The National Library of Ireland (NLI) will shortly launch a new interactive multimedia exhibition entitled 'Particles of the Past', showcasing a fascinating selection of science-related gems from their collections. The exhibition forms part of the Dublin City of Science 2012 programme of events and promises to provide a wonderful insight in to the works of some of Ireland greatest scientists and engineers.
There is an eclectic mix going on display including booklets and postcards on the wondrous engineering feat that was Ireland's first hydroelectric power station at Ardnacrusha (a massive tourist attraction at the time), a handwritten journal recording Captain Cook’s second voyage and displays of early Irish photography.
NLI Co-Curator Riona McMorrow recognises that, despite being a humanities library, their collection houses some wonderful pieces that “reflect what was going on in the scientific world hundreds of years ago".
The library will also display Robert Boyle's seminal work ‘The Sceptical Chymist’, and a book containing an interesting collection of home remedies for everything from sore throats to piles. NLI Co-Curator Aoife O’Connor describes some of here favourite 17th century cures:
“In the 1700s they were doing things like crushing up earthworms, powdering them and feeding them to people; the powdered earthworms were generally served with white wine it seems! Another remedy involved the use of human faeces to cure eye complaints. Fantastic stuff!”
As mentioned before, 'Particles of the Past' is very much an interactive exhibition. So, in addition to viewing items in their cases, visitors will be able to examine them in greater detail by using our innovative ‘Discovery’ touchscreens. Each item will also have an accompanying video where visitors can listen to an expert discuss the item in greater depth. Finally, visitors can also look forward to the conservation and preservation elements of the exhibition where they can see how science is used here in the NLI to protect individual items in our collections so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.
The exhibition opens next Tuesday, February 28th, promising to be a brilliant exhibition and a highlight of the Dublin City of Science programme.