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Commemorating Clontarf: The Battle and its Legacy

Battle of Clontart Milennium 1014-20142014 is the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf, which took place on Good Friday 23 April 1014. Commemorating Clontarf: the battle and its legacy was the theme of the City Hall lunchtime lecture series this April. It was standing room only at each of these popular lectures. So in case you missed them we are giving you the chance to listen back to two fascinating lectures. Dr Colm Lennon's lecture explores how the legend of Brian Boru and the battle of Clontarf has been adopted as a means of advancing different ideologies throughout Irish history, and how modern scholarly research using antiquarian sources and textual and scientific research are helping separate fact from myth. Dr Howard Clarke re-examines the reputation of Queen Gormlaith and Brian Boru while looking at the rules of marriage, and the bewilderingly complicated nature of the relationships between some of the key players in the battle of Clontarf.

The City Hall lecture series is organised by Dublin City Archives.

‘I met the boys in Gollypoly’ : World War I Collection

Front Cover of Gallipoli Memories DiaryA new collection from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive is now available to view in the Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room. The collection, ‘The Gunning Brothers: Gallipoli and the Somme’, contains the records of two Enniskillen brothers, George Cecil and Frank Douglas Gunning, who fought at the battle of Gallipoli during the First World War.  Their diary, entitled ‘Gallipoli Memories’ provides a blow-by-blow account of their experiences during the Gallipoli campaign and reflects a shift from their sense of adventure and excitement to sorrow, hopelessness and despair.

Prior to the War, the brothers worked as bank clerks. George Cecil enlisted into the ‘D’ Company, 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers following the outbreak of war in 1914, and his younger brother Frank, followed him shortly after, for fear of missing out on the adventure.  The two men trained at the Curragh and in 1915 they fought in the Gallipoli campaign. The conditions they faced were very harsh, with a severe water shortage exasperated by the intense heat of the sun.

Dublin City Archaeological Archive Formally Opened

Dublin City Archaeological ArchiveThe Dublin City Archaeological Archive [DCAA], first launched in July 2008, was last night formally opened to the public by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Oisín Quinn. The DCAA originated as an action of the Dublin City Council Heritage Plan 2002-2006 and is managed jointly by Dublin City Archaeology, Dublin City Archives and Dublin City Council’s Heritage Office. The DCAA’s remit is to preserve records arising from archaeological investigations conducted in Dublin City by archaeologists working in the private sector, with special reference to excavations carried out before 2004.

Create a Digital Memory on Digital Dublin Day

Red corner shop DublinDublin Digital Day Event, Grafton Street, Friday, 8th March.

Create a digital memory, using your old photographs, on Digital Dublin Day, Friday 8th March. 

Do you have some old photographs of Dublin or Dubliners lying around at home? Perhaps a snapshot of friends meeting under Clery's Clock? Or photographs that show Dublin shops, pubs or other buildings in the background?

Re-Framing Disability

Self-portrait by disabled artist Matthew Buchinger (b. 1647)“Re-Framing Disability”, a major exhibition on loan from the Royal College of Physicians, London, is currently on display at Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 until 28 September 2012.

The exhibition consists of a series 17th-19th century portraits of disabled individuals. Some of the images are self-portraits such as one of artist Matthew Buchinger (see image right) . Others featured include the first Siamese twins ‘Chang and Eng Bunker’ (1811-74), an image of the ‘giant’ Chang Yu Sing (1847-93), a print of John Boby who had  vitiligo (skin disorder) titled ‘the wonderful spotted Indian’, and several portraits of parasitic twins.

Right: Self-portrait by disabled artist Matthew Buchinger (b. 1647). Image Copyright Royal College of Physicians, London

Where Were You?

Where were you A very important and fascinating book was published this year, "Where Were You? Dublin Youth Culture & Street Style 1950-2000" by Garry O'Neil and Niall McCormack.

The book is a compilation of photographs documenting social and fashion scenes in Dublin. What sets this book apart is that there are no staged fashion shoots or celebrities, just amazing photographs of everyday people wearing what was in style and ordinary people with extraordinary style.

It's a very intimate account of street culture in Dublin. This feeling of intimacy is directly linked to the way in which the material was sourced. Posters were hung up in cafes, bars and shops around the city asking people to send in photos, rather then all the material being collected in newspaper archives.

Tom Crean

In a small village in County Kerry called Annascaul, there is a pub called "The South Pole Inn". It is an unusual name for a pub found in a small village in Ireland, thousands of miles away from the Antarctic. But the pub has direct links to Tom Crean, the man who originally owned it.

Tom Crean

An unsung hero, Tom Crean - Antarctic survivor by Michael Smith

Tom Crean was born on 20th July 1877, near Annascaul. He was one of ten children. Times would have been hard on the farm and Tom Crean officially enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1893. He had not yet celebrated his sixteenth birthday.

JSTOR at Dublin City Public Libraries

JSTORJSTOR is a comprehensive online resource that spans a variety of topics. Access to The Ireland Collection – JSTOR can be accessed at Dublin City Public Libraries free of charge. The Ireland Collection is an interdisciplinary collection of journals and other materials. The Collection contains titles and resources across the arts, humanities, and sciences in disciplines such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. Materials span from the 1780s to the present.

Find out more about this and other research materials available at Dublin City Public Libraries

Whether you want to satisfy your curiosities, increase your content knowledge or for personal research the information is at your fingertips. For example you can find a copy of every Dublin Historical Record article ever written since 1834. Students can access further information to assist their studies. Researchers who may not have access to journal databases will find a wealth of information available.

Spotlight: Muriel Spark

Muriel SparkMuriel Spark (1918-2006) wrote psychological novels, usually set in respectable, middle-class environments but dealing with the darker side of human nature. Her writing is wonderfully economical, so that, though her novels are mostly short, they manage to convey a lot.  Chronology isn’t an important feature: they leap backwards and forwards in time, and you often know the ending at the start, or at least you think you do. Here’s a taster of some of her better-known works.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is probably Spark’s best known work, and one of her best creations. The magnificent and monstrous Miss Brodie teaches her classroom of girls about the art of life and love, while battling against the narrowness of her world, her loneliness, and of course her own prime.

Dublin remembers 'Bang Bang'

'Bang Bang's' Key On 3rd Feb 2011, The Lord Mayor Gerry Breen presented Dublin City Archivist, Dr. Mary Clark with a key that belonged to Thomas Dudley (affectionately known as 'Bang Bang'). Thomas Dudley was a big fan of cowboy films and in the 1950s and 60s he travelled all over Dublin staging mock shoot outs with people using a large church key as his 'gun'.

Bang Bang“Bang Bang was a great and entertaining character from Dublin.  Many people remember his energy and his love of fun and humour.  This year marks the 30th anniversary since his death and I think that it is very fitting that his key will now remain in safe keeping in the city he gave so much joy to,” said the Lord Mayor.

Left: Click thumbnail to see larger image.

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