Let me check the calendar

With the new academic year just getting under way, students will be receiving their timetables for the next term’s classes. Nowadays this is done online through platforms like Moodle and Brightspace. But back in the day this information was disseminated through the publication of College Calendars. They provided students with their course outline, reading lists, exam dates, class timetables, lecturers names and a lot more. In UCD Archives we house an extensive series of Royal University of Ireland (RUI)/UCD Calendars and National University of Ireland (NUI) Calendars.

The series of RUI/UCD Calendars run from 1909 up until 2005 and the NUI Calendars start with 1923 then jump to 1929 running up to 1996. The photos above highlight the amount of information contained in these calendars relating to the various different departments, administration and the staff of the University. Each department lists what material should be consulted by the students for their course; specific authors, publications etc. They also give an idea of what the student will be examined on, what the fees are for the course and the past exam questions. There is a very handy section called ‘Lists’ that literally does just that! It contains lists of graduates of the University, diplomats, scholars, prize winners and the names of students that passed their exams that year amongst others.

UCD Calendar 1919-1920

A drawing of the ‘new College Buildings’ being built on Earlsfort Terrace in UCD Calendar 1919-1920.

The UCD Calendar 1919-1920 includes the drawing above of the “new” College Buildings that were being built and which now house the National Concert Hall. As this calendar was published after the end of World War I it includes a ‘War List Roll of Honour’ of all those students and/or staff that were killed in action or on active duty. Unfortunately it is quite an extensive list and includes the name of Joseph Garry, M.B., B.Ch., who was the Assistant Surgeon on the RMS. Lusitania.

UCD Calendar 1943-1944

UCD Faculty of Arts Monday to Wednesday lecture timetable from 1943-1944.

UCD Calendar 1943-1944

UCD Faculty of Arts Thursday to Saturday lecture timetable from 1943-1944.

Students can find it a challenge to get out of the bed and attend lectures from Monday to Friday. But they should be thankful as the photos above highlight. UCD Faculty of Arts students in 1943 had to attend lectures six days a week. There goes having the weekend to party…I mean study.

Not only are these Calendars bursting at the seams with information about the University and it’s workings over the decades, they also contain some intriguing advertisements. Some of these businesses no longer exist while some are still trading and others have grown and morphed into larger entities. They include Hodges, Figgis & Co. Ltd. booksellers, McDonagh & Co. victuallers, Fannin & Co. medical instrument makers and G. & T. Crampton the builders contracted to erect the College’s “new” buildings on Earlsfort Terrace who all featured in the UCD Calendar 1919-1920.

By 2004-2005 the Calendar had become quite unwieldy for students to carry around so the decision was made to move the information online. The calendars housed in UCD Archives are a great resource for those interested in the development of education in Ireland, social and business history, the careers of academics and locating family members that may have studied here.

UCD Calendars

The difference in size of UCD Calendars from 1909 to 2005.

  • This post was researched and written by Meadhbh Murphy, Archivist, UCD Archives.

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