New audiences for UCD humanities: Books of Dublin App

Monday, 19 August 2013

Dublin is a city known internationally for its distinguished literary heritage and its historic libraries. An exciting new app featuring UCD scholars now enables new audiences to learn more of Dublin’s book heritage  The Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., recently launched a unique electronic collaboration between UCD and Marsh’s Library. Funded through an Irish Research Council New Foundations Award to Dr Marc Caball (UCD School of History & Archives and UCD Humanities Institute), the Books of Dublin App showcases UCD expertise in the humanities to present a selection of manuscript and print treasures from Marsh’s Library. Established in 1701 by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh, this historic Dublin library contains a superb collection of political, cultural and religious material. Housed in one of the few eighteenth-century Dublin buildings still used for the original purpose for which it was constructed, Marsh’s Library serves as an important research, educational and cultural resource in inner-city Dublin. The app draws on the scholarship of UCD academics to enable enhanced and dynamic public engagement with the collections of Marsh’s Library with the objective of deepening and widening awareness and appreciation of this outstanding cultural institution. The app also features a selection of material from the Edward Worth Library (1731). The development of a Books of Dublin App makes a practical contribution to the city’s promotion as a European cultural destination. Professor Harry White and Dr Frank Lawrence (UCD School of Music); Professor Andrew Carpenter, Dr Jane Grogan, and Professor Alan Fletcher (UCD School of English, Drama & Film); Dr Derval Conroy (UCD School of Languages & Literatures); and Marc Caball are filmed on the app discussing a range of fascinating manuscripts and books. Among the items featured are a medieval tract on exorcism, early modern women’s writing in French, the Irish New Testament (1602), music in eighteenth-century Dublin, sixteenth-century travel writing, Dean Swift and Dublin, and medieval church music in Dublin.  UCD medical graduate and expert on eighteenth-century Irish bindings, Dr Philip Maddock discusses the craft of book binding in Dublin while Dr Elizabethanne Boran focuses on scientific and classical works in the Worth Library. UCD history graduate and Keeper of Marsh’s Library, Dr Jason McElligott, discusses the Library and the 1916 Rising. Produced by Vermillion Design, Books of Dublin is available free in the app store.