The Project


This project is centred on the reconstruction of biographical and geographical patterns of readership and reading in Dublin between 1826 and 1926. The project aims at collating and exploit data from unique extant records of readership at Marsh’s Library for this period and it draws on Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to provide an innovative research resource which will transform academic and popular understanding of Dublin’s cultural and literary history in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

When Archbishop Narcissus Marsh founded the Library in 1707, he intended it to be at the intellectual heart of the city, a place in which ‘graduates and gentlemen’ could consult the latest and most up-to-date knowledge in a range of subjects, as well as a host of rare and curious older texts. Through a creative alignment of humanities research and GIS technology, this project seeks to explore and reconstruct the role and scope of Marsh’s as a knowledge node in Dublin’s book and reading culture during the long nineteenth century.