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 January 2019

An Introduction to the History of Science
Dr Edward Collins

This course provides a broad outline of the history of science, from ancient times to the present, and incorporates a number of fields of study that we today consider to be ‘scientific’. It traces a line from the earliest conceptions of the universe to the evolving views of mankind’s relationship with his world, through the Scientific Revolution to current and emerging scientific theories. While this course is structured chronologically, it also examines a number of important themes in the history of science, such as: science and empire; science and gender; the relationship between science and religion; science and war; Irish contributions to the history of science.

8 Wednesdays               10.30am - 1.00pm
Jan 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb 6, 13, 20, 27
 Fee: €195

Field and Bog: The writing of Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney
Tutor: Garrett Fagan

Central Irish writers of the land: this course will examine the writing of Kavanagh and Heaney. The course will look at their lives and set them in the context of their times and societies. It will look at how these writers connected to the land. We will also look at their prose and plays. No previous knowledge of these writers or of poetry is required, only an enthusiasm for reading.
8 Tuesdays   10.30am – 1.00pm
Jan 29, Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar 5, 12, 19
Fee: €195

Joyce for Beginners
Tutor: Dr David McKinney

This module focuses on the work of Irish author James Joyce, examining his key canonical works and charting the evolution of his unique style as a means to “forge the uncreated conscience” of the Irish race. The aim of the course is to provide students with an intensive introduction to the key themes and aesthetic concerns of Joyce’s major works, as well as frameworks for reading these works; how does Joyce respond in his writing to the issue of the emerging Irish Free State? What is the nature of Irish identity, especially in the aftermath of colonialism?

8 Thursdays   2.00pm - 4.00pm     
Jan 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28 Mar 7, 14
Fee: €195

The Life and Times of Michael Davitt, 1946-1906
Tutor: Dr Brian Casey

Michael Davitt’s radicalism was varied and international in its dimension. He was considered ‘freelance radical’ - a man that embraced causes he believed to be right. He helped establish the Land League in 1879 and he became known as the ‘Father of the Land League’ and was a prolific writer and campaigner until his death in 1906. This course explores the life and times of Michael Davitt and allows for a different perspective in regards Famine, migration, physical force republicanism, the Land War, the Highland question, the Boer War, the land question as well as injustice and inequality through his writings.

8 Wednesdays               10.30am- 1.00pm
Mar 6, 13, 20, 27, Apr 3, 10, 17, 24
Fee: €195

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

Details of all the Lifelong course now available

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 :

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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