Lighten Up – TCD’s Trinity Week & the Library

Three roses set in a starburst pattern
Three roses set in a starburst pattern.
IE TCD MS 11182-106. Stained glass panel by Terence Clarke (1917-1968), part of the Clarke Stained Glass Studios Collection.

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.

The Library has also interpreted the theme in the sense of ‘illuminary – that which illuminates’, recognising that the work the Library does lights up the research mission of the College. Images from the Library’s historic collections in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library and the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections will therefore be projected onto the wall above the Nassau Street Entrance and also above the entrance to the Berkeley.

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.

All of the images being projected are accessible through our Digital Collections.

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.

Why not check out the website for all relevant projects within Trinity Week?