Dublin School Children Unveil a Collection of Handmade Books Inspired by Works from Trinity College’s Library

Posted on: 25 March 2013

An exhibition of handmade books inspired by works from the Trinity College Library and created by students from three Dublin primary schools was opened in the Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin.  The collection marks the completion of a three-month project called Bookmarks, a story writing, illustration and bookbinding programme that featured workshops with renowned authors, artists and academics.  The Bookmarks programme, which is organised by the Trinity Access Programmes (TAP), aims to inspire children to become the next generation of authors, illustrators and publishers.

Marking the 20th anniversary of TAP, a unique bookmark is also on display, created by Sophie Byrne,  a student from Assumption Primary School, Walkinstown.  The collection was opened by TCD Acting Librarian and College Archivist, Jessie Kurtz.

Over the course of the Bookmarks programme the children, all of whom attend schools which are linked to the Trinity Access Programmes, attended a series of workshops on story writing and illustration delivered by local artist, Hannah Maguire and author, Emer Martin.   Another workshop, delivered by staff from the School of English and the TCD Library Early Printed Materials, helped children develop their storylines by introducing them to the Pollard Collection, a collection of over 10,000 historic children’s books spanning three centuries.  The children were also given the opportunity to explore the Trinity campus, visit the Old Library and view the Book of Kells as part of the Bookmarks programme.

Pictured on the occasion of the exhibition of handmade books were Casey Byrne and Tia Byrne both aged 12 from St Laurence Girls National School, Dublin 1

 RTE News2Day

This year the Bookmarks programme involved 70, 5th and 6th class children from the primary schools:  St Laurence Girls National School, Dublin 1, Loreto Senior National School, Crumlin and St Annes Primary School, Fettercairn.  The schools are linked to the College through the Trinity Access Programmes which offers support to students from underrepresented backgrounds to progress to higher education.  The Bookmarks programme is one of a number of outreach activities for primary schools which aim to build a positive relationship between school students and Trinity College Dublin with the hope of raising their aspirations regarding third-level study.

Commenting on the success of the Bookmarks programme, Kathleen O’Toole-Brennan of Trinity Access Programmes said: “TAP is very proud of the Bookmarks programme and the unique opportunity which it provides for children to acquire new skills and to be exposed to the world of children’s literature in a very hands-on manner.  The quality of the children’s books are excellent, and with continued involvement in TAP’s outreach programmes, which attract over 4,000 students annually, these same students and their peers will successfully make the transition to both second and third level.”

The children were each presented with a certificate of achievement at an awards ceremony to mark the opening of the exhibition.  Their books will be displayed in the Long Room of Trinity College in recognition of their achievement and can be viewed by the public.  The Bookmarks exhibition will run from 22nd March until 11th April in the Long Room, Old Library, Trinity College Dublin.  The Bookmarks launch is the first in a series of events marking the 20th anniversary of TAP and will be followed by the a performance of  Educating Rita, to be performed by Players on April 4th, the launch of a research piece on the intergenerational impact of TAP students and a photo exhibit entitled Faces of TAP, both to be held on April 11th.