Scríbhinní i nGaeilge i mBailiúcháin Speisialta in Éirinn – Writings in the Irish Language in Special Collections in Ireland

On December 3rd 2021 the Library Association of Ireland’s Rare Books Group held their Annual Seminar via Zoom. The theme of the seminar was Irish Language collections in Special Collections, in particular manuscript collections. The aim of the seminar was to help us identify links between collections in different institutions and to help inform our users about the variety of collections held throughout Ireland.

Session One
Chair: Margaret Irons


If bibliographies could speak … Clóliosta and the history of print culture in Irish / Mícheál Hoyne, School of Celtic Studies (DIAS)

UCD’s Ferriter and Morris Manuscript Collections /
Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail MRIA, Associate Professor, School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore, UCD

Irish Language Collections in the National Library of Ireland /
Gerard Long, Assistant Keeper, Department of Special Collections, NLI

Session Two
Chair: Alexandra Caccamo

Lámhscríbhinní de hÍde and others : Irish Language Manuscripts, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway / Marie Boran, Special Collections Librarian, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway

Eugene O’Curry’s Gaelic Manuscripts, the Colm Ó Lochlainn Manuscripts and other Manuscripts in UCD Library / Evelyn Flanagan, Head of Special Collections, UCD Library

The Irish Language Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College Dublin
/ Caoimhe Ní Ghormáin

A Call for Public Aid: Forming & Developing UCC’s Irish Language Manuscript Collection / Elaine Harrington, Special Collections Librarian, UCC Library

Irish Language Manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy /
Meadhbh Murphy, Deputy Librarian, RIA

Gaelic Manuscripts in the Russell Library, Maynooth /
Yvette Campbell, Assistant Librarian, Collections & Content, NUIM

RBG / CDG Workshop: ‘Introduction to Special Collections’

The annual Rare Books Group workshop took place online in early October. Organised in collaboration with the Library Association of Ireland’s Career Development Group, the focus of the event was to give early career professionals and aspiring special collections librarians an insight into working with rare books and unique and distinct collections.

Presentations included an overview of the material found in special collections along with its handling and care, a working day of a special collections librarian and routes to professional development. The workshop concluded with a panel discussion, chaired by Clare Conneally of the CDG, on the training and recruitment of special collections librarians.

A day working in Special Collections
Amy Boylan, Marsh’s Library

Overview of the types of materials held in Special Collections
Evelyn Flanagan, UCD Library

Handling special collections material – Suppliers of preservation equipment
Evelyn Flanagan, UCD Library

Training & Professional Development: Dundee / Aberystwyth
Celine Ward, Chester Beatty Library

Training & Professional Development: London Rare Books School
Marie Boran, NUI Galway

Online Exhibition: Beggars and Artisans: A Cultural History of Cork’s Franciscan Friary

Front cover to Franciscan Cork: A Souvenir of St. Francis Church Cork. MP 274.19 FRAN, Special Collections, UCC Library.

On the week of 31 May The River-side posted a series of blog posts comprising a student-created online exhibition ‘Beggars and Artisans: A Cultural History of Cork’s Franciscan Friary.’ This online exhibition is curated and overseen by Dr Małgorzata Krasnodębska-D’Aughton, Senior Lecturer, UCC’s School of History and Elaine Harrington, Special Collections Librarian, UCC Library. Two MA in Medieval History students: Morgan Hole and Martha Ewence, created the exhibition as part of HI6091 Skills for Medieval Historians. Dr Małgorzata Krasnodębska-D’Aughton, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History in the School of History has written an introduction to Beggars and Artisans. 

This online exhibition uses printed items from Munster Printing, from UCC Library’s Special Collections, to explore themes of cultural continuity with a particular focus on a single church of St Francis in Cork.  The exhibition celebrates the ongoing collaboration between Special Collections and the MA in Medieval History programme; this collaboration has already brought about four other online exhibitions inspired by the Library’s early modern maps, facsimiles and rare books: Mapping Cork, The Luttrell Psalter, The Book of Kells and Viking Cork. 

We thank Dr Kevin Murray from the Department of Early & Medieval Irish, Prof. Lee Jenkins from the School of English and Dr Anne-Julie Lafaye from the Irish Research Council for addressing our queries in relation to different parts of the blog.

Many thanks from all in the project for the generosity in providing images free of charge from Trinity College Dublin Library, the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society and Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, UCD and UCD-OFM Partnership. Our thanks also to the National Gallery (London) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) in providing images under a Creative Commons license.

More importantly, the project has been completed during the COVID-19 crisis and its completion is a great testimony to the value of teamwork and collegiality, and the commitment of the MA students to produce high quality research during challenging times.


All posts may be accessed via https://blogs.ucc.ie/wordpress/theriverside/tag/beggars-and-artisans/ Please share posts as#BeggarsAndArtisans

Elaine Harrington
Special Collections Librarian
Boole Library, University College Cork,

Twenty years of Irish Script On Screen

The 2020 Rare Books Group Annual General Meeting took place on Monday 8 March. Following the meeting Anne Marie O’Brien, School of Celtic Studies, DIAS, gave a presentation on ‘Twenty Years of Irish Script On Screen.’ The presentation is now available to view below. We would like to thank Anne Marie for a wonderfully interesting talk on this important project.

Rare beyond words – Special Collections and Access in 2020

The LAI Rare Books Group Annual Seminar took place on Friday 20 November and focussed on the  challenges special collections librarians faced during and after lockdown. In true 2020 style the seminar took place online and the videos are available to watch below. A big thank you to all our speakers and all who joined us on the day, we hope to see you in person for the next seminar!

Session One
Chair: Margaret Irons


Down the rabbit hole: moving library (and country) in lockdown / Amy Boylan, Marsh’s Library

Carry on regardless / Sophie Evans, Royal Irish Academy

A researcher’s perspective on closed libraries during lockdown: challenges, changes and collaboration / Chantal Kobel, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Session Two
Chair – Elaine Harrington

National Library Re-opening – Lessons in contingency planning / Gráinne MacLochlainn, National Library of Ireland

Reopening a university library: politics, persuasion and persistence / John Cox, NUIG

Panel Discussion: What Covid-19 means for Special Collections.
Chair – Evelyn Flanagan

Online Exhibition: Mapping Cork: Trade, culture and politics in medieval and early modern Ireland.

Civitates_Corcke_Map_Full_Page
Page with maps of four Irish cities (Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork) in Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Cologne, 1618, edited by Georg Braun, engravings by Abraham Hogenberg. Special Collections, UCC Library.

 

This week (beginning 18 May) The River-side will post a series of blog posts comprising a student-created online exhibition Mapping Cork: Trade, culture and politics in medieval and early modern Ireland. This online exhibition is curated and overseen by Dr Małgorzata Krasnodębska-D’Aughton, Senior Lecturer, UCC’s School of History and Elaine Harrington, Special Collections Librarian, UCC Library. Four MA in Medieval History students: Andrew Neville, Emmanuel Alden, Patrick McKee and David O’Mahony, created the exhibition as part of HI6091 Skills for Medieval Historians. Dr Diarmuid Scully, Lecturer in Medieval History in the School of History has written an introduction to Mapping Cork.

This online exhibition uses a map of Cork from the early seventeenth-century Civitates orbis terrarum housed by UCC’s Special Collections to explore the themes of urban and national identity with a particular focus on Cork city as a centre of trade, culture and politics.

The exhibition celebrates the ongoing collaboration between Special Collections and the MA in Medieval History programme; this collaboration has already brought about three other online exhibitions inspired by the Library’s rare books and facsimiles: The Luttrell PsalterThe Book of Kells and Viking Cork. We thank Dr Hiram Morgan and Dr Diarmuid Scully for their comments and advice on the text of the blog, and Peter Finnegan for his talk on the Blackstone Launchpad facilities available to postgraduate students.

Many thanks from all in the project for the generosity in providing images free of charge from the National Library of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin Library, Utrecht University and the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society. Our thanks also to the National Library of Ireland, Ghent University Library, the British Library, the Library of Congress and Cambridge University in providing fair use or Creative Commons images.

More importantly, the project has been completed during the COVID-19 crisis and its completion is a great testimony to the value of teamwork and collegiality, and the commitment of the MA students to produce high quality research during challenging times.

All posts may be accessed via https://blogs.ucc.ie/wordpress/theriverside/tag/civitates-orbis-terrarum/ Please share posts as #MappingCork.

 

Herbert Dobbie’s cyanotypes of New Zealand ferns

Alexandra Caccamo (Librarian, National Botanic Gardens) discusses a remarkable book of cyanotypes from the special collections of the National Botanic Gardens.

cover 2
New Zealand Ferns. 148 Varieties  by Herbert Dobbie

One of the first tasks I undertook when I started working in the National Botanic Gardens in 2007 was to review the open access collection.  During this audit, I found a number of items that were later moved to the special collections.  One of these items was a thin volume by Herbert Dobbie, entitled New Zealand Ferns. 148 Varieties (1880).  It caught my eye, as it was an unusual book, consisting entirely of cyanotypes.

I had never come across a cyanotype book before so, I was quite excited to find Dobbie’s book on the shelves. Immediately I removed it for safekeeping to the more secure storage of the special collections and started to do some research, finding two articles on Dobbie written by John D. McCraw.

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RBG Annual Seminar 2018: ‘Curating Special Collections Exhibitions’

The Rare Books Group is delighted to announce that registration is now open for this year’s Annual Seminar, Curating Special Collections Exhibitions.

With many libraries now involved in producing physical and online exhibitions, this seminar aims to discuss the steps involved, opportunities for collaboration and education, and care of the collections themselves. It will feature speakers from a range of institutions engaged in exhibition-making including Anne Hodge, Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Ireland; Susie Bioletti, Keeper of Preservation and Conservation, TCD; Lucy Collins, Assistant Professor, School of English, Drama & Film, and Evelyn Flanagan, Head of Special Collections, UCD.

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