Getting ‘hands-on’ with Samuel Beckett at Trinity College Dublin

Trinity is a target destination for Beckett scholars because of the size and variety of original Beckett manuscripts held here. However, because of the physical fragility of the manuscripts (Beckett always used the very worst quality paper), few people get to handle the originals. This creates an obvious problem when it is considered that there is an almost indefinable, special ‘something’ to be experienced from being in the presence of an original artefact – think of Jane Austen’s spectacles or the Ardagh Chalice. Are our students being denied an experience which could be of signal benefit to them? All special-collections repositories share this tension between access and preservation but the issue has been thrown into high relief in the context of Trinity’s development of the Trinity Education Project, which seeks to encourage more original research among undergraduates.

Read More