5/15/2013 - England 2013
Trinity College in the Rain
More rain...


We take a tour of Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland. Our guide is Marcus, a student just about to graduate and move to the US to do post-graduate study in theatre and film directing. Appantly, Trinity has a very good film department.

Marcus is quite a good guide on this 30 minute walking tour of the college. He blends historical facts with modern-day realities, and adds in a bit of humor too. He is quite ammiable and knowledgeable (see my Tidbit on being a tour guide and storytelling).

The college was founded in 1592 but did not admit women until 1904, and they were not really "accepted" in the general academic community until the 60s. It took just over 300 years to come to their senses...and another 50 to to come to their sensibilities.

One interesting feature is that the university gives those who become "fellows" a free residence for the rest of their life. But here is the hitch, as Marcus explained it to us. The apartments are in a building which still does not have heat, or bathroom facilities. It is not uncommon to see the elder honorees, early in the morning in their dressing robes, walking outside, headed across the square for a shower! Kind of like Cookie and me living at the campground.

The libraries have tremendous history here. The Old Library is now the official repostory for all books published in Great Britan and Ireland, much like our Library of Congress. It houses over five million books, and receives an additional 100,000 each year. The "Long" room is quite fascinating, with an extremely high ceiling and marvelous shelving all around. The books are arranged by "size", from smallest on top shelves to largest on the bottom. Good for management of heavy volumes, not so good for actually finding a specific book!

The other amazing section of the library holds the "Book of Kells" an elaborately written and decorated manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament written circa 800. No pictures are allowed, and the books are displayed one-book-at-a-time, and one-page-a-day. Special curators are brought in to carefully "turn" each page. The manuscript was stolen in the 11th century (presumably for the jewels embeded in its binding) and later found in the field of a farmer.

After the tour...still raining.

©Mark Goldman 2013

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For more information contact Mark Goldman - 602-390-3858 - Mark@Storytellermark.com


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