Catalogue for sale ‘The Unicorn & The Fencing Mouse: An Exhibition of Marginalia, Annotations and Doodles’

You will be surprised how Renaissance readers treated their books. Among the collections in Marsh’s Library, we find many books covered with annotations, to-do lists, ownership marks, family histories, drawings, and random doodles.

This 48-page catalogue, beautifully designed by Alan Costello and including 33 colour images of all the items in exhibition, contains books with annotations by Jonathan Swift, the poet John Donne, and the Elizabethan mathematician John Dee.


Some marginalia were serious pieces of scholarship in their own right, but others (including the sketches of a unicorn and a fencing mouse which suggested the title for the exhibition) were the result of day-dreaming or love-sickness.

The catalogue costs €15 (including p+p) to Ireland and €20 (including p+p) to the rest of the world. For orders of more than 5 copies the 6th and subsequent copies are €10 and €15 respectively.

If you can’t get to the library to purchase a copy, we can post a copy (or copies) to you. For general enquiries, and details of how to make payments, please contact

This exhibition will run until March 2016.