Dublin City Library & Archive

New Additions to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive

Lieutenant Herbert Justin LemassThe Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association (RDFA) was established in 1996 to commemorate all Irish men and women who volunteered, served and died in the First World War. In 2005, the RDFA decided to place its archive with Dublin City Library & Archive, where it is available for public consultation in the Reading Room. The RDFA Archive is managed by Dublin City Archives.

Right: Lieutenant Herbert Justin Lemass

Just added to the Collection are

  1. Items relating to two brothers, Edwin and Herbert Lemass, who both served in the British Army during the First World War. Second Lieutenant Herbert Justin Lemass and Lieutenant Edwin Stephen Lemass were second cousins of Sean Lemass, one of the most prominent Irish politicians of the 20th century. At the time that Herbert, age 19, and Edwin Lemass, age 21, were in the trenches on the Western Front, their second cousin, Sean Lemass, age 17, was fighting the British in the General Post Office during the 1916 Easter Rising. Herbert dies at the Battle of the Somme on 23rd October, 1916, while Edwin, a barrister-at-law, went on to become one of Egypt's leading judges after the war.
  2. Volume 9 of the Monica Roberts Letters. The items contained were donated by Mrs Mary Shackleton, daughter of Monica Roberts, to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association at Dublin City Library and Archive on 28 July 2014. The letters give vivid pen-pictures of conditions at the Western Front and reveal the courage of troops in the face of appalling circumstances.

O’Connor and O’Neill Family Archives re-telling life in the Liberties

Sean O'ConnorDublin City Library and Archives were given a boost, when An tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh was formally presented with the family papers and genealogy materials of the O’Connor/O’Neill families going back to the 1750’s.  The presentation was made by Sean O’Connor, head of the O’Connor family at a ceremony today in Dublin’s Mansion House attended by members of the O’Connor and O’Neill families.

Right: Sean O’Connor  at his school, Francis street CBS, 1951

The O’Connor/ O’Neill family papers were assembled by Sean O’Connor with the help of archivist Ellen Murphy and City Archivist Mary Clark.  After much painstaking research, the family papers have now been presented to the city which was home to the two families. The donation helps to strengthen the Dublin City archives as a valuable record of social history including accounts of happy times and challenging experiences in the Dublin Liberties.

The Irish Theatre Archive, what a Treasure Trove!

Anna ManahanThe Irish Theatre Archive, held at Dublin City Library and Archive in Pearse Street, was founded in 1981 and now consists of over 250 collections, and 100,000 individual items. Included are collections deposited by theatres, theatre companies, individual actors, directors, costume and set designers, as well as theatre critics and fans. Collections can include theatre programs, handbills, posters, newspaper cuttings, stage managers books, production notes, costume and set designs, correspondence, administration files, scripts, photographs and recordings.

Right: Anna Manahan.

Jacob’s Biscuit Factory and the 1916 Rising

Bishop Street Factory[Update, 24 Nov 2015: Due to data protection reasons, information from Jacob's Biscuit Factory employee records which are less than 100 years old, will  be made available to direct family members only.  All requests regarding individual employees should be sent to cityarchives@dublincity.ie in the first instance. The cataloguing project will be completed by the end of December 2015 and we will start processing the email requests in January 2016.]

As part of its varied programme of activities for the Decade of Commemorations, Dublin City Library and Archive is currently in the process of cataloguing the records of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory which was acquired by Dublin City Archives in 2012.  Here is a sneak preview of some of the records which have thus far been identified which relate to the Easter Rising of 1916 and the occupation of the factory:

SEE IMAGE: Advertisement showing Bishop Street Factory,  Undated ©Valeo Foods, DCLA/JAC/09/241

DRI Decade of Centenaries Award for Dublin City Library and Archive

DRI AwardThe Decade of Centenaries Award was established by Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) in order to engage with custodians and assist in the long term digital preservation of valuable digital material relating to the 1912-1922 period in Irish History.

On Thursday 25 June 2015, it was announced that the Dublin City Electoral Lists for the period 1915, recently digitised by Dublin City Library and Archive, was one of three award winning collections.

Right: Ellen Murphy (Dublin City Library and Archive) and  Dr. Eucharia Meehan (Irish Research Council)

Decisive battle at Waterloo

Waterloo headlineBrussels Monday 19 June 1815

News is just coming in of a major battle between the English and French which has taken place in the countryside south of Brussels. The battle site centred on Mont-Saint-Jean near the village of Waterloo.

Since his escape from Elba earlier in the year and his astonishing overland march through France to Paris, the Emperor Napoleon, has once again threatened the peace of Europe. He fielded an army of some 72,000 soldiers, among them his battle-hardened old Guards. The Emperor could be seen on his distinctive white mare, Desirée, inspecting his troops before the battle was commenced, and at intervals throughout the battle galloping across the field of slaughter.

Yeats in Translation

Swedish translationThe Dublin City Library's Collection of W.B. Yeats's books holds about 200 translations which I have gathered together during my work on a new bibliography of his writings

W.B. Yeats's works have been translated into and published in dozens of languages, four dozen plus one and a couple of dialects at my present count, and maybe more we don't know about. The alphabetical list looks impressive -

The funerals of W. B. Yeats, 1939 and 1948

WB YeatsWilliam Butler Yeats (1865-1939), poet and dramatist, senator of the Irish Free State, Nobel Prize laureate, founder of the Abbey Theatre and guiding light of the Irish literary revival, died at Rocquebrune, in the hills above Monaco, in the South of France on 28 January 1939. Yeats was a delicate child, and as an adult he suffered from a series of complaints; on medical advice his spent many of his winters in Italy and the South of France from 1927 onwards. In the winter of 1938 he left Ireland for the Riviera as his health was failing, and his death occurred the following January. His funeral and burial took place at Rocquebrune.

Yeats Collections at Dublin City Library & Archive

WB YeatsIn this the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) people from around the world will be reassessing the contribution to world cultural heritage made by William Yeats and by other members of his family. Dublin’s libraries and galleries are very well furnished with the artistic output of the family, from the world-renowned poetry of William, to the paintings of his father John Butler Yeats (1839-1922), the exquisite paintings and drawings of his younger brother Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957), and the stunning hand-printed books, broadsides and greeting cards published by his sisters Susan Yeats (1866-1949) and Elizabeth Corbet Yeats (1868-1940) at the Dún Emer and Cuala presses. The National Gallery holds a renowned collection of Jack Yeats drawings as well as some of his finest paintings and the National Library hosts the fine Yeats exhibition.

Newly Catalogued Collection Added to RDFA Archive

Henry KavanaghA newly catalogued collection has just been added to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association (RDFA) Archive at the Dublin City Library and Archive in Pearse Street. The RDFA Archive is managed by Dublin City Archives.

The collection contains letters and photographs relating to the 1914-18 war time experiences of Corporal Henry Kavanagh, his brothers Enoch and Norman, and their friend George Poulton.

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