A Great Night Out!

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WastersDublin is famous for many things, not least its nightlife. While many people imagine that Dublin’s international profile as a night spot only began with the establishment of Temple Bar, this selection of images from the Special Collections of Dublin City Public Libraries demonstrates that the fun didn’t start then. Fairs and taverns provided venues for entertainment from the Middle Ages and in the eighteenth century Coffee Houses were dens of political dissent and gossip. During that same century the theatres often saw more action in the pit than on the stage, or if throwing oranges at the actors was not to your taste you could while away the evening with a trip to a Charity Sermon. During the nineteenth century thrilling melodrama and wild vaudeville graced the Dublin stage and organisations such as the YMCA hosted lectures on the new advances in science. Going to “the pictures” became an important part of a Dublin night out in the twentieth century, but the city also played host to international luminaries such as Laurel and Hardy and The Beatles. And in the Dublin of the early 1980s you could get to a U2 concert for just £1.20!

View images from A Great Night Out! image gallery.

Further Resources

The following online resources can be accessed free of charge at your local library (access links via our NetVibes portal). Ask library staff for information and assistance.

  • Libraries and Archives Digital Repository: Digital records relating to Dublin, including photographs, postcards, letters, maps and ephemeral material. Highlights of the collection include the Fáilte Ireland Photographic Collection, Wide Street Commission Map Collection (1757-1851), the Irish Theatre Archive and the Birth of the Republic Collection, which comprises material from the period of the foundation of the Irish state.
  • Irish Times Digital Archive: This online archive service gives access to contemporary editions of the Irish Times from the mid-nineteenth century until the present.
  • Irish Newspaper Archive: This online archive service gives access to contemporary editions of the Irish Independent and a range of other newspapers.
  • The Ireland-JSTOR Collection: This online archive of academic articles can also be accessed free of charge at your local library.

For further reading, consult the Library Catalogue.

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