archives

Battle of the Somme: 100th Anniversary

Somme photograph1 July 2016 marks the centenary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme which lasted until November 1916.  Over a million soldiers from both sides were killed during the carnage, which included over 3,500 Irish soldiers fighting for the Allies in World War 1.

Image:  Detail from DCLA/RDFA1.09.047A, photo of soldiers marching across war-torn area of the trenches & battlefield. Caption: "War 1914-15-16... in the Somme French Offensive Relieving the trenches at Dompierre" (see larger image).

The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive held at Dublin City Library and Archive, includes the personal papers of various Irish soldiers who experienced the Battle of the Somme and all of its horrors. An exhibition based on these resources will be launched in our Dublin Room exhibition space in October 2016.  Here's a sample of some of the remarkable stories that can be researched at Dublin City Library and Archive:

Book Launch: Dublin Civic Portrait Collection

Dublin Civic PortraitOn Tuesday 14 June, at 7.00pm, 'The Dublin Civic Portrait Collection: patronage, politics and patriotism, 1603–2013' by Dublin City Archivist Dr. Mary Clark will be launched in the Oak Room of Dublin's Mansion House. Lord Mayor of Dublin Críona Ní Dhálaigh will officially launch the book and Professor Christine Casey, Department of the History of Art & Architecture, Trinity College Dublin will be a guest speaker.

Please join us to celebrate the publication of this unique and momentous book. Booking required in order to attend, please email info@fourcourtspress.ie.

9th June 2016 marks International Archives Day #IAD2016

Charter of Henry IIThe celebration is a global opportunity for archivists to connect with colleagues, donors, users, volunteers, partners and decision makers as well as the public at large. Archive services around the world will be tweeting using #iad2016 on International Archives Day, and we thought we would join in the fun at our twitter handle @dclareadingroom.

Image: Charter of Henry II 1171/72, the earliest Norman document in Ireland

Dublin City Archives has been providing an archive service to the city of Dublin since 1980 and has a acquired a huge number of archival treasures dating from 1171. The records relate to civic administration, theatre, archaeology, business, sport, landed estates, oral history and much more.  Researchers are welcome to delve into our collections at Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room under the watchful eye of Nelson’s Head. For those who won’t have an opportunity to visit us in person, we have created a slide show of some of our more unusual items:

North Strand Bombing, 75th Anniversary

Damaged buildingOn the eve of the 75th Anniversary of the North Strand Bombings, a set of files relating to compensation claims for property that was damaged or destroyed by the bombings  have been catalogued by Dublin City Archives and  can now be accessed by members of the public for the first time in our Reading Room.

The North Strand Bombing occurred on the night of 30/31 May 1941, when four bombs were dropped over the North Strand area by German aircraft. The impact of the bombing was strongly felt in the city of Dublin as it resulted in the death of 28 people, injured over 90 and caused the destruction of 300 houses.

Elizabeth O’Farrell and the 1916 Proclamation

1916 ProclamationDublin City Council holds an original 1916 Proclamation which belonged to Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell and was kindly donated by her family.  This Proclamation has been conserved and is now on display in The Story of the Capital exhibition at City Hall. To commemorate the family’s generosity, Dublin City Council held a seminar in the Council Chamber at City Hall on Monday 25 April 2016. We've recorded all three talks so you can listen back here if you missed this special event commemorating one of Ireland's most important documents and a truly remarkable woman.

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.

1916 Rising Elsie McDermid Letter

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)

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