History and Heritage in Rathmines Library during November

Boston Massacre, 1770Anyone with an interest in history, local or international, will find plenty of food for thought in the events being presented in Rathmines Library this November.

Image: Paul Revere Broadside: The Bloody Massacre, Perpetrated in King Street, Boston, 1770. The Gilder Lehrman Collection (see larger image)

We start off on an international and indeed topical note with U.S. historian Cecelia Hartsell presenting a series of talks on Concepts of American Freedom. In this series Cecelia interrogates the relationship between America’s founding ideals of universal freedom and equality and the reality of shaping a collective understanding of those ideals. The talks will focus on three seminal eras in U.S. history: the Revolution, the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, in analysing the parameters of American freedom, including the social conditions that underpin it, and the fact that maintaining “liberty and justice for all” has often been dependent upon limiting freedom for some.

Changing Face of Jacob's Biscuits

Fig RollsDown the years Jacob’s Biscuits introduced new products on a regular basis.  Some did not survive the court of consumer taste while others, like Cream Crackers and Fig Rolls, remain proven favourites. From time to time the more popular products got a new label, updated to reflect the style of the time.

Follow the changing face of your best-loved biscuit in the Changing Face of Jacob's Biscuits Image Gallery.

If you can contribute any missing packages we’d be delighted to hear from you. Get in touch on twitter @DCLAReadingRoom or email

Walking the Royal Canal

Foster AquaductListen back to a talk by Peter Clarke looking at the 225 year history of the Royal Canal, from its origins in 1789 through all its phases to the present day. The talk traces the planning and construction of the canal and will reference many places, people and events of historical interest along the course of Dublin’s beloved Royal Canal.

Image: Foster Aqueduct and Royal Canal House Phibsboro (see larger image)

Reserve a copy of Walking the Royal Canal by Peter Clarke from the library catalogue.

Recorded at Phibsboro Library on Monday 21 August 2017 as part of Heritage Week 2017.

October Public Holiday Arrangements

Autumn leavesDublin City Public Libraries will be closed from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 October 2018 (inclusive). Branch libraries will re-open on Tuesday 30 October 2018.

Access eResources 24/7

Don't forget you can access our collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital magazines, comics, graphic novels and databases over the October public holiday:

Plus explore Dublin's history through our digital repository with its vast collection of old photos, maps and ephemera.

Online Renewals

Irish Writers of the Fantastic celebrated in new poster

Charles MaturinDublin UNESCO City of Literature have produced a new poster in association with Swan River Press, to celebrate the work of twelve Irish writers of fantasy, from Charles Maturin to Mervyn Wall. Ask in your local Dublin City library branch for a free copy!

Check for more suggested novels, collections and short stories by the featured writers.

These are the twelve writers, with links to the library catalogue:

Charles Maturin

Charles Robert Maturin, novelist and playwright, was born in Fitzwilliam Street on 25 September 1782. In his youth he had a fascination for the gothic novels of Walpole, Radcliffe, and “Monk” Lewis. His early novel, The Milesian Chief (1812), won the praise of Sir Walter Scott; while his play, Bertram (1816), though successful, drew harsh criticism from Coleridge. A lifelong member of the clergy, serving as curate of St. Peter’s Church on Aungier Street, Maturin is now best remembered for his sprawling gothic novel Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). Maturin’s great-nephew, Oscar Wilde, paid tribute to the gothic novelist by adopting the name “Sebastian Melmoth” during his final years of exile in France. Maturin died in his home on York Street on 30 October 1824.

Manuscript of the Month: Grafton Street (WSC/Maps/564)

WSC Map 564 detailThis map is what we would now call the development plan for what became Grafton Street. The plan is by the Dublin City Surveyor, John Greene, to the scale of 10 feet to an inch and it is dated 17 January 1680. At that date, Grafton Street was a humble country lane, linking the two open spaces of St Stephen’s Green and Hoggen Green.  There was even a municipal dung-heap, known as ‘The Pound’ at the end of the lane.  The Dublin City Assembly’s plan envisaged a new street to be 46 feet wide, with removal of The Pound. As yet the new thoroughfare had not got a name – it would eventually be called after the Duke of Grafton, an illegitimate grandson of Charles II.

News from Nelson: Dublin First and Always

Thomas KirkThe year was 1809 and I stood patiently - enclosed in a block of Portland Stone, waiting to be released by the noted Cork sculptor, Thomas Kirk.  At last my mouth was completed and I opened it and spoke to him: ‘How do, Tom Kirk!’ and he replied ‘Tolerably well, Nelson – my work on you is almost done.’  But I was curious about something, and asked: ‘I presume that as I am the first monument to myself, I am destined for London?’  I was dismayed when he said: ‘No, I am under commission to Dublin.’   Dublin!  I had never been there and though I knew of its fame as ‘The Second City of the Empire’ I also knew that it had lost its Irish Parliament with the Act of Union and that poverty was looming.  And then I thought about it: in spite of its economic difficulties, Dublin had cherished me enough to be the first to raise a Pillar to my goodself.   I would be glad to go there.

Get creative in your library this Autumn!

pencilsBring a little colour and creativity into your life this autumn! We have lots of opportunities for you to get creative at your local library. Why not join one of our friendly groups and try your hand at creative writing, art, knitting, crochet or quilting.  If music is more your thing come along to a drumming workshop at our Central Library. Regular open poetry evenings at Inchicore and Pearse Street Library give voice to poets - new and experienced.

Our popular Children's Art in Libraries programme also returns this Autumn with visual arts, storytelling and music workshops.

Keep an eye on library events and Dublin City of Literature for ideas, inspiration and opportunities.

Knowing Dublin – Know Your City Council

Knowing DublinOn Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017 in the Mansion House, Dawson Street, an tArdmhéara Míchéal Mac Donncha, launched a new Guide ‘Knowing Dublin – Know Your City Council’; an introduction to the work of Dublin City Council and the role of our elected representatives in the life of the city. Download a copy of Knowing Dublin - available in English and Irish.

Knowing Dublin – Know Your City Council is a simple introduction to the work of Dublin City Council and the role of the elected representatives in the life of the city. It is a nuts and bolts piece, told in plain language, designed to inform those with little or no knowledge of the many services that the Council provides. As such, it is relevant for young adults, new citizens, immigrants, and anyone who wants to know more about how Dublin City functions.  It is also a useful tool for teachers as a basis for class lessons.

Digital Magazine of the Month :Good Housekeeping

Good HousekeepingGood Housekeeping Magazine gives you the best recipes, health advice, beauty and fashion expertise, great ideas for your home and real life inspirational stories. In this month's issue Dame Judi Dench talks about celebrating 60 years in show business, finding love again, and stepping back into the shoes of Queen Victoria.

Download Free eMagazines with RBdigital and your Dublin City Public Libraries membership!