“Keeping the Books” – Daily Talks in the Long Room

A Preservation Assistant at work

A Preservation Assistant at work

What challenges and risks do the books in the Old Library face every day and how do we ‘keep’ the books? What is red rot and what does foxing and acid books mean?

What measures do we take so that library visitors can continue to enjoy and use special collections in the future? Why do we clean books, and what is the dirt? What are Smoke Sponges, Backuums and unbleached cotton tape?

How has the Old Library building changed over the years since 1712? What type of books do we have in the Long Room and when were they made? How many books are there and how have the collections grown over the years?

To learn the answers to all of these questions and more, come to the Long Room in the Old Library to hear about keeping the collection of early printed books. The Preservation Assistants are part of an ongoing project, started in 2004, to systematically clean the 220,000+ books of the Old Library. The Preservation Assistants will explain the challenges of preserving an historic collection in a historic setting and explain how the books are cleaned and preserved for the future. Examples of books from the collection, dating from the 15th century to the 19th century will be shown.

Occasionally, other staff from the Preservation & Conservation Department may speak about preservation activities in the Old Library.

Talks run Monday to Friday at 3pm until 28 June 2019 and last 15-20 minutes.

Want to know more? Sarah Timmins, one of our former Preservation Assistants, has written a great piece on how our precious books in the Long Room are repaired.

Alumni and current students can see the Book of Kells, access the Long Room, and attend these talks for free, with up to three guests.

Other visitors who have paid for entry to the Old Library are welcome to attend the Keeping the Books talks for no additional charge.

Library Closed due to Ophelia


The Library will be closed Monday 16th October due to the Status Red wind warning for Ireland issued by Met Eireann. The closure covers all reading rooms and Library buildings, including our 24-hour study areas and Library facilities outside the main campus.

Stay safe! Normal service is expected to resume on Tuesday 17th October.

“Keeping the Books” – Daily Talks in the Long Room

What does ingrained dirt on books and ice hockey have in common? What is red rot and foxing? How long did it take Trinity College Dublin to acquire its first 100,000 books and how many books are added annually? Do people still read the books in the Old Library? How are the books in the library organized on the shelves? Where can you see every page of the Book of Kells? What subject matter is covered in the Library and how was the collection built over time? What are the greatest threats to a historical library and how do we protect the books?

To learn the answers to all of these questions and more, come to the Long Room in the Old Library to hear the Preservation Assistants talk about keeping the collection of early printed books. The Preservation Assistants are part of an ongoing project, started in 2004, to systematically clean the 220,000+ books of the Old Library. They’ll walk you through the challenges of preserving an historic collection in a historic setting and explain how the books are cleaned and preserved for the future. Examples of books from the collection, dating from the invention of the printing press in the 15th century to the Victorian Era in the 19th century will be shown.

Talks run Monday to Friday at 3pm until 18th August and last 20 minutes.

Want to know more? Sarah Timmins, one of our current Preservation Assistants, has written a great piece on how our precious books in the Long Room are repaired.

Alumni and current students can see the Book of Kells, access the Long Room, and attend these talks for free, with up to three guests.

Other visitors who have paid for entry to the Old Library are welcome to attend the Keeping the Books talks for no additional charge.

Original text by Heather Courtney.

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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!


Library Closed, Monday 31 October

Happy Halloween!As usual, the Library will be closed for the October Holiday, Monday 31 October. Reading rooms will reopen on Tuesday at their normal hours.

Kinsella Hall and the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room will remain open to Trinity staff and students throughout Monday. The Old Library and Book of Kells Exhibition is also open to visitors.

 

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Celebrating Research at the Library

probe-research-night-landscape-posterThis year’s event promoting Trinity’s role in research took place on Friday 30 September at locations across campus – and the Library was well represented by involvement in four of the talks and presentations.

Probe was a free evening of music, talks, performance, films, food, experiments and workshops that explored the fascinating research that is shaping our world.

The Library was involved in the following events:

Hidden Histories: Researching the Treasures of the Library

Exhibition Area, Old Library, 5 – 7pm every half hour

Join Library experts in the exhibition area to discover how they research, interpret and conserve the treasures of the Library. Get an insight into the imagery, materials and techniques that were used to produce our most precious early manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells. Take a look down a microscope at the tell-tale characteristics of parchment and leather, and handle some of the raw materials used to create, and to conserve, the early book structures. Take a closer look at the detail and learn about the meanings hidden in the decoration.

Research in the Everything Library

Blackstone LaunchPad, Berkeley Library Foyer, 5 – 8pm every half hour

What does it mean to have the entire published universe of two jurisdictions, the UK and Ireland, at your fingertips? What kind of research is needed in order to help researchers navigate this universe? Come join us to experience the weird and wonderful depths of the Library’s modern collections. See how a book ends up in the catalogue; how researchers can read Library materials without ever setting foot in a library building; how electronic publications are collected; and how even transient web pages are captured for posterity. Friendly Library staff will be on hand to show and tell, to explore questions about the (digital) future and to discuss some of the possible answers.

Digital Repository and Imaging Service

Trinity Long Room Hub, 5 – 8pm

Explore the work of Trinity’s DRIS (Digital Resource & Imaging Service), a department dedicated to the development of digital library collections to support research, teaching and scholarship. The team at DRIS, in collaboration with Computer Science researchers, will be demoing a software app which displays resources about the Harry Clarke Studios from the DRIS Digital Collections database, provides geolocation information about the churches where the related stained glass windows can be  found (based on Ordinance Survey data), and maps out how to get there.

Reconstructing the Past

The Long Room, Old Library,  7 – 8pm

From meteor impacts to ancient scrolls, join us for a storytelling event in Trinity’s iconic Long Room that reveals the different ways researchers look to the past.

Featuring geologist Ian Sanders on reconstructing our planet’s ancient past, zoologist Nicola Marples on understanding the evolution of life, geneticist Dan Bradley on decoding humanity’s past by looking at our DNA, and our own Manuscripts & Archives Research Library curator Jane Maxwell on uncovering and protecting the artefacts of human culture.

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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!

Daily Talks in the Long Room – “Keeping the Books”

collonnadesWhat does ingrained dirt on books and ice hockey have in common? What is red rot and foxing? How long did it take Trinity College Dublin to acquire its first 100,000 books and how many books are added annually? Do people still read the books in the Old Library? How are the books in the library organized on the shelves? Where can you see every page of the Book of Kells? What subject matter is covered in the Library and how was the collection built over time? What are the greatest threats to a historical library and how do we protect the books?

L-R: Sandi Sexton, Heather Courtney, Nadja Delmonte & Sarah Timmins

Our Preservation Assistants. L-R: Sandi Sexton, Heather Courtney, Nadja Delmonte & Sarah Timmins

To learn the answers to all of these questions and more, come to the Long Room in the Old Library to hear the Preservation Assistants talk about keeping the collection of early printed books. The Preservation Assistants are part of an ongoing project, started in 2004, to systematically clean the over 220,000 books of the Old Library. We’ll walk you through the challenges of preserving an historic collection in a historic setting and explain how the books are cleaned and preserved for the future. Examples of books from the collection, dating from the invention of the printing press in the 15th century to the Victorian Era in the 19th century will be shown.

Talks run Monday to Friday at 10am, 12pm and 3pm until 18th November.

Alumni and current students can see the Book of Kells, access the Long Room, and attend these talks for free, with up to three guests.

Other visitors who have paid for entry to the Old Library are welcome to attend the Keeping the Books talks for no additional charge.

Text by Heather Courtney

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Old Library Maintains Full Accreditation with Museum Standards Programme of Ireland

MSPI - 16We are delighted that the Old Library of Trinity College Dublin has maintained full accreditation under the Museum Standards Programme of Ireland.

Awarded Full Accreditation in 2012 for the first time, the Assessor said that “as with the original application for Accreditation, the quality of the application and standards demonstrated during the site visit was extremely high, reflecting the continued professionalism and commitment of the staff at the Old Library.

“The Old Library is currently facing a future where they are responding to rapidly increasing visitor figures and audience expectations for digital access to collections, whilst balancing these drivers with the needs of a nationally important collection. The Old Library has continued to provide a high level of collections care and access in a challenging environment. In particular areas of work, particularly collections care, preservation and training, the work of the staff continues to exceed current best practice and stands as an exemplar of high quality stewardship.”

Susie Bioletti, Keeper of Preservation and Conservation, and Anne-Marie Diffley, Visitor Services Manager, accepted the award from Conor Newman, Chairman of the Heritage Council.

The Heritage Council’s main commitment to collections care comes through its support of the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI). This important initiative, with participants from a wide range of Irish collecting institutions, sets out to raise standards of care across Irish museums and galleries.

This programme, the first of its kind in the Republic of Ireland, sets out to improve all aspects of Ireland’s museum practice. A voluntary programme, it has attracted involvement from across the cultural spectrum – from national institutions to small, volunteer-led organisations. It is complemented by a full training programme, with a targeted post-graduate museum course which is supported by the Heritage Council and delivered by the University of Ulster.