Aoife Donnellan is a final year Philosophy and English Literature student at Trinity College Dublin. Her primary research interest is in material cultures, and the curatorial bias in digital archiving.

A flock of birds, Louis le Brocquy

Open Collections

The open collections capstone is a dissertation model run by Trinity College Dublin that focuses on interacting with the college’s archive and print collections. It is comprised of three elements: a 5,000 word essay, a public facing digital project, and a reflective journal to document the process. For my essay, I chose to examine how the 1969 Dolmen Press edition of The Tain restores a mythological otherness to the narrative of ‘Táin Bó Cuailgne’. The digital element of this project expands on topics from the essay component, as well as presenting new ideas. This project represents a small amount of the research I hope to do on the topic of materiality in the digital age. The essay element of my project was recently accepted by Critical Acts Symposium, a creative conference run by writer and academic Joanna Walsh. This project and the subsequent opportunities have inspired me to pursue a Masters in material cultures and museum practice.


I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Julie Bates, for her guidance, patience, and encouragement. She is the reason I have fostered such an interest in digital scholarship, and the one who encouraged me to submit my paper to Critical Acts. She has allowed me to re-envision what it is to be an academic.

My parents, for facilitating my life-long interest in visual art, and for buying me my very own edition of The Tain.

And my boyfriend, Christian, for reading all of my work, and drawing hundreds of crows with me.