One of the key objectives of the Trinity Long Room Hub is to bring the Arts and Humanities to the widest possible audiences. We take pride in our Public Humanities programme, and our position on Fellow’s Square allows us to use the building to bring that message to all the 20,000 students, staff, tourists and general members of the public that pass our building on a daily basis.
The Trinity Long Room Hub’s window display features thought-provoking quotes or artwork related to topical issues or major events in the Institute, organised in association with our Arts and Humanities Schools or Trinity Library.
Our window is an increasingly popular and often-photographed landmark in Fellows’ Square and images of the window are disseminated through social media, often eliciting a lively response.
Jawaharlal Nehru: January 2020
‘A University stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for progress, for the adventure of ideas and for the search for truth. It stands for the onward march of the human race towards even higher objectives. If the universities discharge their duty adequately, then it is well with the nation and the people.’
These were the words spoken by Jawaharlal Nehru at the convocation of the University of Allahabad on 13 December 1947. Nehru was a prominent figure in the Indian independence movement and the countries first Prime Minister. This was the sentiment and values that underpinned the foundation of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, in 1969.
Nehru's message also features in a piece penned by Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer after a recent visit to India. The article, which can be found here , documents the changes on the JNU campus in light of the unfolding political crisis in the country, the December 2019 peaceful student protests, and the horrific attacks on staff and students on 5 January 2020.
The window is a gesture of solidarity with our colleagues in India – and with those around the world who face comparable challenges.
Edmund Burke: November 2018
‘Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour, than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.’
This quote by Trinity graduate Edmund Burke from ‘Burke’s reflections on the Revolution in France’, coincides with the Trinity Long Room Hub’s Annual Edmund Burke Lecture 2018 delivered by Pulitzer prize winning poet Paul Muldoon. Paul Muldoon is a Northern Ireland native and hails from The Moy, not far from the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The quote also features in an open letter by Trinity College Dublin on Brexit which appeared in the Financial Times on 1 November 2018. The letter which can be read here, speaks of Trinity as one of Ireland’s most successful cross-border institutions and the worrying effects Brexit may have on cross border relations, particularly for education.
Frankenstein at 200: October 2018
‘With how many things are we upon the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries.’
This quote marks the School of English’s initiatives to mark a worldwide celebration of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ at 200 years. ‘Frankenreads’ is a worldwide celebration of Mary Shelley's seminal work taking place throughout the month of October 2018.
The School of English's contribution to the celebrations will involve a range of events and initiatives, including free public lectures and book clubs, a poster competition, and a 'One University, One Book' initiative over the month of October and in Frankenweek (24-31 October 2018). This will culminate in a full reading of ‘Frankenstein’ on 31 October 2018 and on November 1st a lecture on ’Frankenstein at 200’ by Professor Darryl Jones, Trinity’s Professor of English and Deans of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, followed by a free screening of the National Theatre Live production of Frankenstein.
Dr Clare Clarke, assistant professor of English at Trinity College Dublin and co-ordinator of the university’s contribution to the Frankenreads festival wrote this article for the Irish Times on Frankenstein and #FrankenreadsTrinity.
Centenary of Women’s Right to Vote: October 2018
‘If we win it, this hardest of all fights, then…in the future it is going to be…easier for women all the world to win their fight when their time comes.’
In conjunction with Trinity Library and the School of English, this quote was selected to mark the centenary of the 1918 ‘Representation of the People Act’ that gave some women in Britain and Ireland the right to vote.
The window quote coincided with a monumental moment in Irish history for women’s rights, the decision by the Irish people to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, paving the way for the legalisation of abortion in Ireland for the first time.
It also spoke to worldwide debates around the #metoo movement over the previous months and the Behind the Headlines discussion on #MeToo held by the Trinity Long Room Hub on International Women’s Day 2018.
Beyond 2022: February 2018 - May 2018
'A State without archives is better than archives without a State.'
To mark the launch of 'Beyond 2022: Ireland's Virtual Record Treasury' project, the Trinity Long Room Hub teamed up with the project organisers from the School of Histories and Humanities to create a unique and striking visual for the window which combined one of the few photos of the destruction of the Irish Archive in 1922 with a quote from Winston Churchill. The launch of the ‘Beyond 2022’ project also set in motion the start of a three-year lecture series, ‘Out of the Ashes’, organised by Dr Peter Crooks, beginning in 2018-19 to explore the theme of cultural loss and recovery across the centuries, from the destruction of the Library of Alexandria in antiquity to contemporary acts of cultural loss and destruction.
Oscar Wilde: November 2017
‘What is a cynic?
A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.’
This window marked a major Trinity Library exhibition on graduate Oscar Wilde, 'From Decadence to Despair’. It featured photographs, letters, theatre programmes and memorabilia from the Library’s Oscar Wilde Collection, and was opened with a public interview with actor Rupert Everett.
Samuel Beckett: August 2017 – October 2017
'To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.'
This quote from one of Trinity’s most famous alumni, playwright Samuel Beckett, marked the 2017 Samuel Beckett Summer School, organised by the new Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies. Now in its eighth year, the Samuel Beckett Summer School provides a unique experience for students, scholars and lovers of Beckett’s works and invites the world’s foremost Beckett scholars to present new lectures and seminars on all aspects of Beckett’s works.
Jonathan Swift: April 2017 – August 2017
‘Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it’.
Swift350 was a Dublin-wide celebration of the 350th Anniversary of Johnathan Swift’s birth which occurred throughout 2017. As part of the celebrations, a display of Swiftiana was hosted in the Long Room of Trinity College Library and a major academic conference devoted to Swift was held in Trinity College and Trinity Long Room Hub.
This window quote was particularly resonant for its time, with the proliferation of the ‘fake news’ phenomenon, the demotion of the expert and elevation of opinion. Trump and Brexit were on people’s minds and later in 2017, the Trinity Long Room Hub in partnership with Columbia University, held a day-long symposium on ‘Factions, Fears, and Fake News’ and a panel discussion on Post Truth.
In Jonathan Swift’s essay on ‘Political Lying’ he comments poignantly that ‘the greatest liar hath his believers, and it often happens that if a lie be believed only for an hour, it hath done its work, and there is no further occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect.’
Manga Hokusai Manga: March 2017
In March of 2017 the Trinity Long Room Hub hosted an international travelling exhibition on Japanese manga, ‘Manga Hokusai Manga: Approaching the Master’s Compendium from the Perspective of Contemporary Comics.’ The exhibition was co-organised with the Embassy of Japan in Ireland and the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies, in association with Experience Japan. The exhibition introduced similarities and differences between modern Japanese manga comics and the ‘Hokusai Manga’, a collection of 15 volumes of sketches by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).
Edmund Burke: October 2016 - February 2017
‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’.
Source: Quote attributed to Edmund Burke most famously by John F. Kennedy, ‘Address to the Canadian Parliament’ (17 May 1961) as reprinted in Documents in Disarmament (Washington, 1962), p. 151; closest to observation ‘When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptable struggle’ found in Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, (3rd edn. London, 1970), p. 106.
In advance of the 2016 Annual Edmund Burke Lecture, delivered on 3 November 2016 by award winning writer and journalist Dr Robert Fisk, the Trinity Long Room Hub window featured this abridged quote from Burke which remains pertinent geopolitically. Dr Fisk’s lecture was entitled ‘From the Frontline: An Eyewitness Account from the Middle East’, where he addressed among other things, the ongoing war in Syria.
The Trinity Long Room Hub also organised a Behind the Headlines public discussion on Syria: The Local and the Global in November 2016, shortly after Dr Fisk delivered the Annual Edmund Burke Lecture. The quote most commonly attributed to Edmund Burke spoke to the palpable feeling among audience members of the need to ‘do something’, but feeling like powerless bystanders looking on at the conflict situation.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1748. As a student he founded what would later become the College Historical Society, the oldest student society in the world. Burke entered Parliament in 1765 and quickly became a champion for political emancipation. One of Burke’s central and life-long concerns was what moral codes should underpin the social order, constrain the use of power and inform our behaviour as responsible citizens. This is as important today as it was in Burke’s time, and the Edmund Burke lectures aim to keep his manifold legacies alive by providing a prominent forum for contributing in his spirit to the wider discourse about what society we want to live in and what traditions, perspectives and values we need to draw on in the shaping of our future.
The annual Edmund Burke Lecture Series is supported by a generous endowment in honour of Padraic Fallon by his family.
Europe's Violent Memories: March 2016
The strong graphic window display of March 2016 marked the conclusion of the three-year public lecture series ‘Europe’s Violent Memories’ and also the centenary of the 1916 rising.
This three-year series of public lectures organised by the Department of History and the Trinity Centre for European Studies in association with the Trinity Long Room Hub was delivered by eminent international scholars in different disciplines. In 2013-14, the centenary of the First World War, the series explored the nature and legacy of that conflict down to the present. In 2014-15, the seventieth anniversary of 1945, the focus was on the extreme violence of the Second World War and the ways in which this has shaped subsequent European memories and identities. The final year, 2015-16, re-examined the legacies of the Easter Rising at its centenary and of Ireland’s revolutionary decade more generally. It located the founding decade of modern Ireland in the context of Europe and the non-European world over the last hundred years, including inter-war Eastern Europe, post-1945 decolonization and Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles.’
The Trinity Long Room Hub supported a rigorous and vibrant programme of activities and talks from the Arts and Humanities as part of Trinity’s commemoration of the Easter Rising. Click here to read more.
Research Themes: October 2015
Since 2012, the Institute has supported the development of Trinity's five Arts and Humanities-led research themes (out of a total of 19 university themes) which draw on a critical mass of research from across the university to focus on addressing some of society's major challenges. This window paid homage to those themes: Identities in Transformation; Making Ireland; Creative Arts Practice; Manuscript, Book, and Print Cultures; and Digital Humanities. The window also marked a major Arts and Humanities Research Showcase at Trinity Long Room Hub on the 27th of October 2015.
Harry Clarke: January 2015
In February 2015, Trinity College Library hosted a symposium on the work of the Harry Clarke Studios, one of the most famous stained glass studios in Ireland, and the ongoing digitization of this historic collection by the Library’s Digital Resources & Imaging Services Department. The one-day event, entitled the ‘Clarke Studios Symposium’ was held in The Trinity Long Room Hub and was funded by our Research Incentive Scheme, with additional funding from The Irish Art and Research Centre.
Scribe2Scribe: September 2014
This window announced an exhibition by artist Mags Harnett held at Trinity Long Room Hub from 19 September to 30 November 2014. The scribe2scribe exhibition featured an imagined dialogue between scribes working on the Book of Kells. Written in the abbreviated lingo of text messaging, the works explored how communication and the written word have changed since the Book of Kells was written.
WW1 Roadshow: July 2014
"War is war...You kill or be killed"
This quote was used to mark the World War One Roadshow at Trinity College Dublin on 12 July 2014. In partnership with the National Library of Ireland and RTÉ, the Roadshow was part of a major retrospective to mark the centenary of World War One. The day long programme on Saturday, July 12th, featured a Family History Collections event where members of the public were invited to register and bring along family items, letters and mementos related to the war for cataloguing for an online European archive, and for reviewing by a team of experts from the National Library of Ireland. The day also included pop-up talks and lectures on the Great War, and Trinity College Dublin's own unique history during this period, as well as music, poetry, and theatrical events.
To read more and view videos on the World War One Roadshow at Trinity College, click here.