Dublin City Library & Archive

News from Nelson: Flags

VictoryThe first time I was here, flags were an essential part of communication and identity.  I used flags myself on HMS Victory which was the most important ship at Trafalgar and was known as ‘the flagship’.  Most famously, I sent a signal to the rest of the fleet, spelled out in flags and saying: ‘England expects every man to do his duty’.  When I died at Trafalgar – leading from the front as usual – my men were distraught, including 1,800 Irishmen who served with me, of whom 403 were Dublinmen.   My body was packed into a cask of brandy and sent to London for a state funeral at Westminster Abbey, when my coffin was draped with national flags from Victory. The funeral over, my most senior men cut up the flag and divided it among themselves.  Well believe it or not – a large portion of the flag was auctioned last week in London.  The estimates were £80,000 to £100,000 but in the end it fetched £297,000. You see, I continue to be respected and popular.  But oh! if only I had some of that flag myself – I would now be comfortably off, as my overheads are nil!

The 21st John T. Gilbert Commemorative Lecture

Michael Griffin(Podcast) 'Live from the Conniving House: Poetry and Music in Eighteenth-Century Dublin' the 21st Annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture, was given by Dr Michael Griffin, University of Limerick at the Dublin City Library and Archive on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

The Conniving House tavern, long since forgotten, opened in 1725. On the water not far from where Sandymount Green is now, it is the cultural and geographical starting point for this lecture on the lively interaction of poetic and musical cultures in eighteenth-century Dublin. The only verbal account that we have of that venue comes from Life of John Buncle, esq. by Thomas Amory, who heard there the famous Larry Grogan playing the pipes while Jack Lattin, ‘the most agreeable of companions’, played matchlessly on the fiddle. Other writers of the period, such as Laurence Whyte and Charles Coffey, recorded an energetic native musical culture. This lecture explores a fascinating moment in the history of Dublin’s poetical and musical cultures, one which yields several compelling instances of cross-cultural connivance.

Irish Ramblers Club Archive

IRC badgeThe Irish Ramblers Club Archive is the newest addition to the Dublin City Sports Archives.  Since 2010, Dublin City Sports Archive has acquired material in written, visual and oral form, relating to a variety of sports and leisure activities from hockey, boxing, soccer, cycling, swimming and golf. The formal transfer of Irish Ramblers Club Archive was marked by a reception at Dublin City Library and Archive on 23rd November 2017, which included a talk by club historian Jack Morrissey and a poetry reading by first club president Sean Quinn.

The Irish Ramblers Club was founded in 1964 with the mission statement, “to explore, enjoy and protect our beautiful countryside”.  It has had 4000 members over a 50 year period and organises over 400 hikes per annum. The Club from the outset has taken a very proactive interest in conservation of mountains and forests of Dublin & Wicklow and has contributed to national issues – such as national parks, environmental awareness, rights of way and the development of the Wicklow Way.

Reading Room maintenance works

Reading RoomDue to essential maintenance works, we regret that there will be restricted services and reduced seating (including study spaces) in the Reading Room, Dublin City Library & Archive from Monday 20th November until mid-December.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please note that as part of these works, the Reading Room will be closed to the public on Saturday 25th November.

Manuscript of the Month: Grant of arms to the Dublin Guild of Tailors, 1655

Tailors' ArmsThe very existence of this document is somewhat surprising, as it was issued during the Cromwellian inter-regnum in Ireland, a regime that despised ostentatious show. Nevertheless, ‘Richard Carney, Principall Herald of Armes for the whole Dominion of Ireland’ prepared this grant of arms to the Dublin Guild of Tailors in 1655.  This guild was founded in 1418 by royal charter and was second in order of precedence in the Dublin City Assembly.  The grant of arms states that the Dublin guild used the arms of the Merchant Taylors of London but that it had now applied for arms in its own right.  Carney concurs with this request, ‘in perpetuall memorie of (not onlie the ever constant Loyaltie of the said Cittie of Dublin and the many greate and famous services by them done the Commonwealth).’  The grant is issued on parchment and the top portion consists of three coats of arms, those of Ireland (left) and Dublin (right) with the arms of the Commonwealth in the centre; their inclusion indicates support for this grant. The Tailors’ arms is in the left panel, with its motto ‘Nudus et Opervistis Me’ (I was naked and you clothed me) a quotation from the New Testament (Matt. 25, 36). Elements of the coat of arms include the head of John the Baptist (whose feast was the guild’s swearing-in day, 24 June).  The guild colours were white and watchett (light blue) and these are referenced in the arms.

2018 International Dublin Literary Award longlist announced

Literary Award logo7 Irish novels are among 150 titles that have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English.  Nominations include 48 novels in translation with works by authors from 40 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America & Canada, South America and Australia & New Zealand.

Organised by Dublin City Council, the 2018 Award was launched today, 6 November by Ardmhéara Mícheál MacDonncha, Patron of the Award, who commended the Award for its promotion of excellence in world literature as well as for the opportunity to promote Irish writing internationally.  ‘Dublin – a UNESCO City of Literature - is renowned throughout the world as a city of writers. There’s no doubt that our rich literary and cultural life makes Dublin a great destination for tourists, for students, and for overseas businesses. It also makes for a better quality of life for all of us who live and work in our capital.  Is cathair litríochta í Baile Átha Cliath’ he said.

Changing Face of Jacob's Biscuits

Fig RollsDown the years Jacob’s Biscuits introduced new products on a regular basis.  Some did not survive the court of consumer taste while others, like Cream Crackers and Fig Rolls, remain proven favourites. From time to time the more popular products got a new label, updated to reflect the style of the time.

Follow the changing face of your best-loved biscuit in the Changing Face of Jacob's Biscuits Image Gallery.

If you can contribute any missing packages we’d be delighted to hear from you. Get in touch on twitter @DCLAReadingRoom or email cityarchives@dublincity.ie

Manuscript of the Month: Grafton Street (WSC/Maps/564)

WSC Map 564 detailThis map is what we would now call the development plan for what became Grafton Street. The plan is by the Dublin City Surveyor, John Greene, to the scale of 10 feet to an inch and it is dated 17 January 1680. At that date, Grafton Street was a humble country lane, linking the two open spaces of St Stephen’s Green and Hoggen Green.  There was even a municipal dung-heap, known as ‘The Pound’ at the end of the lane.  The Dublin City Assembly’s plan envisaged a new street to be 46 feet wide, with removal of The Pound. As yet the new thoroughfare had not got a name – it would eventually be called after the Duke of Grafton, an illegitimate grandson of Charles II.

The Irish Revolution 1917-1923 - Brian Hanley

The Irish RevolutionWhat happened in Ireland after the 1916 Rising? How did the political, economic and social landscape change and what brought about independence in 1922? Listen back to a three-part lecture series delivered by Brian Hanley Dublin City Council’s Historians-in-Residence for Dublin City Library & Archive.  The lecture topics are:

  • Lecture 1- Ireland in 1917
  • Lecture 2 - What was the War of Independence?
  • Lecture 3 - What was the Civil War?

A Crackin' New Exhibition Explores the History of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory

Jacob's Biscuits exhibArdmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath / Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha will officially launch a new exhibition Jacob’s Biscuit Factory & Dublin: An Assorted History, today, Friday, 8 September at 1pm in Dublin City Library and Archive.

Drawing on the vast 330 boxes of Jacob Biscuit Factory Archives held at Dublin City Library, and using beautifully illustrated panels, oral histories, flags and original artefacts, the exhibition tells both a chronological and thematic history of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory. The events of 1913-1922 which impacted on Ireland nationally feature prominently and using the lens of the factory allows the exhibition to provide a unique contribution to the Decade of Commemorations. 

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