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Special Collections & Archives' Outreach & Engagement: Exhibitions

How Special Collections & Archives interacts with the world.

Through the Lens of the Secret Police: Images of the Religious Underground in Eastern Europe (9 October 2020 - 31 March 2021)

Through the Lens of the Secret Police: Images of the Religious Underground in Eastern Europe opens 9 October 2020 and runs until 9 March 2021. The exhibition is part of the European Research Council Horizon 2020 funded project Hidden Galleries. The exhibition is curated by Gabriela Nicolescu and James Kapaló. The exhibition is open in the Boole Library during the hours of the library. Check the website for semester and holiday opening hours.

This exhibition explores the legacy of secret police operations against religion through a visual cultural lens. The displays present a difficult kind of cultural patrimony comprised of images shot or stolen by the secret service police in four different countries: Romania, Hungary, The Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Sometimes violent or intrusive, at other times personal or with a documentary quality, secret police visual materials had many uses at the time and today prompt varied interpretations. Images that at the time were used by the secret police as incriminating evidence against religious communities, today also represent the memory, cultural patrimony and creative spirit of these groups and individuals.

As far as possible, we tell the story of secret police operations through the photographs and images we found in the archives. The team of researchers sifted through hundreds of thousands of pages of files in order to find these uncatalogued, hidden visual traces of communities that had been targeted by the state. Today, members of targeted communities rarely know about the secret police archives or how to gain access. For this reason, whenever possible, the researchers approached individuals and communities to discuss their experience of repression and their presence in the archives. This exhibition includes the voices and reflections of members of these communities.

Full information about the exhibition is available on the Hidden Galleries' website.

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Heritage Week - Matters French: An Online Exhibition

Credit: Caussin, Nicolas. The Holy Court, in five books. Trans. Thomas Hawkins. Corke: Printed and sold by Eugene Swiney, 1767.

Matters French offers an overview of some of the connections between Ireland & France from the Anglo-Normans to Beckett. These interconnected traditions are represented in UCC Library's collections. Since the Anglo-Norman conquest Ireland has witnessed contacts with France that straddled confessional & political divisions. Irish scholars & intellectuals took refuge in Paris & Louvain, where Irish-language materials could be printed & where French was to become a medium of antiquarian & historical research that took Ireland as its object. Huguenot exiles arriving in Ireland created new French-speaking communities. Ireland looked to Revolutionary France in its quest for independence.

Heritage Week - Matters French: an online exhibition is curated by Prof. Patrick O'DonovanDept. of French, UCC. For further information about Matters French see the introduction to the exhibition.

Guide to Exhibitions

Over the last ten years there have been exhibitions on Q floor of the Boole Library with all Colleges in UCC. These either have been exhibitions curated by departments and schools or exhibitions created in collaboration with UCC Library.

The exhibition space is available for three or six month periods and exhibitions can start in January / April / July / October. 

Included in each booking time is mounting and dismounting the exhibition. 

As a guide the schedule is booked up to two years in advance.

Opening Hours

Update 27 May: From Monday 31st May 2021 Special Collections & Archives is open Monday-Friday (excluding public holidays) 10:00-12:30, strictly by appointment, to UCC staff and students, and members of the public. Face-to-face services at Special Collections & Archives have resumed in a limited capacity: Monday-Friday 10:00-12:30. The service is open to UCC staff and students. Please note that we will have reduced capacity due to social distancing measures, and access will be by appointment only. Walk-ins and same-day requests will not be possible. To book items & a workspace please click HERE.

In addition we continue offering:

  • Scan & Deliver for Special Collections' material including items in the Reference Reading Room, Microform and items that show Special Collections by Request / Special Collections by Appointment on the library catalogue.
  • Reprographic requests for manuscripts & archival material via

Every effort will be made to fulfil scan & deliver / reprographic types of requests, but this may not always be possible due to availability, copyright restrictions, size and condition of materials.

If you have any queries relating to our collections please email This email address is monitored regularly.