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An Introduction to the UCD Special Collections

Inside the UCD Special Collections
Dr Evelyn Flanagan on the collection's many treasures.

What's in a Writer's Archive?

Inside the UCD Special Collections
From notebooks to hotel paper.

How is the Material Stored?

Inside the UCD Special Collections
A behind the scenes view.

Arrival of the Kavanagh Collection

Inside the UCD Special Collections
A campaign to protect the poet's papers.

Kavanagh's Magazines

Inside the UCD Special Collections
See drafts and final editions.

Hold to the Now

Bloomsday Films
A short film for Bloomsday with contributions from Cairo to Kyiv and Berlin to Brasilia.

Clábar (Mud)

Spreading the Words
Irish clábar lies behind Hiberno-English clabber and clauber, but for how long have we been saying ‘clabber to the knees’?

Mary Morrissy's Penelope Unbound

Every Life is Many Days
The author discusses her upcoming novel.

John Boyne

City of Books
In this episode of City of Books , writer John Boyne speaks to host Martina ...

Myth-Making Michael Collins

City of Books
Michael Collins is the the Irish Civil War's most famous casualty but there is a lot of “what-if-ery”about him, says Ireland’s best-known historian Diarmaid Ferriter, in conversation with host Martina Devlin.

Grá (Love)

Spreading the Words
Read by Caroline Lennon. An insight into the eighteenth-century poem made famous again by Doireann ...

Lus An Chromchinn (Daffodil)

Spreading the Words
Over the centuries, some beautiful and memorable names of flowers and plants have been recorded in Irish.

Gaoth (Wind)

Spreading the Words
From 'the Night of the Big Wind' to Flann O’Brien’s description of wind-watching – how the wind has shaped Irish life and literature.

Leabharlann (Library)

Spreading the Words
Hear about how books were stored in medieval Irish libraries and about how we know of the existence of such places.

Amadán (Fool)

Spreading the Words
Unravelling the sinister history of amadán, the Modern Irish word for ‘fool’.

Craobh (Branch)

Spreading the Words
Find out why Douglas Hyde published verse under the pseudonym An Craoibhín Aoibhinn and why the All-Ireland Championship is referred to in Irish today as Craobh na hÉireann.

Crith Talún (Earthquake)

Spreading the Words
Medieval Irish chronicles and stories sometimes mention ‘the movement of the earth’, but was the north of Ireland actually struck twice by earthquakes in the early eighth century?

Nollaig (Christmas)

Spreading the Words
Thoughts about recent Christmas lights and the long, dark winters of Christmases past.

Teaghlach (Household)

Spreading the Words
In medieval Ireland, the hearth was at the centre of the house, but what kinds of households feature in Irish literature of the period?

Cró (Enclosure)

Spreading the Words
From cró madra ‘a dog kennel’ to cró snáthaide ‘the eye of a needle’, this episode takes us on a journey through the many uses of a truly versatile word.

Gorm (Blue)

Spreading the Words
Read by Deirdre Lewis. How colour is described is determined by cultural, as well as ...

Cuing (Yoke)

Spreading the Words
The Irish are fond of referring to an ‘ould yoke’, but how were words for ‘yoke’ used in Old Irish?


Spreading the Words
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s poem Gloss/Clós/Glas explores the sound and meaning of three interconnected English and Irish words. Her wonderfully creative word-play is celebrated in this special episode of Spreading the Words.

Ulcha (Beard)

Spreading the Words
Beards are status symbols in the world of early Irish literature. Such is their importance that Ulster hero Cú Chulainn created an imitation beard for himself of berry-juice or enchanted grass.

Dinnsheanchas (A Literature of Place)

Spreading the Words
Real space without and imaginative space within: how the poetry of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, rooted in the landscape, echoes the interests of medieval Ireland.

Fás aon oíche (Mushroom)

Spreading the Words
Ireland has a great biodiversity of fungi but how have the Irish referred to puffballs, stinkhorns and the like over the centuries?

Coll (Hazel tree)

Spreading the Words
Hazel trees have greatly benefited the people of Ireland since medieval times; hazel nuts have served as tasty, nutritional snacks and hazel rods have been used to construct houses and fences.

Damhán alla (Spider)

Spreading the Words
The Irish term for a spider has long been a source of puzzlement.

Tarbh (Bull)

Spreading the Words
In early Ireland, many activities were not permitted on a Sunday; but you could still bring a bull to a cow.

Cleas (Trick or Feat)

Spreading the Words
The early Irish hero Cú Chulainn was accomplished in an array of feats including the all-encompassing ‘body-feat’.

Duileasg (Dulse)

Spreading the Words
In his poetry, Seamus Heaney referred often to ‘dulse’, but how does this edible seaweed feature in medieval Irish law, literature and medicine?

Bog (Soft)

Spreading the Words
Some shared insights into the relationship between the Irish adjective bog ‘soft’ and the English noun meaning ‘bogland’.

Snámh (Swimming)

Spreading the Words
Hear about traditions of wild swimming and the dangers of swimming on a full stomach.

Smugairle Róin (Jellyfish)

Spreading the Words
A look into the history of the Irish phrase smugairle róin, which is widely known and much-loved today as a name for a jellyfish.

Maighdean Mhara (Mermaid)

Spreading the Words
This episode explores the concept of fish-women and other sea-creatures mentioned in medieval Irish literature and historical records.

The Shambles of Maamtrasna

City of Books
The Maamtrasna murders, "one of the gravest miscarriages of justice in Irish history", are discussed by Professor Margaret Kelleher and Justice Peter Kelly. Presented by Martina Devlin.

Haunted by the Ghost

City of Books
In her first podcast interview since being named winner of the An Post Irish Book of the Year award for 2020, Doireann Ní Ghríofa talks to Martina Devlin.

The Fine Art of Reading

City of Books
Artist Robert Ballagh talks to Martina Devlin about why Samuel Beckett thought he kept him waiting for breakfast, and Mary Costello takes a tour of the Joyce Tower.

To the Management

Words Lightly Spoken
Inspired by the 2,000-year-old Roman poet, Horace, John McAuliffe has found beauty in the mundanity of University administration.

Dorothy's Country

Words Lightly Spoken
Ruth Carr channels the meditations of Dorothy Wordsworth (William Wordsworth's only sister) as she roams the 19th Century English countryside.

While Bleeding

Words Lightly Spoken
What can an old coat tell us about womanhood? Doireann Ní Ghríofa reads her poem, speaking to the connection of women across time.

Identity, Sustainability, and the Politics of Water

Nick Groom on an immodest 18th Century proposal to drain the Irish Channel.

Memory Studies and Famine Studies: Gender, Genealogy, History

Professor Margaret Kelleher examines a number of trends in recent historiographical work on the Great Famine including their striking appropriation of narrative and fictive tropes.

On Development, Waste and Ghosts

In this lecture, Oona Frawley looks at how movements in ecocriticism that call for links to be made with postcolonialism challenge us.

Commemorating Abuse: Gender Politics and Making Space

Emilie Pine looks at three cultural projects that explore institutional abuse in Ireland.

James Joyce, Treeless Hills and the Night of the Big Wind

Katherine O'Callaghan looks at the influence of forests on Joyce's Finnegans Wake.

Nandi Jola

Writer Presents
In conversation with Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan