Lifelong Learning in the NLI

Adult Learning Courses in conjunction with UCD

Our cultural partnership with UCD Access and Lifelong Learning will continue with another series of learning opportunities in 2020.

The Life and Work of William Butler Yeats
Tutor: Dr. David McKinney
William Butler Yeats occupied a unique position as an Anglo-Irish poet, playwright and politician. This course examines the way in which Yeats's poetry, drama, and political writings reflected the major cultural concerns of Ireland throughout his lifetime, while also paying close attention to the evolution of his poetic form. At the core of this seminar is the cultivation of an appreciation for the distinct phases of Yeats's creative life; through focused seminar discussions, students will be encouraged to engage closely with many of Yeats's key texts and the National Library's award-winning exhibition.
Running for eight Thursdays: Jan 30, Feb 6, 13, 20, 27, Mar 5, 12, 19
Time: 2pm – 4.30pm
Fee: €195

Reading Irish Literature
Garrett Fagan
The course introduces some of  Ireland's best known but least read authors. Students will be guided through their style and literary technique. Authors read will include Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh and others. On completing the course you will have an understanding of Modern Irish Literature and how to read Joyce and why he deserves his huge reputation. No previous knowledge is required, only an enthusiasm for reading.
Running for eight Tuesdays: Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar 3, 10, 24, 31
Time: 10.30am – 1pm
Fee: €195
Ireland and the Spanish Civil War
Tutor: Dr Chiara Tedaldi
This course discusses the economic, social, political, cultural and religious roots of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) with a view to explaining the international relevance of the conflict and why the vast majority of Irish people supported Franco’s military rebellion instead of Spain’s democratic government. The Irish response to the war will be examined.
Running for eight Tuesdays: Mar 4, 11, 18,  25, Apr 1, 8, 15, 22
Time: 11am – 1pm
Fee: €160

The Irish Short Story
Tutor: Dr David McKinney
Ireland has a globally renowned reputation for excellence in the short story form, with the Irish short story being a recognisably distinct category in literature. Consequently, this course examines a wide range of Irish short stories published from the 19th Century to the present day by both male and female writers, and provides a history of this unique form within the evolving cultural context of Ireland itself.
Running for four Tuesdays: May 5, 12, 19, 26
Time: 10.30 am – 1pm
Fee: €100

Places on these courses can be booked through UCD Access and Lifelong Learning     01 716 7123

NLI Genealogy course in Spring 2020

Advanced Genealogy/Family History course
Sean Murphy
National Library of Ireland, Wednesdays 2-4.30pm 

8 Wednesdays from 5 February – 25 March
It is advisable to have completed the NLI Introduction to Genealogy course before undertaking the advanced course
Fee: €100. Places can be booked at:

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. 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.

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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