Talks: Jewish books in Marsh’s Library – 5th November 2019

[Text and images from Marsh’s Library website.]

A small library in working-class, south inner-city Dublin is probably the last place you would expect to find a significant collection of Hebrew and Yiddish books dating from 1489 to 1700, but…..

Marsh’s Library does indeed hold some very important early Jewish printed books.




With funding from the Irish Research Council, Dr Brad Anderson of Dublin City University has organised a free public event to explain why these books are so important, and how they ended up in Dublin.

The speakers at this event are:

  1. Professor Emile Schrijver (University of Amsterdam/ Jewish Cultural Quarter): “Hebrew Manuscripts Since the Invention of Printing”
  2. Michelle Chesner (Columbia University, USA/Footprints Project): “Footprints in an Irish Tone: The Marsh’s Library, its Jewish Books, and their Travels to Dublin”
  3. Dr Javier del Barco (Madrid, CSIC / Spanish National Research Council): “The Oxford Period in Marsh’s Collection of Hebrew Books”
  4. Dr Rahel Fronda (Oxford University/Bodleian Library): “Marsh’s Legacy in Oxford: The Bodleian Library as a Home for his Manuscripts”

When: Tuesday 5 November 2019, 10am – 4pm
Where: Marsh’s Library, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin D08 FK79

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please contact Dr Brad Anderson at


[Text and images from Marsh’s Library website.]

marsh library logoirc_logo_hi-res


Irish Renaissance Seminar – Marsh’s Library and UCD

“Early Modern Science and its Boundaries”

The 22nd meeting of the Irish Renaissance Seminar will be held in Marsh’s Library, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8, and hosted by UCD English on Saturday 12th October 2019.


1.30pm Welcome

1.45pm Natural philosophy and human bodies

Dr Sue Hemmens (Marsh’s Library), ‘Some things worth a philosophical pen’: queries and desiderata relating to Ireland, 1650 to 1700

Dr Harriet Knight (independent scholar), Meaningful chaos: Francis Bacon and Robert Boyle’s Indigested Particulars

Mark Ronan (UCD), From Hal to Henry, ‘breaking through the foul and ugly mists’: Addiction and Maturing Out in the Henriad

3.15pm Break

3.45pm Plenary: Prof. Kevin Killeen (University of York), “The symphonic unknowability of the world: early modern poetics, science and the Book of Job”

4.45pm Response to the afternoon’s papers by Prof. Danielle Clarke (UCD)

We are very grateful for the support of the Society for Renaissance Studies, the World Universities Network and Marsh’s Library.

irs-logo   SRS logo      marsh library logo


Research Fellowship on Early Jewish Books, 1500-1700

At Marsh’s Library, Dublin.



Marsh’s Library is a perfectly preserved library of the early Enlightenment located in central Dublin. Established in 1707, it houses approximately 25,000 books from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Marsh’s possesses a small, but intellectually significant, collection of almost 200 early Jewish books, which belonged to the founder of the Library, Narcissus Marsh. Most of these books are in Hebrew, but around half a dozen are in Yiddish.

The Project

In association with the Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place project, Marsh’s Library wishes to appoint a qualified Research Fellow to a short-term project (three months) on these books. The successful candidate will:

– Provide accurate bibliographical details on these books.
– Collect copy-specific information from these books using ownership marks, inscriptions, annotations and marginalia.
– Research the provenance of the Jewish books in the collection using ownership marks, inscriptions, annotation and marginalia.
– Begin the initial planning for a physical and digital exhibition relating to the Jewish books in Marsh’s Library.
The details captured by the researcher will be used to improve the catalogue records of Marsh’s Library and to populate the Footprints database, which traces the movement of Jewish books through time and space.

This project at Marsh’s Library is intended to draw attention to Ireland as a site of Jewish history and culture, and to the book culture of early modern Jewish communities. It will also encourage scholars to use this neglected collection of early Jewish books, and to link it to other collections of a similar nature.

The Position

This position is open to suitably qualified scholars, librarians, or postgraduate students. A demonstrable interest in early-modern books, and a good knowledge of Hebrew is essential. Familiarity with Yiddish would be advantageous as would palaeographic skills for early modern hands in Roman and Hebrew characters.Training in cataloguing standards and the handling of rare books will be provided, if necessary.

The position is tenable for a period of three months at any time from 1 May 2017, but must be completed no later than 31 December 2017. The successful candidate will receive:

– A fellowship stipend of €3,000 per month for three months
– A contribution of up to €600 towards the cost of an economy return airfare/moving expenses from their home country.

If the successful candidate comes from outside Ireland, the Library will be able to assist with orientation in Dublin, and will be able to assist with the details of properties, or rooms in properties, available for short-term rent. If desired, the Research Fellowship may be split into two different periods of residence; however, return airfare/moving expenses can only be provided once.

How to Apply

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00pm (Irish time) on Wednesday, 1 March 2017. Applicants should send a letter of application and a CV to by this date.

They should also arrange to have two references sent to the same email address by 5.00 pm (Irish time) on Wednesday, 1 March 2017.

It is envisaged that interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place online in mid to late March 2017.


Book launch: Angelica’s Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy

Nov. 18, 4.30pm
Marsh’s Library, Dublin
Through the lens of a history of material culture mediated by an object, Angelica’s Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy investigates aspects of women’s lives, culture, ideas and the history of the book in early modern Italy.
Inside a badly damaged copy of Straparola’s 16th-century work, Piacevoli Notti, acquired in a Florentine antique shop in 2010, an inscription is found, attributing ownership to a certain Angelica Baldachini. The discovery sets in motion a series of inquiries, deploying knowledge about calligraphy, orthography, linguistics, dialectology and the socio-psychology of writing, to reveal the person behind the name. Focusing as much on the possible owner as upon the thing owned, Angelica’s Book examines the genesis of the Piacevoli Notti and its many editions, including the one in question. The intertwined stories of the book and its owner are set against the backdrop of a Renaissance world, still imperfectly understood, in which literature and reading were subject to regimes of control; and the new information throws aspects of this world into further relief, especially in regard to women’s involvement with reading, books and knowledge. The inquiry yields unexpected insights concerning the logic of accidental discovery, the nature of evidence, and the mission of the humanities in a time of global crisis.
Angelica’s Book and the World of Reading in Late Renaissance Italy is a thought-provoking read for any scholar of early modern Europe and its culture. – See more at:
Presenting:  Mark Sweetnam (School of English, TCD); Catherine Lawless (Women’s Studies, TCD); the author, and others.

Conference: The Growth of News: Newspapers and Periodicals in Britain and Ireland, 1641-1800 (Marsh’s Library, Dublin)

8th – 9th September 2016 in Archbishop Marsh’s Library, Dublin.

An inter-disciplinary conference organised by
Dr Geoff Kemp (Auckland) and Dr Jason McElligott (Marsh’s Library Dublin)

This conference is part of a project entitled ‘Cultures of Communication’, which aims to map current research in British and Irish press history from 1641 until the year 2000. The conference will examine the importance of newspapers and periodicals in the political, cultural and literary life of Britain and Ireland during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The starting point for the conference is the year 1641, when news of the Irish Rebellion was the catalyst for the first books of weekly news published in London. The end point for the conference is the eve of the Act of Union of 1800, when newspapers and serials were a long established feature of every population centre across the ‘British Isles’.

Two dozen scholars from a number of related disciplines will examine a variety of types of serial publications during this formative century and a half. Keynote speakers include Prof. Joad Raymond (QMUL) and Dr Victoria Gardner (Wellington College).

For the full list of speakers, the conference schedule, and to register see the ‘Cultures of Communication’ website.


Fellows at Dublin’s Marsh’s Library share their research: Gabor Gelleri

Marsh’s Library currently has a fascinating series of posts on its website. Scholars who have been visiting Fellows at Marsh’s over the last year share what they have been working on at the Dublin rare books library and disclose some of their findings in the archives. It’s a wonderful spotlight on one of Ireland’s most important scholarly resources and reveals the unique riches available there.

In a few posts over the coming weeks, we’ll share links to these glimpses of scholarly detective work in Irish archives.


This week, in our final link to this series of posts on the Marsh’s Library website, Gabor Gelleri takes us “On the trail of a mysterious Renaissance manuscript”. He explains its link to Marsh’s and leaves us on a cliffhanger, noting that the “[t]he ‘hunt’ for this important manuscript is still ongoing”.

Internship: Marsh’s Library


Marsh’s Library is looking for an intern to work in our Rare Books Reading Room. The successful candidate will already have a postgraduate library qualification, and will gain valuable experience in:

– supervising academic readers and students

– cataloguing of rare books

– handling and retrieval of rare books

– dealing with general library administrative duties

– using social media to promote a cultural attraction

The internship is offered as part of the Jobbridge programme.
If you would like more details please see

Closing date for applications is 28 November 2014 at 5pm.

Details available here.