Honouring the pioneering work of Professor M.L. Colker

Illuminating the Middle Ages which showcases the treasure trove of medieval Latin manuscripts in the Library is this week’s choice of exhibition in the online exhibition series. Professor M.L Colker who created the first comprehensive catalogue of the Library’s medieval Latin manuscript collection sadly passed away last week. We pay tribute to his pioneering work by revisiting this exhibition curated in his honour.

In the 1950s, Marvin ‘Mark’ Colker of the University of Virginia embarked on the Herculean task of cataloguing this collection, comprising around 450 manuscripts.Over the course of 30 years, Colker made regular visits to Dublin, spending long hours working tirelessly in the manuscripts reading room at the Library. His dedication resulted in the publication of Trinity College Dublin Library: Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Latin Manuscripts (Dublin, 1991), fondly referred to as the ‘Colker Catalogue’. His ground-breaking work is the cornerstone for any project or research based on the Latin manuscripts.

By way of tribute, an exhibition entitled Illuminating the Middle Ages showcases the diversity of material made accessible to researchers through Colker’s commitment and expertise. The online exhibition features vividly illuminated psalters, a vibrantly decorated Book of Hours, a handbook for classical learning and a thirteenth-century copy of Peter Lombard’s Sentences. It also includes images from the Book of Armagh, the sumptuously decorated Dublin Apocalypse, as well as a unique handbook for confessors.

Colker’s work was also honoured with the publication of a special edition of Hermathena: a Trinity College Dublin Review — the Department of Classics’ journal which has been published without interruption since 1873. The special issue of Hermathena was edited by Anna Chahoud, Professor of Latin.

The collection, entitled Fabellae Dublinenses Revisited and other Essays in Honour of Marvin Colker, includes essays by scholars from Trinity College (John Scattergood, Edward McParland, Anna Chahoud) and abroad (Thomas Smith, Ernesto Stagni, Giulio Vannini, Ornella Rossi, Silverio Franzoni). The collection of essays gives special attention to the text known, after Colker’s discovery in TCD MS 602, as ‘Petronius Redivivus’. The studies partly engage with Colker’s pioneering research on select Latin manuscripts (MS 602, MS 632) and partly offer a complementary tribute to the extraordinary value of Trinity Library collections for literary, historical and architectural inquiries (MS 115, MS 496, Fagel Collections I.1.95).

Dublin Apocalypse, folio 3v (Early 14th century)

Celebrating Irish Artist Harry Clarke

One of Ireland’s most renowned artists, Harry Clarke, is celebrated in the first of a series of Library online exhibitions which will be showcased in this extended period of self-isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Clarke Stained Glass Studios Collection is for anyone interested in 20th-century Irish art and craft as exemplified by the creative genius of the leading exponent of stained glass work, Harry Clarke.

Continue reading “Celebrating Irish Artist Harry Clarke”

Banned Books Exhibition in the Library

The Library has a new mini exhibition in the Ussher Library, Orientation Space showcasing some of the books banned by the Censorship of Publications Board since 1930 up to more recent times. Also on show are archival items (including the key to the Banned Books Room) showing how these banned books were dealt with by the Library from the 1960s onwards. The exhibits reflect the history of censorship in Ireland and the sometimes uneasy relationship between the Library and the State authorities.

International Digital Preservation Day – 30 November #idpd17

‘Save the Date’: On the 30th of November 2017, to mark International Digital Preservation Day, the Library invites Trinity students, researchers and interested members of the public to explore the challenges of preserving digital cultural heritage.

A pop-up Museum of Technology in the Berkeley Library will showcase obsolete computer hardware and software, which will be extended into an online exhibition. The exhibit includes computers and storage media from the 1980s right up to the present day. The display is intended to prompt the audience to think about the importance of digital preservation as an active rather than a passive activity, by demonstrating the rapid evolution of hardware and software, the transience of formats, and the dangers of obsolescence.
Some of items on display are from the Library’s own collection; others form part of the John Gabriel Byrne Computer Science Collection, and have been generously loaned by the School of Computer Science for the duration of the exhibit.

In collaboration with the Digital Repository of Ireland, the Library will host a ‘Wikithon’ Workshop (facilitated by Rebecca O’Neill, Project Coordinator of Wikimedia Community Ireland) with representatives from several cultural institutions will collate little-known information about current digital preservation activities.

Register for Wikithon Workshop

The day will culminate in an evening public lecture with a panel of scholars and publishers of digital content, investigating the limits of digital preservation, from the content itself to the experience of using it.

Register for Digital Cultural Heritage and the Limits of Preservation lecture

Speakers:

Anna Gerber and Britt Iverson, who run Visual Editions, a London-based “creative studio and reading lab”

Dr Amber Cushing, assistant professor at the School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin

Programme:

6:15 p.m. – Welcome

6:30 p.m. – Keynote Speeches

7:30 p.m. – Questions from the Audience

8:00 p.m. – Closing Words

Venue: Robert Emmet Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin main campus

Image credit: Afrank99 – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3723573

Berkeley50 – A Year of Celebrations

Berkeley Library, Trinity College, Dublin: the entrance front and raised forecourt

Our iconic Berkeley Library is 50 years old this year – and we need your help to celebrate!

Every week, we will release a new post on the Berkeley50 website – check out the first ones there already. We need your photos and stories to make this work. Can you help?

Some of the stories will be about the time before the opening, when Trinity was pulling together the funds and deciding on the design. This is a snippet from the film that was released in 1958 to help fundraise:

We will be hosting a series of events to celebrate the anniversary. Follow the events and stories on Twitter using #berkeley50.

 

The Book of Kells from the RTÉ Archives, 1989

The Book of Kells is obviously one of the best-known treasures of the Library, so it’s always nice to see it mentioned by the media.

This gem from 1989 is from the “teenage entertainment show” Jo-Maxi, and discusses how the Book of Kells was reproduced for printed facsimile copies – the images taken then are what formed the basis of the later DVD, app and online versions.

The Librarian of the time being interviewed, Peter Fox, is the author of Trinity College Library Dublin: A History.

Enjoy!


Culture Night 2016

As with previous years, we’re delighted to be part of Cuture Night 2016, offering free entry to the Book of Kells Exhibition and the Long Room of the Old Library. Admission is free between 5 and 9, but numbers may be limited during that time to avoid overcrowding.

Also, Library staff member Beata Daly will be exhibiting some of her artwork in the newly-opened Abbey Studios on Marlborough Street, so please swing by if you are hitting the Northside’s attractions too!

The Great War Revisited – Major New Online Exhibition, Partnered with Google Cultural Institute

A slide from the new exhibition

Rare and previously unpublished material held in the Library of Trinity College Dublin relating to WW1 will be brought to a global audience thanks to an online collaboration between Trinity and Google.

RTE-30-06-15
Segment from Six One News, June 30th 2015. Copyright Raidió Teilifís Éireann 2015.
Click to go to video.

The Great War Revisited exhibition was launched online on Tuesday, June 30th 2015 at the Google Cultural Institute. This exhibition features 60 exhibits of unique heritage material from Trinity’s rare books and manuscripts collections relating to the Great War, including recruiting posters, letters, diaries, photographs, videos, pamphlets and artworks.

These highlights from the Library’s rich and diverse collections of material relating to the First World War can now be easily accessed by anyone wherever they are in world, right from their computer, tablet or phone. The Great War Revisited is Trinity’s first collaboration with Google Cultural Institute, which partners with more than 800 institutions – museums, libraries, art galleries and archives – around the world. The platform hosts over 170,000 artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history, to make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • Trinity’s celebrated collection of Irish WWI recruiting posters (one of the largest collection in existence)
  • Previously unpublished photographs of the Allied campaign in Iraq and Turkey
  • Letters and diaries from Irish soldiers serving in France, Iraq and Palestine (previously unpublished)
  • A multitude of political pamphlets, songs and ballads and artworks

Commenting on the launch of the online exhibition Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist, said: “The Library of Trinity College Dublin is delighted to be partnering with Google Cultural Institute on the Great War Revisited online exhibition. Showcasing the richness of First World War material held in the Library, the online exhibition forms part of the Library’s commitment to opening up its historic collections for global online access.”

The exhibition is part of the Library’s contribution to the Trinity College Dublin Decade of Commemoration initiative which includes lectures and conferences and a rededication of the Hall of Honour later this year.