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The Library launches a video series on the Dutch Fagel collection

The Library of Trinity College Dublin and the KB National Library of the Netherlands have launched a video series about the Dutch 18th-century Fagel collection. The Fagel collection which is considered one of the jewels of the Trinity Library’s collections was built up over five generations of the Fagel family.

The Library of Trinity College and the KB National Library of the Netherlands are joint collaborators in the ‘Unlocking the Fagel Collection‘, project which aims to provide digital access to the collection. In the next two years, all books and pamphlets will be catalogued and made available through the online catalogue of the library of Trinity College, and the Short-Title Catalogue, Netherlands (STCN). It forms part of the Virtual Trinity Library, a digitisation initiative of the Library of Trinity College Dublin’s most valued collections.  These videos aim to present an integrated story of the family (many of whom held high public office in the Netherlands), the collections and the overall collaborative library project.

Fagel Collection

Over the course of a century and a half the Fagel family assembled over 30,000 books and pamphlets, as well as an impressive collection of 10,000 maps. It is without doubt one of the most important private libraries from the eighteenth century still in existence. The holdings in history, politics and law are particularly substantial, but virtually every other area of human endeavour is included such as philosophy, theology, geography and travels, natural history, the visual arts and much more.

The library of the Fagels came to Dublin in 1802. Hendrik Fagel the Younger had lost his position and income as a greffier and had few other options than to sell his collections. The governors of the Erasmus Smith Schools in Dublin put in a successful bid for the entire collection of books on behalf of Trinity College Dublin.

Fagel Video Series

A series of 9 videos is being launched this week which will showcase some of the finest items from the Fagel collection. Trinity academics and Library staff share their expertise and provide behind the scenes insight into the conservation, cataloguing and digitisation of one of the jewels of the Library’s collections. The videos build on a first series of eight videos which were shot at significant and recognisable locations in The Hague where traces of the Fagels’ working life and family history can still be found across the city.

See the trailer for the new 9-video series featuring the Fagel collection in the Library of Trinity College Dublin.  From October 5th, a video will be launched every second week on the following themes:

1: Arrival of the collection in Dublin

2: Arrival at Trinity College Dublin and evolution of the Library

3: The Fagel Pamphlets

4: Books dedicated and gifted to the Fagels

5: The Fagels and Architecture

6: Books as conversation starters

7: Conservation of items in the collection

8: Digitisation plans and processes

9: Future possibilities for the collection 

On the occasion of the launch of the video series, we would like to announce that Dr Ann-Marie Hansen has joined the Unlocking the Fagel Collection project, as Project Manager. Dr Hansen is a specialist of Early Modern reading and publishing culture and has previously worked with the special collections of the university libraries of Utrecht (NL), Rennes (FR) and McGill (CA). Prior to arriving at TCD she was Radboud Excellence Fellow and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellow.

Unlocking the Fagel Collection‘, a collaboration between the KB National Library of the Netherlands and the Library of Trinity College Dublin, was made possible with the support of the Government of the Netherlands.


Caption for image from Fagel Collections

  • Engraving of Athanasius Kircher’s system of groundwater circulation from his Mundus subterraneus, Amsterdam, 1678, hand-coloured and gilt (Library of Trinity College Dublin Fag.GG.2.3).