We 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.
Rare and previously unpublished material held in the Library of Trinity College Dublin relating to WW1 will be brought to a global audience thanks to an online collaboration between Trinity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.
The Great War Revisitedexhibition 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.
The past was a popular subject in the Anglo-Norman world. Following the conquest of England in 1066, historians in the territories controlled by the kings of England sought to legitimise the new regime and make sense of the political circumstances in which they found themselves by exploring both the recent and distant past. Writers used a range of precedents in shaping their accounts, drawing on sources including the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, histories of the dukes of Normandy, and genealogical histories derived from the Bible. Although some works composed in the early twelfth century were primarily designed for use within a particular monastery, others, such as the histories produced by monks John at Worcester and William at Malmesbury, were widely copied and taken up by later generations of writers including Ralph of Diss and Matthew Paris. The surviving ‘history books’ vary significantly in size, format, quality of materials used and decoration. The study of these manuscripts thus sheds light on both the creation and reception of history in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Trinity College Dublin holds an important collection of Anglo-Norman histories, most of which came from the collection of Archbishop James Ussher (d. 1656). Ussher was a keen collector of manuscripts, and his interest in history was linked to his attempt to establish the date of Creation, which he famously concluded must have taken place in 4004 BC. Ussher’s collection was given to Trinity College Library in 1661.
‘Changed Utterly – Ireland and the Easter Rising’ is a weekly series of 52 blog posts which focuses on the Easter Rising and its impact on Ireland.
The project will draw on the rich and diverse collections of 1916 material held in the Research Collections departments of Trinity College Library including diary extracts, letters, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, photographs, and even pieces of clothing. The Research Collections departments comprise of the Manuscripts and Archives Research Library (M&ARL), the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections, the Glucksman Map Library and the Music Library.
Launched on Friday 24 April 2015, the aim is to showcase the breadth of our collections related to 1916 and this period of unrest in Ireland’s history. It is hoped that the project will act as a catalyst for research and engage the public ahead of the centenary anniversary in April 2016.
Blog posts are written by the staff in the aforementioned Library departments, and occasionally by Trinity College academics and other experts in the period.
Click here to view the blog.
Follow the project on Twitter: @TCDLib1916
The Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science is hosting this year’s programme of events for Trinity Week which commences on Saturday 11th April. The theme for the week is ‘Light’ which coincides with 2015 being declared the International Year of Light by UNESCO. This week-long programme will include exciting events which demonstrate the roles light, in all its forms, plays and how it affects and enhances life.
The Library is involving itself in this programme, under the prompting of the Keeper of Preservation and Conservation, by staging a number of events on the theme of light, interpreting the word perhaps more metaphorically than scientifically, and being all the more interesting for that.
Harry Clarke, for example, used light as part of his palette and his role in Irish cultural history will be acknowledged by the installation of a reproduction, from the Harry Clarke Studios archives, in one of the windows of the Trinity Long Room Hub. The image chosen is a glorious drawing of three roses set in a starburst.
Taking the metaphorical use of the word ‘light’ and allying it with the centenary of the First World War inspired another Library installation planned for Trinity Week; ‘The lamps have gone out all over Europe. We will not see them lit again in our lifetime’ – a resonant phrase dating from the eve of the First World War which was understood from the beginning as a threat to enlightened civilization. The centenary of the War will be acknowledged with the projection, onto the East face of the 1937 Reading Room, of the names and portraits of the Trinity engineers and medics who fell.
Early Printed Books and M&ARL will take a bit of liberty with the word ‘light’ again in the titles of their exhibition and blog (respectively) which will be curated/posted to coincide with events: ‘…and there was light’ is the title of a small exhibition, curated by EPB in the Berkeley foyer, which explores the theme through texts on religion, science and literature. ‘Throwing a bit of light on the subject’ is the punningly clever title of the M&ARL blog post which will provide a round-up of the Library’s involvement for the M&ARL audience.
This free (but booking essential!) lecture will examine some familiar aspects of the history of Trinity College Library Dublin from a less familiar perspective. Much of what we now take for granted: the foundation of the Library in the 16th century, the building of what we now call the Old Library in the 18th, the New Library (now the Berkeley) in the 20th, and Trinity’s continuing right to claim new books published in both Britain and Ireland – all of these involved complex negotiations, the outcome of which was far from certain. The story of the Library was directly affected by the intervention of major historical figures – monarchs: Elizabeth I, Queen Anne and Charles II; archbishops: James Ussher, William King and John Charles McQuaid; politicians: Oliver Cromwell, Eamon de Valera and Seán Lemass. These all feature in the lecture, which will cover the political background to the development of Ireland’s greatest library and its relations with church and state over four centuries.
Full details and how to book can be found on the RDS website.
Peter Fox worked at Trinity College for 15 years, first as Deputy Librarian and then as Librarian and College Archivist. He edited Treasures of the Library: Trinity College Dublin, published by the Royal Irish Academy in 1986, and the commentary volume to the Book of Kells facsimile. His history of Trinity College Library Dublin was published in 2014 by Cambridge University Press. From 1994 to 2009 he was the Librarian of the University of Cambridge, and he is a Fellow of Selwyn College Cambridge.
On Wednesday, March 25th, the Old Library will be given the pleasure of hosting the Bookmark Awards Ceremony and exhibition launch, brought to us by the Trinity Access Programme (TAP). Hosted by Helen Shenton, the Trinity College Librarian, this evening will feature an exhibition of hand-written and -illustrated books created by pupils from:
St Mary’s Boys’ National School, Haddington Road
Our Lady of Lourdes National School, Inchicore
Our Lady of Good Counsel Boys’ National School, Drimnagh
In preparation for the evening, the students were brought on an extended tour of the Old Library and the Book of Kells. Dr Lydia Ferguson introduced the pupils to some of the Pollard collection, which includes over 11,000 children’s books collected by Mary Pollard over a period of 50 years. The students were also introduced to the theme “Hello Stranger” and given examples to assist them with their projects. Further information on this day and the theme itself can be found in detail on the associated blog by Catherine Ann Cullen.
This has become an annual event and is a fantastic experience for all involved. We are looking forward to welcoming the students, and their families, on Wednesday evening. The handmade books will be displayed in the Long Room until April 10th. It is free of charge for friends and families of those in the three schools involved, as well as any students, staff and alumni of the College who wish to view these creative additions to our Old Library.
The Library of Trinity College Dublin would like to announce that the Book of Kells in its entirety is now viewable in the Library’s new Digital Collections online repository, provided by the Library’s Digital Resources and Imaging Services.
The Book of Kells transparencies, originally captured by Faksimile Verlag, Lucerne, Switzerland in 1990, have recently been rescanned using state of the art imaging technology. These new digital images offer the most accurate high resolution images to date, providing an experience second only to viewing the book in person.
Have you seen the new volume on the Book of Kells by Trinity’s Head of Research Collections and Keeper of Manuscripts, Dr Bernard Meehan? It’s been receiving fantastic reviews. Available at all good bookshops or directly from the Library Shop.
On August 8th the Librarian, Mr Robin Adams welcomed English tourists, Robbie Howatson (8 years old), his parents Ian and Jan and sister Rosina, who became a part of Irish tourism history as the 10 millionth visitors to the Book of Kells since the creation of its visitor centre in 1992.
On 23 May 1712 the foundation stone of the Old Library was laid. To mark our Tercentenary, Library staff gathered together for a celebratory photograph.
Trinity students from DU Players promenaded amongst visitors playing famous alumni and other people connected to Trinity College Dublin. You can see a gallery of this and other events marking our 300th anniversary at our Tercentenary Gallery page.