Brought to you by Dublin City Libraries and axis Ballymun, this multi-platform project is a celebration and a recognition of the city libraries and throughout the pandemic, we re-discovered the power of literature, music, art and culture as sources of entertainment and wellbeing.
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.
Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Local Studies, 2020 - 2021
Interested in local history and heritage? Looking for an evening course you can take even in the current pandemic? The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Local Studies will be offered by Dublin City Library and Archive, on Tuesday evenings from September 2020 until April 2021. Because of restrictions around COVID-19, the course will be taught online until Christmas using Zoom. If the situation permits, the course will be taught to the class in person at DCLA from January-April 2021.The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Local Studies is for those of us who want to learn more about researching local history and who would like to prepare a dissertation. The Course Tutor will be Dr. Seamas Ó Maitiú. Seamas holds an MA in Local History and has a Ph.D. for his thesis on the development of the Dublin suburbs in the 19th century.The course consists of 70 hours part time and will equip participants with skills in researching local history and in the preparation of a dissertation. The closing date for course applications is 5.00 p.m. on Friday September 4th, 2020.Dublin City Council offers two Bursaries for candidates taking the Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Local Studies, and closing date for bursary applications is 5.00 p.m. on Friday 21 August 2020. The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Local History Bursary Information (PDF, please download and print). Full brochure here (PDF)Contact us at [email protected] if you require any further information.
Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History, 2020 - 2021
The Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History will be offered by Dublin City Council, on Monday evenings from September 2020 until April 2021. The course consists of 70 hours part time and will equip participants with skills in the preparation and conduct of oral history projects, including best practice in the collection and archiving of oral history interviews.Please note that the course will be delivered online until Christmas 2020 and if the situation with COVID-19 has improved, it will then be delivered on a face-to-face basis at Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 (see brochure).The closing date for course applications is 5.00 p.m. on Friday 4 September 2020. Dublin City Council offers two Bursaries for candidates taking the Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History, and closing date for bursary applications is 5.00 p.m. on Friday 28 August 2020 (see Bursary application form).Contact us at [email protected] if you require any further information.
The Covid-19 pandemic, and the lockdown which has come with it, is an historic moment in the life of our city. As a result, Dublin City Library and Archive are eager to collect material that documents the experience of our city and those that reside within it.We know our city is made up of many people, having many different experiences at this time, and everyone’s experience is valid, so if you’re happy to share it, please do!In gathering material relating to a cross section of Dublin society at this time, we can ensure that our archive represents a true picture of how our city and its people fared during the pandemic.
In 1918, news started to filter through of a ‘mystery malady’, a ‘mysterious war disease’. It appeared to originate in Spain as it was first widely reported there, hence the name it has been called ever since, the Spanish Flu. Although, first reported in Spain, the disease probably originated in a different location. Regardless of its origin, the flu wreaked havoc across the globe, claiming the lives of at least 40 million people from 1918 to 1920. The true figure will never be known. It is estimated that one fifth of the world’s population caught the flu.The flu started to make its way to Ireland by the early summer of 1918. On 10 June, an ‘unusual outbreak of illness’ was reported in Belfast, mostly amongst soldiers and female factory workers. By the end of June, 200 cases were reported in Dublin, 60 children in one convent alone, 40 workers in a factory.The flu was described by some in Dublin as a plague by early July. Death numbers were started to filter through, 2 in Dublin, 5 or 6 in Lurgan, 100 in Belfast. There were numerous deaths in Derry. Several people were falling on the streets in Cork. The flu came in two forms, one a mild type of illness, the second more severe. Dying patients sometimes had temperatures as high as 109 degrees Fahrenheit, became unconscious and twitched frequently. They usually died between the sixth and eleventh days of the disease.From the middle of July, the first wave of the flu started to recede. When the second wave struck in October 1918, it was clear to most that the country was in the grips of a severe flu pandemic. Like the first wave, Leinster and Ulster were the areas most affected by the second wave. The second wave was far more destructive than the first. There were many reports of unimaginable horrors inflicted on whole families.There was a case of a man in Clontarf returning home after burying his two sons to find his wife dead too. In Enniscorthy in Wexford, 3 young children from the one family died on the same day. Schools in Dublin city and suburbs were severely affected and were closed down. Absenteeism was rife in businesses. October and November of 1918 saw a paralysis in trade.The second wave, the deadliest of the three waves, dissipated in most places in Ireland by the end of November. The third wave came in February 1919. In Gloucester Prison, Pierce McCan, 35 years-of-age, newly-elected TD for Tipperary East died from the flu on 6 March. There was very little consensus within the medical profession on what was the most effective treatment for the flu. A mixture of whiskey and hot water with sugar was the most widely available. Non-prescription medicines were in high demand as people self-medicated during the pandemic. Hugh quantities of tonics, cough medicines and poultices were sold by pharmacies. Bovril and other beef teas like Oxo were very popular too. Despite all the tonics promoted and sold, bed rest and nursing were still considered the best way of beating the flu.By the end of Spring 1919, the flu finally ran its brutal course in Ireland. It had caused huge devastation throughout the country. An official figure of 20,057 deaths were recorded as being caused by flu during the three waves, although this is likely to be a conservative figure. There were also a lot more deaths from pneumonia, an excess figure of 3,231 deaths from pneumonia in 1918 and 1919 which also can be attributed to the Influenza Pandemic giving a figure of at least 23,288 deaths directly related to the epidemic.Assuming the same for Ireland as the worldwide trend of a 2.5 per cent fatality rate, an approximate number of 800,000 Irish people caught the illness, about one fifth of the population. Taking excess pneumonia deaths into account, the figure was 900,000 people.Mortality in Ireland, like elsewhere, peaked in the mid-life period, between the ages of 25 and 34. There was a surprisingly strong correlation between the social classes of those who died, it was a socially neutral disease. It was more job-dependent than class-dependent. Those who worked with the public were more likely to catch and, therefore, die from the flu. The influenza pandemic, ultimately, left behind a trail of destruction in Ireland, affecting everyone in every county from all classes and creeds.Blog post by: Cormac Moore, Historian.
Local History Society Day at Dublin City Library and Archive
The Dublin and Irish Local Studies Collection is holding its 16th Local History Society Day on Saturday 21st March 2020. The event is being held in the Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street. This year's the event will run from 10.00am to 1.30pm. Four to five presentations will be hosted on the day. Any speakers who cannot be facilitated on the day will be invited to speak at the next Local History Society Day.The members of your group are invited to participate in Local History Society Day in the following ways: By sending members to attend the event as delegates. Download forms here and email [email protected] or Tel: (01) 6744999 By putting forward a speaker from the group to present a paper on the day. Three to four speakers will talk on the day, each one presenting a short paper no longer than 35 minutes. Proposals for a speaker and subject can be submitted on the forms above. Topics may include studies of local individuals, events or places, or any topic with a local history/heritage aspect. Proposals must be submitted by the 25th February 2020.If your group participated in Local History Society Day last year, we look forward to seeing you again, and if not, we hope you will take this opportunity to become involved. If you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected] or Tel: (01) 6744999.As Secretaries and Chairpersons can change over time we would be very grateful if you could confirm that the details we have for your society are correct and up to date and would amend any details as required.Please follow the link to find details of the upcoming schedule for March 2020.