The Library of Trinity College Dublin dates back to the establishment of the College in 1592, and it is now the largest research library in Ireland. It was endowed with the privilege of legal deposit by the Copyright Act, 1801 and continues to receive copies of material published in the United Kingdom and Ireland, pursuant respectively to the Legal Deposit Libraries Act, 2003 and section 198 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 (also here). The Department of Early Printed Books and Special Collections in the Library, located in the East Pavilion of the Old Library, is responsible for some of the oldest and most valuable books in Ireland. The Department of Early Printed Books has just established a most wonderful blog about its work, entitled Tales of Mystery and Pagination. They explain the title as follows:
In a effort to gain a loyal fan-base for our blog we have been inspired by the ever popular Harry Clarke and his contributions to the 1919 edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of mystery and imagination. Not content with behaving like a magpie for the blog’s title we have used three examples of Clarke’s work to help illustrate what we hope to be a lively and interesting site for anyone interested in books and libraries. …
The image above is the banner across the top of the Tales of Mystery and Pagination blog, and the Harry Clarke illustrations are the first, third and fifth panels – the second is an image of a spiral staircase in the Old Library and and the fourth is an image of early books in the Old Library. The posts so far cover a wide range topics, including:
- a book celebrating the tercentenary of the Old Library;
- an exhibition of Joyceana for the ‘Dublin: One City, One Book’ event;
- the centenary of the death of Bram Stoker, Trinity student between 1864 and 1870, and author of Dracula (1897);
- ‘A Spoonful of Flummery’ from the Pollard Collection of Children’s Books; and
- a workshop on Early Italian Printings.
It is a sumptuously informative blog: I’d be a regular reader for the content alone, but the images are gorgeous too. Bring on those tales of mystery and pagination – I cannot wait!