Twentieth anniversary of the passing of Éamonn Mac Thomáis
His videos have hundreds of thousands of views across YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, though he had never heard of any of them. He has inspired a whole new generation of social historians that were born after he died.
Sarah Cecilia Harrison: Artist, Social Campaigner, and City Councillor
Sarah Cecilia Harrison (1863-1941) was one of Dublin’s finest portrait painters but she also immersed herself in the political and social fabric of Dublin life, becoming the first female elected as a Dublin City Councillor in 1912.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Monica Roberts was a young upper-class woman who lived at Kelston, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin. Together with her friends, she set up a 'Band of Helpers to the Soldiers' to provide gifts and comforts to men at the Western Front, who were members of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers or the Royal Flying Corps. The group sent cigarettes and tobacco, socks and vaseline for tired feet, handkerchiefs, boot-laces, chocolate, peppermint, oxo and dried fruit. Monica Roberts included a letter with her gifts and the recipients replied to her, setting up a correspondence. The letters from the soldiers give a vivid picture of conditions at the Front, and also include comments on contemporary politics. Of particular interest are remarks from soldiers regarding the 1916 Rising. Included in the collection and available here online is Monica Roberts' contemporary diary from Easter Week 1916, which includes her eye-witness account of the Rising.The collection contains 453 letters from 56 soldiers, who are mainly from the lower ranks; there is only one letter from Monica Roberts. These letters were kept for many years by Monica's daughter Mary Shackleton, who gave them to Tom Burke M.B.E., Chairman of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association. Since 2005, the collection has been housed in Dublin City Library and Archive, as part of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive. We would be particularly interested in hearing from descendants of those soldiers featured in the collection, or indeed from anyone holding letters from Monica Roberts to the soldiers. Please e-mail [email protected] online publication of the Monica Roberts Collection is a Dublin City Council project, under the direction of Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian, Brendan Teeling, Deputy City Librarian and Dr. Mary Clark, Dublin City Archivist. Project management is by Ellen Murphy, Senior Archivist, Dublin City Archives. Initial arrangement and cataloguing of the collection was by the late Andrew O'Brien, while scanning of the collection is by Christian Keegan, both of Dublin City Archives. Each letter was carefully transcribed by Finola Frawley of Dublin City Archives, who also translated letters written in French. A guide to the collection was prepared by Lisa Murphy, Dublin City Archives Intern (2012). Preparation of the collection for online publication is by genealogist John Grenham, who provided full text searching, and linked the original documents to the transcripts.Dublin City Council is publishing these letters online as part of its programme for the Decade of Commemorations, 1913-1923.Access A Guide to the Monica Roberts Collection (pdf, 1.77mb)Also Monica Roberts: List of Letters (pdf, 389kb)
Dublin City Libraries will soon be looking for people to get involved in an exciting crowdsourcing project which will bring to life thousands of historical handwritten documents which tell the story of the City in the 19th century.
History Document of the Month: Lepracaun Cartoon Collection
Britain faced similar issues ruling Ireland and India: both had to be held to maintain British international credibility and independence movements in both were driven in large part by religion. Irish nationalists drew parallels between their own struggle and that in India, particularly the brutality of colonialism. The above below, from the satirical newspaper, The Lepracaun, compares British rule in the two countries: executions and burning of homesteads in Ireland, while India saw the brutal practice of execution by cannon, particularly associated with the British suppression of the rebellion of 1857. The cartoon is pointing out the dark side of British rule: the ‘Upas Tree’ of the title refers to a highly poisonous tree common to Asia, while the figure of John Bull piously reading the common book of prayer while surrounded by bones, death and destruction is an unsubtle reference to the hypocrisy of evangelical imperialism. History Document of the MonthEvery month the Dublin City Council Historians in Residence will be highlighting a document from Dublin City Public Libraries and Archives Digital Repository. An image of the selected document will be on display in branch libraries during the month.Historians in Residence are available to meet groups and schools, give talks, walks etc, run history book clubs and advise on historical research.