local studies

Online Databases Launched

City SealLast Wednesday (26th August) saw the formal launch of a new website hosting a range of databases totalling over 5 million records. The databases are useful for genealogy, local history and social history. Many of the databases were previously available and searchable separately on dublinheritage.ie, but the new site - databases.dublincity.ie - allows for integrated and enhanced searching while also giving access to an even greater number of databases.

On this Day... Rathmines Township Created

Rathmines PostcardThe Rathmines Township was created on the 22nd July, 1847, by Act of Parliament. In 1862 the townlands of Rathgar and Sallymount (the latter comprising present-day Ranelagh) were added to the renamed Rathmines and Rathgar Township. The Township was further extended in 1866 to include townlands in Uppercross, while Milltown was added in 1880.

Originally the Township was governed by Commissioners, who felt they needed a place where they could meet and conduct their business. Their first house was at 71 Rathmines Road, so it really became the first town hall.

Jacob’s Biscuit Factory and the 1916 Rising

Bishop Street Factory[Update, 24 Nov 2015: Due to data protection reasons, information from Jacob's Biscuit Factory employee records which are less than 100 years old, will  be made available to direct family members only.  All requests regarding individual employees should be sent to cityarchives@dublincity.ie in the first instance. The cataloguing project will be completed by the end of December 2015 and we will start processing the email requests in January 2016.]

As part of its varied programme of activities for the Decade of Commemorations, Dublin City Library and Archive is currently in the process of cataloguing the records of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory which was acquired by Dublin City Archives in 2012.  Here is a sneak preview of some of the records which have thus far been identified which relate to the Easter Rising of 1916 and the occupation of the factory:

SEE IMAGE: Advertisement showing Bishop Street Factory,  Undated ©Valeo Foods, DCLA/JAC/09/241

On this day in 1879... Statue Unveiling

Sir John Gray24 June 1879 – A marble statue, by Thomas Farrell, of the late Sir John Gray, M.P. (1815-1875), was unveiled in Sackville Street, Dublin, with the inscription 'Erected by public subscription to Sir John Gray Knt. MD JP, Proprietor of The Freeman’s Journal; MP for Kilkenny City, Chairman of the Dublin Corporation Water Works Committee 1863 to 1875 During which period pre-eminently through his exertions the Vartry water supply was introduced to city and suburbs Born July 13 1815 Died April 9 1875’.

UNESCO Biosphere Status for Dublin Bay

Bull IslandDublin Bay has been awarded a Biosphere designation by UNESCO in recognition of its unique ecological and cultural status. The Biosphere designation previously related to the Bull Island only but the awarding of Biosphere status to all of Dublin Bay means the designation now extends to an area of approximately 300km2. Read the full announcement...

#LoveDublinBay

To mark the occasion, we take the opportunity to reproduce here the following from askaboutireland.com © Dublin City Public Libraries.

Decisive battle at Waterloo

Waterloo headlineBrussels Monday 19 June 1815

News is just coming in of a major battle between the English and French which has taken place in the countryside south of Brussels. The battle site centred on Mont-Saint-Jean near the village of Waterloo.

Since his escape from Elba earlier in the year and his astonishing overland march through France to Paris, the Emperor Napoleon, has once again threatened the peace of Europe. He fielded an army of some 72,000 soldiers, among them his battle-hardened old Guards. The Emperor could be seen on his distinctive white mare, Desirée, inspecting his troops before the battle was commenced, and at intervals throughout the battle galloping across the field of slaughter.

Yeats in Translation

Swedish translationThe Dublin City Library's Collection of W.B. Yeats's books holds about 200 translations which I have gathered together during my work on a new bibliography of his writings

W.B. Yeats's works have been translated into and published in dozens of languages, four dozen plus one and a couple of dialects at my present count, and maybe more we don't know about. The alphabetical list looks impressive -

The funerals of W. B. Yeats, 1939 and 1948

WB YeatsWilliam Butler Yeats (1865-1939), poet and dramatist, senator of the Irish Free State, Nobel Prize laureate, founder of the Abbey Theatre and guiding light of the Irish literary revival, died at Rocquebrune, in the hills above Monaco, in the South of France on 28 January 1939. Yeats was a delicate child, and as an adult he suffered from a series of complaints; on medical advice his spent many of his winters in Italy and the South of France from 1927 onwards. In the winter of 1938 he left Ireland for the Riviera as his health was failing, and his death occurred the following January. His funeral and burial took place at Rocquebrune.

Yeats Collections at Dublin City Library & Archive

WB YeatsIn this the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) people from around the world will be reassessing the contribution to world cultural heritage made by William Yeats and by other members of his family. Dublin’s libraries and galleries are very well furnished with the artistic output of the family, from the world-renowned poetry of William, to the paintings of his father John Butler Yeats (1839-1922), the exquisite paintings and drawings of his younger brother Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957), and the stunning hand-printed books, broadsides and greeting cards published by his sisters Susan Yeats (1866-1949) and Elizabeth Corbet Yeats (1868-1940) at the Dún Emer and Cuala presses. The National Gallery holds a renowned collection of Jack Yeats drawings as well as some of his finest paintings and the National Library hosts the fine Yeats exhibition.

Dublin, June 1865

Sandymount AveWhat youthful mother, a shape upon her lap ... …
    ... Would think her son, did she but see that shape
    With sixty or more winters on its head,
   A compensation for the pang of his birth,
   Or the uncertainty of his setting forth?

Right: Sandymount Avenue (Courtesy: Google Maps)

So wrote W.B. Yeats in his poem 'Among School Children'. Did he have his own mother in mind, that shadowy figure, Susan Pollexfen Yeats, whose life was plagued by ill-health, the deaths of two of her children, and an unhappy marriage? What were her dreams, as she waited for the birth of her first child, in June 1865?

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