The Sister Patricia Lahiff Photographic Collection
Just before the pandemic shutdown in March 2020, Sister Patricia Lahiff signed over her vast collection of personal photographs to Dublin City Library and Archive in Pearse Street, to be safely stored and eventually digitised.
The story of Molly Malone, the famous Dublin fishmonger, is immortalised in the song of the city. Her statue, in Andrews Street, is one of the most visited by tourists to Dublin.But behind the romantic image of Molly Malone is the sad reality that early death from disease and unsanitary living conditions was a feature of Dublin life for many, particularly in the late 1800s and early 1900s.When Charles Cameron was appointed by Dublin Corporation as Chief Medical Officer in charge of Public Health in 1876, - a position he was to hold for some 50 years - he had a challenging workload in addressing the many issues directly related to disease and poverty in the city at the time. These were issues close to his heart, having lost two young sons to typhus in the early years of his married life.Cameron prioritised improvements in housing conditions, going as far as closing down housing he felt was unfit as dwellings. He published many papers on topics such as sanitation and hygiene, whilst encouraging improvements in diet and nutrition, especially for those in poorer circumstances. One famous initiative from 1911 was the ‘3d per bag’ scheme for the capture of house-flies. These bags were deposited in the Corporation’s facility in Marrowbone Lane. As public health improved under his tenure, the death rate in Dublin associated with infectious diseases dropped from 9/1000 to 1.3/100 in 1919.When six cases of smallpox were reported in Dublin in December 1902, fearing an epidemic, Cameron established the Pigeon House Isolation Hospital in early 1903. This could accommodate fifty patients, and later became a tuberculosis sanitorium. Cameron also designed a fever ambulance to transport patients which was copied by health authorities in Europe.Charles Cameron died in 1926 and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery Dublin. However, his memory lives on in two housing developments in the city, Cameron Street off Cork Street, and Cameron Square in Kilmainham, both in Dublin 8.Blog post by: Catherine Scuffil, (former) Historian in Residence, Dublin South Central, Dublin City Library and Archive.
‘A Christmas Spectacle: The Story of Panto in Dublin’ Exhibition
Dublin City Library and Archive is pleased to present its latest exhibition which launches on Wednesday 6th November at 6pm in Pearse Street Library. The exhibition will be opened by Joe Conlan, who plays Widow Twankey in this year’s Gaiety production of Aladdin.It takes audiences down memory lane with material relating to the Theatre Royal and the Queen’s Theatre, as well as from the collections of Jimmy O’Dea, Vernon Hayden, Cecil Sheridan and Noel Purcell. This colourful exhibition traces the history of the pantomime tradition in our capital city, through the stories of its theatres and its entertainers.There will also be lots for the younger audience with features on more recent heroes, such as Twink, Jedward and Joe Conlan. There will be costumes and props, film, events and prizes.The exhibition will be based in the Dublin Room of Pearse Street Library (138-144 Pearse Street) and will open to the public on Thursday 7 November, running until the end of January 2020. Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 10am-8pm Friday-Saturday 10am -5pm and admission is free of charge.Free tours can be arranged for groups on demand. If you’d like to find out more about booking a tour, please email us at: [email protected] or call us on (01) 674 4997.
Irish nationalists drew parallels between their own struggle and that in India, particularly the brutality of colonialism. In mid-1919, the British government faced rebellion both overseas and at home. India was consumed with unrest as demobilised soldiers and economic recession created unstable conditions in the region, particularly the Punjab. On 10 April 1919, rioting began in the city of Amritsar, following the arrest and deportation of Indian national leaders. All meetings and public assemblies were banned in response to the violence; when a large crowd gathered at an enclosed public space known as Jallianwalla Bagh, British and Gurkha troops, led by General Reginald Dyer, opened fire without warning. At the subsequent enquiry in October, Dyer himself justified his actions by stating that it was ‘no longer merely a question of dispersing the crowd, but of producing a sufficient moral effect from a military point of view’ – in other words, setting an example.The image opposite, 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. At home, the campaign against British rule in Ireland commenced with an ambush on a police patrol in Tipperary in January 1919, the same day the First Dáil met at the Mansion House in Dublin.Dyer was eventually dismissed from the army but commanded widespread support in the UK, with one MP suggesting that he be sent to Ireland to use similar methods to defeat Sinn Fein. Another warned that the same would soon happen in Ireland: as the Marquess of Crewe said, ‘for "Amritsar" read "Limerick" or "Ennis," or some town in the South and West, and conceive a precise repetition of the circumstances there.’Dyer was eventually dismissed from the army but commanded widespread support in the UK, with one MP suggesting that he be sent to Ireland to use similar methods to defeat Sinn Fein. Another warned that the same would soon happen in Ireland: as the Marquess of Crewe said, ‘for "Amritsar" read "Limerick" or "Ennis," or some town in the South and West, and conceive a precise repetition of the circumstances there.’Dublin Irish and Local Studies CollectionThe Dublin and Irish Local Studies Collection includes new and second-hand material on Dublin City and County covering a range of books, newspapers, periodicals, photographs, maps, prints, drawings, theatre programmes, playbills, posters, ballad sheets, audiovisual materials and ephemera. Library and archive material cannot be borrowed or removed from the Reading Room. Collections can be accessed by filling out request forms and can be viewed in the Reading Room only.Blogpost by: Bernard Kelly, Historian in Residence, Dublin City Library and Archive.
In 1921, the Leinster Football Association separated from the parent body, the Irish Football Association (IFA), and subsequently formed the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). Soccer had been governed on an all-Ireland basis for 40 years beforehand. The split that happened in 1921 remains to this day, unlike most sports in Ireland that are still governed on a 32-county basis. Although football was divided the same year that Ireland was divided politically by the partition of the country, the primary reason for the split was an internal power struggle between Belfast and Dublin. The IFA, headquartered in Belfast, was believed by the football community in the south to be biased towards northern based teams. Most players selected for the Irish international team were from Ulster-based teams.Of the 48 international matches held in Ireland before the split, only six were held in Dublin, all the rest were hosted in Belfast. Most members of the IFA Council and its sub-committees were from the north also, and the allocation of funding favoured Ulster clubs over others.Left, an image of the Shelbourne team from 1914. The catalyst that led to the split involved one of Dublin’s oldest clubs, Shelbourne. After Shelbourne had drawn against Lurgan-club Glenavon in an Irish Cup semi-final tie in Belfast in 1921, it was almost universally believed that the replay would be held in Dublin.The IFA Protests and Appeals Committee ruled it was too unsafe for matches to be played in Dublin due to the prevailing conditions caused by the War of Independence, and Shelbourne was ordered back to Belfast for the replay.The club refused to do so and was removed from the competition.The action was roundly condemned by the Leinster Football Association and all associated with the game in Dublin. It was the spark that led to the division months later. Many attempts were made from 1921 to 1932 to re-unify the game in Dublin, all failing, leaving soccer in Ireland today divided, as it is politically, north and south.Blog post by: Cormac Moore, Historian in Residence, North Central Area.
Dublin Festival of History returns for it's seventh year and takes place from the 1st October to the 21st October. This year’s Festival will see over 150 walks, tours, exhibitions and talks take place across 65 venues in the city. The Festival is an initiative of Dublin City Council, and all events are free and open to the public.The Festival will culminate with a ‘Big Weekend’ of talks at the Printworks, Dublin Castle, taking place Friday 18th October to Sunday, 20th October. The best-selling author of Wild Swans, Jung Chang, radio presenter and author Joe Duffy, and popular historian and TV presenter Dan Jones have been announced as part of the line-up. Commenting on the launch of the full programme of events, Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens, said: “The Festival of History has been growing year on year, reflecting Dublin City Council’s commitment to preserving and promoting the history and heritage of our capital city and striving to make history accessible to all.”“History is all around us – in our built environment as we walk through the streets, in the stories we tell and the particular phrases we say. This year’s Festival will bring alive the multi-faceted nature of history, from the impact of political decisions such as the partition of Ireland, or the building of the Berlin Wall, to the story of Lemon’s sweets, the Periodic Table, to how Constance Wilde helped women to start wearing trousers."Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul McAuliffe, said: “Since it began in 2013, the Festival has gained a reputation for attracting world-class, best-selling historians of national and international significance, and 2019 is no different. We look forward to welcoming speakers such as best-selling authors Jung Chang, Tom Holland, Dan Jones, and more to Dublin to share their knowledge and join us in a celebration of history – how it has shaped who we are, and its significance in shaping who we become."If you have an interest in history you can’t miss this Festival and remember, all events are free!Search upcoming lecture/talks here.
The Dublin City Library and Archive holds a beautiful image of the old Weaver’s Hall on The Coombe Dublin, a building still fondly remembered by older citizens in the area. The image shows a dignified guild hall, with a statue of King George II by Van Nost holding shuttles and other implements used in the weaving process set in an alcove above the main entrance. Although the Weaver’s Hall is long gone, there is still a lot of evidence of this once major industry that existed in this area over a 1,000 year timespan. The most obvious are various placenames. Weaver’s Square off Cork Street, and the adjacent Ormond Street commemorated both the Huguenot weavers who settled here in great numbers from the late 1600’s and the man who invited them over, the Duke of Ormond. Nearby Newmarket was constructed in the 1670’s by the Earl of Meath in response to this rapidly growing industry, to facilitate trade in wool, hides and flax and also the finished products. The Earl also included space for his own market, and this added to the unique shape and layout of Newmarket, still with us today.Above: Illustration showing statue of George II in niche on first floor facade.Earlier evidence of weaving has also been found in recent archaeological excavations prior to new developments in The Liberties. Items from the Hiberno-Norse era, such as whorls, spindles, weights and bone needles have been found, together with evidence of a thriving cap and scarf/shawl industry in both wool and dyed, watered silk - an indication of ‘high status’ - being found.Above: Framed painting of Weaver's House in the Liberties by Rose Barton.The imposition of tariffs and taxes on the Dublin weavers eventually caused the slow decline of this tradition, but not before it re-invented itself into other related industries. The manufacture of poplin gave way to a significant upholstery industry, providing seating, padding and also lace for carriages, the mode of transport at the time. Later, with the coming of the motor-car, a thriving industry arose specialising in ladies and gents motor scarfs and mufflers. Frys of Cork Street also announced that it was possible to get the latest in bow-ties to finish the ensemble!Above: Horse-drawn Omnibus, Westmoreland Street, Dublin (circa 1865). Courtesy: National Library of Ireland (Original)Today, there is a renewed interest in this oldest of trades, with the Botany Weavers – the one remaining company near Dolphin’s Barn who operate from premises that once housed the City Woollen Mills and who are key suppliers to Aer Lingus and City Jet, recently announcing an expansion to its business, thus continuing a tradition of 1000 years of weaving in this area.Blog post by: Cathy Scuffil, Historian in Residence,Dublin South Central.
Last May, I was delighted to attend the Dublin launch of a book entitled 'Essays by an Irish Rebel: revolution, politics and culture' by Liam Ó Briain. A very enjoyable read, the book features twenty-five essays by the Dublin academic and revolutionary Liam Ó Briain (1888-1974), all of which were published in Irish from 1934 to 1968, as well as three appreciations of the author.All have now been edited and translated into English by Eoin Ó Dochartaigh, a retired doctor from Galway who graduated from University College Galway (now NUI Galway) and knew Ó Briain as a family friend.Above: Eoin Ó Dochartaigh speaking at the launch of his edited book 'Essays by an Irish Rebel: revolution, politics and culture', at the Mansion House in May 2019.The launch inspired me to read 'Insurrection Memories 1916', a complimentary volume described by historian Owen Dudley-Edwards as ‘a rich memory of a great man’. This personal account of the Easter Rising was first published in Irish in 1951 as 'Cuimhní Cinn'. In 2014 Fran O’Brien, the author’s grand-niece, translated the work into English and published it as a bilingual volume. Two years later, to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, Ó Dochartaigh then brought out a new translation. Like 'Essays by an Irish Rebel', this was published by Ardcrú Books in Galway.Above: Undated postcard showing the entrance to St. Stephen's Green Park. Courtesy of Dublin City Library & Archive. [PCV04-90] Access over 40,000 images and postcards in the Dublin City Libraries and Archive Digital Repositary .'Insurrection Memories 1916' is an intimate account of what Liam Ó Briain observed while participating in the Easter Rising. The book begins in 1914, with Ó Briain returning to Ireland after spending three years studying on the continent (mostly Germany). Joining the Irish Volunteers, Ó Briain also became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood the following year and went on to take part in the Easter Rising. As a member of F. Company of the First Battalion of the Volunteers, Ó Briain had been scheduled to join the Four Courts garrison under the command of Ned Daly. However, after getting waylaid carrying out messages for Eoin MacNeill on the morning of Easter Monday, he found himself instead spontaneously joining the Stephen’s Green garrison with his friend Harry Nicholls.During the Rising Ó Briain impressed Captain Bob de Couer of the Irish Citizen Army enough to be promoted to the rank of Corporal. Afterwards he was among those imprisoned in Wandsworth Common prison in London until late June, and Frongoch Camp in North Wales until Christmas 1916 (which he later described as ‘the best university’ he ever attended). Ó Briain stood as a Sinn Fein candidate in Armagh during the 1918 General Election and was imprisoned in Galway during the War of Independence. A native of Dublin, he would go on to serve as Professor of Romance Languages at University College Galway from 1918 to 1959.Above: Photograph of the College of Surgeons taken after the Easter Rising to show 'where Countess Markievicz surrendered'. Courtesy of Dublin City Library & Archive. [BOR F34-18]Blog Post by: Dr. James Curry, Historian in Residence, North West Area.
Down the years Jacob’s Biscuits introduced new products on a regular basis. Some did not survive the court of consumer taste while others, like Cream Crackers and Fig Rolls, remain proven favourites. From time to time the more popular products got a new label, updated to reflect the style of the time.Follow the changing face of your best-loved biscuit in the Changing Face of Jacob's Biscuits Image Gallery.If you can contribute any missing packages we’d be delighted to hear from you. Get in touch on twitter @DCLAReadingRoom or email [email protected] images in this Image Gallery form part of Jacob's Biscuit Factory and Dublin: An Assorted History exhibition on display at Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street until 8 November 2017. Drawing on the vast Jacob Biscuit Factory Archive held at Dublin City Library and Archive, this major exhibition explores all aspects of the factory’s twentieth century history and its impact on lives of Dubliners.
Anne Kennedy was a notable poet, writer, and photographer. She was born Anne Spaulding on 19 March 1935 in Los Angeles, California to Beatrice Clarke and Easton Spaulding. She attended the prestigious Marlborough School in Beverley Hills as Anne Hoag after her mother’s marriage to her second husband, Hallack Hoag. At age 16, Anne went to study English at Stanford University. In 1955, she married Donald Nealy, with whom she had two daughters, Allison (1956) and Catherine (1957). After her divorce from her first husband, Anne returned to Los Angeles where she met her second husband, Lewis Judd. They married in upstate New York in 1961 and had a daughter, Stephanie, in 1963, by which time they had moved back to Los Angeles. During the 1960s, Anne worked as a high school teacher and lived in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles. As a lifelong lover of jazz, together with her close friend and jazz trumpeter Rex Stewart, she interviewed many jazz musicians living in the L.A. area during this time. The oral material they gathered was contributed to the Duke Ellington archive at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. in 1993.View Anne Kennedy Photographic Collection Image Gallery.In the early 1970s, Anne moved to Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest with her then partner, Mark P. J. Kennedy. Anne and Mark had a daughter, Maura, in 1973 and a son, Miles, in 1974, during which year they were married. She also gained two step daughters, Deirdre (1957) and Serena (1968) Kennedy, through her third marriage. Her first book, Buck Mountain Poems (Salmon Poetry, 1989), was a poetic study of her experiences living on Orcas Island. The book was illustrated by her daughter Allison.In 1977, Kennedy and her family moved to Salthill in Galway, the birthplace of her husband, Mark. She began to take an interest in photography after taking a night class in 1982. She would often take photographs of the people, establishments, and buildings of the west of Ireland. She found the traditional culture of Ireland to be fascinating, as it was vastly different from the culture she grew up with back in the United States. Her continued interest in literature inspired her to create three photographic series in the years between 1982 and 1984: Irish Proverbs; Molly Bloom; and Finnegans Wake. Kennedy got the Irish proverbs she used for these collections from her daughter Maura’s third class teacher, Sr Donatus, who was a native Irish speaker from the Donegal Gaeltacht. The Finnegans Wake series was exhibited in Kenny’s Art Gallery in Galway and in Manhattan College in New York City.Kennedy joined the Galway Writers’ Workshop in 1985, where she encountered many prominent Galway writers including Rita Ann Higgins, Moya Cannon, Joan McBreen, and Eva Bourke, among many others. Kennedy’s work was published in a wide variety of journals in Ireland, including The Salmon, The Honest Ulsterman, and Fortnight. She was also published in American journals, including Southern Humanities Review and Free Lunch. Her second book of poetry, The Dog Kubla Dreams My Life (Salmon Poetry, 1994) reflects on her experiences in both America and Ireland. R.T. Smith, award winning American poet, fiction writer, and editor, had this to say about the book:"The quietly dazzling poems of The Dog Kubla Dreams My Life result from scruple, craft and a compassionate vision of the human predicament across decades and on both sides of the Atlantic, as Anne Kennedy continues to compose that rare species of poems that cannot be written quickly but must be lived image by image, and which comprise a powerful witnessing to sorrow and sanctuary. Her words shimmer with an excitement at once beautiful and wise, and which I believe will be with us for a long time."Kennedy was also a regular contributor to RTE Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany, an Irish program that has regularly featured essays, poetry, appreciations, and travel writing since 1968. She also taught creative writing in the 1990s in the Galway Arts Centre. There, she helped to encourage many contemporary west of Ireland poets, including Tom French and Sarah Clancy. She also won the Cuirt International Poetry Festival Prize in 1988. Kennedy died on 29 September 1998 and is buried at Rahoon Old Cemetery in Galway.The photographs in this collection were taken by Anne Kennedy in the 1980s and 1990s. They often feature “characters” from the western counties of Ireland—unique individuals who caught Kennedy’s interest. Kennedy was fascinated by traditional Irish culture and as such would often take photographs of the traditional shops, trades, and performers she encountered across Ireland.About the Anne Kennedy Photographic CollectionThe collection also features material pertaining to notable people, events, and locations in Irish history, culture, and literature. It contains photos of prominent Irish writer and poet Rita Ann Higgins and the opening night of her play, Face Licker Come Home, which premiered in 1991 at the Punchbag Theatre in Galway City. The collection also includes several photos of Eugene Lambe, a well-known traditional Irish musician and instrument maker, at his Fanore Schoolhouse workshop in Co. Clare. Many photographs of Rahoon Flats (1972-1998), a large and notorious Galway public housing apartment complex, are also featured in the collection. Photographs of the work and home of sculptor John Behan, best known for his works Famine Ship (1996) and the Flight of the Earls Monument (2007), are also included in the collection. An image of protestors regarding the 1980-1981 Hunger Strikes is also featured in the collection.Also included in the collection are photographs of Tigh Neachtain Bar; Kenny’s Bookshop and Art Gallery; Corcomroe Abbey; the Galway Early Music Festival; the Fishery Watchtower Museum; and buildings and people from Co. Galway, Co. Dublin, Co. Clare, and Co. Mayo.The photographs in this collection were provided to the Dublin City Library and Archive by Anne Kennedy’s children, who we thank greatly for their time, knowledge, and generosity.This gallery was created by Alicia Rosenthal, who interned with the Dublin City Library and Archive in the summer of 2017 through EUSA. Alicia is an undergraduate student at Boston University studying English and History. She hopes to go on to get her Masters in archival preservation or to pursue a Ph.D. in literature. She would like to give her thanks to Dr. Enda Leaney for all of his support and guidance and for allowing her the opportunity to intern with the Dublin City Library and Archive.We apologize for any errors regarding the information in this collection. Corrections will be made as we are made aware of them.View more photos from the collections of Dublin City Library and Archive at digital.libraries.dublincity.ie/vital