WSC Map Conservation Project 2016

Heritage Council LogoDublin City Archives is delighted to announce that we have received a €4,000 grant from the Heritage Council of Ireland under the Heritage Management Project Scheme 2016 to conserve 23 Wide Street Commission Maps.

The maps date from the eighteenth century and document the work of the Wide Street Commissioners in moulding the development of Georgian Dublin. It includes maps relating to Sackville street (present day O’Connell street), College Green, and Dame street. The maps are historically significant, not only from a local and national perspective, but also because they reflect the European Age of Enlightenment and the Commissioners constant attempts to improve the city by the rational application of scientific and aesthetic principals.

Kevin Street Library Collection (1899-1995)

Kevin Street LibraryThe archives of Kevin Street Library were accessioned by Dublin City Library and Archive in 2012. It is an important collection for exploring the history of Dublin Public Libraries, Cumann na Leabharlann, and also includes materials relating to the 1916 Rising and the Emergency Period in Ireland. The collection has recently been catalogued, with part-funding provided by Dublin City Council Decade of Commemoration Fund.  The Kevin Street Library archives can now be accessed by members of the public in the Reading Room of Dublin City Library and Archive.

Dear Friends and Fellow-Sailors, an introductory blog from Nelson's Head

Nelson's PillarDear Friends and Fellow-Sailors

I have recently been celebrating my 10th anniversary in Dublin City Library and Archive, where I have very comfortable quarters. I have a stout plinth for my head and a view across the Reading Room – it’s my job to keep my one good eye on the students – who are all very hardworking - maybe thanks to my supervision! They tell me I’m a valued member of staff and they couldn’t do without me – good to know I’m still so useful as I’m 207 years old.

The Irish Brigade at Hulluch, April 1916

Gas attackIn the week Patrick Pearse declared the Irish Republic on the steps of the General Post Office (GPO), the Irish Brigades of the 16th (Irish) Division suffered horribly in a gas attack launched by the Germans on 27 April 1916 at Hulluch.1 Like the men from the 2nd Dublins back in May 1915, many died years later as a result of this attack. On 29 April the Germans launched another gas attack on the Irish lines, however on this occasion the wind turned right round and blew the gas back over the German lines, the result being equally appalling.2 During April 1916, the Irish Division suffered 2,128 Irish causalities; approx. 538 were killed, the remainder were to suffer chronic lung and breathing conditions for the rest of their lives.3

Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, St John Ambulance and 1916

W&R Jacob & Co.Jacob's Biscuit Factory on Bishop Street was one of the sites occupied by the Irish Volunteers during Easter Week, 1916, and has acquired iconic status within Irish history.   The Jacob's Biscuit Factory Archive has recently being catalogued and opened to public access in the Dublin City Library and Archive.  In conjunction with the Business Information Centre the exhibition "W&R Jacob and Easter Rising" will be open to the public from 13 April, with a talk by Dr Séamas Ó Maithiú on 21 April.

Right: Sketch of Bishop Street Factory, c.1900s, Jacobs Biscuit Factory Archive (DCLA) (View larger image)

How to Scan and Digitize Glass Plate Photographs

ScanningTechnology is an ever-changing form for the collection and communication of information. What happens, however, when the form of equipment is no longer the current practice of collecting information? What happens when the method is out dated and showing its age? At Dublin City Library and Archive, the staff work hard to preserve the documented history of Ireland even in its less prevalent forms. Numerous images were generously donated from Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority. These images came in many forms from positive printed images to film negatives and negative glass plate images (see image below). (Click images to view larger versions)

Nelson's Pillar Commemorative Event - Photos

Nelson's PillarThe 50th anniversary of the destruction of Nelson's Pillar occurred on Tuesday, 8th March 2016, and to mark the occasion Dublin City Archives held a commemorative event entailing a talk by historian Donal Fallon, poetry read by Alastair Smeaton, and ballads by Luke Cheevers and Tony Fitzpatrick.

View the photo slideshow of the event below.

Private Edward Brierley Collection

Edward BrierleyThe Private Edward Brierley MM, 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers Collection is the latest to be arranged and catalogued from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Collection at the Dublin City Archives.  While not unique, it is unusual in that, as well as offering the standard archival fare of documents and photographs, it contains many of Brierley’s personal effects from his time in the army.  The reason for this is that the majority of the papers, artefacts and memorabilia in the collection were donated to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association (RDFA) by Noel Brierley, son of Edward Brierley, and assembled in their current form with some supplementation by the RDFA with a view to curating an exhibition.  As a result it also contains a folder of supplementary material, including biographical research notes and laminated caption cards, which may by of use to researchers or exhibitors.

W & R Jacobs Archives at Dublin City Library and Archive

JacobsOn Monday 22nd February 2016, a special tea party is being hosted by an tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh at the Mansion House to mark the transfer by Valeo Foods of the archives of W & R Jacobs and the transfer of the Appleyard Collection by Douglas Appleyard to Dublin City Council.

The archives of W & R Jacob and Company, consisting of over 330 boxes, were acquired by Dublin City Library and Archive in 2012. Following a major cataloguing project they will now be opened for public access in the Reading Room of Dublin City Library and Archive at 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

Irish Theatre Archive: John MacDonagh Collection

John MacDonaghThe Decade of Centenaries has brought with it many opportunities for mature reflection on the Irish state’s legacy of the past hundred years.  Accompanying this has been a renewed interest and analysis of the character and contribution of the leaders and their near mythical status as exemplars of the Irish revolutionary spirit.  The broadly civic and inclusive nature of the commemorations has also brought to light the stories of many of those involved in 1916, which have heretofore been consigned to the footnotes of history books, or to family photo albums and fireside reminiscence.  It is only right and proper that the contributions of the many great women of 1916, for example, or the roles of rank-and-file rebels, or the tragedies of the ordinary civilians whose lives were cruelly cut short, are receiving the attention they deserve.

John MacDonagh, in my opinion, falls between two stools.  While a junior officer with the Volunteers during the Rising, he was not a leading figure.  However, his relationship to Thomas MacDonagh, as well as his subsequent success as a dramatist, film director, writer, poet, singer and musical composer, mean that he offers the student of 1916 neither the ‘everyman’ quality that appeals to human interest, nor the opportunity for great historical revelations.  It is for just this reason however, that John MacDonagh’s papers deserve attention.

View John MacDonagh Collection Image Gallery