Virtual Trinity Library − A Major Digitisation Initiative of the Library of Trinity College’s Collections is Launched

Virtual Trinity Library, an ambitious digitisation initiative of the Library of Trinity College Dublin’s most valued collections was launched this week. 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.

Using the most advanced technology the Library’s new Digital Collections platform will showcase the breadth of these collections, ranging from precious manuscripts to scientific papers. 

The Library of Trinity College Dublin is joining other world libraries that are collectively enabling access to patrimony and cultural heritage.

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The Library unveils Beckett archive of play Rockaby building on its world leading Beckett collections

The Library of Trinity College Dublin has acquired the Beckett archive of the play Rockaby building on its world leading Beckett collections. The Beckett material is being digitised and will be accessible online.

Marking the acquisition of  the 1981 play Rockaby, one of the iconic plays of the Beckett canon, an online exhibition  curated by Dr Jane Maxwell has been launched today. The entire archive will be made available later this year as part of the Library’s Digital Collections. It includes 30 items of correspondence from Beckett; copies of the original play and its French translation; productions notes; photographs; and a printed commemoration booklet of photographs from the premiere among other items.

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Hail to the Chief

Many congratulations to the 46th President of the USA! Mr Biden has visited us here in the Library twice, once as Vice President in 2016 and again in 2017 as a private citizen. We are quietly confident in his making it a third time, if he joins us in Ireland again.

The Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton, leads the way in September 2017.

The Library of Trinity College Dublin invites you to be inspired by its collections in a new online exhibition Director’s Choice Uncut

Highlights of the collections of the Library of Trinity College Dublin and their fascinating history are  showcased in a new online exhibition Director’s Choice Uncut. The Library invites you to connect and be inspired by a range of diverse objects and their stories in this magnificent new online exhibition selected by the Librarian & College Archivist, Helen Shenton. Building on the success of the  Director’s Choice: The Library of Trinity College Dublin published this year by Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers, this new expanded digital platform features even more of the Library’s treasures.

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Trinity to commission four new sculptures – all representing women scholars for display in the Long Room

The scientist Rosalind Franklin, the folklorist, dramatist and theatre-founder Augusta Gregory, the mathematician Ada Lovelace and the writer and pioneering women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft have been chosen from a list of more than 500 suggestions.

There are currently 40 marble busts in the beautiful, historic space – all men. As the College recognises that its public spaces must better represent our diversity, it has decided as a first step to introduce a series of sculptures of women.

This is the first time in over a century that the University has commissioned new sculptures for this prestigious location. The first for this space were commissioned in the 1740s, soon after the Library was finished, and the collection was gradually extended in the following years. No new sculptures have been commissioned since the 1880s and no additional sculptures have been installed since the 1920s.

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College townhall meeting on the Old Library Redevelopment Project

Following Dublin City Council’s recent decision to grant planning permission to Trinity’s conservation and redevelopment plans for the Old Library,  staff and students are invited to an online townhall meeting at 4pm on Thursday October 29th 2020 to update you on plans and next steps.

The Chair of the Programme, Bursar & Director of Strategic Innovation, Professor Veronica Campbell and Librarian & College Archivist and Programme Sponsor Helen Shenton, will outline the Old Library Redevelopment Project, which will draw on the best 21st-century design and technology to safeguard the Old Library building and conserve its precious collections for future generations. It includes urgent structural and environmental upgrades; the redevelopment of facilities in line with the best library and museum experiences around the world; and a new Research Collections Study Centre. Internationally renowned architects, Heneghan Peng, who successfully conserved and revitalised the National Gallery of Ireland, are leading the design team in this transformative development.  

The Old Library holds a special place for all of us in the College community. A Q&A session will follow – if you want to submit a question in advance please email trinity.communications@tcd.ie. Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Tom Molloy will be chairing proceedings.

Signing up is easy, simply go to

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gh2pc9aKTxaeTY3ZqCVKmg

We hope you can join us.

Bursar & Director of Strategic Innovation, Veronica Campbell

Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton

Dublin City Council gives greenlight to  redevelopment plans for the Old Library

Dublin City Council has granted planning permission to Trinity College Dublin’s conservation and redevelopment plans for the Old Library, home to the magnificent Long Room and precious manuscripts, including the Book of Kells. This follows last month’s historic unveiling of the new Book of Kells Treasury and display which forms the first component of these redevelopment plans.

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Welcome from the Library of Trinity College Dublin

 A very warm welcome to all students, academics, researchers and staff. An especial welcome to the first year students who are joining us in such extraordinary times − we wish you every success in the University, as you rise to the challenges of Trinity’s Graduate Attributes of ‘thinking independently’ and ‘acting responsibly’. The Library is here to help you think independently.

Library staff are here to assist you with virtual consultations, skills workshops and many services. Watch out for Library HITS (Helpful Information for Trinity Students/Staff) our interdisciplinary taster sessions, co-delivered with Student Learning & Development, covering everything from getting started with the Library, to academic integrity and critical thinking. We’ve recently been proud to partner with Disability Student Ambassadors to deliver small-group tours for students with sensory disabilities, which is helping us better understand how to improve the Library experience for all students.

Library staff are not only very knowledgeable about Trinity’s extensive resources but are extremely savvy about other external sources of information. During lockdown, when there was no physical access to the buildings, Library staff displayed extraordinary ingenuity in helping readers get alternative access to information. Please contact us via live chat on the Library website, email Library@tcd.ie and a Library staff member will get back to you, or contact your Subject Librarian directly. Our New Students page has everything you need to get started.

COVID update

On lockdown in March, the Library accelerated online access to material and increased e-resources. Since June, the Library has reopened all the buildings in phases and has created several new services from scratch. These include ‘Click & Collect’, ‘Scan on Demand’, and retrieval and delivery of Library material across Ireland via An Post.

Under the current COVID-19 Level 3, all the libraries are open. Today, 5th October, a new booking system for the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher, Hamilton and John Stearne Medical libraries and the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room begins. Full details are online of all the opening hours and the booking system. Please note that face coverings are mandatory in the Library at all times, along with all other COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including two-metre social distancing and a ‘keep right’ policy.

The Library has been very active over the last six months in building an archive reflecting the TCD community’s experience of living with a pandemic. We are shortly going to invite students to add to this archive by giving us their impressions of student life under the new arrangements. There will be prizes!

E-resources

The Library purchases e-journals, e-books and databases to support your learning and research. Our off-campus access page provides information and tools to ensure you can access these resources seamlessly.

This year, transformative Open Access agreements were negotiated through the IReL Consortium which will allow for the publication of articles by authors from member institutions on an open access basis at no additional cost. The IReL Consortium (Irish Research e-Library) provides Irish higher education institutions, including Trinity, with access to over 40,000 e-journals and other information resources. The first of these transformative agreements was signed with the global scientific and health publisher Elsevier to support open access for research in Ireland.

ORCID

In a joint initiative between the Dean of Research and the Library, Trinity has joined the Irish ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) Consortium, which is part of a co-ordinated approach to the adoption and integration of ORCID services and resources in Ireland, directed by the Higher Education Authority.

Every researcher has free access to, and use of, an ORCID ID linked to a personal ORCID research profile. As a unique, lifelong digital identifier, a researcher’s ORCID ID reliably connects them with their works, awards, affiliations; it alleviates mistaken identity; each researcher owns and controls their record; it saves time as the information is ‘entered once and reused often’ and further integrates ORCID with Trinity’s Research Support System. We would encourage academic and research staff and students to use their unique ORCID ID, see full details and ORCID registration.

Open Scholarship

Over the last year ‘Unboxing Open Scholarship’, an initiative of the Taskforce on Open Scholarship, welcomed over 750 people to 12 events on subjects ranging from Citizen Science to Research Impact & Evaluation in an Open Scholarship era, to ‘Curing the Pathologies of Academic Publishing’ with the co-founder of PLOS (Public Library of Science).

Our final events are shifting online. On October 8th 2020, we will be joined by Professor Margot Finn, President of the Royal Historical Society (RHS) and University College London’s Chair in Modern British History, for a webinar jointly hosted with Trinity Long Room Hub, on ‘Open Scholarship in the Humanities’. On October 15th, Gareth O’Neill, Open Science Consultant at the Technopolis Group will explore the role of researchers in the European Open Science Cloud.

The aims of the Taskforce on Open Scholarship were to take the temperature of how far Trinity should go along the road to Open Scholarship (what is obligatory? where do we actively follow? where do we lead?); to determine the scope of Open Scholarship (including Open Access and Citizen Science); and to identify steps and cultural change, including by curating events such as ‘Unboxing Open Scholarship’. The recommendations will shortly be presented to help advance the strategic objective in the University’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025, namely to ‘Lead on Open Scholarship and promote Open Access publication’.

 New Treasury and Book of Kells display case and the Old Library Redevelopment Project

A recent highlight has been the re-opening of the newly refurbished Treasury and Book of Kells display case. The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin TD, joined by her husband, Deputy Francis Noel Duffy, visited the new Treasury earlier this month, and we publicly launched the new Treasury – see Morning Ireland, RTE Radio 1; RTE 1 Television One O’clock News; 6.01 News  (Scroll to  17.34 ); RTE News YouTubeRTE online; BBC Evening Extra (scroll to 1.49), Irish Times hardcopy & online version; Irish Independent hardcopy & online; and Irish Central  – among others.

When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, please arrange to visit the Book of Kells in its stunning new display case, by emailing the Visitor Services Team bookofkells@tcd.ie who will organise a ticket.

The new Treasury is the first step of the Old Library Redevelopment Project, one of the major capital projects of Inspiring Generations – The Campaign for Trinity College Dublin. The Old Library Redevelopment Project is a very significant undertaking to conserve and protect the Old Library and its collections, to create a new Research Collections Study Centre, and to create a new exhibition, temporary display space and new visitor facilities. The integrated design, by the award-winning architects Heneghan Peng, was approved by Board in the summer to apply for planning permission to Dublin City Council.

Virtual Trinity Library

This coming year will also see progress on components of the Library’s second capital programme, the digital corollary to the Old Library project, namely the ‘Virtual Trinity Library’. By digitising the Library’s vast unique and distinct collections, we aim to create a new research entity that is open for the world. Funding has been secured from the Dutch Government to start the Fagel Collection Project in collaboration with the Royal Library of the Netherlands, and inaugural activities and events will start in the autumn.

As part of the flagship Virtual Trinity Library programme, the Library’s digitised collections will be made available in the new Digital Collections repository. We invite you to explore some of our more well-known treasures as well as many hidden gems in all their magnificent detail on this new platform.

And finally

A library is many things. It is both virtual and physical. Mary Beard recently described a library as ‘really, really edgy’ saying that ‘what is on the shelves is incendiary’. The Bodleian Librarian Richard Ovenden’s recently published Burning Books is a harsh reminder of the symbolism and political threat that libraries can represent. The library as physical sanctuary was brutally reinforced during lockdown.

When we had to close, the role of the Library as a safe oasis, with very good connectivity, conducive to study in the maelstrom of noise and worry, came sharply into focus. I was incredibly moved by the accounts of the plights of, for example, postgraduates and their descriptions of the Library as a haven where they could think and concentrate.

Whichever version of the virtual and/or physical Library you use, I wish you every success in the coming academic year.

 

Helen Shenton

Librarian & College Archivist

Reopening of the Physical Library

As part of Trinity College Dublin’s overall plans for the resumption of activities the reopening of the physical Library and services will be phased and gradual. The safety of our staff and students will at all times remain our priority throughout this process.

“When we had to close the library buildings, we kept the Library open online and continued to provide students and staff with our Library services throughout COVID-19, including online services and virtual consultations. I am delighted that the reopening of the physical Library will now begin, starting on a modest scale, from the end of this month, culminating with virtually full access in August (with social distancing and other safety measures in place.) All of this will be complemented by a range of new online services starting on June 29th through to August. The overarching goal is the safe resumption of activity within the Library in a phased manner that enables access whilst protecting the health and safety of our readers and our Library staff.  We very much look forward to opening our doors once again to our readers,” says Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton.

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History of the Book in the Early Modern Period: 1450-1800: Trinity’s Free Online Course

Following on from Trinity College Dublin’s highly successful FutureLearn course on the ‘Book of Kells’, this course on the ‘History of the Book in the Early Modern Period: 1450-1800’ aims to share the rich resources of the Long Room of Trinity College Dublin and the Edward Worth Library, Dublin, with learners interested in the history of the book. Many of these resources have been newly digitized for this course and uncover this fascinating time of innovation and social change.

Now members of the public around the world can explore how books were made, bought, sold, and read, in a four-week online course. The History of the Book in the Early Modern Period: 1450-1800 course starts on November 18th, 2019, and is run in partnership with FutureLearn, the social learning platform. The free online course is aimed at anyone with an interest in the history of the printed book, the early modern book trade, the history of reading, the history of bookbinding, and the interaction between print and social change in early modern Europe.

Librarian of the Edward Worth Library Elizabethanne Boran, and one of the course designers commented: “This MOOC course is our way of sharing our wonderful collections with as many people as possible. Trinity College Dublin and the Edward Worth Library have thousands of books which bring to life the early modern period in the West. For this course we have digitized images from these books so that learners will be able to explore this fascinating period from every corner of the world.”

Learners will investigate rare treasures such as the engravings of Anthony Van Dyck, early editions of Aesop’s Fables and the bestselling Nuremberg Chronicle. Frontispieces, title pages, annotations, printers’ devices, and many more parts of the book are examined from this period. At the end of the course, learners will be able to describe how the early modern book trade operated, and understand how the invention of the printing press changed religious, scientific, medical and political views of the world.

The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has been designed by academics from the School of Histories and Humanities, the School of English, and the Librarian of the Edward Worth Library, Dublin, with assistance from the staff of the Library of Trinity College Dublin and the Edward Worth Library, Trinity’s Digital Collections and Trinity Online Services CLG.