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Welcome from the Library of Trinity College Dublin

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”
               −Albert Einstein

Dear students and staff,

A very warm welcome to all new students and returning students, academics, researchers, and staff. To our first-year undergraduates who have started classes, we especially wish you every success in your new lives. The Welcome to the Library page has everything needed for you to get started. If you have any queries, Library staff are here to assist you with virtual consultations, skills workshops and a range of services. Please email Library@tcd.ie and a Library staff member will get back to you, or contact your Subject Librarian directly. 

Library Supports & Services

We started the new academic year with in-person student orientation programmes. They included tours of the Library complex for undergraduate, postgraduate, Trinity Access Programme (TAP), Visiting, Erasmus and Neurodiverse Plus programmes. A big thank you to our TAP Ambassadors, S2S Mentors and Disability Ambassadors for their assistance throughout. There will also be Library sensory tours during the semester. 

Sometimes it can be challenging for students to recognise what constitutes good academic practice. In collaboration with Trinity Teaching and Learning, Student Learning Development and the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum our Guide to Academic Integrity has been refreshed, providing study and referencing tips to help students avoid common pitfalls. Look out for ‘citing and referencing’ and ‘avoiding plagiarism’ workshops and clinics taking place during Academic Integrity Week. 

Some Library users can also experience challenges with text. For example, those with a visual impairment, dyslexia or a physical disability. Bookshare Ireland provides Trinity readers access to a global database of over 1.2 million e-books which can be transformed into more accessible formats. 

The staff version of ‘CA7000;Research Integrity and Impact in an Open Scholarship Era’, co-ordinated by the Library’s Research Informatics Unit, will be available to Trinity staff via Blackboard on a voluntary, self-registration basis from September 20th.

A new monthly Ecological Emergency Book Club for staff, led by Dr Clare Kelly will start on October 13th, to engage staff in some of the best readings on the climate and biodiversity crisis, helping to educate, inform and build a community of solidarity. 

From October, the Manuscripts and Archives catalogue records will be accessible through the main online Library catalogue, Stella, meaning all users will now be able to search across the entirety of our collections through this one platform.

This semester’s Library HITS (Helpful Information for Trinity Students/Staff) started last week. If you are new to Trinity or want to refresh your existing skills, please join the programme which is delivered by the Library and Student Learning & Development.

Renaming of the Berkeley Library

Following extensive consultation and evidence-based submissions under the Trinity Legacy Review Working Group, in April the Board decided to dename the Berkeley Library, the brutalist modernist building in the centre of campus. In line with the Board’s decision to dename and explain,the building is temporarily being referred to simply as the Library’ and there is explanatory material in the foyer.

Over the academic year, there will be a consultative process for renaming the building, which will be an opportunity for people to convey views on what the former Berkeley Library should be called and why. All the evidence, submissions, and minutes of the Trinity Legacy Review Working Group are available here and a short film on the issues to date will be available soon.

Library Refurbishment Programmes

We will reach a major milestone in the preparation for the Old Library Redevelopment Project (OLRP) with the completion of construction of the new Interim Research Collections Study Centre in the Ussher Library Basement this semester.

For the duration of the conservation of the Old Library, Research Collections and staff currently in the Old Library, will be housed in the heart of the contemporary Library complex.

The construction works have caused intermittent noise and disruption over the summer and will continue for a while longer. I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

Meanwhile, works to replace the windows in the 1937 Reading Room are scheduled to continue until the end of September. On completion, postgraduates will enjoy a warmer and healthier study environment.

Old Library Redevelopment Project 

The decant of the collections from the Old Library, involving the gargantuan task of transferring 350,000 early printed books (as part of a total 700,000 items) is near completion. Many of you will already have seen the wonderful timelapses of this process. By the end of this month, all the books will be removed from the Old Library, except for the first four bays on either side of the entrance to the Long Room. These will remain in place for visitors while the Old Library remains open until the end of 2025, when the conservation and construction of the building will commence.

Up-to-date information can be found on the Old Library Redevelopment: Update for Readers section of the Library website.

Virtual Trinity Library

Highlights of our astounding Library collections have featured throughout the year in symposia, and physical and online exhibitions thanks to the ambitious Virtual Trinity Library programme and its extensive digitisation of collections made available on Digital Collections.

A highlight this semester will be the Library symposium ‘Many Lives of Medieval Manuscripts’ as part of the Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York taking place on 30th November and 1st December 2023.

The achievements of the international Unlocking the Fagel Collection project were also celebrated with a Library symposium and an exhibition in the Long Room in June.

On the occasion of another Library exhibition in April, marking the 400th anniversary of the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, the First Folio, Trinity alumna and author Anne Enright launched the Trinity Centre for the Book. The new research centre, hosted in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute, in collaboration with the Library, will co-ordinate and share research on the cultural and social importance of books of all types.

The Book of Kells will be the topic of the Trinity Centre for the Book Research Seminar in this week’s Trinity Arts & Humanities Research Festival on 27th September at 4pm. Afterwards, our librarians will describe some of their favourite items across the Library’s vast collections.  

Finally, last Thursday, we celebrated the donation of the Bollmann Collections of fore-edge paintings with an exhibition in the Long Room.

With warmest good wishes,

Helen Shenton

Librarian & College Archivist