One of the great pleasures of preparing for the Sixteenth Biennial Conference of the Early Book Society is the opportunity to work with other institutions in Dublin, a city rich with the material culture of the medieval period. We are grateful to the Edward Worth Library, Marsh’s Library, the Chester Beatty Library, the Royal Irish Academy and, of course, the Library of Trinity College Dublin for welcoming us and showcasing some of the materials that will be part of our discussions in the coming days.
Above all, though, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with my friend and colleague, Dr. Brendan O’Connell in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. We have organised a number of shared events over the years, mostly around our postgraduate students and I am delighted that part of the conference will take place in Trinity on Tuesday afternoon.
Cooperation between UCD and TCD goes back a long way and one that I thought we might celebrate with a little competition. For this, I need to direct you to the Trinity Library website where Ellen O’Flaherty has written a little piece on a building that once was the Magnetic Observatory of Trinity College Dublin, but now lives out its years as the O’Kane Film Studies Centre in UCD. What does this have to do with the Early Book Society? Well, between 1957 and 1971 that same building was once the manuscript room in Trinity College Dublin and the work space of a generation of medieval scholars who preceded us.
For our competition, take a look at the picture of the building which was built in 1837 by the architect Frederick Darley: https://www.tcd.ie/library/berkeley/39-a-quick-observation/ it’s quite a distinctive building – low, neo-classical pillars and small. Note the two gentlemen sitting in front of the building. The delegate or delegates who most creatively recreate the photo and post it on social media with the #EBSDublin2019 will win a small prize.
We invite you to go and explore our woodland walks, to locate this beautiful building that celebrates the generosity of shared enterprise and was once the study place of our scholarly ancestors.