Led by the European Commission, organisations and individuals throughout Europe are being encouraged to focus on the power and mystery of the brain during May 2013, designated European Month of the Brain. Attention will be given to increasing the profile of brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis and dementia and to neuroscience and the importance of collaboration and research. Events will include a conference held here in Dublin under the Irish Presidency of the EU and talks and seminars in NEIL: Neuro-Enhancement for Independent Lives.
The brain has been widely studied over the centuries and Helen McGinley from the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections has chosen a small selection of texts from the Old Library to illustrate this.
A selection of original etchings from a limited-edition portfolio, “On Bolus Head”, is now on display in the Long Room. A copy of the portfolio, published by Cill Rialaig and En Garde Books, was recently donated to the Library by the Irish-American artists, Michael Carter and Brian Gormley. The etchings are based on poems written by Michael Carter and associated images created by Brian Gormley during residencies at the Cill Rialaig Project in Co. Kerry. The “On Bolus Head” series, etched on 38 metal plates in an edition of 20 copies at the Cill Rialaig Print Center, is an artist’s book inspired by personal experiences and observations upon the history, mythology and landscape of Kerry, particularly the environs of Cill Rialaig and Bolus Head, a point at the extreme southwest of Ireland.
The portfolio, and its printed facsimile edition, which was also donated to the Library and is included in the display, are prefaced by Dr David Scott, Professor of French (Textual & Visual Studies) at Trinity College Dublin, and a specialist in the field of text/image interaction.
As part of the activities for Trinity College Green Week, the Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections has mounted a mini-exhibition of plant-themed books. These are on display in the foyer of the Berkeley Library.
The most recent title on show is Caleb Threlkeld’s Synopsis stirpium Hibernicarum alphabeticæ dispositarum published in 1726/7. It is the first important botanical work published in Ireland and includes a comprehensive listing of native plants in the Irish language. The appendix contains Thomas Molyneux’s comments and observations on plants growing in Ireland.
The herball or Generall historie of plants by John Gerard had mass appeal. Similar to Threlkeld’s Synopis it includes the virtues of the various plants and herbs. Chewing a thistle, it appears, guards against stinking breath while the pilofella cures all internal and external wounds! The work includes more than 1800 woodcuts, of which only sixteen were original.
We have also included John Johnson’s Catalogue of garden seeds and flower roots from c.1705. It was presented to the Library by Nottingham University in 1933 and is the earliest known printed Irish seed catalogue. Unfortunately it was used in later life as printer’s waste to line other volumes and as a consequence the left margin is cropped.
The works of the Irish writer Maria Edgeworth are one of the strengths of the Pollard Collection of children’s books. Mary Pollard was particularly interested in Edgeworth, both as an Irish writer and as a woman, whose ideas on education … Continue reading →
We have chosen to display A holiday book for Christmas and the New Year, London,  for the month of December. The opening on show includes an image of Martin Luther, popularly believed to have been the originator of the modern decorated tree, and his family. The book is a collection of legends, poetry, music, games, etc.
A holiday book for Christmas and the New Year. London, . Shelfmark: V.b.22.
The Christmas tree as we know it has its origins in early modern Germany but there are precedents going back much earlier. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Hebrews used evergreen wreaths, garlands and trees as symbols of everlasting life. In the nineteenth century, the custom of decorating Christmas trees became widespread amongst the royal courts and nobility throughout Europe but it was through the influence of Queen Victoria’s husband, the German Prince Albert, that families throughout Britain and Ireland first adopted the idea.
The Christmas supplement to The Illustrated London News 1848 carried a full-page picture of the Queen’s Christmas tree at Windsor Castle with a note that ‘the exhibition of the Christmas Tree is somewhat more of a German than an English custom’ followed by a short story by the poet R. H. Horne ‘which will throw some light upon the festive purposes for which they are employed in Germany’. In 1850 Charles Dickens wrote a description of ‘a merry company of children assembled round that pretty German toy, a Christmas tree’ in the December 21 issue of his weekly journal, Household Words.
A holiday book for Christmas and the New Year, London. . Shelfmark: V.b.22.
Russell, Violet. ‘Heroes of the dawn’, Dublin …,1913. Shelfmark: CUNN 347
In conjunction with the Long Room exhibition ‘Drawn to the Page: Irish artists and illustration c.1830-1930′, the History of Art Department and TRIARC will host a public symposium which will be held in the Emmet Theatre, Trinity College Arts Building, on 17 November 2012 from 10.00am to 1.30pm. It is intended that the papers will be published in an illustrated volume.
-Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe (NCAD) on the Arts and Crafts Movement and the book
-Adrian le Harivel (NGI) on Daniel Maclise and Moore’s ‘Melodies’
-Mary Plunkett (Distillers Press) on the making of an artist’s book
-Dr Philip McEvansoneya (TCD) on George Petrie and illustration -Dr Angela Griffith (TCD) on artists, illustration and contemporary theory.
Admission is free. To register please e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org