archives

Kate Middleton Curtis

Kate Middleton CurtisIt is fitting on International Nurses Day 2018 to remember one of the most notable figures in Irish nursing before and during the First World War. Katherine Elizabeth Middleton Curtis was born in London in 1860 and married to the noted Engineer and Merchant William Charles Middleton Curtis. Moving to Ireland, she became a member of the Blackrock Nursing Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade in Dublin and was a regular contributor to the Irish Times on nursing and medical matters. Always an innovator, Kate was involved in various public initiatives to raise public awareness of hygiene and health; she ran first aid courses for women from 1911 and was also involved in Kingstown ‘Health Week’, held in April 1913. Kate was one of the best-known members of St John Ambulance and noted in her diary on 20 October 1914 that she was also ‘the oldest ambulance lady in Ireland.’

Women of the Brigade: St John Ambulance & The First World War

St John Ambulance bookFrom working in munitions factories, V.A.D. nursing, supporting the war effort through charitable works, and leading the anti-conscription movement, World War 1 led to a multitude of different experiences for Irish women. In this talk Pádraig Allen looks at some women of St John Ambulance who contributed to the war effort during the First World War.

Recorded at Dublin City Library and Archive on 17 April 2018.

90 Years of The Gate Theatre

Micháel Mac Liammóir and Hilton EdwardsThis year the Gate Theatre is celebrating 90 years since its opening in 1928, a historical and momentous occasion that shaped and changed the theatrical world for Dublin. To commemorate this occasion Dublin City Archives have put together an exhibition, Aspects of Micheál Mac Liammoir and the Dublin Gate Theatre filled with the history of the theatre and photographs which display the costumes, stage designs and productions from the founders of the theatre Micheál Mac Liammóir and Hilton Edwards. Book a free guided tour of this fantastic new exhibition with Dr Mary Clark, Dublin City Archivist this June.

Image: Micheál Mac Liammóir & Hilton Edwards outside Gate Theatre, 1974 (see larger version) Image courtesy Irish Theatre Archive at Dublin City Library and Archive.

Watkins’ Brewery and Ardee Street

Ardee StreetThis photograph from the collections of Dublin City Library and Archive shows the distinctive building and carriage arch of the former Watkins' Brewery on Ardee Street, facing up Cork Street Dublin.  This brewery dates from the early 18th century, and was producing beer long before their near neighbour in the same trade at St. James’s Gate.  There has, however,  been a brewery on this site since the time of the Abbey of St. Thomas the Martyr in nearby Thomas Court.  Subsequently the site came into the possession of the Earl of Meath’s, from whom Meath Street, Earl Street and even Brabazon Street (Brabazon is their surname) all take their name.  The Earls of Meath also held the title Baron Ardee, hence the name of the street.

Women and Wartime Propaganda

German AtrocitiesAs illustrated in the ‘Doing their Bit: Irish women and the First World War’ exhibition, women played a central role in the British wartime propaganda campaign, which aimed to both engage the public with the war effort and to persuade volunteers to join the forces. News of German atrocities against Belgian and French civilians were widely reported in the press, with the treatment of women often being emphasised, as this example from the Freeman’s Journal in December 1914 shows.

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Le FanuThe official name of the Ballyfermot Dublin City Council park, known to the locals as The Lawns,  is Le Fanu Park and a nearby road also carries the same unique name.  

But who was Le Fanu, and why is his unusual name used in Ballyfermot?

Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (24 August, 1814 – 7 February, 1873) was a newspaper publisher and writer who is best remembered for his classic ghost stories.  Born at 45 Lower Dominick Street in Dublin, his family were a mix of Huguenot, English and Irish ancestry.  His great-uncle was the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. 

Women’s Voices 1914-1918

Nora Guilfoyle2018 marks the 100th anniversary of World War 1 Armistice. From working in munitions factories, V.A.D. nursing, supporting the war effort through charitable works, and leading the anti-conscription movement, World War 1 led to a multitude of different experiences for Irish women. Here we read from some archival sources from Dublin City Library and Archive to highlight four Irish women whose lives were impacted by the First World War in very different ways.

The four women featured are Anna Haslam, Nora Guilfoyle (pictured right), Monica Roberts and Maeve Cavanagh.

The Conscription Crisis

Conscription CrisisThe Conscription Crisis – After Russia’s withdrawal from the First World War, Germany started an offensive on the western front in March 1918. The British Government subsequently introduced the Military Services Act in April 1918, extending conscription to every Irish male between the ages of 18 and 50. Most strands of Irish life vigorously opposed conscription, leading to a retreat from the British authorities some months later.

Na Fianna article by Countess Markieviecz – January 1916 Digital.libraries.dublincity.ie

Digital Archivist position.

Dublin City Library and Archive, which houses Dublin City Archives and the Dublin and Irish Collection, has over 43,000 digital objects currently available online, plus an additional 9,000 objects (approx.) which have been digitised and catalogued offline.

In 2018, Dublin City Library and Archive will initiate an exciting new partnership with the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) to upload existing digital object collections to the Digital Repository of Ireland.

"Doing their bit": Irish women and the First World War

Kate Middleton Curtis"Doing their bit": Irish women and the First World War’ is a new exhibition in Dublin City Library and Archive in Pearse Street. The exhibition centres on the impact that the First World War had on the lives of Irish women and the new opportunities that opened up for them.

Speaking about the exhibition senior archivist Ellen Murphy said  "The role of Irish women in World War 1 is a story that is yet to be fully told. Against the backdrop of the campaign for female suffrage and the struggle for Irish Independence, this exhibition explores how the First World War impacted the lives of Irish women and greatly accelerated the changes which had been slowly taking place in society before the outbreak of war.  By 1918 Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to the British House of Commons and many Irish women had experienced new economic or social freedoms through the employment and volunteer opportunities offered by the war."

Feedback