Trinity College Library

Went to Trinity College to get my readers card and visit their manuscript room. I did my homework and checked their website before, both for procedure and to explore their online catalogues. It turns out you have to go to the main library to get a readers card, and then the card lasts for a year and gets you access to the library’s books, including their manuscript collection. They don’t have all of their manuscripts online, but there are a fair amount available, either to read via transcript, or else listed by collection and/or topic/description. In my particular case all I could discover ahead of time via internet was that they had a manuscript that addressed 16th century Ireland, so when I emailed ahead to make an appointment, I requested that manuscript. Upon arriving at the library, I had to go to the main library first to get my readers card, then to the manuscript reading room to see the document in question. It was actually very exciting going to the manuscript room, because to get there I had to go through the Long Library. I don’t know if any of my readers are familiar with Trinity College Library, but the Long Library is where they keep Brian  Boru’s harp and various and sundry other articles of AWESOMENESS! I got to go right past the ropes that keep the tourists contained and continue down the stairs, up the elevator, and across the hall to the reading room. Once there, I was asked to leave my bag outside, taking in only my notebook and a pencil. The manuscript was brought out and placed on a foam holder, and weighted strings were brought over for me to use to hold the pages down. Because it was paper I wasn’t required to wear gloves. Once I was all set up, I had to try to make out what I was actually looking at– reading 16th century manuscripts is harder than one would suppose, even if they’re in English! Unfortunately, this particular manuscript didn’t have any bearing on my research, but it was still an amazing experience, and it was a great introduction into the world of manuscripts and scary prestigious libraries. 😀


  1. bjgullickson says:


    It’s been great reading your blog during your time in Ireland. It must be so fun to incorporate your research with your heritage and family background. Enjoy the rest of your time before school starts.