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.
No longer faceless or nameless – write the story of your First World War soldier
A long, long alphabetical list of 174,000 Allied soldiers who died on Belgian soil in the First World War; this is the new and emotive exhibit on display in Dublin City Library and Archive on Pearse Street until the end of March. The Assembly exhibit has been created by artist Val Carmen, for the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres. Consisting of a giant memorial book of the war dead and five old chairs from Passchaendaele Church, the exhibit is travelling around Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales to gather stories and mementoes of these dead soldiers.It is a very moving, tactile and sad exhibit. Unlike many museum exhibits which are locked behind glass cases, you can peruse this book; turn the well-thumbed pages (carefully!) to look at the names of the soldiers and also read the stories written by their relatives. Like the story of the three Doyle brothers from Ringsend who joined up to fight in Scottish regiments; they had emigrated from Dublin to Glasgow to work in the shipyards. These are my great-grand uncles and I stumbled across their story, handwritten in the Assembly book by someone, another relative, when the book was on tour in Scotland and England. This is the powerful resonance of this book - collectively remembering our dead relatives.The book is like a giant, sad scrapbook and in this way it mirrors wartime mourning rituals of 100 years ago. We know that many families who lost soldiers in the First World War used scrapbooks to memorialise them - collecting photos, newspaper obituaries, poems, letters, condolence messages from friends and army colleagues – so that their loved one would not be forgotten. The very act of collecting and creating the scrapbook helped the bereaved in their grief.The five old chairs from the destroyed and rebuilt Passchaendaele Church in Flanders represent each year of the war with the number of deaths in Belgium in each year etched on the chair. By far the greatest death toll is for 1917, the year of the Third Battle of Ypres, with a staggering 88,126 deaths. Many Irishmen died in Belgium in 1917 including the poet Francis Ledwidge and the MP Willie Redmond, brother of John Redmond. Val Carmen included the chairs in the exhibit to represent the emptiness that was present in so many homes after the war; the empty chair, which once was occupied, a simple and stark memorial to the loss of the soldier.Come along and browse through the Assembly book, write a note, bring a copy of a photograph of your soldier or a copy of a letter relating to him and we will put it in the book for you. Assembly will continue to tour in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England and your soldier’s story will add to this archive of remembering. Returning to the In Flanders Fields museum in Ypres in 2018, the book will be stored there forever….. imagine a researcher reading it in 100 years time on the 200th anniversary of the war…….If you would like to read more about the First World War and bereavement read Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. The collected essays in Our War are a good introduction to the First World War in Ireland.The exhibit will be in on view in Dublin over the next three months at three different locations:Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street from 4th to 30th MarchCity Hall, Dame Street from 1st to 29th AprilRichmond Barracks, Inchicore from 13th to 26th MayGuest blogger:Tara Doyle, Senior Librarian, Dublin City Public Libraries.Just one sad note:“Henry Vincent, Essex Regiment. Shot and wounded, to be sent home but killed in hospital awaiting transportation. Telegram sent home to say he was safe and on his way. Days later another sent to say he had been killed.”
1 July 2016 marks the centenary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme which lasted until November 1916. Over a million soldiers from both sides were killed during the carnage, which included over 3,500 Irish soldiers fighting for the Allies in World War 1.Image: Detail from DCLA/RDFA1.09.047A, photo of soldiers marching across war-torn area of the trenches & battlefield. Caption: "War 1914-15-16... in the Somme French Offensive Relieving the trenches at Dompierre" (see larger image).The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive held at Dublin City Library and Archive, includes the personal papers of various Irish soldiers who experienced the Battle of the Somme and all of its horrors. An exhibition based on these resources will be launched in our Dublin Room exhibition space in October 2016. Here's a sample of some of the remarkable stories that can be researched at Dublin City Library and Archive:Frank Gunning survived the Gallipoli Campaign 1915, despite being hospitalised for dysentery. He then transferred to the 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers where he was second lieutenant. In June 1916, Frank was sent to France, and wrote home to say:“Well, here I am in the thick of it – and talk about Suvla Bay – why this is a thousand times worse. The noise would put you astray in the head. Pray for us all dear, really it is an awful spot”He was killed during the Battle of the Somme and his body was never recovered.J. P. Flanagan fought on the 1st day of the Battle of the Somme. He was badly wounded and his left arm subsequently had to be amputated. Unable to return to active service, Flanagan was discharged and awarded a Silver badge to be worn on his civilian clothes to highlight that he had been wounded in service.Edward Brierley served with the 8th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and survived the entire Somme campaign. He received three awards than three certificates for bravery in the field, as well as the Military Medal, bestowed by the British Army for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire.Photo: RDFA/09/27 Edward Brierley seated, in uniformThe RDFA/ Monica Roberts Collection includes letters to Monica Roberts from Irish soldiers, depicting their first hand experiences of life in the trenches on the Western Front. Because of censorship, the soldiers do not always refer directly to the Somme. However our collection stored on Digital Repository Ireland, which contains digital images and transcription of letters, has both “keyword” and “browse by date” search functionality. By comparing the database with a soldier's World War I service records available from the Ancestery.com Database in our Reading Room, it is possible to identify soldiers which are serving along the Somme battle lines.George Soper is one such individual. His letter from 28 October 1916 vividly describes the battle landscape from ‘the hottest spot in France’‘we captured the German position But my God we had some fighting to do we used nothing else only bombs and bayonets. It was proper hand to hand fighting but thank God we came out alright. I never saw this country in such a state. The ground is absolutely ploughed up you could not walk for more than 3 yards without falling into a shell hole and it is next door to impossible to get up there in the night time. We are up at present in one of the hottest spots in France. The guns are about 1 foot apart from each other. I never saw such a number of guns in all my life’ [RDFA.01.04.11] Images from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive relating to the Battle of the SommeView images on flickr.
The first shots of what became known as the First World War were fired on 28th July 1914. Over the next four years of war over 200,000 Irish men served in the British Army. Dublin City Public Libraries & Archive will be marking the Great War and Dubliners’ role in it, drawing on our extensive collections with a series of events and exhibitions, reading lists and digitisation projects.Current and upcoming events and exhibitionsExhibition: Ringsend seamen in the Great War: 70 faces from 1918 - Cabra Library during the month of SeptemberMarch Away My Brothers: Irish Soldiers and their Music in the Great War - Rathmines Library on Monday 25th August at 6pm, and the Central Library on Thursday 28th August at 1pmStories from the Great War: the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive - Walkinstown Library on Monday 25th August 7pmHeritage Seminar focusing on the First World War at Sea - Dublin City Library & Archive on Friday 29th August 2-4pmDublin Festival of HistoryThe annual Dublin Festival of History which runs from 26th September to 8th October will feature talks and exhibitions on the First World War. Digitisation ProjectsOur first project is the online publication of the unique Monica Roberts Collection, which is held at Dublin City Library & Archive. Each item in the collection is now available to view online in the fully-searchable Monica Roberts Collection Database.The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive and the Monica Roberts Collection form just part of our extensive material relating to the First World War. We are adding to this collection, and this year Dublin City Archives have received significant donations to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive.A number of events and exhibitions drawn from these collections will be staged from 2014 on. Check Dublin City Public Libraries' Events Calendar for details of current events and exhibitions.Stories from the Great War: An exhibition at Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street, featuring material from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Archive, the Monica Roberts Collection, and other collections - October-December 2014.Dublin and the First World War: A programme of lectures in the Autumn City Hall Lunch-time Lecture series - October 2014.Letters from the Great War: A travelling exhibition of material from the Monica Roberts Collection - end 2014.Stories from Gallipoli: An exhibition at Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse Street, drawn from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Archive and other collections - March-May 2015.See AlsoRemembering Irish Men and Women who served in the First World War‘I met the boys in Gollypoly’ : World War I Collection
Dublin City Electoral Lists (1908-12, 1915) Available Online
We're delighted to announce that we've digitised another three years of the Dublin City Electoral Lists and, in addition to the entries for the years 1908, 1909 and 1910, the 139,552 entries for the three years of 1911, 1912 and 1915 are now fully searchable on databases.dublincity.ie - a great resource for family history, local history and social history, now containing 280,717 records.Access the Dublin City Electoral Lists (1908 to 1912, 1915) on databases.dublincity.ie.Photo: Hard copy restoration, before and after view. See slideshow below for more images.The original Dublin City Electoral Lists are looked after by the City Archives team at Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street. The Lists record the names of people resident in Dublin or who owned property there and who were registered to vote in local elections and parliamentary elections. The Lists were maintained by Dublin City Council on an annual basis: each roll was completed, printed and bound by Cahill & Co., Great Charles Street, Dublin; the roll was then issued on 31 December; and was then valid for the following calendar year.Organisation of original Dublin City Electoral Lists:Names are entered according to electoral ward, which in turn are entered in alphabetical order, i.e. Arran Quay Ward; Fitzwilliam Ward; Inns Quay Ward, etc. Voters are grouped within each ward according to category, i.e. Parliamentary and Local Government Voters; Freeholders and Leaseholders; Lodgers; and Freemen. Within each category, voters are listed street-by-street with streets being entered in alphabetical order. In order to validate the registration of each voter in each category, additional information is given, which can include type and description of accommodation; occupation; name of landlord; amount of rates or rent paid.Carrying out the digitisation project:Each page in the Dublin City Electoral Lists 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1915 has been scanned and digitized; the data created has been validated against the original roll; the data has then been moved into a purpose-designed and fully-searchable database with links to digital images of the original roll. The database can be searched free-of-charge on our databases.dublincity.ie website.In our Dublin City Electoral Lists project we plan to digitise all of the Dublin City Council Electoral Lists 1898-1916 - part of the City Council's activities during the Decade of Commemorations.
Dublin City Electoral Lists (1908-10) Available Online
We're delighted to announce that we've digitised another two years of the Dublin City Electoral Lists and the entries for the three years of 1908, 1909 and 1910 are now fully searchable on databases.dublincity.ie.Access the Dublin City Electoral Lists 1908 to 1910 on databases.dublincity.ie.Photo: Hard copy restoration, before and after view. See slideshow below for more images.The original Dublin City Electoral Lists are looked after by the City Archives team at Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street. The Lists record the names of people resident in Dublin or who owned property there and who were registered to vote in local elections and parliamentary elections. The Lists were maintained by Dublin City Council on an annual basis: each roll was completed, printed and bound by Cahill & Co., Great Charles Street, Dublin; the roll was then issued on 31 December; and was then valid for the following calendar year.Organization of original Dublin City Electoral Lists:Names are entered according to electoral ward, which in turn are entered in alphabetical order, i.e. Arran Quay Ward; Fitzwilliam Ward; Inns Quay Ward, etc. Voters are grouped within each ward according to category, i.e. Parliamentary and Local Government Voters; Freeholders and Leaseholders; Lodgers; and Freemen. Within each category, voters are listed street-by-street with streets being entered in alphabetical order. In order to validate the registration of each voter in each category, additional information is given, which can include type and description of accommodation; occupation; name of landlord; amount of rates or rent paid.Carrying out the digitisation project:Each page in the Dublin City Electoral Lists 1908, 1909 and 1910 has been scanned and digitized; the data created has been validated against the original roll; the data has then been moved into a purpose-designed and fully-searchable database with links to digital images of the original roll. The database can be searched free-of-charge on our databases.dublincity.ie website.In our Dublin City Electoral Lists project we plan to digitise all of the Dublin City Council Electoral Lists 1898-1916 - part of the City Council's activities during the Decade of Commemorations.
JSTOR is a comprehensive online resource that spans a variety of topics. Access to The Ireland Collection – JSTOR can be accessed at Dublin City Public Libraries free of charge. The Ireland Collection is an interdisciplinary collection of journals and other materials. The Collection contains titles and resources across the arts, humanities, and sciences in disciplines such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. Materials span from the 1780s to the present.Find out more about this and other research materials available at Dublin City Public Libraries. Whether you want to satisfy your curiosities, increase your content knowledge or for personal research the information is at your fingertips. For example you can find a copy of every Dublin Historical Record article ever written since 1834. Students can access further information to assist their studies. Researchers who may not have access to journal databases will find a wealth of information available."JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is an online system for archiving academic journals, founded in 1995. It provides its member institutions full-text searches of digitised back issues of several hundred well-known journals, dating back to 1665. Membership in JSTOR is held by 7,000 institutions in 159 countries. JSTOR was originally funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, but is now an independent, self-sustaining not-for-profit organization with offices in New York City and Ann Arbor, Michigan. In January 2009, it was announced that JSTOR would merge with Ithaka, a non-profit organization founded in 2003 and "dedicated to helping the academic community take full advantage of rapidly advancing information and networking technologies." (Wikipedia)JSTOR is an example of information storage and access that is required to protect the masses of information available. It was a solution for libraries to deal with the growing level of print journals that were in circulation. In the 2003 copy of JSTOR News (Issue 2 No. 7) Michael P. Spinella of JSTOR writes “Though there is not yet a complete tally at the time of this writing, it is believed that many thousands of artefacts, works of art, ancient manuscripts, and historic letters housed by the Iraqi National Museum and National Library have been destroyed or stolen. These works encompass some 2000 years of history and culture. We should take a moment to contemplate the enormity of these losses. Beyond this, we must act to guard against such tragedies in the future. The situation underscores the urgency of preserving history in as many places and forms as possible. Digitization cannot replicate the experience of an original work; nevertheless, digital copies are preferable to the calamity of total loss. In my first few months at JSTOR, I have encountered many people who share an awareness of the need to protect intellectual and cultural histories. JSTOR staff members demonstrate this commitment through their work to ensure the continued accessibility of the literature entrusted to us.”