Catalóg Lámhscríbhínní na hÉireann ar líne / Medieval Irish Manuscripts Online Cataloguing Project

Since 2013 work has been underway in M&ARL to make available online the full catalogue of Trinity College Library’s significant medieval to early modern Irish language manuscripts. The catalogue, previously only available in the 1921 published format (Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College Dublin TK Abbott & EJ Gwynn, Dublin: 1921), is expected to be complete in 2016 and will greatly enhance how scholars and students can search for, and access, catalogue information to these manuscripts.

TCD MS 1282, fol 55r, the Annals of Ulster. Describing the events of 1014, dominated by the Battle of Clontarf.

TCD MS 1282, fol 55r, the Annals of Ulster. Describing the events of 1014, dominated by the Battle of Clontarf.

Trinity College Library is a major repository of over 240 manuscripts in Irish, ranging from medieval to early modern volumes which include the Book of Leinster, (TCD MS 1339, 12th century), the Annals of Ulster (TCD MS 1282, late 15th/early 16th century),the Yellow Book of Lecan (TCD MS 1318, late 14th/early 15th century) and the Book of the de Burgos (TCD MS 1440, 16th century). The purpose of the project is to make available through MARLOC full catalogue descriptions for the entire medieval Irish collection. Currently, summary descriptions for all of the Irish manuscripts are already available, with full descriptions for many, and further descriptions being added weekly. There are also links in the descriptions to digitised images from the manuscripts on ISOS https://www.isos.dias.ie/ and on Digital Collections TCD http://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/. When complete, the online resource will be fully searchable (users can search by manuscript number, name, placename, title, first lines, etc.) and will contain much addenda from the published catalogue.

Caoimhe Ní Ghormáin

TCD MS 1440, fol 21r, the Book of the de Burgos. Portrait of Tomás Mac Emoind

TCD MS 1440, fol 21r, the Book of the de Burgos. Portrait of Tomás Mac Emoind.

 

Images from the Collen Archive

MS11482-4-2-36_01As the Collen Archive Project enters its final stages a small exhibition highlighting Collen’s contribution to Ireland’s built environment has gone on display in the Long Room and online. This coincides with National Heritage Week, 22-30 August 2015, during which, Ireland’s industrial and design heritage will be celebrated at events across the country.

MS11482-4-1-1_10r croppedThe photographic exhibition outlines Collen’s evolution, from its origins in 1810 at Tandragee, County Armagh, to the opening of a Dublin branch in 1872, and its separation into two branches in 1949. It explores how the brothers Standish and Lyal Collen, both graduates of the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, combined experience and innovation to develop and expand the new company, Collen Brothers (Dublin) Limited, during the late 20th century.MS11482-4-1-12_9

Photography, by professionals and amateurs, both during and after the completion of construction projects, was a regular feature of Collen’s activities; it provided a visual record as well as a resource to support marketing activities. For researchers and the general community, the thousands of photographs in the Collen Archive provide a connection between the past and the present; they record details about aspects of Ireland’s development and the built environment which complement information captured by the official written records.

Claire Allen

Changed Utterly Update

TCD MS 5870 2v Henry Street from Nelson's Pillar May 1916 by TJ Westropp

TCD MS 5870 2v Henry Street from Nelson’s Pillar May 1916 by TJ Westropp

It is only three months since the Library launched its 1916 blog Changed Utterly – Ireland and the Easter Rising. In that time we have been delighted and surprised by the extent of the support for the project and the increase in the use of the Library’s 1916 collections.

In addition to the 600+ Twitter followers of @TCDLIB1916, the blog has also recently attracted the attention of the media with articles in TheJournal.ie, the Irish Independent and the Irish Post.

One of the unexpected outcomes of the project is that it has raised the profile of the Library as a repository that actively collects such archival material. This has resulted in the donation of new material to M&ARL including the original account of 1916 by Lillian Stokes, (donated by her grand-nephew); and the deposit of an autograph album from the Frongoch internment camp. Posts on these new accessions will appear on the blog shortly. Research Collections staff have also met with many different people and agencies working on their own 1916 projects, which include prospective theatre performances, visitor centres and other digital projects.

Most of our weekly posts are written by Library staff, with some contributions from Trinity academics and other experts, including a forthcoming post written by the relative of a 1916 internee.

TCD MS 5870 5r Chimneys of the Hotel Metropole May 1916 by TJ Westropp

TCD MS 5870 5r Chimneys of the Hotel Metropole May 1916 by TJ Westropp

This week’s post focusses on an album of 44 photographs of Dublin taken in the days immediately following the rising. Subscribers to the blog have already learned of the experience of Thomas Bodkin as a St John Ambulance stretcher bearer working out of Dublin Castle and the story of Eileen Corrigan, one of four female students to brave sniper bullets on her way into Trinity to sit exams.

Estelle Gittins

All Changed, Changed Utterly

TCD MUN MC 207

TCD MUN MC 207

Changed Utterly – Ireland and the Easter Rising is a new blog project from the Trinity College Library Research Collections Division. Launching today, the 99th anniversary of the start of the 1916 Easter Rising, the project aims to explore the Library’s collections relating to the Rising through a year of weekly blog posts.

The posts will draw on the rich and diverse collections of 1916 material held in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library, the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections, the Glucksman Map Library and the Music Library. Posts will focus on one extraordinary item or collection each week, and will include diaries, letters, pamphlets, photographs, objects and even items of clothing.

The posts will draw on the rich and diverse collections of 1916 material held in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library, the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections, the Glucksman Map Library and the Music Library. Posts will focus on one extraordinary item or collection each week, and will include diaries, letters, pamphlets, photographs, objects and even items of clothing.

By starting in April 2015 the aim is to showcase the breadth of the 1916 collections and to act as a catalyst for research ahead of the anniversary in April 2016.

Helen Shenton, Trinity College Librarian and College Archivist with project leads Estelle Gittins, M&ARL and Shane Mawe, Early Printed Books and Special Collections

Helen Shenton, Trinity College Librarian and College Archivist with project leads Estelle Gittins, M&ARL and Shane Mawe, Early Printed Books and Special Collections

Blog posts are written mostly by Library staff, with contributions from Trinity College academics and other experts in the period. Each blog post will contain further links to entries in Trinity College Library catalogues, and to digitised items on TCD Digital Collections, as applicable.

The site can be accessed via www.tcd.ie/library/1916 where you can read the first entry – ‘The Howth Gun Running’. You can also follow on Twitter – @TCDLib1916.

Estelle Gittins

Throwing a bit of light on the subject

Light 2The celebrations in Trinity Week, which is a week of celebration of Trinity in Trinity, are normally sponsored and themed by one of the faculties. This year it’s the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science which is hosting the programme of events, beginning on 11 April, and the theme is ‘Light’.

The Library, which is so central to so much of the work afoot in College, will remind people of this important fact by staging a number of events on the theme of light during Trinity Week.

Harry Clarke, for example, used light as part of his palette, and his role in Irish cultural history will be acknowledged by the installation of a reproduction, from the Library’s Harry Clarke Studios archives, in one of the windows of The Trinity Long Room Hub. The image chosen is a glorious drawing of three roses set in a starburst.

The Library also presents itself as an ‘illuminary’ – that which illuminates – since that is what the Library does to the research mission of the College. To bring home this point, images from the Library’s historic collections in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library and the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections will be projected onto the wall above the Nassau Street entrance to College and also above the entrance to the Berkeley Library.Light 1

Allying this theme with the centenary of the First World War has inspired another Library installation; ‘The lamps have gone out all over Europe. We will not see them lit again in our lifetime’ – a well-known and resonant phrase, dating from the eve of First World War, which was understood from the beginning as a threat to enlightened civilization. It is proposed to project, onto the East face of the 1937 Reading Room, the names and portraits of the Trinity engineers and medics who fell. The images from the Medical School are part of the Library’s archival collections, while those of the Engineers still grace the walls of the Museum Building.
All of the images being projected are accessible through Digital Collections

Early Printed Books and M&ARL have taken a bit of liberty with the word ‘light’ in the titles of an exhibition and of this present blog post: ‘…and there was light’ is the title of a small exhibition, curated by EPB in the Berkeley foyer, which explores the theme through texts on religion, science and literature.

The website for the Library’s projects within Trinity Week is accessible here

Jane Maxwell

Through the Portal

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht with staff from the National Archives viewing displayed manuscripts

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Hazel Menton, Senior Archivist; Tom Quinlan, Acting Director and Aideen Ireland, all of the National Archives

A frequently deployed phrase, annoying to archivists, refers to ‘treasures locked away in the archives’. The implication is that archivists have a proprietorial attitude to the heritage materials in their care and dislike letting other people get their hands on it. Nothing could be further from the truth; all archivists and manuscripts curators expend much energy in figuring out how to communicate the existence and availability of the many research collections held in repositories up and down the country.

The latest venture is a re-launch to the Irish Archives Resource, a free online database containing searchable descriptions from repositories all over Ireland, north and south. IAR is supported by the Archives and Records Association, Ireland and the School of History and Archives in UCD, and is managed by a voluntary steering group. It has been funded by the Heritage Council, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Northern Ireland. The portal (www.iar.ie) was launched on 17 September by Minister Heather Humphreys, TD, in the company of Michael Starrett CEO of the Heritage Council and David Huddleston representing the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Northern Ireland.

IAR screen shotTrinity College Library is the largest presence on the site having contributed information on thirty-four collections which include medieval deeds, maps, family and estate papers, political collections and literary papers, sports-related archives and archives of Trinity College itself.

IAR offers help to archives services wishing to provide content to the portal and may be contacted at info@iar.ie. The great benefit in this is that archives services, with an undeveloped online presence, can communicate with potential users through this portal.

There is also a very entertaining flickr gallery of images drawn from all contributing archives services.

Jane Maxwell

The Irish Times article on the launch

Digital History – Trinity College Library Tercentenary Online Exhibition

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Last year marked the tercentenary of the Old Library, whose foundation stone was laid in 1712.  Events such as lectures, a conference and an exhibition were organised to celebrate the occasion.  The exhibition – ‘A Great Many Choice Books’ – was on display from April to October.  This online exhibition was designed to complement its physical counterpart, as well as give an overview of the history of the Library: the building, its collections and its people.

Ellen O’Flaherty