Dublin City Library & Archive

New WWI Resources at Dublin City Library & Archive

Royal Dublin Fusiliers badgeAncestry Library Edition is now available for consultation free of charge in the Reading Room of Dublin City Library & Archive. Among other items, this contains official records for the First World War, including: 

  • British Army World War I Service Records 1914-20
  • British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-20;
  • British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards 1914-20;
  • UK Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919

Explore Your Archive Story Box: Parnell Square

Explore Your Archive LogoThere is a goldmine of information and untold stories within the collections of Dublin City Archives.  This STORYBOX created for Explore Your Archive Week 2014 gives examples of how we can use a variety of different archival collections to uncover the history of a particular area or street across different centuries. The STORYBOX focuses on examples of archival sources which relate to Parnell Square (previously known as Rutland Square), one of Dublin’s finest Georgian Squares. The original items referred to below can be viewed by calling to Dublin City Library and Reading Room in person.

Please bring photographic id with you on your first visit so that we can issue you with a research card.

The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly and the 1913-14 Dublin lockout

Dublin 1913, Lepracaun Cartoon MonthlyView The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly and the 1913-1914 lockout Image Gallery

'Capital is the child of Labour. Therefore the nipper’s present paroxysm of filial piety in Dublin is not so astonishing.'
Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly, November 1913.

'Sometimes all we need to brighten our day is to rise a little higher. In wages.'
Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly, January 1914.

Browse and search The Lepracaun Cartoon Collection online.

The Dublin-based Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly was launched in May 1905 by Thomas Fitzpatrick, one of Ireland’s foremost cartoonists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Eclipsing in its lifespan all previous Irish comic periodicals, the Lepracaun would run for almost a decade. This meant that the publication was in a position to offer a vivid cartoon chronology of the great 1913-14 Dublin strike and lockout, although there would be no contribution from the Lepracaun’s founder and most prolific cartoonist, with the Cork-born Thomas Fitzpatrick having passed away in July 1912 at the age of 52. Read more about Thomas Fitzpatrick and The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly 1905-1915.

Favourite elephants at the Zoological Gardens Dublin

OS map 1843 showing Dublin ZooThe Dublin Zoological Garden was established by the Dublin Zoological Society, under the patronage of the Lord Lieutenant, and opened to the public on 1st September 1831. The site was in the Phoenix Park, near the Vice Regal Lodge, the Lord Lieutenant’s residence, now Áras an Uachtaráin, the residence of the President of Ireland.

New ‘Gateway’ to Archival Treasures Launched

Archivists at LaunchDublin City Archives is one of 30 prominent archival repositories who have contributed to www.iar.ie  Ireland’s only archive web portal. The website was re-launched on Wed 16 September 2014 by Minister Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to mark the expansion of the website and the provision of access to hundreds of unique archival collections.  

The IAR portal enables visitors to access a free database of archival collections from archival repositories all over Ireland, north and south, many of which contain archives of relevance to the period 1912 to 1922, commonly referred to as the Decade of Centenaries.

1916: The Women Behind the Men

Margaret SkinniderView 1916: The Women behind the Men Image Gallery

For generations, the Easter Rising of 1916 was synonymous with the seven names: Thomas J. Clarke, Seán Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, P. H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connolly and Joseph Plunkett. These were the seven signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic: all men and all executed in the days after the Rising, which immortalised them as martyrs of the revolution. The sacrifice of these men was to perpetuate a certain mythology that overtook the actual events of the Easter Rising. The bravery, self-sacrifice and single-minded dedication to Irish independence of these men was, for a long time, all one needed to know about the Rising. Yet, as the centenary of the 1916 Rising approaches, interest has broadened to take in other historical perspectives of the Rising: Who were the other nine men who were executed for their role in the Rising, for example? Who were the rebels and soldiers killed in action during Easter week? What was the experience of those civilians who were killed (more than rebel and British soldiers combined)? And, most importantly for this study, what part was played by women in the Easter Rising and what can the families of those men who died as a result of 1916 tell us about the kind of people they actually were?

Dublin Heritage: The life history of a city

GPOWhen the Vikings founded the city in the ninth century in the area of the “black pool” (Dubh Linn in Irish) where Dublin Castle is today, they started what would later become the capital of Ireland and the largest city in the country. Dublin is a key to understanding Ireland; the history of this city helps us to better understand the history of the whole of the country, its development, its cultural features, its social composition and the political peculiarities in Ireland.

View Dublin Heritage: the life of the City image gallery

While we are walking through the streets of the city and we see the historical buildings and places, we realise the cultural wealth that this city has to offer. Nothing remains visible from the period before the Viking settlement except what you can see in the collections, exhibitions or museums in the city (the most important being the National Museum in Kildare Street). But it was with the Vikings, as we said before, that the city began its development. They ruled the city until 1014, when they were defeated by the Irish King Brian Boru in the famous Battle of Clontarf, near Dublin. Although they had lost their political supremacy, they remained in the city some more years with commerce as their principal activity. Then Ireland was invaded by the Anglo-Normans and in 1171, Diarmait Mac Murchada, King of Leinster, and Strongbow conquered Dublin and expelled the Vikings from the city. The following year Dublin received a City Charter from King Henry II; it was the beginning of the English rule of Ireland. Then Dublin Castle, built in 1204 by direct order of King John of England, became the centre of English power.

The Yeats Sisters and the Cuala Press

YC001 Dawn SongView The Yeats Sisters and Cuala Press Image Gallery

At the same time as the Celtic Revival during the late 19th - early 20th centuries, the Arts & Crafts Movement was making its way across Europe. This movement saw an international increase in the making and purchasing of handmade things and included ‘cottage industries’ such as stained glass, woodworks, ceramics, tapestries, and more. The Yeats family, in particular, was greatly involved in several aspects of both the Celtic Revival and the Arts & Crafts Movement. While W.B. was making his mark in the literary world and Jack was working as an artist and illustrator, the Yeats sisters, Lily and Elizabeth, were running their own businesses.

What's Cooking?

A sophisticated afternoon tea as shown in "Monica's Kitchen."The popular culture of the 21st century is obsessed with food – one has only to take a look at the TV listings of any evening during the week to see the proof of this. Cooking has become something of a spectator sport, with teams and individuals battling for victory. We have seen grown men weep because their muffins have turned out badly and refined, elderly ladies swear violent revenge on their rivals in the kitchen.

It is also a truism that Ireland’s relationship with good food and cooking as an art form is a relatively recent one. The days when potatoes and two veg were the staples of restaurant fare, an omelette was the sole “vegetarian” option and cream cheese on crackers considered the height of fine dining are not all that far away. But a closer look at the cookery section of the material held in the Special Collections of Dublin City Library and Archive throws up some surprises. While there are indeed many books containing recipes for boiled sheep’s head and boxty, it is obvious that even in the dark years of the Sixties and Seventies there were some cookery writers who were trying to introduce Irish cooks to a more international and adventurous cuisine.

Life-Long Learning Courses at Dublin City Library and Archive

Front Cover of Oral History Brochure

The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History, and the Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Local Studies are two courses, run by Dublin City Archives, which are offered to the public as part of Dublin City Council’s commitment to life long learning. Applications are now being accepted for both courses for the 2014-2015 academic year, with bursaries also available.

The courses will appeal to anyone who has an active interest in history, and want to learn how to engage with a variety of different research methods and sources, and to write up their findings in the form of a dissertation/research project.

Ann-Louise Mullhall, one of the participants on the Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History in 2013-2014 has kindly provided us with a review of the course:

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