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Life on Land: Trees and Birds from the 17th to 21st Centuries: Introduction: Introduction

Stories, discoveries and ideas about birds and trees from the 17th century to the present shape our world and link to the UN's Sustainable Development Goal: Life on Land, and UCC’s Sustainable Development Goal Toolkit.


About Life on Land

Explore in this online exhibition the worlds of philosophers, botanists, ornithologists, writers and photographers. Consider how their stories, discoveries and ideas from the 17th century to the present shape our world and link to the UN's Sustainable Development Goal: Life on Land, and UCC’s Sustainable Development Goal Toolkit. The online exhibition focuses on trees and birds and looks at examples found within UCC’s campus.

This online exhibition was originally created to celebrate the occasion of the IFLA Satellite Event: Environment, Sustainability and Libraries in UCC Library in 2022.

An in-person version of this exhibition was in the Rare Books Reading Room in Special Collections & Archives, 22 July-30 November 2022.

Events Associated With This Exhibition

Two in-person show & tell tours accompany the online exhibition ‘Life on Land: Trees and Birds from the 17th-21st Centuries’. In each show & tell event we'll explore some of the items in the online exhibition as well as other maps, posters, prints and books of trees and birds across UCC Library's Special Collections. These events will be:

In February 2023 a colouring book tying into this exhibition was published on the New York Academy of Medicine's website as part of #ColourOurCollections festival. 

Curation & Acknowledgements

This display was curated by Elaine Harrington and John Rooney with items from UCC Library's Special Collections.  Where in documenting the lives and works of the figures mentioned in this exhibition we have drawn upon the Dictionary of Irish Biography or the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, these sources are cited using the abbreviations DIB and ODNB respectively. We have also drawn on The Irish Newspaper Archive.

Collections on Display

Cooke Collection: William Cooke (1865-1955) practicising solicitor and first Lecturer in the Department of Spanish at University College Cork from 1911 to 1938. The collection consists of 2500 items and represents his extensive interest in travel, biography and history of America, Latin America, and Spain. The collection is predominantly a 19th century one (c.1000 items) with c.100 items from the 17th and 18th centuries. There are a number of 18th century literary society publications and Spanish novels.

Coracle Press Collection: Coracle is a small publishing press directed by writer and artist Erica Van Horn and poet, artist and editor Simon Cutts. The consistent intention has been to involve artists, editors, poets and writers in the creation of an eclectic synthesis of word, image and print that could flourish in book form through exploration of metaphor, allusion, paradox and irony. It was initially started from a small farm between the hills of South Tipperary, Ireland in 1996.

Cork University Press Archive: Cork University Press was founded by UCC in 1925 and is the oldest commercially active university imprint in Ireland. Key early works include Prof. BG MacCarthy Women Writers vol 1 & 2; Prof. MJ O'Kelly The Collegiate Chapel; Dr Kathleen O'Flaherty Voltaire.

Cuala Press Collection: In 1902, Elizabeth and Lily Yeats, sisters of WB Yeats founded the Dun Emer Press. Shortly after the Yeats’ sisters formed the Cuala Press. The press published first editions of Irish authors such as W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, and J.M. Synge. In addition to books, the press also printed much ephemeral material, such as Christmas cards and illustrated literary broadsides. Many of the books and broadsides were illustrated by Jack B. Yeats. The press was run by the Yeats sisters until it largely ceased operations in the late 1940s. In 1969 W. B. Yeats' children, Michael and Anne Yeats, ran the press with Liam Miller. Some titles were run in the 1970s Subject: Literature. Collection: 132 items.

Friedlander Collection: Elizabeth Friedlander (1903 – 1984) German artist and designer, lived in Kinsale, Co Cork. She designed covers for Penguin books, the Nonesuch Press and other publishing houses. Subject matter: Penguin and other publishers' books on book-design, layout, calligraphy and the arts and printing in general. Gerald Goldberg donated the books and some of her papers.

Robert Gibbings Collection: Robert Gibbings (1889–1958) engraver, illustrator, and author. Gibbings was born in Cork and studied briefly in University College Cork. The collection contains items with woodcuts, engravings or illustrations by Gibbings. Collection: 50 items; 20th century books.  :

Gayfield Press Collection: Blanaid Salkeld (1880-1959), poet, salonnière and publisher, established the Gayfield Press in her home in Morehampton Road in 1937. The Gayfield Press specialised in limited editions and broadsheets, publishing what was deemed by Salkeld to be ‘the best of the Irish artists.’ The Gayfield Press gave a platform to new and emerging poets, while appealing to established poets, or those with the means to do so, to forego payment. The last item published by the Gayfield Press was in 1946.

Hawtin Collection: Dr Gillian Hawtin donated her library of 8,000 volumes to University College Cork in 1955. She had inherited the library from her father, who was one of the early supporters of the Labour Movement in London. The material includes an extensive range of works concerning the Socialist Movement and economic history published during the formative years of the English Labour Party, as well as much of literary interest. 

Linehan Library: This is the personal collection of Fr Diarmuid Linehan.

Frank O'Connor Collection: Born Michael Francis O'Connor O'Donovan (1903 – 10 March 1966), writer. This is his personal library.

Older Printed Books: Items published before 1851; many items were purchased between 1849 (when the College was founded) and 1900 and some were received from institutions such as the Royal Cork Institution or the old Cork Public Library.

The Salvage Press Collection: The Salvage Press is the imprint of artist & designer Jamie Murphy. Following completing a MA in Design with NCAD in 2012 he moved to the UK where he worked with Justin Knopp at the newly established letterpress workshop, Typoretum. Returning to Ireland he worked as an understudy to master printer Seán Sills in Distillers Press at the National College of Art & Design. He began as Designer in Residence there in 2013 before being appointed Printer in 2015. Through collaboration, The Salvage Press works with creatives from many disciplines producing projects which are mainly of Irish interest.

Three Candles Press Collection: Colm Ó Lochlainn(1892 – 1972) founded At the Sign of the Three Candles Press in 1926. The press published Irish literature, works about Irish art and matters about Ireland.