Dublin City Hall was the venue for our third Heritage Week event, our seminar ‘Living in Victorian Dublin’. This is the second in our annual series, the first was ‘Living in Georgian Dublin’ in 2016 and the next will be ‘Living in Restoration Dublin’ in 2018. Our five speakers each spoke on a different topic, in order to cover all aspects of the Victorian city. Michael Barry was our first speaker. Author of Victorian Dublin Revealed he gave an overview of the entire city, demonstrating how many buildings, both public and domestic, have remained from that era and introducing them through his own splendid photography. Our next two speakers, Dr. Susan Galavan and Dr Jacinta Prunty, formed exact opposites. Susan’s talk was based on her new book Dublin’s Bourgeois Homes: building the Victorian suburbs 1850-1901. The book is based on ten years of scholarship and is the first in-depth analysis of Dublin’s Victorian houses, looking at architectural form, internal organisation, building materials and landlord control all of which were referenced in her talk. Jacinta’s talk was about the Dublin Slums and her book of that title is a work which has been welcomed by geographers and historians alike. It gives a comprehensive and insightful account and analysis of Dublin’s inexorable transformation into a slum city; it provides a template for researchers in Irish urban history; and it awakens social historians to what they have to learn from the historical geographers. The shocking juxtaposition of comfortable bourgeoisie and desperate slum-dwellers, both living in the same small city, made for uneasy but necessary listening.Living in Victorian Dublin Seminar Playlist on YouTube:The first speaker after lunch was Elizabeth Smith, who is a graduate of the Certificate in Local Studies at Dublin City Library & Archive and founder of our Local History Alumni Group. Her topic was Belgrave Square: a microcosm of Victorian Dublin. Elizabeth set out the parameters for the square, its early developers, how the houses evolved from two stories to two stories over basement (according as occupiers found that they could employ servants) and finally, the development of the central square – which was only completed in the 1970s.The final speaker was Peter Costello. He is an author and editor, described by the American critic Robert Hogan as “a contemporary embodiment” of the “tradition in Irish literature of the independent scholar, who has an erudition embarrassing to the professional academic”. Peter is one of Ireland’s leading Joyceans and has written, edited or contributed to some thirty-seven books and is an authority on the history of the Catholic Church in Dublin. It was during the Victorian period that the greatest amount of church-building (both Catholic and Church of Ireland) took place. This was an outcome of the emergence of the Catholic middle-class who were anxious to proclaim their arrival as much as to proclaim their religion. Nevertheless, building styles varied widely, from the Byzantine (Newman University Church) to the neo-Gothic (John’s Lane) to the neo-classical (St Andrew’s, Westland Row). What remained a constant is that Catholic Churches still huddled in side-streets – a prime example being the Pro-Cathedral in Marlborough Street. This did not change much until the Catholic middle-class moved to the suburbs.Listen back to the talks on SoundCloud:A general theme which cropped up in all of the talks was that Victorian Dublin is somewhat neglected by comparison with Georgian Dublin but the large audience at the seminar indicated that this is beginning to change. We are most grateful to Dublin City Council for allowing us to use the Council Chamber for the seminar and we are grateful to our colleagues, Alastair Smeaton for taking photographs and Gillian Colton for recording the talks for online streaming & podcasting. The presentations can also be viewed at https://dublincity.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/302717
Listen to Liz D’Arcy talk about conserving the Wide Street Commission Maps. Hear how she painstakingly removed sellotape, cleaned, repaired and strengthened these important maps. Liz D'Arcy, Paperworks, Studio for Paper Conservation is qualified with an MA in Conservation of Fine Art on Paper. Liz is an accredited member of the 'Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic works in Ireland' (I.C.H.A.W.I) and a member of the 'Irish Professional Conservators and Restorers Association' (I.P.C.R.A).Between 1757- 1851, the Wide Street Commission had a major impact on the development of the city, transforming it from a medieval city to the Dublin we know today. Its function was to provide “Wide and Convenient Streets” for Dublin and it had extensive powers to acquire property by compulsory purchase, develop new streets, demolish buildings and impose design standards on building lots which were sold to developers. Dublin City Archives hold the Wide Street Commission Archives, which comprises maps, minute books and drawings. www.dublincityarchives.ieRead more about the conservation project and view Wide Street Commission map collection image gallery.Search and browse the Archive of the Wide Street Commission Maps online.Conserving Wide Street Commission Maps - TranscriptAudio only:Recorded at Dublin City Hall on 24 August 2016 at Dublin City Archives' 'Living in Georgian Dublin' seminar. Part of Heritage Week 2016 programme.Dublin City Archives is grateful to the Heritage Council of Ireland for funding under the Heritage Management Project Scheme 2016 to conserve 23 Wide Street Commission Maps in 2016. Conservation NoticeIn order to reduce handling damage and to ensure the long term preservation of these fragile maps, all researchers are requested to view the digitised images in the first instance. High-Res versions can be provided on request. Viewing of original maps is strictly by appointment only: please apply to [email protected] Please note: A minimum of 3 days notice is required to process your request and a maximum of 10 maps may be ordered per visit.
During Heritage Week we were fortunate to host award winning writer Cecil Allen's entertaining talk about the colourful history of The Queen's Theatre. In this recording, you can relive the drama of this famous theatre, meet some of the key figures who wrote and performed plays there and hear about the lively audiences who flocked there in their thousands. The Queen’s Theatre, located in Pearse Street was originally built in 1829 as the Adelphi Theatre. From its earliest days the theatre celebrated Ireland’s heroes and her historical characters. Figures such as St Patrick, Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet were some of the subjects portrayed in her plays. The Queen's was known as the home of Irish melodrama, and was associated with key figures of Irish melodrama, including Dion Boucicault, Ira Allen, P.J. Bourke, the first man to sing the Irish National Anthem. In this talk, we are privileged to gain a unique insight into playwright, actor and producer Ira Allen, Cecil Allen's grandfather. An influential player on the Irish theatre scene, Ira played St Patrick in the popular and innovative, 'Aimsir Padraig / In the days of St Patrick' (1919), notable for being the first bilingual Irish/English silent film. Recorded in front of a live audience in Pearse Street Library on the 24th of August 2016The Queen's Theatre - Transcript Browse books by Cecil Allen in the library catalogue.Irish Theatre ArchiveThe Irish Theatre Archive, held at Dublin City Library and Archive was founded in 1981 and now consists of over 250 collections, and 100,000 individual items. It includes collections deposited by theatres, theatre companies, individual actors, directors, costume and set designers, as well as theatre critics and fans. Collections can include theatre programs, handbills, posters, newspaper cuttings, stage managers books, production notes, costume and set designs, correspondence, administration files, scripts, photographs and recordings.