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.

“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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New Book – Early Irish Gospel Books in the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Hot off the printing press and just in time for Christmas is a beautifully little book that provides an overview of the Library’s early Irish gospel books.

The Library of Trinity College Dublin possesses seven early Irish gospel books, dating from the 7th – 9th centuries and possibly earlier, of which the Book of Kells is the most famous. This book outlines what is known about how these manuscripts were made, including recent scientific research on the pigments used by their makers. It explores who might have been responsible for their creation, and the type of environment in which they worked. The different formats of the books, and the nature of their ornament yield some clues as to how they were originally intended to be used, while various interventions – from added lines of text, to forged signatures, to particular patterns of damage – provide glimpses into the stories of their survival. The book is lavishly illustrated with many photographs published here for the first time.

The book is available in the Library shop (with the usual staff discount), and via email from nphelan@tcd.ie.

Susan Bioletti and Rachel Moss, Early Irish Gospel Books in the Library of Trinity College Dublin, (Trinity College Dublin, 2016), pp 97; ills 71. ISBN 978-1-911566-00-7. €10

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!


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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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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The Great War Revisited – Major New Online Exhibition, Partnered with Google Cultural Institute

A slide from the new exhibition

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.

RTE-30-06-15

Segment from Six One News, June 30th 2015. Copyright Raidió Teilifís Éireann 2015.
Click to go to video.

The Great War Revisited exhibition 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.

Trinity Contributes Highlights of Clarke Stained Glass Studio Archive to Digital Repository of Ireland

Colour design for House of Gold and Spiritual Vessel, by Terence Clarke, Board of Trinity College Dublin

Beautiful sketches, designs and photographs from the famed Clarke Stained Glass Studios held in archive in the Library of Trinity College Dublin are now freely available online as part of a major national open digital repository for Ireland’s social and cultural data. For a selection taken from the fuller range see the Library’s mini online exhibition.

The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), which was launched by Damien English, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation on June 25th, contains tens of thousands of high quality, metadata-rich digital objects, including video clips, photographs, digitised manuscripts, oral histories, sound recordings, digitised paintings and museum objects, books and letters. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, providing a central online access point and interactive multimedia tools

DRI is available for use by the public, students and scholars. The repository is the result of nearly four years of research, software development, policy and legal framework design, and data curation by digital archivists and librarians. Trinity College Dublin has been a key partner in DRI, contributing technical, archiving, metadata and legal expertise to the project. Other partners in the consortium are the Royal Irish Academy (lead institute), Maynooth University, Dublin Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland Galway, and National College of Art and Design.

The repository features beautiful and moving collections, including those from five demonstrator projects – the Clarke Stained Glass Studios Archive, Letters of 1916, Irish Lifetimes, Kilkenny Design Workshops, Saol Agus Saothar Sa Ghaeltacht, and the Teresa Deevy Archive. The repository also contains the award-winning Inspiring Ireland collections, featuring content from eight of Ireland’s National Cultural Institutions, and rich collections of multi-media content from our partners Raidió Teilifís Éireann and the Contemporary Music Centre.

The Clarke Stained Glass Studio Archive held by the Library of Trinity College Dublin sheds light on the design and business practice of one of the leading creative businesses of the 20th century, which operated from 1893 until 1973 and was responsible for hundreds of stained glass windows for churches all over Ireland, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, several African countries, Singapore, and the Philippines.

With the support of the Digital Repository of Ireland project funding, the Library of Trinity College Dublin is currently undertaking a two-year digitisation project which will make thousands of sketches, designs, order books, photographs and business correspondence from this collection available online to researchers, art historians and the public. This work is being carried out by Dr Marta Bustillo, Assistant Librarian, and Joanne Carroll, Digital Photographer of the Digital Resources and Imaging Services Department in the Library.

Dermot Frost, Principal Investigator for DRI in Trinity with responsibility for the technical delivery of the repository said: “Building DRI has been both exciting and challenging. The team in Research IT, along with our partners, have built a scalable and robust digital repository for humanities and social sciences data using best-of-breed open source software components such as Fedora Commons, Hydra and Ceph.”

Helen Shenton, College Librarian and Archivist added, “Through our involvement in DRI, the Library has been able to unearth the treasures of the Clarke Stained Glass Studios Archive. The high resolution imaging of the business archives and designs for stained glass windows will be a vital resource to future researchers and the wider public.”

Speaking at the launch, Dr Sandra Collins, Director of DRI, invited everyone to visit DRI online: “DRI offers exciting historical, cultural and contemporary content that tells the story of Ireland and its people. The content comes from some of the finest institutions across Ireland, and is available without charge for people to view and to enjoy. Some of the collections we care for are restricted by copyright or the sensitive nature of the data, but researchers can request access. We are an open repository, and we want people to explore and enjoy their cultural and social heritage.”