Lifelong Learning in the NLI

Adult Learning Courses in conjunction with UCD

Our cultural partnership with UCD will continue with another series of learning opportunities in October 2014. The popular courses in  Irish History and literature are again be part of the programme, with a new afternoon course on Irish History.

'The Big Four': Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Heaney

8 Tuesdays        10am - 12.30am

Sept 30, Oct 7,14,28, Nov 4,11,18,25           Fee: €195

Students will engage with poetry, the short story, the novel and drama in examining the contributions of Yeats, Joyce, Beckett and Heaney to Irish and world literature in the library where Yeats, Joyce and Heaney read and which now holds the literary papers of these three writers.Texts will be approached in terms of the social, political and cultural dynamics of Ireland from the late nineteenth century to the present day.

Uncovering 1916

8 Wednesdays          10am - 12.30pm

Oct 1,8,15,22,29, Nov 5,12,19                 Fee:€195

This course will explore the events surrounding the 1916 Rising. Lectures will reveal the context, development, course and aftermath of the rebellion as well as issues surrounding its interpretation and commemoration.

Themes in Irish History: from Rising to Republic

8 Thursdays                2.00pm - 4pm

Oct 9,16,30, Nov 6,13,27, Dec 4,11                   Fee: €175

Through a series of eight lectures, historians from the UCD School of History and Archives will explore the evolution of Ireland and the Irish Free State from 1916 up to the declaration of the Republic in 1949. This new course will consider new and emerging themes in modern Irish History and will look at the lesser studied aspects of the Irish experience during those years. The second hour will provide an opportunity to debate the issues raised.

Places on these couses can be booked through  UCD Adult Education:      01 716 7123

Memoir Writing

The National Library of Ireland works with Irene Graham, founder of The Memoir Writing Club and author of The Memoir Writing Workbook to offer workshops and lectures on memoir writing as part of our ongoing events programme.

Irene also offers a 16-week Online Memoir Writing Course, where participants focus on the art of story creation using personal life experiences and family history. Find out more about the course here.

Bealtaine Festival

The National Library takes part each year in Age and Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival. The Bealtaine Festival takes place in May and celebrates creativity in older people. The NLI hosts Bealtaine events and has also embarked on series of research projects. For information on the projects, check the project websites below and learn about the latest project: Man, Woman and Child.

Man, Woman and Child

Man, Woman and Child was a research and performance project devised and co-ordinated by Michael Fortune and featuring traditional singers, Luke Cheevers, Niamh Parsons, John and Brigid Tunney, Mick Fowler, Jerry O'Reilly, Rosie Stewart, Tim Lyons and Aileen Lambert.

Supported by the Arts Council, the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Age and Opportunity and the NLI, the project was based on the Child Ballad Collection - a collection of traditional songs collected by the American collector Francis J Child in England and Scotland between 1882 and 1898. Although many of the songs or variants of them are sung in the Irish tradition, no comprehensive study and performance of the ballads had been undertaken in Ireland prior to this project. The Child ballad collection is in the library's collection and this project provided the opportunity to bring the ballads from the shelf to the stage.

Over four nights in Novemeber and December 2013, the audiences at the library enjoyed hearing the ballads and the stories behind them.

Follow this link to explore the concerts on the website

As I roved out

 In 2012, the group of traditional singers Jerry O'Reilly, John Tunney, Brigid Tunney, Cilona Ni Shuilleabhain, Brendan Kennedy, Larry Joy and Roisin Gaffney researched material and composed new songs on the theme of travel and emigration. The songs were performed in the library on May 30th as part of the Bealtaine 2012 Festival. The project was facilitated by Aileen Lambert and Michael Fortune in collaboration with the Bealtaine festival, the National Library and the ITMA and supported by the Arts Council. To  read about the project :

Read more about previous projects:

The Magpies Nest

In this project six local historians from County Wexford and artist Michael Fortune worked with the NLI and Age and Opportunity on the research of historical themes of local interest. The project was documented on the Magpies Nest website and features diary entries, images and video footage of the research process. The project culminated in an exhibition at the National Library for the duration of the Bealtaine Festival 2009.

The Wild Bees' Nest

The Wild Bees' Nest was a research and songwriting project involving a group of traditional singers throughout Ireland. Research for the project was carried out in the National Library of Ireland and the Irish Traditional Music Archive.  The project was conceived and devised by Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert and supported by The Arts Council in conjunction with The Bealtaine Festival and the National Library. Performances of the newly composed songs took place in the NLI during the Bealtaine Festival. The project was documented on The Wild Bees Nest website.  A CD of the songs was launched in May 2012. 

Wild Bees Nest performanceWild Bees Nest performance

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