One hundred years ago in TCD…

TCD MUN V5 20 f264r

TCD/MUN/V5/20 f264r

The Board of Trinity College, comprising: the Provost, nine Fellows and two professors, met every Saturday from October to July.  The official minutes of each were recorded in large bound volumes, which constitute one of the most important series (TCD MUN V 5) of the College archives.

TCD MUN V 5/20 covers the years 1910-1913.  A glance at entries for the year 1912 shows that the Board was concerned with day-to-day academic and administrative business, such as the approval of degrees, and decisions regarding lecturers’ salaries and pensions.  A programme of activities to celebrate the Medical School bicentenary was regularly discussed and was estimated to cost around £500.  There is no mention of the anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Old Library, but in February the librarian was authorised to consult Sir Thomas Deane regarding a possible extension to the building.  Benjamin Guinness (Viscount Iveagh) was Chancellor at the time, and proved to be a very generous benefactor to the College, donating large sums throughout the year, part of which were invested in stocks and bonds.  Although concerned primarily with the internal machinations of the College, an acknowledgement of events in the outside world also appeared in the minutes, in the form of numerous references to the third Home Rule bill and to War Office grants, both ominous forewarnings of the troubles to come in subsequent years.

Ellen O’Flaherty

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