Trinity College Library Dublin announces purchase of Samuel Beckett Letters – 8th October 2014


Trinity College Library Dublin has announced the purchase of the most extensive collection of Samuel Beckett letters ever to have been offered for public sale.
The collection comprises 347 items and was sold by a private seller.
The Library now holds the largest collection of Beckett letters of any research library in the world and is a fitting home for the correspondence of one of Trinity College Dublin’s most famous alumni.

The letters and cards were sent from the Nobel Prize-winning author to artists Henri and Josette Hayden.
Beckett and his wife, Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil, met the Haydens when both couples were in southern France evading discovery by the Nazis during WWII.
The letters, dating from a period beginning in 1947, cover a troubled time in Beckett’s life, which saw the death of both his mother and his brother Frank.

“These Beckett letters are very significant for Beckett scholarship at Trinity College, as well as nationally and internationally,” said Helen Shanton, librarian and college archivist.
“We have been developing collections of significant Irish creative writers, and these letters build on the existing Beckett collections the library already holds. We welcome the opportunity to be able to share these collections with students of Beckett and researchers across the globe.”

A small sample of the collection is on display for the public in the Old Library.
RTE News – Trinity Buys Beckett Letters
BBC News – Trinity College buys largest collection of writers’ letters put on sale

Welcome to Trinity College Library Dublin’s Alerts Page


This blog and RSS feed is used to send out alerts to members of Trinity College Dublin and those wishing to visit the Library.

Details on admission requirements, opening hours, borrowing rights, and access to the Library’s catalogues and databases can be found at the Library website.

Visitors wishing to see the Book of Kells and the Long Room may visit the Book of Kells website.

The Long Room, Trinity College Library Dublin – New Exhibition Launched 23rd October 2014

A major new exhibition of children’s books celebrating the wondrous ways in which writers and illustrators have used myth to engage and excite young readers was launched in the Long Room, Trinity College Library Dublin, on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014. The exhibition is open to the public and runs until April 2015.

Illustration from "The Children of Lir" illustration © PJ Lynch 2014 - taken from "The Names Upon The Harp" by Marie Heaney, published by Faber

Illustration from “The Children of Lir” illustration © PJ Lynch 2014 – taken from “The Names Upon The Harp” by Marie Heaney, published by Faber

The exhibition, entitled ‘Upon the Wild Waves: A Journey through Myth In Children’s Books’ presents material from the 17th century to the present day and was prepared by Dr Pádraic Whyte, Assistant Professor in English and co-director of the Masters programme in Children’s Literature at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin.

From Walter Crane’s superb images of Greek heroes battling monsters in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys, through to Beatrice Elvery’s enchanting depiction of Niamh riding out from Tír na nÓg in Violet Russell’s Heroes of the dawn, the exhibition brings visitors on a magical journey through a diverse range of fascinating children’s books. The display, which is primarily aimed at adult visitors, features myths from around the world, with a particular emphasis on English-language books and on tales by Irish authors and illustrators. All the texts are drawn from the Library which holds over 150,000 children’s books – approximately 10,500 of which are from the Pollard Collection of Children’s Books. This collection was bequeathed to the Library in 2005 by a former Keeper of Early Printed Books, Mary ‘Paul’ Pollard.

Commenting on the significance of the exhibition, Dr Whyte said:

“Children’s literature is a central and vital part of our cultural heritage and this exhibition reveals the sophisticated ways in which myth in children’s books can be used to explore everything from gender and same-sex-relationships through to historical revisionism and 1916. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to display for visitors many of the treasures held at the Trinity College Library, and to highlight some of the research in children’s literature taking place at the School of English.”

The exhibition is also available to view online, click here

Library Opening Hours, October Bank Holiday Monday, 27/10/2014

pumpkin-220122_640Due to the October Bank Holiday, all Library reading rooms will be closed on Monday 27th October 2014. The 24-hour Kinsella Hall in the Ussher Library and the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room will remain open by ID card access to Trinity students and staff.

All Library reading rooms reopen on Tuesday 28th October 2014. For further information please consult our Opening Hours webpage.

Kinsella Hall, 24-hour Study Hall Announced, 16th October 2014

October 16th, 2014 − A new 24-hour Study Hall was marked today at Trinity College Library Dublin at a special ceremony. The Study Hall has been made possible through significant endowment funding which also supports scholarships for up to six engineering students simultaneously as they pursue their education. These initiatives were made possible through the generous private support of the Chief Executive of Jones Engineering Group, Eric Kinsella, and his wife Barbara.
The state-of-the-art Kinsella Hall comprises three floors of 24-hour study space in the Ussher Library for all students and researchers in Trinity to access day and night, and remains open throughout the year except over Christmas. It will allow for up to 600 study spaces for the students to study in a specially designed space. The three floors are being opened on a phased basis this term and will be fully functioning later this term.
The Student Study Hall is named in honour of Mr Kinsella’s parents, William and Kathleen Kinsella.

“We believe in the importance of supporting students achieve their full potential in the course of their studies. The Study Hall represents this in the most practical of ways, enabling students to study intensively throughout the year in a state-of-the-art facility. I am gratified that the Study Hall is going to be named in honour of my own parents, as a means of marking their own outstanding commitment and dedication to the education and wellbeing of their children,” said Mr Kinsella on the occasion of the unveiling of the plaque for the new facility.

The Student Study Hall was developed at the request of the students themselves. On behalf of Trinity’s students, the Students’ Union President, Domhnall McGlacken-Byrne thanked Mr Kinsella for making this long held ambition possible:

“The availability of overnight study space has been a priority for students for some time. This 24/7 access is not just a necessity coming up to exam time, but also throughout the year, in order to complete projects and research. We would like to personally thank Eric and Barbara Kinsella in supporting it.”

The Librarian and College Archivist, Helen Shenton also welcomed the Kinsellas’ generous benefaction:

“Trinity College Library Dublin is at the heart of learning, teaching and research, and is especially important in the support it provides to over 17,000 of our students. The way that students and researchers are studying, learning and researching, is changing and libraries need to reflect that. It is a priority for us in Trinity College Library that our students can access the appropriate information and resources they need at all times throughout their education at Trinity, in welcoming, safe and attractive surroundings. Kinsella Hall, made possible through the Kinsellas’ kind generosity is yet another invaluable addition to the support we offer throughout that important journey.”

Pictured from L-R: Helen Shenton, Librarian & College Archivist; Mr. Eric Kinsella, Chief Executive of Jones Engineering Group; Mrs. Barbara Kinsella

Pictured from L-R: Helen Shenton, Librarian & College Archivist; Mr. Eric Kinsella, Chief Executive of Jones Engineering Group; Mrs. Barbara Kinsella

Pictured L-R: Mr. Eric Kinsella, Chief Executive of Jones Engineering Group; Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast

Pictured L-R: Mr. Eric Kinsella, Chief Executive of Jones Engineering Group; Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast

Dracula Visits the Library

Close-up of Dracula from the 1958 film. By Screenshot from "Internet Archive" of the movie Dracula (1958) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Get your teeth into a good book this Halloween

This week, as Halloween approaches, Trinity College Library Dublin celebrates the work of alumnus Bram Stoker with a selection of editions and adaptations of Dracula in the Library Orientation Space. The Library has over three hundred print editions and adaptations of the novel.

Abraham “Bram” Stoker was born 8th November 1847 in Clontarf. He attended Trinity College Dublin from 1864-1870, graduating with a BA in Mathematics. He was auditor of the College Historical Society and President of the University Philosophical Society. Stoker had an interest in art and theatre; he was theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail and later manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London for 27 years.

Like any good researcher, Stoker used libraries for help with his work. At Whitby Library he consulted the book An account of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia by William Wilkinson where he first noted the name Dracula. Whitby features prominently in Dracula and still draws visitors interested in horror and the Gothic (including your humble correspondent).

The third annual Bram Stoker Festival takes place in Dublin from October 24th – 27th 2014, and has a very full programme of spooky events, well worth a look.

24-Hour Reading Room, Ussher Library – Temporary Closure Today, Thursday 16 October, 5am – 10pm

Closed SignPlease note that the 24-hour Reading Room & Computer Room in the Ussher Library will be closed today, Thursday 16th October 2014, between 5.00am and 10.00pm. Readers are advised that noise may travel to other floors in the Ussher Library during the event. Readers seeking quiet study spaces are advised to use the Lecky and Berkeley Libraries between 4.00pm – 7.00pm. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

This evening, an event will be held in the 24-hour Reading Room to mark the naming of Kinsella Hall. Kinsella Hall will greatly enhance the number of study spaces available to students on a 24-hour basis.

If you wish to comment please contact

Friends of the Library Lecture – “Why Chuck Feeney Wants his Last Cheque to Bounce”

The Friends of the Library – Trinity College Dublin are delighted to announce the next lecture of the new term. Admission is €5 (Members & Concessions €2.50). All welcome!

Conor O’Clery (formerly of the Irish Times)
19:30, Thursday 23 October 2014
Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

Conor O’Clery is a former news editor and foreign correspondent of the Irish Times in London, Moscow, Washington D.C., Beijing and New York City. Among his many books are: The Billionaire who Wasn’t. How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune without Anyone Knowing (2007); Panic at the Bank. How John Rushnak Lost AIB $7000 Million Dollars (co-authored with Siobhan Creaton) (Dublin, 2002); Daring Diplomacy. Clintons’s Secret Search for Peace in Ireland (1997).