Posted in Art, Events, Exhibitions, Students

Visual Notebooks






Posted in Book Club, Books, Reading, Resources

New Books March 2018

New Books March 2018
New in this week

We have added a small number of titles to our collection this month. Both The Moth & The Unseen are March & April’s book club picks for our staff book club. Both staff and students alike really enjoyed Asne Seierstad’s One of Us, so Two Sisters should also be of interest.

Tara Westover’s Educated has been hailed as a fascinating read and should appeal to both our students & staff who enjoyed The Hillbilly Elegy, The Glass Castle and even elements of Elizabeth Strout’s My name is Lucy Barton, a best selling fiction title will resonate with the reader.

John Connell’s The Cow Book has received some really positive reviews, and looks to appeal to fans of Patrick Deeley’s The Hurley Maker’s Son (a HUGE favourite amongst our staff), and the gentle rural Irish fiction of John McGahern & William Trevor.

Posted in Guides, Information Literacy, Research, Resources


This term we’ve been working on a number of guides that will help our students through their projects and assignments, whether they are for online sources to help with information for a written piece, or our online support site for e-portfolios.


Some of our guides are available to download here (for example Citing & Referencing), whereas some are only available in print format in the learning Centre, or via the Digital Learning Centre section on Moodle. This is due to restricted log-ins for our databases.

One of our print guides


Posted in archives, Display, Exhibitions, Genealogy, Group Work, Posters, Research, Resources

Family Tree Exhibition

Fam Tree poster

The theme for Catholic Schools’ Week is family, and as the whole school will celebrate this week, here in Archives and the Digital Learning Centre we’ve focused on two displays; a window displaying both books and DVDs featuring families.

Family Window

We put together a small exhibition of family trees from both staff and students. Many of our 4th year students undertake this as a project, and work with us here in the DLC (Digital Learning Centre) on locating as much information from both living relatives, our census records, old documents and photographs in the family home.

Full Exhibition

Many of our students have had fathers, grandfathers and even great grandfathers attending Blackrock College, and as we have a dedicated Archives department we hold numerous records about past pupils. Clare and Caroline prepared some material to illustrate the kinds of materials that are held and how our students can go about locating them.


Here is a snapshot of some of the family trees that have been put together – well done to all students and staff.

Posted in Authors, Display, Exhibitions, Group Work, Information Literacy, Posters, Resources, Students

The American Dream: Of Mice & Men Project

American Dream 2

In November I worked closely with Mr. Orrock on 26B English poster presentations, incorporating research techniques such as planning your research, where to source information, how to use the information correctly and how to cite the information used.

Over all criteria for the students

The poster involved the following parts:

  1. Written Section (25m)
    1. Word Count: 300
    2. Mixture of block-text, mind-maps etc.
  1. Artistic Section (25m)
    1. Original artwork
    2. Responsibly sourced images
    3. Graphics

Students started with a powerpoint (American Dream) about mindmapping and planning.

Then the students split in to groups, and worked out their individual roles. We used a padlet for this purpose and uploaded the link to our VLE Moodle.

AM Padlet
Padlet detailing the self-assigned group roles

The students were encouraged to try storyboarding, in order to plan out what their final poster would look like.

2nd year American Dream

AD storyboard

The students researched, typed up information, printed off photos and designed their own artwork in groups.

The final posters were produced and presented to the entire class. Well done to our fantastic second years – such hard work and planning went into it all.

Posted in Community, Student Engagement, Students

Learning Centre Committee Trip

On Wednesday the 29th of November, members of the Learning Centre Committee accompanied by the Learning Centre Manager Lorraine Marrey, and Mr. Madden attended a tour of the Book of Kells exhibition in Trinity College Dublin. Followed by a self-guided tour of the Yeats Exhibition in the National Library.
These exhibitions form part of the academic year for our committee where we aim to visit at least one information/library or cultural setting. This gives the students a chance to view our cultural heritage, and also to appreciate the work that goes into curating exhibitions, producing printed resources and the display of cultural artefacts.

Michael Lucey, Michael McDonald, Thomas Kerr, Lorraine Marrey, Robert McNabb, Oisin Ryan, Mark McGrane & Dylan Hutchinson outside the Book of Kells exhibition in TCD.
Posted in archives, Art, Spaces

Archives Project: John ffrench sculpture conservation

Hello from the archives!

We recently acquired a beautiful John ffrench terracotta sculpture for the college. John ffrench was the leading pioneer of contemporary ceramics in Ireland, who was a past student Blackrock College.

You can take a look at some of his work here


Above: John ffrench

We are delighted to have an authentic ffrench piece to be displayed alongside so many other pieces by talented past students.

The sculpture arrived to us in less than perfect condition; it had been displayed in a home and been moved around a few times. It had a considerable amount of dust and dirt on in, along with a few missing parts. We have brought in an expert conservator, Lorna Barnes, for the job. The work is far too complex and specialised for me and Caroline to complete, as we would risk damaging the art.

John ffrench 48 ceramics on board

Above: The work as it arrived initially.

Lorna has been working away this week carefully cleaning and fixing the small breaks in the sculpture.

IMG_20171012_102240   IMG_20171012_102324

Above: Lorna working.

We are very lucky to acquire such a detailed piece by John ffrench, and we look forward to seeing how it looks when the conservation is complete.


Posted in Authors, Books, Events, Literacy Day


Sadhbh Devlin


Sadhbh Devlin is an award-winning blogger, a television researcher for Irish language television channel TG4 and a craft contributor for various magazines. She also reviews Irish language children’s books for Inis magazine.
You can find her making crafts and playing with her young twins on her award-winning blog where wishes come from, or writing about her adventures in children’s literature on her website. Bí ag Spraoi Liom! is her first Irish-language picture book for children.

Dave Rudden


Dave Rudden has worked in the Dublin theatre, spoken word and storytelling scene since 2010. His short fiction and poetry have been published in journals such as Bare Hands, the Quotable, and Minus 9.

He has won the Fantasy Book Review Short Story Prize in 2013 and was short-listed for both the Hennessey New Writing Award and the Bath Short Story Prize. Graduating from the Creative Writing Masters in UCD, he was signed in November 2013 by Clare Wallace of the Darley Anderson Children’s Agency. Knights of the borrowed dark was Dave’s first novel.

Sarah Maria Griffin

Sarah Maria Griffin sq

Sarah Maria Griffin writes essays, poems, and other things. Her first collection of poetry, Follies, was published by Lapwing in 2011. She has published a book on moving to San Francisco called Not Lost, and her debut novel Spare and found Parts is out in 2018. She is usually covered in cat hair. She likes video games from the 1990’s and strong female protagonists.