History on Your Doorstep at your fingertips
Published on 1st October 2023
We are delighted to share the ‘History on Your Doorstep’ series with you, written by Dublin City Council’s Historians in Residence.
History On Your Doorstep Vol 6 launched on Sunday 1 October in the Printworks as part of The Dublin Festival of History. The book is written / edited by Mary Muldowney and Cathy Scuffil, Dublin City's Historians in Residence.
Pick up a copy in your local library while stocks last.
The opening chapter, by Alvean E. Jones, a member of the Deaf Community with a deep passion for preserving their rich heritage. Jones translates historical articles into Irish Sign Language and works as a museum guide at the 14 Henrietta Street Museum. Jones’s chapter is on the foundation and development of specialist education for deaf children in Dublin.
Catherine Scuffil writes an account of the Dolphin’s Barn Brick Company from its establishment in 1896 to its eventual closure in 1945. Mary Muldowney describes the housing crisis in Dublin in the final decades of the nineteenth century; a time when Dublin Corporation was more engaged with tackling the city’s slums.
Cormac Moore’s outlines the post World War I scheme to provide homes for British forces veterans; promised ‘Houses for Heroes’ on their return from the conflict.
James Curry’s looks at the 1923 FAI Cup Final in the aftermath of the Civil War. Alton United beat Shelbourne FC but were unable to defend their title.
Dervilia Roche elaborates on the Hidden Histories Hunt she devised for children and families. It's a self-guided treasure hunt with clues to historical artefacts and sites in the city. Instruction sheets are available from Dublin City Libraries! The treasure hunt is illustrated by children’s author John Farrelly.
Since 2017, the Dublin City Council Historians in Residence have worked in neighbourhoods across Dublin City to encourage local people to engage with history, and to promote its sources and discussion, especially the historical collections in Dublin City Library and Archive. They have also produced bite-size history books documenting key moments in Irish history – a series titled “History on Your Doorstep”.
Volume 5, the most recent edition, delves into the history of the Irish Civil War. An ash shower mistaken for snowfall caused by burning pyres of paper files at Dublin Castle; the painting of pillar-boxes from red to green across the capital; an attack in a small hamlet called Red Cow on the Naas Road; and the transformation of market gardens and allotments into the Irish Free State’s first public housing scheme, The Tenters in Dublin 8. These are just a sample of the fascinating vignettes contained in this book.
Other volumes in the series explore myriad aspects of Dublin’s fascinating history, with, for example, chapters that explore the legacy of architect Herbert Sims, why Lemon Street is called Lemon Street, and the colourful life and career of football player and manager extraordinaire, Patrick O’Connell, who played for Manchester United and went on to manage FC Barcelona. The books also mark significant events in Dublin’s history, with one volume dedicated to Bloody Sunday in 1920.
Dublin City’s dedicated Historians in Residence are James Curry, Cormac Moore, Mary Muldowney, Catherine Scuffil and Historian in Residence for Children Dervilia Roche. The programme is created by Dublin City Libraries and is delivered in partnership with Dublin City Council Culture Company.
Each of the History on Your Doorstep books (Vol 1-6) are available as an eBook from dublin.borrowbox.com and to download as a PDF below.
You can download copies of all six volumes below.
- Volume 1 (PDF) features chapters on suffragettes, the public housing architect Herbert Simms, the Monica Roberts collection of letters from First World War soldiers, a history of Edge Hardware in Fairview, Dublin railway workers, and William Spence and Sons foundry/engineering works on Cork Street.
- Volume 2 (PDF) includes chapters on St. Ultan’s hospital, the piper Seamus Ennis, Dublin Corporation and the War of Independence, a history of Lemon’s Sweets, disappearing workplaces of Dublin, and housing in the Liberties.
- Volume 3 (PDF) is a commemorative edition marking the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, 21 November 1920, with five chapters outlining the events of this terrible day in Dublin’s history.
- Volume 4 (PDF) the five chapters in this volume focus on different aspects of the city’s history.
- Volume 5 (PDF) reflects the research conducted by the four Historians in Residence and the Historian in Residence for Children into the events of the Irish Civil War.
- Volume 6 (PDF) Six stories of Dublin history written by the Dublin City Council Historians in Residence and the Historian in Residence for Children, and Dublin City Council Culture Company tour guide Alvean Jones.
History on your Doorstep is produced by Dublin City Libraries and is published by Dublin City Council as part of its Decade of Commemorations programme with the support of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.