Dublin City Libraries open for 'Browse and Borrow'
4 May 2021
From Monday, May 10, sixteen Dublin City libraries are open for browsing and borrowing from Monday to Saturday. At this point of a phased re-opening there will be no seating for reading or studying, and users are encouraged to keep their visit as short as possible, and to use the self-service kiosks or library app to issue and return items.
Women of the Brigade: St John Ambulance & The First World War
From working in munitions factories, V.A.D. nursing, supporting the war effort through charitable works, and leading the anti-conscription movement, World War 1 led to a multitude of different experiences for Irish women. In this talk Pádraig Allen looks at some women of St John Ambulance who contributed to the war effort during the First World War.Recorded at Dublin City Library and Archive on 17 April 2018.Listen back to Pádraig's talk:Pádraig Allen has been volunteering with St John Ambulance Ireland for seventeen years. In 2014, Padraig decided to focus on the organisations enormous efforts during the war and the turbulent period in Ireland. It was then he started researching professionally on Ireland’s oldest first aid teaching charity and in 2015, Padraig founded the St John Ambulance Archives. Since then Padraig has worked on number of centenary projects, lectured on this history of the Brigade, written a number of articles for several newspapers and spoke on RTE about some of the research he has unearthed. His next project includes the role of St John Ambulance during The First World War and The Sinking of the RMS Leinster.He is now volunteer Archivist and Project Manager for St John Ambulance Ireland.
Podcast: William Spence Engineering Works Cork Street
In this podcast ‘William Spence: A Victorian engineer in the right place at the right time’, Cathy Scuffil, Dublin City Council Historian in Residence, looks at the history of William Spence Engineering Works Cork Street. The Cork Street Foundry and Engineering Works of William Spence and Son was established in Dublin in 1856. It continued trading over two generations of the Spence family, with no small measure of success until 1930. The company was situated on a large, circa 3 acre industrial site located at 105 -109 Cork Street, Dublin, on a site that, until the early 1850s, had housed the tanning and currier business of a James O’Neill, who also had a residence at 26 Cork Street.It is generally accepted that the Spence operations that evolved over the years, should be ranked among the first and finest concerns of the kind in Ireland, devoted primarily to general engineering and steel foundry. The main achievements of the company were the construction of the Birr telescope and the little trains that served the Guinness brewery, and system that was in existence in living memory. A number of church bells located in the Liberties are also of Spence origin.Of interest were the houses constructed by William Spence for his employees at Spence’s Terrace, Cork Street and at Marion Villas – which was named for his much loved wife. Upon his sudden death in 1907, the business passed to his son Arthur. The company ceased trading in 1930. ‘Plant Life’ occupies the premises today. Image of Plant Life above from Google Maps.The Rathmines Township commemorated William Spence in a unique way which Cathy reveals during her talk. Recorded on 24 November 2017 as part of Explore Your Archive (18 - 26 November 2017). ‘Explore Your Archive’ campaign is an initiative of the Archives and Records Association of Ireland and UK which aims to raise awareness of archives, their value to society and the impact they have on individual lives.Thank-you for listening to the Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive Podcast. To hear more, please subscribe on iTunes or SoundCloud.
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.
Listen to Harold Clarke's charming account of restoring the beautiful Georgian building, no. 19 North Great George's Street. When Harold first viewed the house it was suffering from 180 years of dereliction but he recognised its beauty and bought it just three days later.In this illustrated talk, Harold outlines the challenges he faced during his faithful restoration of the house, its long history, and the delightful features he uncovered, most particularly its beautiful decorative plasterwork. The before and after photographs offer a fascinating insight into this most successful restoration process. I'm sure you will agree the results are splendid, from the beauty of the friezes and plasterwork in the drawing room and dining room, to the library room with its ceiling painted in the Dublin colours, the 100 stepped staircase, the entrance hall and the garden room.Recorded at Dublin City Hall on 24 August 2016 at Dublin City Archives' 'Living in Georgian Dublin' seminar. Part of Heritage Week 2016 programme.Restoration of no. 19 North Great George's Street by Harold Clarke - TranscriptAudio only:See Also: In his talk Harold mentions Conor Lucey's work on Michael Stapleton, which is available to borrow from our catalogue The Stapleton collection: designs for the Irish neoclassical interior (2007).
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.
Dublin 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.Printing the 1916 ProclamationListen to City Archivist Mary Clark talk about the Proclamation, which was typeset and printed by William O’Brien, Michael Molloy and Christopher Brady and tell the story of how the original signatures were chewed to a pulp by Michael Molloy (not Christopher Brady as wrongly stated on Nationwide).Printing the 1916 Proclamation transcript Conserving the ProclamationListen to Elizabeth D’Arcy share the exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking story of how she conserved the Proclamation. Hear how she painstakingly removed sellotape, washed, repaired and strengthened this hugely important document. You can view the conserved Proclamation in the Story of the Capital exhibition in City Hall. 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).Conserving the Proclamation transcriptListen to the talk while following the presentation:Audio only Elizabeth O’Farrell, the woman with the white flagListen to Ian Kelly, grand-nephew of Elizabeth O’Farrell talk about his great-aunt Elizabeth O'Farrell, her role in the 1916 Rising, her work as a midwife in Holles Street and her legacy. Listen to 'The Tricolour Ribbon' sung by Antoinette Heery (whose grand uncle James Heery was in the GPO with Elizabeth during the Rising) and to Ian reading Liam Mac Uistín's poem "We saw a vision". The talk is followed by Anne-Marie Kelly, Divisional Librarian at Dublin City Public Libraries, and a self-confessed Elizabeth O'Farrell fan, performing her original vignette 'Elizabeth Looks Back'.Elizabeth O’Farrell, The woman with the white flag - Transcript Photos of 1916 Proclamation
The Orchestra of St Cecilia Collection: 1995 – 2014
The Dublin City Public Library and Archive has recently acquired the Orchestra of St Cecilia Collection, deposited by manager/artistic director Lindsay Armstrong after his retirement and the dissolution of the company at the end of 2014. The collection comprises Armstrong’s comprehensive administrative records arranged chronologically with individual folders for each orchestral performance. It documents the detailed practicalities of managing an orchestra and putting on independent concerts. The collection includes proofs, drafts and final versions of concert programmes, posters, flyers, correspondence (letters, notes, cards, postcards, faxes, emails), programme notes, recordings, soloists and conductor’ biographies and headshots, press-cuttings, invoices, receipts, contracts, legal documentation, grant applications, sponsorship documentation and general handwritten administrative notes (e.g. budgetary calculations and lists of orchestral performers with their position). Access to the collection provides unparalleled insight into the processes involved in professional orchestra and event management from the turn of the twenty-first century through recession times in Dublin.Orchestra of St Cecilia Collection List (PDF 1.05MB) Cannot access PDF?--------------You can view here a random selection of programmes, flyers and posters by selecting from the side menu where they are presented in chronological order.PLUS the first two menu items - Bach Church Cantatas Highlights and Haydn Complete Symphonies Highlights are concert recordings featuring highlights from the Orchestra of St Cecilia.--------------About the Orchestra of St CeciliaDavid Brophy, ‘Orchestra of Saint Cecilia’, The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, ed. Harry White and Barra Boydell (Dublin: UCD Press, 2013), p.792. Reproduced with permission.Dublin-based chamber orchestra founded in 1995 following an Arts Council decision to relocate the Irish Chamber Orchestra to the University of Limerick campus. Membership is largely drawn from the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the remainder being engaged as freelance musicians, totalling up to 60 players. The orchestra gives approximately 25 performances every year, about half of which are engagements with choirs and other ensembles. Fees from professional engagements alongside ticket sales account for a substantial part of the orchestra’s funding, the balance coming from private sponsorship and donations. All managerial and administrative duties are borne by co-founder Lindsay Armstrong, former manager of the New Irish Chamber Orchestra (NICO), and former Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. The orchestra’s core activities have centred on complete cycles of Mozart’s piano concertos with Hugh Tinney (1996-8), Beethoven’s symphonies conducted by Barry Douglas (2002) and a remarkable cycle of the complete Bach church cantatas performed at St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street over a period of 10 years (2001-10). Other choral repertoire includes works by Monteverdi, Brahms, Bernstein and Karl Jenkins. Belfast-born conductor Kenneth Montgomery has directed concert performances of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and Don Giovanni (2006, 2008), employing an all-Irish cast at the National Concert Hall. The orchestra performed at the Amsterdam Summer Festival in 2000, and several concerts in the Bach Church Cantata series have been broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm. Brona Fitzgerald was appointed leader in 2005, succeeding the former leader of Nico, Mary Gallagher. In 2007 and 2009 the orchestra made extremely successful appearances with Neville Mariner. In 2011, the orchestra embarked on a project to perform the complete symphonies of Joseph Haydn in a five-year cycle of concerts at the new University Church, Dublin.About Lindsay ArmstrongManager/artistic director of the Orchestra of St Cecilia. Formerly oboist and cor anglais player with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, co-founder and manager of the New Irish Chamber Orchestra, general manager of the National Concert Hall and director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music.Further ReadingDavid Brophy, ‘Lindsay Armstrong’, The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, ed. Harry White and Barra Boydell (Dublin: UCD Press, 2013), p.30David Brophy, ‘Orchestra of Saint Cecilia’, The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, ed. Harry White and Barra Boydell (Dublin: UCD Press, 2013), p.792.Lindsay Armstrong, ‘Orchestra of St. Cecilia – An Elegy’, Sound Post: Newsletter of the MUI: Musicians’ Union of Ireland (Spring 2015), pp. 6-7Orchestra of St Cecilia (website): www.orchestrastcecilia.ieDr Catherine Ferris is a Researcher at the Research Foundation for Music in Ireland. Her work focuses on the contextual history of everyday musical life in Ireland and the use of archival materials for research. As a librarian and music cataloguer, she has worked on collections in the National Library of Ireland, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, The Abbey Theatre and the Dublin Institute of Technology.
2014 is the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf, which took place on Good Friday 23 April 1014. Commemorating Clontarf: the battle and its legacy was the theme of the City Hall lunchtime lecture series this April. It was standing room only at each of these popular lectures. So in case you missed them we are giving you the chance to listen back to two fascinating lectures. Dr Colm Lennon's lecture explores how the legend of Brian Boru and the battle of Clontarf has been adopted as a means of advancing different ideologies throughout Irish history, and how modern scholarly research using antiquarian sources and textual and scientific research are helping separate fact from myth. Dr Howard Clarke re-examines the reputation of Queen Gormlaith and Brian Boru while looking at the rules of marriage, and the bewilderingly complicated nature of the relationships between some of the key players in the battle of Clontarf.The City Hall lecture series is organised by Dublin City Archives. That Field of Glory: Historical and Antiquarian Perspectives on The Battle of ClontarfDr Colm Lennon, Emeritus Professor, Department of History, NUI MaynoothTuesday 1 April 2014.This lecture was chaired by by Oisín Quinn, Lord Mayor of Dublin.Transcript of That Field of GloryColm Lennon is professor emeritus of history at NUI Maynooth and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He has researched and published on Irish history, specialising in society and culture in the early modern period. Among his publications are The lords of Dublin the age of Reformation (1989), Sixteenth-century Ireland: the incomplete conquest (1994) and Confraternities and sodalities in Ireland: charity, devotion and sociability (2012). His work on Dublin includes the editing of Dublin, part II, 1610 to 1756 (2008) in the Irish Historic Towns Atlas (IHTA) series, Dublin’s civic buildings in the early modern period: the Sir John T. Gilbert commemorative lecture, 2009 (Dublin, 2010), and (with John Montague) John Rocque’s Dublin: a guide to the Georgian city (2010). A native of Clontarf, he has been advising on the organisation of the commemoration of the millennium of the battle in the locality. He is preparing, with the IHTA, a fascicle on the district for a new series on Dublin townships and suburbs, which will appear later in 2014. In addition, his history of Clontarf, entitled ‘That field of glory: the story of Clontarf from battleground to garden suburb’ is due to be published by Wordwell Books this spring.Queen Gormlaith, Brian Boru and The Northmen of DublinDr. Howard B. Clarke, Emeritus Professor, Department of Medieval History, UCDTuesday 8 April 2014Transcript of Queen Gormlaith, Brian Boru and The Northmen of DublinHoward Clarke is professor emeritus of medieval socio-economic history at University College Dublin and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He continues to teach an MA course on medieval Dublin in UCD. His Viking-related work includes Ireland and Scandinavia in the early Viking Age, edited jointly with Máire Ní Mhaonaigh and Raghnall Ó Floinn (1998), together with articles on Viking-Age Dublin, on other towns in that period, on warfare and on the question of the Christianisation of the Northmen. An essay on Gormlaith will appear in Sparky Booker and Cherie Peters (eds.), Tales of medieval Dublin, due to be published by the Four Courts Press in summer 2014. Dr. Clarke is currently preparing, with Dublin City Archaeologist Ruth Johnson, an edited collection entitled Before and after the battle of Clontarf: the Vikings in Ireland and Beyond, also to be published by the Four Courts Press, towards the end of this year. In addition he continues to work on the history of medieval Dublin, on the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, on Domesday Book, on Evesham Abbey (Worcestershire) and its cartularies, and on the Bayeux Tapestry. He is the Honorary Editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.