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Marking International Women’s Day with a Video of the Launch of the First Sculptures of Women in the Long Room

On this special day, International Women’s Day, the Library is delighted to share with you a video of highlights of the historic launch of the first sculptures of women in the Old Library which took place on St Brigid’s Day, 1st February 2023. The film includes fascinating insights of the artists creating the sculptures in their studios, and a flavour of the inspiringly uplifting evening.

The new sculptures represent the scientist, Rosalind Franklin; the folklorist, dramatist, and theatre-founder Augusta Gregory; the pioneering women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft and the mathematician Ada Lovelace.

There is also a follow on  ‘In Conversation’ with the artists and Trinity champions of the scholars hosted by the Trinity Long Room Hub. The artists are Rowan Gillespie, Maudie Brady, Guy Reid and Vera Klute. They were joined by Vice- Provost/Chief Academic Officer, Professor Orla Sheils, Dean of Arts Humanities & Social Sciences, Professor Gail McElroy, Professor of Visual Computing, Carol O’Sullivan and Associate Professor in Drama Studies, Melissa Sihra in a riveting discussion on the new sculptures as part of the University’s celebrations on 2nd February 2023.


Undergraduate Student Research Matters: An Introduction to the ‘Beckett Beyond’ Zine Project

The university community is warmly invited to a new exhibition currently taking place in the Berkeley Library.

The ‘Beckett Beyond’ exhibition features thirteen research zines produced by third-year Drama students as part of the ‘Studies in Samuel Beckett: Beckett Beyond’ module.

The project highlights the significant contribution that undergraduate students make to academic research and is the result of a collaboration between the Department of Drama, Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies and the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

The zines will be catalogued and form part of the Library’s permanent collection. In addition, the digital copies will be hosted on TARA, Trinity’s institutional repository, which represents two new firsts for the university.

Continue readingUndergraduate Student Research Matters: An Introduction to the ‘Beckett Beyond’ Zine Project

Lyric Feature focuses on an 18th century Tipperary woman whose extraordinary memoir survives in the Library

Last Sunday’s Lyric Feature, Dorothea the doozy, presented by Trinity alumna  and radio documentary maker Angie Mezzetti, brings to light the work of Dorothea Herbert, a long-overlooked 18th Century writer, diarist, poet and artist from Carrick-on-Suir.  Herbert’s memoir, which she called ‘Retrospections of an Outcast’, was written between 1780 to 1806 and was published for the first time in 1929. In this documentary, Manuscripts Curator Dr Jane Maxwell, a specialist in the history of women in the 18th century, introduces this memoir, beautifully illustrated with watercolours by the author – which has been in the care of the Library since the 1980s.

This document is of immense significance to the social history of Ireland in the 18th century, and especially for the history of women in a century which saw them emerge more clearly into society. What gives this document added significance is that the author was clearly suffering severely from a mental illness at a time when there was little understanding for such afflictions.

Readers can listen back to the feature here.

Covidence ─ information sessions on the Library’s literature review tool

A student using a laptop to study

Are you about to undertake an advanced literature review ─ perhaps a scoping, rapid or systematic review, or a meta-analysis? Has your supervisor said you need to conduct a systematic search and then “screen” those results? Or are you a staff member or postdoc contemplating how you would do this efficiently?

If so, we have the tools to help. We recommend using Covidence to screen your results. In Trinity, we have a site licence to Covidence which means any reviews that have a Trinity member can use it. If you haven’t already, you can register for our institutional account in Covidence and create a blank review: instructions to register for Covidence.

And now we are happy to announce that the Library is holding two information sessions about Covidence, to be delivered by the people behind the software. Anyone at Trinity who wants to know more can attend.

The first one covers the basics:

Covidence 101 ─ Getting started (link)
Tuesday 21st Feb 2023 ─ 11 am (1 hour)

The Covidence training webinar includes a live demo providing an overview of the systematic review workflow and showcases some of the most popular features:

  • Settings
  • Importing
  • Title & Abstract Screening
  • Full Text Review
  • Extraction form version 2
  • Export

You’ll also get tips & tricks to jumpstart your progress, as well s the opportunity to get your specific questions answered.

The second one takes a detailed look at the Extraction stage:

Covidence ─ Data Extraction (link)
Tuesday 28th Feb 2023 ─ 11 am (1 hour)

This Covidence training webinar is a detailed overview of the Data Extraction stage and process. A live demo includes turning your protocol into an extraction framework in Covidence data extraction “version 2”, as well as the opportunity to get your specific questions answered.

Can’t make the sessions? We have comprehensive guidance on how to conduct systematic and related reviews to get you started, and don’t forget your Subject Librarian is available for consultations and advice.

First sculptures of women installed in Trinity’s Old Library

On St Brigid’s Day Trinity College Dublin installed four new sculptures in its Old Library to honour the scholarship of four trailblazing women. 

The women represented are the scientist Rosalind Franklin, the folklorist, dramatist and theatre-founder Augusta Gregory, the mathematician Ada Lovelace and the pioneering women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft. 

The new sculptures, the first to be commissioned in more than a century, will be displayed among the 40 marble sculpture-busts that line Trinity’s historic Long Room, which were hitherto all of men. The current artworks represent men throughout history, from Homer and Shakespeare to Dean Jonathan Swift, Sir Rowan Hamilton and Wolfe Tone. 

The new sculptures were launched by Trinity’s Chancellor Dr Mary McAleese at a ceremony in the Long Room. 

Their addition represents a first step toward a better representation of our diversity in all of Trinity’s public spaces. 

Librarian & College Archivist, Helen Shenton, Provost, Dr Linda Doyle & Curator & Head of the University Art Collections, Catherine Giltrap viewing Mary Wollstonecraft.

The sculptures are the work of four accomplished artists:  Maudie Brady (Ada Lovelace); Rowan Gillespie (Mary Wollstonecraft); Vera Klute (Rosalind Franklin) and Guy Reid (Augusta Gregory). 

Rowan Gillespie’s sculpture of Mary Wollstonecraft was modelled in wax, 3-d-scanned, milled in Carrara marble and then carved and fine finished. Rowan is known for his work in bronze and this is the first time he carved in marble since his student years.

Mary Wollstonecraft

Maudie Brady’s sculpture of Ada Lovelace was modelled originally in clay, then 3-d scanned and carved from a block of statuary Carrara marble by computer-programming, and, finished by hand.  Maudie thought it would be apt for Lovelace, as a mathematician and, effectively, the first ‘computer programmer’ to be represented using techniques enabled by computer programmes and algorithms, book-ended by modelling initially in clay, and, finishing the marble sculpture by hand. 

Ada Lovelace

Guy Reid’s sculpture of Augusta Gregory was hand-carved in lime wood. Guy’s practice is focused singularly on portraiture, and is inspired by medieval, coloured wooden sculptures, resulting in painted depictions of family and friends, alongside special commissions.

Augusta Gregory

Vera Klute’s sculpture has been created in three sections with classical and contemporary techniques. The portrait is made with cast Parian (a type of porcelain) Jesmonite, marble, and Swarovski crystals, the latter making direct references to Franklin’s use of x-ray crystallography to research the structure of DNA. The helix of the socle is a visual nod to Franklin’s contribution to the discovery of the helical form of DNA 

Rosalind Franklin

Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton and also Chair of the Artist Selection Panel welcomed the College community, sculptors and invited guests to the packed launch event:

“On this auspicious day, St Brigid’s Day, we celebrate women’s scholarship with these sculptures in the Long Room of the Old Library. Their individual contributions to knowledge and to society will now be permanently honoured in this cathedral of learning at the heart of Trinity.”  

Provost Dr Linda Doyle stressed the historic significance of the occasion:

“While it is important to respect tradition, it is also important to break tradition. The addition of these sculptures of women has been a long time coming. I want to thank everyone involved in the creation and installation of these beautiful pieces. Sculptures are an iconic feature of Trinity’s Long Room, and I hope that the inclusion of these four outstanding women is the furthering of a collective recognition of the incredible contribution of women across many fields.” 

In an uplifting inauguration, Chancellor poignantly quoted the 18th century Irish poet Antaine Ó Raifteirí in her speech:

“Anois teacht an Earraigh beidh an lá dul chun síneadh, Is tar eis na féile Bríde ardóigh mé mo sheol”.

“Spring is coming. The days are lengthening and after Brigid’s feast day, I will raise my sail. We are the lucky generation to be here to see the springtide. To see Brigid’s sail raised to catch the wind, to see great women given the respect and recognition they deserve. Congratulations to all those who have helped open the floodgates which will one day see full justice done to the work and talent of women everywhere.” 

The four women being honoured were chosen in 2020 from more than 500 nominations by students, staff, and alumni covering a wide field of ground-breaking individuals who contributed significantly to scholarship and culture across history.  

In 2021, after an extensive national and international shortlisting process, nine artists were invited and supported financially to submit maquettes (preliminary models) of at least two of the nominated women, from which the four artists were chosen. 

An ‘In Conversation’ event with the artists and Trinity champions of the scholars  also took place in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Institute the following day on 2nd February 2023 (more information here). 

More about the portrait candidates:

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) 

Mary Wollstonecraft was a pioneering women’s rights advocate, and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), often considered a foundational text for women’s rights movements. Radical for her time, she argued that all humans have the faculties of rational thought and reason. She also argued that women must be allowed to be educated and to contribute equally to society, stating in A Vindication, “my main argument is built on this simple principle, that if she be not prepared by education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of knowledge and virtue.” 

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) 

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was the author of an 1843 monograph on Charles Babbage’s design for the first analytical engine (general-purpose computer). To her translation of Menabrea’s report of a presentation made by Babbage in Turin she added her famous Notes, highlighting the potential and flexibility of an analytical engine compared to a calculator. These Notes included an algorithm for computing Bernouilli numbers and presaged computer-generated music, a century before Alan Turing proved that such achievements required properties now intrinsic to computers, which Babbage’s design possessed. Ada Lovelace’s unique contribution was to publish the first recognition of the capacity of a computer to make logical deductions about both numerical and non-numerical objects. 

Augusta Gregory (1852 -1932) 

Lady Gregory became one of the most significant intellectual and creative powerhouses of the Irish Literary Revival. Her work as a writer, dramatist, theatre-founder, champion of the Irish language, translator, folklorist, and social commentator helped define and give voice to the tenets of cultural nationalism in the years leading up to, and after, the establishment of the Irish Free State. Today, scholars look to Augusta Gregory’s ground-breaking work for its artistry, for insights into the country’s complex revolutionary period and to explore the role of language and literature in defining Irish identity as distinct, self-determining, and heroic, both nationally and internationally. 

Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) 
Rosalind Franklin’s scientific discoveries have benefited humanity in several ways. As a fundamental experimentalist, excelling in X-ray crystallography, and despite a career cut short by premature death at the age of 37, she made two seminal contributions: her impeccable analysis generated key measurements for one of the most transformative advances of the 20th century, uncovering the structure of DNA. Her later work had an equally pivotal impact on revealing the structure of RNA viruses, including early work on the Polio virus. Discoveries in both areas contributed to the awarding of Nobel prizes after her death, though not to her (they cannot be awarded posthumously). While her name is often connected with missing out on a Nobel prize, her legacy is of much greater significance. 

Timelapse of the Decant of the Library Collections

Old Library Redevelopment Project December 2022

The monumental task of decanting the Library collections commenced last Spring as part of the Old Library Redevelopment Project.

All of the Library’s Research Collections housed in the Old Library are being transferred to special storage. This means removing 350,000 Early Printed books and a total of 700,000 collection items as part of the Library collections.

A series of timelapses are capturing the painstaking work of the Library team involved in the project. So far almost 3.5 km of books stacked side by side have been removed or 32% of the overall project.  There is a target of over 10.5 km in the overall project. That means just 7 km to go.

Readers will continue to have access to all material in an Interim Research Collections Study Centre during the lifetime of the building conservation project.

Exploring The Library’s Databases – Research Treasure

Last term the Library was pleased to announce the purchase of 14 new electronic resources supporting multiple disciplines across the Arts and Humanities. We thought we would take a closer look at some of the collections, starting with the Gale Primary Sources, British Library Newspapers, Part II: 1800–1900 and Part III: 1741–1950, which provides 23 publications (nearly 1.4 million pages) from across the United Kingdom and Ireland to reflect the social, political, and cultural events of the times. Link – A-Z Databases: british newspapers

How does this archive help researchers?

Continue reading “Exploring The Library’s Databases – Research Treasure”

The Fagel Collection Presented in The Hague

Ambassador Rogers, Trinity Library colleagues and KB National Library of the Netherlands counterparts meet in The Hague From left: Maarten Heerlien, Esther van Gelder, Laura Shanahan, Ann-Marie Hansen, Brendan Rogers, Lily Knibbeler, Geertrui Verbraak, and Lucinda Jones

At the invitation of Brendan Rogers, the Irish Ambassador to the Netherlands, colleagues from the Library of Trinity College Dublin were recently in The Hague to speak about an important ongoing collaboration with the KB National Library of the Netherlands.

Ambassador Rogers welcomes guests to the KB

The Unlocking the Fagel Collection project began in late 2020, to document and make more widely accessible this 18th-century Dutch collection which was acquired for Trinity College in 1802. With funding now secured to continue the work on the Fagel Collection until 2025, this was an occasion to meet confirmed partners and explore public interest for the possibilities of the next phase.

Laura Shanahan, Ann-Marie Hansen and Esther van Gelder in discussion with Garrelt Verhoeven.

The next major activity planned is an academic symposium on June 22-23, 2023. This will allow stock-taking of the current state of knowledge regarding the Fagel library, the collectors who contributed to it, and the wider context in which it was and is used. Proposals for papers are welcomed on a wide range of topics, and to harness the fresh enthusiasm resulting from the recent visit, the deadline for submissions has been extended to January 20, 2023.

To learn more about the Fagel Collection and project, see the Library’s videos on The Fagels and Unlocking the Fagel Collection.

Exam Strategies – Academic Year 2022/23

Yellow heart and fingers' crossed, wishing the students of academic year 2022/23 good luck.

Are you ready for your exams? If you’re feeling stressed or underprepared the Library is here to help, and we have dedicated a webpage with helpful links and tips.

Exam Strategies | Trinity College Dublin (

Check out recommended reading for study skills to get the most out of your revision time.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we have links to free online resources that give advice on coping with exams. Eg, Coping with exam stress. And our Student Counselling Services have tips too.

Practice makes perfect with our collection of past papers, practice answering exam questions that have come up in previous years. To view online resources expand the record by clicking on the title, click where it says “AVAILABLE ONLINE” or “1 COPY AVAILABLE” in the case of a book for example.

Student Learning – Exam Papers – Student Learning Development – Trinity College Dublin (

We are always happy to take questions at the Library Counter or get in touch with your Subject Librarian.

Good luck from your Library!