Readers and Reputations: a new exhibition from the RECIRC research project

Readers & Reputations, Jan-Mar 2020

Readers and Reputations: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550-1700 is a landmark exhibition that showcases the findings of a major research project, ‘RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550-1700’. The project, which is led by Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan, Professor of English at NUI Galway, began in July 2014 and formally concludes in January 2020. This was the first literature project in Ireland to have been awarded funding by the European Research Council, and has involved 11 researchers over the course of its five years. Find out more about our research at:

The exhibition shows how women were read both in their own time and posthumously – as powerful queens, controversial exhibitionists, exemplary mothers and autobiographers, pioneering scientists, and witnesses to religious persecution. It includes anonymous poems that challenge our assumptions about gendered voice and authorship.

 Interactive displays: The exhibition includes an animated network visualisation of connections between female authors and their readers, a touchscreen to explore the project’s online database, physical examples of early modern books held in Special Collections at the Hardiman Library, and videos of team members discussing their research.

Exhibition Details


16 January 2020 – 27 March 2020


Hardiman Building foyer (beside the entrance to the James Hardiman Library)


Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan & Dr Evan Bourke (RECIRC), David Kelly (Moore Institute)


European Research Council & Irish Research Council

  1. Professor Daniel Carey (Director, Moore Institute) and Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan (PI, RECIRC) at the entrance to the exhibition
  2. Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh (Registrar and Deputy President), Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh (President), Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan (PI, RECIRC) and Professor Lokesh Joshi (Vice President for Research) at the launch of the exhibition
  3. RECIRC researchers: Dr Erin McCarthy, Dr Evan Bourke, Dr Bronagh McShane, Prof. Marie-Louise Coolahan (PI), Dr Emilie Murphy, Dr Felicity Maxwell, Dr Sajed Chowdhury and Ioanna Kyvernitou
  4. University staff, students and special guests attend the official exhibition launch.
  5. Dr Felicity Maxwell, Marie Boran (Special Collections Librarian, Hardiman Library) and Dr Bronagh McShane
  6. Professor Daniel Carey (Director, Moore Institute), Mel Durkan (Proviz Creative) and Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan (PI, RECIRC)
  7. University staff, students and special guests explore exhibition materials at the launch

Featured Stories