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 Spring 2019.

Irish Women Writers
Tutor: Dr David McKinney
The legacy of Irish literature the world over has been focused mainly on the creative works of major male writers. This course examines Elizabeth Bowen, Edna O’Brien, Claire Keegan and Eimear McBride, accounting for the alternative narrative of cultural history provided by Irish female writers and makes the case for the importance of these often overlooked writers in Irish cultural history.

4 Tuesdays 10.30am – 1.00pm
May 7, 14, 21, 28
Fee:  €100

Places on this course can be booked through UCD Access and Lifelong Learning     01 716 7123

Details of all the Lifelong courses now available

Details of courses for Autumn 2019 will be available in August.

New: NLI course starting in May 2019

Introduction to Genealogy 8-week course
Sean Murphy, lecturer and genealogist will teach his introductory course on Irish family history research at the NLI in summer 2019. The course which takes place on Wednesday afternoons over an 8-week period will start on 1 May 2019. Full details of the course syllabus may be downloaded by clicking the link below:


The course fee is €100 and places will be limited to 30. Participants are expected to have experience of using computers. To find out more information or to book a place on the course, contact Brid by emailing: booking@nli.ie. Booking is now open. Places allocated on a first come, first served basis.

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.

 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. 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 : www.asirovedout.ie

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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