Wednesday, 20 May 2015

New and rare plants

This multi-volume publication by Henry Charles Andrews (active 1799-1828) combined the botanical and artistic talents of its author, and its serial format facilitated easier access to such information for budding gardeners of the era. Its focus is centred primarily on the era’s recently discovered species.

Verbascum ferrugineum, ex.: The botanist's repository, for new and rare plants (London : Printed by T. Bensley, and published by the author, 1797-1815)

If you would like to view the spotlight exhibition, or to consult material in this vein, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at specialcollections@nuigalway.ie.
A spotlight exhibition can also be viewed on the digital display wall in the Hardiman Foyer during the month of May.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

All the fun of the countryside!

The period which followed the Industrial Revolution brought with it nostalgia for the countryside and a growing interest in the natural world. Authors such as Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888) were able to live comfortably off earnings from bestsellers such as The romance of natural history (London : J. Nisbet, 1862).
The evidence of heavy use of our copy of The out-door world : or, Young collector's handbook by William S. Furneaux (London : Longmans, Green, 1893) is perhaps a testament to the clear illustrations and practical layout of this introduction to the natural world.

Ferns, ex.: The out-door world : or, Young collector's handbook.

If you would like to view the spotlight exhibition, or to consult material in this vein, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at specialcollections@nuigalway.ie.
A spotlight exhibition can also be viewed on the digital display wall in the Hardiman Foyer during the month of May.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Library Summer Opening Hours 2015

18 May - 19 July
&
17 August - 30 August
 
 
Monday - Friday:  08.30-17.30
 
                    Saturday/Sunday:  Closed                           
 
Library Closed:  June Bank Holiday (Monday 1st June)
 
 
 
 
20 July - 16 August
 
Monday-Thursday:  08.30-22.00
 
Friday:                       08.30-17.30
 
Saturday:                   10.00-17.00
 
 Sunday:  Closed                           
 
                                              
 
August Bank Holiday (Monday 3rd August)
10.00-17.00

Friday, 15 May 2015

Remembering the 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution






















"The challenge facing all Irishmen and women today is to find a new vision."

Thus began An Taoiseach, Jack Lynch's introduction to his party's referendum pamphlet on the Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution. This example of  election literature was recently found in a 1960's edition of the Irish Constitution where perhaps it was been cross-referenced with the complete text.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland lowered the voting age for all national elections and referendums in the state from twenty-one to eighteen years of age.

More controversially the Fifth Amendment removed the State's recognition of the special position of the Catholic Church within Article 44.1.2.

These amendments were clearly seen as important changes for the nation and following the previous successful referendum on entering the EEC, represented a momentum for change. It is evident from An Taoiseach's message that this was seen as desirable not least in response to the ongoing trauma of the Troubles which were at their bloodiest at the time.

What is often forgotten in terms of the Fifth amendment is mention of the other religious denominations was also removed, as had been detailed in Article 44.1.3.

"The State also recognises the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland, as well as the Jewish Congregations and the other religious denominations existing in Ireland at the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution."

The referendums took place on December 7th 1972. There was a national turnout of 50.7% and both amendments were comfortably passed. The Results of Presidential Elections and Referenda 1937-1979 available in the Official Publications Collection details the results.

"In the case of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1972, the total number of votes  recorded in favour of the proposal was 724, 836 and the total number recorded against the proposal was 131,514. In the case of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1972, the total number of votes recorded in favour of the proposal was 721,003 and the total number recorded against the
proposal was 133,430."

The following screenshot from the same publication displays the results by constituency of the Fifth Amendment. There is a notably higher vote against the removal of the Special Position of the Catholic Church in Cork. This is possibly explained by the fact that in Cork, Bishop Lucey was one of the only members of the hierarchy to speak out against the particular amendment.





Hugo Kelly
Law, Official Publications & EDC Librarian





Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Orlando Database Trial

Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present is now on trial until 03 June via http://www.library.nuigalway.ie/aboutourcollections/databases/databasetrials/databasetrialfeedback/trialfeedback-orlando/


Flora Hibernica

Hailed “with pleasure” by the Dublin journal of medical science as a work in which “a vast quantity of minute observation and discovery is revealed”, Flora Hibernica (Dublin : W. Curry Jun. and company, 1836) is acknowledged as the first comprehensive Irish flora. Its author James Townsend Mackay was director of the College Botanic Gardens in Dublin, having moved to Ireland from his native Scotland at an early age.

Mackay's heath (Erica mackaiana)
The work contains several contributions by the never published Cork botanist Ellen Hutchins, and includes an entry for Conferva hutchinsiae, now known as Cladophora hutchinsiae, a marine algae named in her honour.
If you would like to view the spotlight exhibition, or to consult material in this vein, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at specialcollections@nuigalway.ie.
A spotlight exhibition can also be viewed on the digital display wall in the Hardiman Foyer during the month of May.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Linnaeus

This week in Some notes from nature you can view the groundbreaking work by Carl von Linné (1707-1778) Species plantarum : exhibentes plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas (Stockholm : Laurentii Salvii, 1762-1763). Originally published in 1753, this seminal work collated for the first time botanical nomenclature for all known species and classified them into genera. It was the first work to consistently apply the binomial names so familiar to us today, and was the starting point for the modern naming of plants.


If you would like to view the spotlight exhibition, or to consult material in this vein, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at specialcollections@nuigalway.ie.
A spotlight exhibition can also be viewed on the digital display wall in the Hardiman Foyer during the month of May.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

C18th flora and fauna

(Dublin : Printed by S. Powell, for the author, and to be had at James Kelburn', 1739)

John Rutty’s An essay towards a natural history of the county of Dublin, an attempt to document all instances of natural history of the city and county of Dublin, was the product of the Age of Enlightenment and an increasing interest in the natural world.
If you would like to view the spotlight exhibition, or to consult material in this vein, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at specialcollections@nuigalway.ie.
A spotlight exhibition can also be viewed on the digital display wall in the Hardiman Foyer during the month of May.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Lunchtime lecture

Do join the Special Collections team today for the last in the 2014-2015 lunchtime lecture series.
Dr. Micheline Sheehy Skeffington will look at a selection of early flora and natural history guides from Special Collections and ask what we can learn from them.
All are welcome to the G011 Seminar Room in the Hardiman Building at 1pm.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

A revolutionary thinker

This week on display as part of the Special Collections spotlight exhibition Some Notes from Nature is this visually stunning work by the artist, naturalist and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). The accuracy and realism of Merian’s depictions of insects in Erucarum ortus : alimentum et paradoxa metamorphosis (Amstelaedami : apud Joannem Oosterwyk , [1717]) were fuelled by lifelong observation, and served to revolutionise entomological thinking. The illustrations depict the different life stages of moth and butterfly species from chrysalis to adult, along with their associated food plants.

The work is here translated into Latin by her daughter and frequent touring companion Dorothea (1678-1745).
If you would like to view the spotlight exhibition, or to consult material in this vein, please contact the staff of the Special Collections Reading Room in the Hardiman Research Building at specialcollections@nuigalway.ie.
A spotlight exhibition can also be viewed on the digital display wall in the Hardiman Foyer during the month of May.