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.
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.
Last October Dublin City Archives marked the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917 with a series of lunchtime talks at Dublin City Hall. The talks curated by Francis Devine examined Ireland's political and cultural reaction to the Revolution. Here you can listen back to two talks from the series. In the first, Donal Fallon examines witness statements from the Bureau of Military History, contemporary newspapers and ephemera to ascertain what the revolution meant to the Irish Left, the Trade Union movement, Sinn Féin and asks who were the Irish Bolsheviks? Then you can listen back to Dr Brian Hanley as he considers how initial support for the Russian Revolution changed to violent opposition to Communism in Ireland.Organised by Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street Dublin 2. Courtesy of History.comIreland responds to the Russian Revolution: Backing the Bolsheviks with Donal Fallon, Historian-in-Residence, Dublin City Council. Recorded at Dublin City Hall on 10 October 2017.Donal Fallon runs the Come here to me social history blog and is the author of John MacBride in the 16 Lives series, The Pillar: the life and afterlife of Nelson's Pillar and Come here to me! Dublin's other stories. He presented popular talks and tours as part of the Dublin Remembers 1916 programme and coordinated the My Area in 1916, Mo Cheantar agus 1916 project. Red Scares and Rebels: Ireland and Communism 1917-1937 with Dr Brian Hanley.Recorded at Dublin City Hall on 17 October 2017.Dr Brian Hanley is a historian and author. His publications include The IRA : a documentary history 1916-2005 (2015), The lost revolution : the story of the official IRA and the workers' party (2009) and A Guide to Irish Military Heritage (2004). Thank-you for listening to the Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive Podcast. To hear more, please subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud.
(Podcast) 'Live from the Conniving House: Poetry and Music in Eighteenth-Century Dublin' the 21st Annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture, was given by Dr Michael Griffin, University of Limerick at the Dublin City Library and Archive on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.The Conniving House tavern, long since forgotten, opened in 1725. On the water not far from where Sandymount Green is now, it is the cultural and geographical starting point for this lecture on the lively interaction of poetic and musical cultures in eighteenth-century Dublin. The only verbal account that we have of that venue comes from Life of John Buncle, esq. by Thomas Amory, who heard there the famous Larry Grogan playing the pipes while Jack Lattin, ‘the most agreeable of companions’, played matchlessly on the fiddle. Other writers of the period, such as Laurence Whyte and Charles Coffey, recorded an energetic native musical culture. This lecture explores a fascinating moment in the history of Dublin’s poetical and musical cultures, one which yields several compelling instances of cross-cultural connivance.Dr Michael Griffin is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Limerick. He is the co-editor of the soon-to-be published Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Oliver Goldsmith, and the author of Enlightenment in Ruins: The Geographies of Oliver Goldsmith (2013). He has also edited Thomas Dermody: Selected Writings (2012) and The Collected Poems of Laurence Whyte (2016). He has published a range of journal articles and book chapters on eighteenth-century Anglophone Irish poetry and print culture. His essay on Goldsmith’s poetry features in the recently published Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets.Listen to the lectureTranscript to followMusical creditsRob McKillop plays ‘Jack Lattin’: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkgeVfqwIpMMike Ferry plays ‘Larry Grogan’: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x6c9XlqLFQMaureen Hegarty sings ‘Eibhlín Aruin’: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjUkAr-Da4oAbout John T. Gilbert and the Gilbert LibraryJohn T. Gilbert's valuable library of mainly 17th and 18th century books and manuscripts relating to Dublin and Ireland was purchased by Dublin Corporation after his death in 1898. It forms the nucleus of the special collections of Dublin City Public Libraries.Born in 1829, Gilbert was author of the influential three volume 'History of the city of Dublin', published from 1857-59. He was a firm advocate of documenting the history of his native city using primary sources. His work on manuscripts relating to the city alerted him to the need for the preservation of Irish public records, many of which were in a neglected and vulnerable condition. He commenced a campaign, which eventually led to the setting up of the Public Records Office in the Four Courts. He calendared the records of Dublin Corporation, which date from the twelfth century, and began the series of printed volumes The calendar of ancient records of the city of Dublin.The printed catalogue of the books and manuscripts of the Gilbert collection compiled by Douglas Hyde, LL.D & D.J. O'Donoghue is available for consultation in the Reading Room. View John T. Gilbert in the library online catalogue. Thank-you for listening to the Dublin City Public Libraries and Archive Podcast. To hear more, please subscribe on iTunes or SoundCloud.
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.
The People, places and historical buildings of Dublin 7
Listen back to local Historian and well-known author Bernard Neary from Cabra West as he brings us on an interesting tour of Dublin 7, including the people, places and buildings of interest. Find out where the writer Iris Murdoch was born, where the poet Austin Clarke grew up and where Matt Kiernan made his Uilleann Pipes. Discover interesting facts about local landmarks including the Royal Canal, Broadstone Railway Station and The Four Courts. Reminisce about skipping and conkers games played by children and the picturehouses that dotted the area.Bernard’s new book Dublin 7, published by The Lilliput Press, is available to borrow from your local library and at bookshops."Neary’s beautifully illustrated volume (with maps and photographs) covers the areas of Ashtown, Broadstone, Cabra, Cardiffsbridge, Grangegorman, the Navan Road, Phibsborough, the Royal Canal, Smithfield, Stoneybatter, Church Street and the Quays. ...Neary combines oral history, archival research and personal recollections to create fascinating sketches of the various neighbourhoods, key figures and notable events. Historical accounts, contemporary description and fascinating maps allow the reader to see the evolution of Dublin 7 to the present day." (The Lilliput Press)Recorded at Cabra Library Wednesday 23 August 2017 as part of Heritage Week.Some images of Dublin 7 from the Dublin City Council Photographic Collections and Dublin City Library & Archive Special Collections:
Listen back to a talk by Peter Clarke looking at the 225 year history of the Royal Canal, from its origins in 1789 through all its phases to the present day. The talk traces the planning and construction of the canal and will reference many places, people and events of historical interest along the course of Dublin’s beloved Royal Canal.Image: Foster Aqueduct and Royal Canal House Phibsboro (see larger image)Reserve a copy of Walking the Royal Canal by Peter Clarke from the library catalogue.Recorded at Phibsboro Library on Monday 21 August 2017 as part of Heritage Week 2017.See more at Royal Canal Amenity Group (RCAG).
What happened in Ireland after the 1916 Rising? How did the political, economic and social landscape change and what brought about independence in 1922? Listen back to a three-part lecture series delivered by Maeve Casserly Dublin City Council’s Historians-in-Residence for the South East Area. The lecture topics are:Lecture 1 - Ireland in 1917Lecture 2 - What was the War of Independence?Lecture 3 - What was the Civil War?Recorded at Rathmines Library on 12 and 26 June and Terenure Library on 20 Septemeber 2017.Lecture 1Lecture 2Lecture 3See images from this turbulent time in Irish history in the Birth of the Republic Collection available to search online at Dublin City Libraries and Archive Digital Repository.The Historians-in-residence have compiled a comprehensive booklist to accompany the Irish Revolution series of lectures:The Irish Revolution, 1917-1923: Further Reading (PDF, 363KB)This lecture series is part of Dublin City Council's Decade of Commemorations programme of events.
Highlights from the Dublin Festival of History 2016 recorded live at Printworks Venue, Dublin Castle and at Dublin City Public Libraries featuring talks by Saul David, Roger Moorhouse, Alex Von Tunzelmann and many more Irish and International historians. The centenary of the 1916 Rising was marked with talks looking at key figures of the Rising and a panel discussion on how 1916 was commemorated. Other topics covered include Stalin's personal library, the Suez crisis, the First World War and the campaign for truth behind Hillsborough.Dublin Festival of History is brought to you by Dublin City Council and is managed by Dublin City Public Libraries.Don't forget Dublin Festival of History 2017 with over 90 free events in Dublin Castle, libraries and other venues begins this Friday, 29 September.
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