Podcasts and Presentations from Clarke Studios Symposium

Trinity College Library Dublin recently hosted an event focusing 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.

If you were not able to attend you can find the speaker’s podcasts and presentations on their blog’s Media page.

The event brought together the analogue and the digital in a wonderful day of visual presentations, stimulating talks and interesting discussions. The Clarke Studios Symposium was held in the Long Room Hub and was funded by its Research Incentive Scheme, with addition funding from The Irish Art and Research Centre. The digitization of the Harry Clarke Studios Archive is a demonstrator project for the Digital Repository of Ireland project and is being undertaken by staff in the Library’s Digital Resources & Imaging Services department in conjunction with the Manuscripts and Archive Research Library.

The event, introduced by Helen Shenton, Trinity College Librarian and Archivist, was attended by over 120 people and had thirteen speakers ranging from experts in the field of history of art, to world leaders in digital humanities. The morning session focused mainly on the history of art aspect of the project (the “analogue”) and the keynote speaker was Nicola Gordon-Bowe. Nicola is the world’s leading expert in Harry Clarke and gave a wonderful presentation on the life of this amazing stained glass artist and the progression of his work; even describing how she got “stuck on a windowsill at a wedding trying to get close to a Harry Clarke window”.

The keynote speaker for the afternoon (“digital”) session was Simon Tanner from King’s College London, one of the leading experts in digital humanities and Director of Digital Consulting at the College. His paper reflected on the huge benefits and many challenges associated with digitization, and reflected on his past experiences of photographing stained glass windows.

Other papers discussed the global reach of the Clarke Studios, particularly Africa, America and New Zealand; the contribution of digital collections to humanities research; the cultural context of stained glass windows in Ireland; and also practical demonstrations from Ken and Muriel Ryan. Ken and Muriel from the Abbey Stained Glass Studio brought along a wide variety of props, examples of stained glass windows and working designs. They also displayed a sample of shattered Harry Clarke glass they gathered at St. Mel’s Cathedral in Longford, after the fire of Christmas Day 2009, which totally destroyed the Church along with the original windows.

It was fantastic to have such a variety of speakers contributing to the day and engaging with each other; connecting the analogue and digital world of research and stained glass windows.

The Symposium also engaged the online community through Facebook and Twitter. With the hashtag ‘#ClarkeStudios’, attendees were able to tweet pictures, interesting points or general comments about the day. This use of social media was a great way to document the day and encourage further engagement with the digital collection. A brilliant Storify  was created and clearly shows the positive experience of speakers and attendees. The Symposium’s blog page will also be a way to continue this engagement and inspire the speakers, researchers and all interested in the Harry Clarke “Digital” and “Analogue” Archive.

Trinity College Library supports Green Week. Go Green 2015!

Trinity College Library is delighted to support College’s Green Week 2015, 16-20 February. frog on a rock

In the Berkeley Library foyer, our Early Printed Books department is providing a display of printed material on the history of forestry in Ireland.

Collection Management / Periodicals have selected material which can be seen in the Orientation Space display case (BLU), ‘Making Waves for Water!’

We’ve put together a selection of books to illustrate how water sustainability affects us on the personal, national and global scale. Why not think of how water sustainability affects you and what the idea of sustainable living could encourage changes in our way of life?

Our display is designed to coincide with both College Green Week and the College Strategic Plan, which supports a policy of sustainable resource use on Campus. We encourage our library patrons to go Green for Green Week and to explore the theme of sustainability using the Library Catalogue, where they will find a wealth of resources on the topic.

Recently published, scholarly material, from our Environmental Science collections is represented in a special display in the Hamilton Library. A short video promoting that material will run on our information screens in the Library buildings during the week. Each day during Green Week, our blog will feature individual books from the selected items.

Green Week will be launched at 1.15 pm, today, Monday, 16th February, at the Exam Hall, Front Square. There will be a display of the latest technology in electric vehicles. A founder of FoodCloud, a community-based social enterprise matching those with too much food with those who have too little, will speak about ‘Green Entrepreneurship’.

All welcome.

Worth Library Seminar on Aldines, 17/02/15

Poetae Christiani 1502 Aldine device no 1.The Edward Worth Library, which is affiliated to TCD, is pleased to announce a seminar on ‘Manutius in Dublin: An Introduction to the Printer and Dr Worth’s Aldines’ by Professor Brian Richardson, Emeritus Professor of Italian Language, University of Leeds.

The lecture will take place at 15:00, Tuesday 17 February 2015 in the Edward Worth Library. Booking is essential for this seminar. To book a place, please e-mail Elizabethanne Boran or phone 01 635 2215. Directions to the Worth Library may be found at the Edward Worth Library website.

Trinity College Library Dublin to Host Lecture – Democratisation of Collections through Digitisation

UPDATE: see podcast of the talk below.
Trinity College Library Dublin hosted a lecture entitled Democratisation of Collections through Digitisation, on Thursday, 5th of February at 1:00pm in the Neill Hoey Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute.



The talk was delivered by Simon Tanner, Senior Tutor in the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, and Founding Director of King’s Digital Consultancy Services. Simon has an academic background in Library and Information Science. He has a wide ranging interest in cross disciplinary thinking and collaborative approaches that reflect a fascination with interactions between memory organisation collections (libraries, museum, archives, media and publishing) and the humanities. His personal research interests encompass digital humanities, digitisation, imaging, measuring impact and assessing value in the digital domain.

In his talk Simon explored how accelerating access to unique and distinct library content activates new areas of scholarship and teaching. He also offered his insight, based on his extensive experience in the area, into the successful collaboration between Libraries, Academic Support areas and Digital Humanities scholars

Video of the Librarian at TEDx Dublin

In September last, our Librarian Helen Shenton spoke to over 2000 attendees at TEDx Dublin 2014, held at the Bord Gáis Theatre, and now you can see her presenting Collaboratories and bubbles of shush; how libraries are transforming. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an annual event bringing together the world’s leading thinkers and doers to spread ideas important to them. Past speakers at TED include Bill Clinton, Bono and Richard Branson.

TEDx Dublin provides an independently organised TED-like experience, and this year’s group of live speakers represented a broad range of interests and concerns, from a sociolinguist to an astrophysicist, a prison governor to a “gender discombobulator” and of course our very own Librarian and College Archivist. The website says “Helen is passionate about the power of collections and the role of information in people’s lives in this new digital landscape” and this formed the basis of her talk.

The Skinny on Bad Parchment

Lovely post on how the copiers of manuscripts got around flaws in the parchment. Via broadsheet.ie.


My favourite activity is to touch, smell, and listen to the crackling sound of cows and sheep that have been dead for a thousand years. That’s right, I am talking about medieval parchment, the standard material for books made between the fifth and thirteenth centuries. Animal skin replaced papyrus (standard up to the fifth century) and would ultimately be challenged by paper, which competed for dominance during the later medieval period. Parchment was resilient, however, and it was even used by early printers, including Gutenberg himself – showing the use of animal skin did not die with the medieval manuscript.

There is a lot you can tell from medieval skin. Like a physician today, the book historian can make a diagnosis by observing it carefully. The best quality, for example, feels just like velvet. It usually has an even, off-white colour, and it makes no sound when you turn the page. Bad skin, by contrast, crackles. It is of uneven thickness, and shows staining…

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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