Dublin City Library & Archive

News from Nelson: Sources

NelsonI am pleased to relate that my colleagues at Dublin City Library & Archive are always working diligently on my behalf and they have compiled a source-list of materials in the Reading Room should you wish to find out more about my Goodself.

Periodically, the Minutes and Reports of Dublin City Council tell of plans to relocate me to Merrion Square, to erect statues to Tone and others in my place  and to help ease the capital’s growing traffic problems by removal of my Pillar altogether. In July 1919, at the first meeting of the Irish War Memorial Committee (records held at Dublin City Archives), it was suggested that my Pillar be converted to the national memorial monument to Irishmen who fell in the Great War. Various proposals for replacing my Pillar emerged from 1988 onwards, until eventually The Millennium Spire was put in place. It is, in its own way, the new Pillar of Dublin.

Lord Mayor's Certificate in Local Studies, 2017-2018

Bang Bang*** The Lord Mayor's Certificate course in Local Studies 2017-18 is now full and not taking any more applications.   ***

However there are still places on the Certificate in Oral History. (11 August 2017)

The Lord Mayor's Certificate in Local Studies is offered by Dublin City Council as part of its commitment to life-long learning.  The course examines the local dimension of Ireland’s past and is presented in a lively and accessible manner.  Classes are held on Tuesday evenings to facilitate attendance by a broad range of people.

Commencing in September 2017, the Lord Mayor's Certificate in Local Studies will be taught at Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.  The closing date for applications is 5.00 p.m. on Friday 1 September 2017. See the following form:-

No longer faceless or nameless – write the story of your First World War soldier

Assembly exhibitA long, long alphabetical list of 174,000 Allied soldiers who died on Belgian soil in the First World War; this is the new and emotive exhibit on display in Dublin City Library and Archive on Pearse Street until the end of March. The Assembly exhibit has been created by artist Val Carmen, for the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres. Consisting of a giant memorial book of the war dead and five old chairs from Passchaendaele Church, the exhibit is travelling around Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales to gather stories and mementoes of these dead soldiers.

News from Nelson: Welcome Visitors

Nelson's HeadMarch is always a difficult month for me – my Pillar and I were blown sky-high shortly after 1.30 on the morning of 8 March 1966, so this year I will be marking the 51st anniversary of this event.  That’s why I was particularly glad to welcome a group from the National League of the Blind Trust who called in last week.  The group consisted of visually-impaired and sighted friends and each of them approached me in turn for a detailed examination of my Head. They also found the two indentations made in my mouth by bullets during the 1916 Rising.  One or two of them noted that I didn’t wear a hat – I explained that I was too tough to need headgear, I could survive the cold perfectly well (although I also enjoy living in this cosy warm Reading Room – must be old age!).

News from Nelson: Joshua Dawson

Joshua Dawson portraitDear Friends and Fellow-Sailors!

From my vantage point on top of my Pillar I had a great view of Dublin and often wondered what was going on behind the hall door.  One of my favourite buildings was the Mansion House, the residence of Dublin’s Lord Mayor.  This was built between 1705-10 outside the city in lovely country parkland by Joshua Dawson, a civil servant who was also a property developer (nothing new under the sun, then!). 

Portrait of Joshua Dawson

Joshua also laid out a new street, calling it Dawson Street after himself (there’s also a Joshua Lane) and built a church for a new Church of Ireland parish, to be called ‘St. Ann’s’ after his lady wife, Ann Carr. 

Mansion House Fund for Relief of Distress

Manuscript February's Manuscript of the Month is a letter to the Mansion House Fund for Relief of Distress in Ireland, 1880.

The Mansion House Fund was established in January 1880 specifically to provide relief to farmers and tenant-farmers whose crops had failed during 1877-79.  The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Edmund Dwyer, chaired this fund and several Dubliners wrote to him in the mistaken belief that the fund could help them.  The letters were preserved and this one is from John Collett who lived in Bishop Street and had lost his job, as a light porter with Mackey’s Seeds, owing to paralysis.  There is no record of a payment to him from the Mansion House Fund.

News from Nelson: First Cat

SmokeyDear Friends and Fellow-Sailors!

When I was an Admiral in the Navy I was famous for my attention to detail.  Before we embarked on a campaign, I reviewed the manifest for each of the ships, to make sure that nothing had been overlooked. And sometimes there was: the appointment of a Ship’s Cat – many of my captains did not realise how important this was.  So I would send out a message to the local cat community saying: Ship’s Cat needed – adventurous lifestyle guaranteed – lots of delicious vitels – Champion Mousers only need apply – Pussycats not required.  This produced lots of applicants, enough to provision every ship in the fleet.

Private Daniel Fay and "The Three Dubs"

Daniel Fay in 1914The Private Daniel Fay collection is part of the extended Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Collection and concerns the life of three brave soldiers from 2nd Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Their story is one that exemplifies the experience of soldiers in the First World War. One man died in combat, one man was committed to an asylum, and one man returned to his old life.

Image: RDFA/111/02 – Daniel Fay in 1914, sitting in full dress uniform.

Daniel Fay was born in 1987 in Dublin City. He worked as a grocer’s porter on Mountjoy Street until 1908 when he joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Daniel Fay served with the 2nd Battalion, nicknamed “the Old Toughs”. In 1910 he married Mary Moore in the Pro Cathedral.  Serving with him in 2nd Battalion were his two brothers-in-law, James Joseph Moore and Bartholomew “Bartle” Moore. Daniel served with 2nd Battalion until his discharge due to injury in the summer of 1918.

The Orchestra of St Cecilia Collection: 1995 – 2014

Orchestra of St Cecila logoThe Dublin City Public Library and Archive has recently acquired the Orchestra of St Cecilia Collection, deposited by manager/artistic director Lindsay Armstrong after his retirement and the dissolution of the company at the end of 2014. The collection comprises Armstrong’s comprehensive administrative records.  It documents the detailed practicalities of managing an orchestra and putting on independent concerts. The collection includes concert programmes, posters, flyers, correspondence, programme notes, recordings, soloists and conductor’ biographies and  administrative documents. Access to the collection provides unparalleled insight into the processes involved in professional orchestra and event management from the turn of the twenty-first century through recession times in Dublin. Find out more and view some items from the Orchestra of St Cecilia Collection...

Dublin City Library & Archive formally accepted the donation with a reception on Tuesday 22 November 2016.

News from Nelson: Ships Ahoy!

Nelson's headDear Friends and Fellow-Sailors!

My regular correspondent has asked if I can write about any ships in Dublin City Library & Archive.  As I am the greatest naval general who ever lived (Modest Man Me!) I am only too happy to oblige.

Tucked in among the thousands of books and millions of documents, there are not just one, but two splendid ships.  The first was made in 1230 as part of the Dublin City Seal and is only 95mm in diameter.  It is an image of a medieval ship, known as a cog, at sea and under full sail.  (A cog was built of oak and had one square sail – it was a very popular type of sailing vessel in the 12th and 13th centuries).

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