors pictured are Mary Quirke, Patricia McCarthy and Gaston (Trusty bi-lingual Asst.) and Conor McGuckin.

The Routledge publication of “Adopting a UDL Attitude within Academia” was celebrated with authors, Mary Quirke, Conor McGuckin and Patricia McCarthy, together with Gaston (Patricia’s guide dog), Library staff and colleagues this week (July 12th) in the foyer of the Library.  The book is an interesting project whilst also an exciting contribution to the discourse on inclusion on campus.  The authors themselves are an interesting team in that Mary is completing her PhD, with Dr McGuckin and Dr McCarthy who are colleagues in the School of Education.

Authors, Mary Quirke, Patricia McCarthy and Gaston (Trusty bi-lingual Asst.) and Conor McGuckin joined by colleagues from the  School of Education, Library and wider College community: Michael Shevlin, Siobhan Dunne, Derina Johnson, Emer Murphy, Aoife Lynam, Emily Barnes, Marita Kerin, Carmel O’Sullivan, Conn McCluskey, Sarah Coughlan, Rebecca Cullen, Barbara Ringwood and Carol-Ann O’Sioráin.

While the book bridges the gap between the theory and practice of UDL (Universal Design for Learning), a design framework for inclusion, it very clearly sets out the “thinking” needed in our increasingly diverse learning environments.

The book is not just intended for those leading classrooms and this is very evident from the variety of contributors across the publication.  Our very own subject librarian, is one of many international contributors.  Geraldine Fitzgerald shares her experience of developing inclusive practice in Chapter 8 and how in her role as subject librarian for Education, she regarded UDL as a useful personal learning concept. Geraldine has successfully applied UDL with colleagues resulting in positive inclusive change across the Library and has continued to collaborate on projects relating to improving the library’s sensory environment and improving accessibility to resources.

This book encompasses all the values of inclusion.  It pushes the boundaries and engages all on campus.  The inclusion of subject librarian, Geraldine, was integral as when we first think about information in a campus setting, our thoughts are never too far away from what we need to read.  Whilst the librarians and their expertise are important to the discussion of inclusion, these colleagues do not stand alone as the gatekeepers.  Each and every one of us has a role to play. 

That is the essence of the book − it shares the attitude necessary for inclusion, where inclusion is everyone’s business.

The book will have a broad appeal and is essential reading for anyone looking to understand and implement UDL across their learning environment.

There is a book launch planned Sept 7th 2023, so do put the date in your diary! Further details to follow.

Submitted by Author Mary Quirke

Closure of the 1937 Reading Room for Essential Works

Postgraduate-Reading-Room

There have been serious issues with leaks and damp in the 1937 Reading Room for some time. The Library has been working with Estates and Facilities to put together a programme of works to address these issues and ensure the long-term viability of the building. This will require the closure of the main reading room area from next Monday 22nd May for the coming months, and temporary closures of adjacent spaces, particularly in the early and late phases of the project. It is anticipated that the main reading room will fully reopen in September 2023 – an exact date will be communicated later in the summer when Estates & Facilities are in a position to confirm the project end point.

While the project is underway, alternative study spaces will be available on campus to ensure that our postgraduate students will always have somewhere comfortable to work, both during the day and overnight:

  • Monday 22nd May – Sunday 11th June
  • The Berkeley and Lecky libraries will be available from 09:30 to 17:00 (note: the Ussher Library will be closed during this time for essential works but you can request books held in the Ussher by emailing us at library@tcd.ie)
  • The Hamilton Library will be available on a 24/7 basis (here is a video to show you how to get there)
  • Monday 12th June to the end of the summer
  • The Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher libraries will be available from 09:30-17:00
  • Kinsella Hall (floors 1-3 of the Ussher Library), will be available on a 24/7 basis

Full details are available on the Library website’s Opening Hours section for the 1937 Reading Room.

While the kitchen, toilets, PC room, group study area, side corridors and lockers will need to be closed occasionally for short periods of time (usually just a day or two), they will remain generally accessible throughout the summer on a 24/7 basis. Postgraduate students will be given as much advanced notice as possible about these temporary closures.

Addressing leaks and damp in the 1937 Reading Room is an important health and safety measure that will improve the experience for those who rely on the various facilities within the building. But as with any historical protected structure, renovation works will be challenging. Estates and Facilities have advised that timelines, especially with regard to temporary closures of specific spaces, may be subject to change. The Library website and social media platforms will be used to keep the postgraduate community up to date on developments.     

The Library of Trinity College Dublin

Leabharlann Choláiste na Tríonóide

Trinity College Dublin to dename the Berkeley Library 

The Berkeley Library

Trinity College Dublin is to dename the Berkeley Library while adopting a retain-and-explain approach to a stained-glass window commemorating George Berkeley [26 April 2023].  

Portraits depicting Berkeley will be assessed in the future by a new overall College policy on artwork, while the academic Gold Medals memorialising Berkeley will be reviewed by the relevant academic department.  

These decisions represent a nuanced approach and are the result of careful consideration and detailed analysis. 

Opened in 1967, Trinity’s largest library was named in 1978 after George Berkeley, the world-renowned philosopher, and former Librarian at Trinity. Berkeley published some of his most important philosophical works while at Trinity in the 1700s. He bought slaves – named Philip, Anthony, Edward, and Agnes Berkeley – to work on his Rhode Island estate in 1730-31 and sought to advance ideology in support of slavery. 

Today’s decision was taken by the University’s Board following several months of research, analysis and public consultation overseen by the Trinity Legacies Review Working Group, which is considering legacy issues on a case-by-case basis. 

Trinity decided that the continued use of the Berkeley name on its library is inconsistent with the University’s core values of human dignity, freedom, inclusivity, and equality. The denaming does not deny Berkeley’s importance as a writer, philosopher, and towering intellectual figure. His philosophical work will still be taught at Trinity and remains of significant contemporary relevance. A separate process will determine what the new name for the library should be. 

Trinity’s Provost Dr Linda Doyle said:  

“The landscape of a university, especially one as old as Trinity, is not static. Each generation of students and staff deserves a chance to influence decisions. In this case, it was our students who called on us to address the issue. We welcome their engagement, and we thank the Trinity Legacies Review Working Group for its assistance in providing evidence-based information to underpin this decision. 

“George Berkeley’s enormous contribution to philosophical thought is not in question. However, it is also clear that he was both an owner of enslaved people and a theorist of slavery and racial discrimination, which is in clear conflict with Trinity’s core values.” 

Professor Eoin O Sullivan, Senior Dean and Chair of the Trinity Legacies Review Working Group, said: 

“I am grateful to all those who contributed their time and expertise to the consideration of this critical issue. We received close to 100 submissions from members of the public, alumni and our own students and staff on this matter. 

“Especially influential on our thinking has been the pioneering work at the universities of Glasgow, Dalhousie, Brown, and Harvard, all of which have faced similar issues to those we face at Trinity as we reckon with our past. We are committed to addressing issues around Trinity’s complex legacy, from an evidence-based perspective and on a case-by-case basis.” 
 
Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist at Trinity College Dublinsaid: 

“Technological advances, societal changes and cultural evolutions shape the Library for each generation. Libraries are both fundamental constants in the university and simultaneously constantly in flux. 

“The Library building known today as the ‘Berkeley’ started out as the ‘New’ Library in 1967. As a 21st century Library, another name change prioritises the current generation of students’ experience of a welcoming and supportive Library space. There is the opportunity to be creative and imaginative in response to this change.  

“Trinity will continue to hold George Berkeley’s philosophical works in the Library collections and continue to teach and to research his works.” 

ENDS

Background on Trinity’s process:

Trinity’s Legacies Review Working Group (TLRWG), comprising Trinity students, professional staff, academic staff as well as external members, began an evidence-based review of the issues around the Berkeley last year.

This followed a call from the Trinity College Dublin Student Union to dename the library.

93 written submissions were received about George Berkeley by the end of January 2023.  These included submissions from current students and staff, emeritus staff, alumni and international experts on Berkeley and other associated subjects. Of these, 47 were in favour of de-naming the library, 23 suggested new names for the library and should be seen as broadly supportive of de-naming, even if renaming was outside the brief of this consultation. There were 16 submissions that supported retaining Bishop Berkeley’s name on the library.

All submissions made on the topic of George Berkeley can be downloaded and read here (https://www.tcd.ie/seniordean/legacies/).

For a working paper on Berkeley’s legacies at Trinity prepared for TLRWG, see here (https://www.tcd.ie/seniordean/legacies/berkeleyTLRWGworkingpaper.pdf).

The role of the TLRWG is to document the historical evidence on specific legacy issues, to seek evidence-based submissions from the College and wider community on each identified issue, and, based on the evidence collated, provide options for consideration to the relevant decision-making authority (College Board, Faculty Executive or School Executive) as is appropriate and determined by the Working Group. The Terms of Reference for the Group can be read here: https://www.tcd.ie/seniordean/legacies/TLRWGToR.pdf

 A brief biography of George Berkeley

George Berkeley was born at Dysart, Co. Kilkenny in March 1685. Educated at Kilkenny College, he entered Trinity College Dublin in March 1700, receiving his BA degree in February 1704. He took holy orders and became a fellow of Trinity by competitive examination in 1707. He subsequently held several college offices including Librarian (1709), Junior Dean (1710), junior Greek Lecturer (1712), senior Greek lecturer (1721), Divinity lecturer and preacher (1721) senior Proctor (1722) and Hebrew lecturer (1723) before relinquishing his fellowship in 1724 to become Dean of Derry. As Librarian in 1709 he was instrumental in overseeing the building of the then new library, now the Old Library.

While at Trinity he published the three books upon which his fame and reputation as a philosopher rests. The first of these, An essay towards a new theory of vision was published in 1709 and developed his ideas on vision which would later support his more famous immaterialist hypotheses. His Treatise concerning the principles of Human Knowledge followed in 1710 and is regarded as his masterpiece. It developed his full-blown philosophy of materialism or subjective idealism and continues to have a major influence on modern philosophical scholarship. Finally, the third of these pioneering works, Three dialogues between Hylas and Philonous was published in London in 1713. His reputation established; Berkeley embarked on two extensive grand tours of Europe from 1714-20 before eventually returning to his fellowship.

While Dean of Derry, he developed his idea for establishing a university in the American colonial territory of Bermuda. This eventually involved Berkeley moving to Rhode Island in 1729 where he purchased a farm at Whitehall worked by enslaved people.

Upon his return from America and following a period living in London with his growing family, Berkeley was appointed to the provincial bishopric of Cloyne, in which role he remained until his death. During this period, he wrote his influential work on Irish political economy, The Querist (1735-37), as well a series of other pamphlets.

More detail on Berkeley’s memorialisation at Trinity

Berkeley Memorial Window

The Berkeley Memorial window is one of three major pieces of stained glass sited in the chancel of the College Chapel and dates to 1866. It is not well-known – even within the College – and the only scholarly article written about it is a 1972 piece by E.J. Furlong in Hermathena, from which the bulk of the following description is taken. The idea of a window dedicated to Bishop Berkeley emerged alongside suggestions for windows in honour of Archbishop Ussher and Richard Graves, Dean of Armagh and was approved by Board in 1867. It was funded by the gift of £300 from Richard R. Warren, then MP for Trinity, and a further gift of £72 from the incoming Provost Humphrey Lloyd – both given in 1867. Designs were considered for the window in February 1868, and the London firm of Clayton and Bell were successful.

Bishop Berkeley’s Gold Medals

 On 8 May 1752, ‘the Provost and Senior Fellows agreed to give annually, forever, two Gold Medals for the encouragement of Bachelor of Arts in the Study of the Greek language: having received a Benefaction of one hundred and twenty guineas, besides a die, from the Right Rev. Dr. George Berkeley, Lord Bishop of Cloyne for that purpose.’ These medals are still listed in the College Calendar today but have not been awarded by the Dept. of Classics since 2011.

The Department of Classics has a preference to dename Bishop Berkeley’s Gold Medals.

Portraits

There are three portraits of George Berkeley in the College art collection. One, by Robert Home (1782), is hung in the Examination Hall, another, by Francis Bindon (1733), is in the Senior Common Room, and the last is by James Latham (1743).

Ireland’s only copy of the first edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays goes on display in the Library

Image of the Library's First Folio

Paw prints, burn marks and a mysterious code … Ireland’s only copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio has all the hall marks of a book that was much used and much loved. 

The highly-regarded volume is the centrepiece of a new exhibition in the Library of Trinity College Dublin entitled ‘Shakespeare the Irishman’ marking 400 years since the Bard’s complete works were first published. Both a physical exhibition and online version of the Library exhibition were launched last night in the Old Library [Thurs, April 13th] by Trinity alumna and author Anne Enright.  

The first collected edition of William Shakespeare’s plays was published in 1623, seven years after his death. Without it, half of his plays would have been lost. Surviving copies of the First Folio are among the most highly-sought after books in the world.  

Trinity’s copy was acquired at the auction of the library of the late academic Arthur Browne after his death in 1805.  Since then the First Folio has been one of the most cherished items in the Library’s collections.  

Head of Research Collections, Laura Shanahan, author, Anne Enright, exhibition curator, Professor Andy Murphy and co-curator & Assistant Librarian, Shane Mawe at the exhibition launch.

Helen Shenton, Librarian & College Archivist, commented: 

“This exhibition is part of the global celebrations of ‘the book that gave us Shakespeare’ – without the publication of the First Folio we would have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays. It is important to Trinity and Ireland because we have the only copy of the First Folio on the island. It is the highlight of the extensive Shakespearean material in our Library collections. It’s fantastic that it can be seen in the exhibition here in the Old Library and in its digitised form through the Virtual Trinity Library.” 

Andy Murphy, Professor of English and curator of the exhibition, commented:  

“This exhibition tells the story of Trinity’s copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, one of the jewels in the crown of the Library’s collection. While in good condition, it’s clear that it was a much beloved and read volume. Evidence of burn marks, drink stains, paw prints, and mysterious symbols, which have yet to be deciphered, tell us that this is a book that has been used and abused, but always cherished.  

“In Ireland, Shakespeare’s plays have always been deeply intertwined with politics. The exhibition explores how his plays were adopted and adapted in Ireland focusing on his centrality to 18th century ascendancy colonial culture; his influence on 19th century Irish nationalists such as Wolfe Tone, James Connolly, and Patrick Pearse and the translation of some of his work into the Irish language in the 20th century.” 

 
Librarian & College Archivist, Helen Shenton, Provost, Dr Linda Doyle, author, Anne Enright and Professor Andy Murphy viewing the exhibits.

As part of global Folio400 celebrations, Trinity’s copy of the First Folio has been digitised in its entirety and is now freely available to the public online via the Virtual Trinity Library.  

The exhibition marks the launch of the Trinity Centre for the Book a new research centre hosted in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute in collaboration with the Library, which will co-ordinate and share research on the rich cultural and social importance of books of all types.  

Mark Faulkner, Ussher Assistant Professor in Medieval Literature and Director of the Trinity Centre for the Book, commented: 

“As this exhibition demonstrates, Trinity’s Library has an outstanding collection of Shakespearean material; and this excellence is mirrored in its holdings of medieval manuscripts, early printed books and the archives of authors, politicians, thinkers and many others. The new Trinity Centre for the Book will harness these outstanding collections and the university’s significant concentration of experts across its three faculties and the Library to further our understanding of one of society’s most important technologies – the book.” 

Niamh O’Farrell-Tyler, 4th year Student in Drama and Theatre Studies, School of Creative Arts
recites ‘the isle is full of noises’ speech from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ as part of the Library exhibition.

More about the Trinity Centre for the Book: 

The Trinity Centre for the Book, hosted in Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute, in collaboration with the Library, aspires to make Trinity a globally recognised centre for the study, understanding and sharing of the book. The centre will capitalise on Trinity’s outstanding Library collections that span thousands of years, from the Egyptian Books of the Dead to the Library’s rapid response collecting initiative ‘Living in  Lockdown’ – a hybrid collection of physical works and born digital submissions. It will also harness the university’s significant concentration of expertise, with more than 150 researchers publishing over 1,000 works on book history over the last ten years. The centre will examine all aspects of the history of the book to broaden our understanding of its rich cultural and social importance. This will include the key role it has played in communicating knowledge and lived experience for millennia, to recent developments in non-alphabetic forms of communication such as emojis and the emergence of AI-driven content generation engines such as ChatGPT. See more here

More about Trinity’s First Folio: 

The First Folio is one of the most highly-regarded books in the world. Trinity holds the only copy of the book on the island of Ireland. It formerly belonged to Arthur Browne, who was born in New England into a family with strong Irish connections. He studied at Trinity and settled in Dublin. Browne was a distinguished lawyer and an academic at Trinity, where he was both Prof of Law and Prof of Greek. At the time Trinity had its own seat in the Irish parliament and Browne was MP for Trinity from 1783 until parliament was dissolved in 1800. Trinity’s copy of the volume, while in good condition, includes evidence of its having been well used by readers over the decades with evidence of burn marks; drink stains; paw prints; and annotations. The most intriguing aspect of Trinity’s copy is a page that includes a set of inscriptions on one of its blank pages. These are yet to be deciphered, but are most likely shorthand symbols. Trinity purchased the book at the sale of Browne’s books in the wake of his death in 1805 paying £26 11s 6d for the volume.  

 

Library Study Space Campaign

On Tuesday 11 April the Library launched a 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 are freeing up study spaces that have been left unoccupied for more than 60 minutes. Belongings are moved in 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 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 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.

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