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Ms. Laura Shanahan

Head of Research Collections (Library)

Mrs Laura Shanahan, MA, is Head of Research Collections at Trinity College Dublin, based within the Old Library. She has responsibility for the departments of Manuscripts and Archives, Early Printed Books and Special Collections, the Map Library and Music. She has previously performed a variety of roles in the National Library of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh Library. Laura completed her Undergraduate Degree in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, with Booker Prize winning novels being the focus of her Masters Dissertation. Laura subsequently completed her Masters in Library and Information Management at Northumbria University, with her Dissertation topic being the binary role the internet can play in women's lives. Laura's predominant focus in Libraries has been working across research and general collections in service delivery and development, and on major collections and estates projects. She has had high level responsibility for collection development and improving mechanisms for use in research and teaching. Significant achievements in previous roles have included service transformation projects such as the implementation of a new library management and resource discovery system in 2015, the implementation of a Resource Lists system and service in 2017, and a masterplan project to redevelop the University of Edinburgh's offsite library store for heritage collections (2014 onwards). Laura has also been heavily involved with exhibitions and digital projects, including the multi-partner European Commission funded Musical Instruments Museums Online project (, and the delivery of the "Darwin's Edinburgh" bi-centenary exhibition at the University of Edinburgh's public gallery. Laura joined Trinity College Dublin in January 2018.
Details Date
TCD Appointed ex officio Trustee of the Worth Library Trust Jan 2019
TCD Representative on the CONUL (Consortium of National and University Libraries, Ireland) Unique and Distinct Collections Group 2018
Member of Research Libraries UK Special Collections and Heritage Network 2018
Member of the Bibliographical Society 2021
Member of the Irish Women's Council 2021
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent

Notebook containing drafts for "The Blue Guitar", 2012-14 in, editor(s)Shenton H. , The Library of Trinity College Dublin: Director's Choice, London, Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers, 2020, pp54 - 55, [Shanahan, L], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED


Laura has a particular interest in the contemporary literary archives, housed within the Research Collections of Trinity College Dublin. As a professional Librarian, service development, adequate facilities and integration of collections within research and teaching are fundamental areas of interest. Current significant priorities include delivering the Library's ambitious Virtual Trinity Library programme and supporting the Old Library Redevelopment Project.