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

Library Response to COVID Level 5

The Provost and Secretary to the College wrote to us yesterday, about the universities being categorised as essential (as identified on the Department of the Taoiseach’s website see Education).

The libraries are essential to the research infrastructures during COVID Level 5, both for access to physical material for researchers and students, and as a safe, calm environment with good connectivity, especially for students.

Minister Simon Harris’ press release yesterday entitled ‘What Level 5 means for Further and Higher Education’ included ‘scheduled access to libraries and other onsite study space for those students who do not otherwise have suitable facilities or home environment to access learning remotely’.

Therefore, balancing supporting the research infrastructure and supporting undergraduates and postgraduates with ensuring our staff’s wellbeing, the libraries will remain open online and continue to be physically open to current staff and students with effect from midnight tonight as follows;

  • Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher Libraries. Online booking. Open Monday to Friday 9am-6pm
  • Hamilton Library. Online booking. Open Monday to Friday 9am-6pm
  • Joint Research Collections Reading Room in the Old Library. By appointment. Mondays and Thursdays.
  • John Stearne Medical Library. Online booking. Open Monday to Friday 9am-4pm
  • 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room. Online booking. Open Monday to Sunday 8am-8pm
  • Kinsella Hall. Online booking. From Tuesday 27th October 2020, open for study from 9am-8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am-8pm Saturday and Sunday.

Readers will continue to need to book in advance to gain entry to the Library. To book a visit, please use the ‘book a visit’ link on the Library homepage or go straight to the booking system via this direct link. Existing bookings remain valid except for those outside the new hours detailed above, namely, evenings and Saturdays (the 1937 Reading Room opening hours remain the same so all existing bookings remain valid).

There is access to reading room PCs with UK electronic Legal Deposit material, printing, book retrieval and returns. In addition, the new services of ‘scan on demand’, ‘click and collect’‘An Post delivery’ across Ireland continue. We will keep all services under review, and please bear with us if everything is not quite as smooth as usual.

For enquiries, please use our Live Chat facility on the Library website, email Library@tcd.ie and a library staff member will get back to you, or contact your subject librarian directly.

As the Trinity Education Project is celebrated today, a reminder to those students embarking on a capstone project now and in the future, that the Library is a goldmine of material and expertise for your research. Current projects range from the Pollard Collection of Childrens’ books with the School of English to systematic reviews in Human Health and Disease with the School of Medicine. Please contact your Subject Librarian and Research Collections to discuss how the Library can support your research.

Finally, on your behalf, may I pay tribute to the Library staff and other colleagues across College from security to cleaning staff to postgraduate stewards, who are making this level of access to the libraries possible during Covid-19 Level 5.

With best wishes,

Helen Shenton

Librarian and College Archivist

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.

As one of the great libraries of the world, the Old Library is one of Ireland’s iconic treasures, and a globally recognised cultural landmark. It combines heritage and scholarship in its unique dual role as a world-class library and a national cultural institution.

Its precious collections, spanning millennia have been in the care of the Library of Trinity College Dublin for over 400 years. But it now faces significant conservation and environmental challenges. External pollution and dust accumulation are taking their toll on the collections and the fabric of the Old Library building. There is a need to modernise environmental control and fire protection measures. Recent fires in similar heritage sites across the globe provide stark warnings.

This ambitious redevelopment project 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; and the redevelopment of facilities in line with the best library and museum experiences around the world. The award-winning architects Heneghan Peng who successfully conserved and revitalised the National Gallery of Ireland are leading a world-class design team in this transformative development.

Commenting on Dublin City Council’s decision,  Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said:

“We are delighted that Dublin City Council has granted planning permission to our conservation and redevelopment plans. Last month’s unveiling of the new Book of Kells Treasury and display saw the first phase of these ambitious redevelopment plans. They are essential in order for this national heritage building to continue in its unique dual role as a world-class library and a national cultural institution that is an international visitor destination. Safeguarding and renovating the Old Library building and its treasures, is vital for the preservation and promotion of European culture and heritage for the future.”

Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton said:

“We take our role as stewards of The Old Library very seriously. Its rare and important works have inspired generations of students, academics and visitors. This is a critically important redevelopment project that will safeguard it for future generations. It will enable us to both conserve this magnificent 18th building and its collections, as well as make it more accessible to our scholars and public in an historic building reinterpreted for the 21st century.”

 Central to the redevelopment plans will be the conservation and protection of the 18th century building, and its precious manuscripts and research collections. It will include the development of a new state-of-the art Research Collections Study Centre for students and scholars both nationally and the world over. It will also re-envision the Library’s treasures with a one-of-a-kind immersive exhibition.

Conservation of the Old Library and its historic collections

The Old Library currently houses 350,000 early printed books, and 20,000 manuscript and archive collections which have been collected over the course of 400 years.  The university proposes to upgrade environmental controls and fire protection measures while protecting and conserving the architectural character of the protected structure.

Similar to renovation projects at the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland, Trinity’s Old Library redevelopment plans is addressing these necessary 21st century upgrades through an integrated and holistic design and planning process.

Research Collections Study Centre for students and scholars

Academic activities will remain at the heart of the Old Library, and the Long Room will continue to be at the heart of a fully functioning library.  A new Research Collections Study Centre will provide national and international scholars with a secure, accessible, and inspiring environment to intimately study the unique and distinct collections. Located in the beautifully colonnaded ground floor, the Study Centre will overlook Library Square, one of the original historic courtyards at Trinity College.  

In parallel, a Virtual Trinity Library is also planned which will provide digital access to the unique and distinct collections of the Library across the world.

 A reimagined Treasures Exhibition

Last month saw the unveiling of the new Book of Kells Treasury and display which forms the first component of the redevelopment plans. This will be developed further in a new Book of Kells exhibition re-interpreting the precious manuscript to respond to increasingly diverse and engaged visitors.   It will showcase the manuscript’s history, making and symbolism in a new gallery. The redesign of the exhibition by world renowned Opera Amsterdam and Studio Louter will guide visitors on an immersive journey that places the manuscript in the context of Europe, Ireland, and Trinity College.

New visitor facilities, orientation and public spaces

The current visitor entrance in the Old Library will be relocated to a new more welcoming entrance and exit via the Berkeley Podium, which is located adjacent to the Berkeley Library. At the same time, the current retail facility will be relocated to the Berkeley Podium, alongside visitor amenities and space for rotating exhibitions. In its totality, the project supports and enhances both public access and academic scholarship in the Library.

Heneghan Peng principal, Róisín Heneghan concluded: “Buildings that last, like the Old Library, are those that allow changing lives to find a place within. The Old library has undergone transformations as the University has changed. The Long Room is the heart of the Old Library, with this project the clarity of its linear spatiality is restored while the pavilions provide the supporting spaces of a university library. The project highlights the Old Library’s position between the different characters of Library Square and Fellows’ Square making strategic interventions to allow the Old library to continue to be a space of knowledge and study for the 21st century student while welcoming visitors to share its stories.”

The Old Library Redevelopment Project will conserve and safeguard the Old Library and its world-class collections by:

  • Implementing urgent structural and environmental upgrades.
  • Foster scholarship with a state-of-the art Research Collections Study Centre for the Library’s world-class collections.
  • Increase access to the Library’s treasures in an enhanced exhibition space.
  • Create an immersive gallery that will re-envision the Book of Kells exhibition.
  • Align it with the best scholarly and museum experiences around the world.
  • Enhance Fellows’ Square as one of Dublin’s premier civic spaces.
  • Ensure universal access for visitors, scholars, and the College community.

 

For more details, see Old Library Redevelopment Project website   

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.

Your Library, Your Views

Library Pop Art

We’re running a short survey to help us understand your experiences of the Library. As a thank you, we will enter you into a draw to win prizes including Trinity Ball tickets, TCard credit and more.

Your views will help us to better appreciate all of our users’ needs and provide valuable insights to enable us to develop responsive services for the future. The survey will take about fifteen minutes to complete. The closing date is 14 December.

Get started here!

The Library Life Pulse survey is being administered by an independent research agency called Alterline, you can view their GDPR policy online.

If you have any queries about this survey, please contact us at library@tcd.ie.

All personal data collected by the University will be processed according to the College Privacy Notice.

 

“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.

Early Irish Manuscripts Project Shortlisted for Major Award – Again!

Over the past few years the Early Irish Manuscripts Project has focused on the conservation, research and digitisation of four of the Library’s most important early medieval insular Gospel Books, funded by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project. This online exhibition gives a good short overview of the project.

We are delighted that the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch & Trinity College Dublin have been shortlisted AGAIN for the Allianz Business to Arts Award for Best Long Term Partnership and also the Judges’ Special Recognition Award for Portfolio of Investment. So keep those fingers crossed, we were robbed back in 2016.

The Awards will take place on September 4 at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Wish us luck!

Open Day Library Tours Saturday 9th December 2017

As part of Trinity Open Day the Library would be delighted if you could join us for a short tour of the Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher Libraries. Students and their families are all very welcome – teachers too!

Please meet us in the foyer of the Berkeley Library. If you can see this…

Pomodoro Sphere

…then you are at the right place.

Tours will run every 15 minutes from 10:15 to 13:00 and will last about 10 minutes.  They will be led by Trinity students so it’s a chance to talk to them about life at Trinity and they might even show you their favourite spot to study in the Library!

We apologise to current users of the Library for any disruption.

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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