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Past RBG annual seminars


2017: Bringing new audiences to special collections

Friday, 24 November 2017, 10:00-16:00
Lecture Theatre, Chester Beatty Library

Programme Outline

  • Alison Cullingford (Special Collections Librarian, University of Bradford), Reaching In, Out and All Around: why and how to develop new audiences for unique and distinctive collections
  • Dr. Mary Clark (Dublin City Archivist, Dublin City Libraries and Archive), Archives for all: surely not!
  • Barbara McCormack (Special Collections Librarian, Maynooth University), Learning to share: how academic libraries can reach new users through special collections
  • Samantha McCombe (Librarian, Linen Hall Library), Diversifying audiences: an overview of collection based outreach projects at the Linen Hall Library
  • Niamh Ní Riain (Education Assistant, National Library of Ireland), Special Collections, Special Connections: Summertime fun at the National Library
  • Dr. Jason McElligott (Keeper, Marsh’s Library), Screaming children, demanding parents & dumbing down: your worst nightmares about outreach


2016: Book collecting in Ireland and Britain, 1650-1850

Friday, 25 November 2016, 10:00-17:30
Lecture Theatre, Chester Beatty Library


On Ireland:
- 'Readers or collectors? Manuscripts and books in the lives of Irish scholars in late seventeenth-century Connacht'.
   Dr. Bernadette Cunningham, Royal Irish Academy
- 'The Otway-Maurice Collection: Ecclesiastical collecting in late seventeenth to mid eighteenth-century Ireland'.
   Barbara McCormack, Maynooth University Library
On Scotland and Wales:
- 'Two eighteenth-century Scottish lawyers' libraries: Lord Tinwald, Lord Alva, and their book collections'.
   Dr. Karen Baston, University of Edinburgh
- 'Country house collecting in eighteenth-century Wales'.
   Thomas Lloyd
On England:
- 'Motives for book collecting in late seventeenth-century England'.
   Dr. David Pearson, Director of Culture, Heritage and Libraries, City of London Corporation
- 'Lending libraries in Georgian Leeds, 1768-1815'.
   Dr. Rebecca Bowd, Special Collections, Leeds University Library
Keynote lecture:

- 'The library as a weapon of State. The Fagel Collection in Dublin'.
   Prof. Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen, University of St. Andrew's


2015: Digitisation of special collections

Friday, 27 November 2015, 10:30-15:20
Lecture Theatre, Chester Beatty Library


  • Digitising the Abbey Theatre Archive: A 110 year journay through Ireland's National Theatre
    Aisling Keane, Archivist, NUI Galway
  • Down Survey Project
    Dr. Micheál Ó Siochrú, Department of History, TCD
  • UCD Digital Library: Selection and niche collections
    Julia Barrett and Eugene Roche, UCD
  • The NLI Web Archive
    Joanna Finegan, National Library of Ireland
  • Teresa Deevy Digital Archive
    Padraic Stack and Barbara McCormack, Maynooth University


2014: Making books: The art of book production in Ireland

Friday, 21 November 2014, 10:00-15:30
Lecture Theatre, Chester Beatty Library


  • James Joyce's 'The Dead': Book design for a global audience
    Anne Brady, Vermillion Design
  • Lead, Antimony & Tin; typographic design at The Salvage Press
    James Murphy, NCAD and The Salvage Press
  • From manuscripts to printed editions: How the information revolution has changed the book
    Benjamin van Wetering, Ox Bindery, Sligo
  • Bringing an eighteenth-century manuscript to a twenty-first century audience
    Dr. John Killen, Librarian, The Linen Hall Library, Belfast
  • The art of illustrating childrens’ books
    PJ Lynch


2013: The decade of commemorations and our special collections

Friday, 29 November 2013, 10:00-15:30
Seminar Room, National Library of Ireland


  • ‘Many valuable documents, records, printed leaflets and personal memoranda’: Sources for 1916 in the National Library of Library
    Gerard Long, National Library of Ireland
  • Collections within the Military Archives
    Captain Claire Mortimer, Military Archives
  • Unlocking the Lockout: collections and interpretation at the National Library of Library
    Katharine McSharry, National Library of Ireland
  • The NLI Lockout exhibition
    Nicola McColgan, National Library of Ireland
  • Century Ireland Project
    Professor Mike Cronin, Boston College
  • Jackie Clarke (1927-2000) 1 Collector, 100,000 items Ireland - local, national and internal
    Sinead McCoole
  • The decade of commemorations: The challenge for historians
    Professor Mary Daly, UCD


2012: Religious heritage in Irish libraries

Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Lecture Room, Royal Irish Academy


  • Gathered together: Older printed books in the RCB Library
    Raymond Refaussé, Representative Church Body Library
  • Irish Franciscan libraries
    Dr. John McCafferty, School of history and Archives, UCD
  • Writings of the faith: Islamic manuscripts in the Chester Beatty Library
    Elaine Wright, Curator of the Islamic Collections, The Chester Beatty Library
  • Developing special collections at Mater Dei Institute Library
    David Meehan, Librarian, Mater Dei Institute of Education
  • Waking a sleeping beauty: The Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library Project
  • Joe McLaughlin, Archivist and Rare Books Curator, University of Ulster (Emeritus)
    Irish bibles in the Russell Library, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth
    Barbara McCormack, Librarian, Russell Library, NUI Maynooth
  • Irish Quakers: Their manuscripts and books
    Christopher Moriarty, Curator of the Society of Friends Library, Stocking Lane


2011: Printed treasures: Unique collections in Irish libraries

Thursday, 24 November 2011, 10:00-15:30
Lecture Room, Royal Irish Academy


  • Rediscovering the Royal College of Science for Ireland in UCD Library
    Evelyn Flanagan, Special Collections Librarian, UCD
  • A handsome donation” – The pamphlet collection of Charles Haliday at the Royal Irish Academy
    Sophie Evans, Assistant Librarian, Royal Irish Academy
  • Joly Collection at the National Library of Ireland
    Gerard Long, Assistant Keeper, National Library of Ireland
  • Missouri, Laois and Star of the Sea : John Canon O’Hanlon and his library
    Penny Woods, Special Collections Librarian, Russell Library, NUI Maynooth
  • The Percy Collection at Queens University Belfast
    Prof. John Thompson, School of English, QUB
  • The Cooke Collections at University College Cork
    Cronan Ó Doibhlin, Head of Special Collections, Archives and Repository services, UCC
  • French Drama Collection in TCD
    Dr. Charles Benson, Keeper of Early Printed Books, TCD