Commemorative Projects

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Dublin City Public Libraries & Archive have a varied programme of activities for the Decade of Commemorations, including digitisation projects and exhibitions, lectures, and publications.

Dublin Remembers 1916

Dublin Remembers 1916There was an extensive series of events during 2016 including lectures, talks, music, drama and film in libraries and City Hall. Exhibitions on display in libraries included:

  • Citizens in Conflict: Dublin 1916. Eye-witness accounts of Rising and newly acquired sources with a particular focus on Pearse Street. The exhibition also remembers the many civilians, including 40 children, killed during the Rising.
  • Little Stories for Little Prints: This Visual Arts project  will commemorate 'little known events or incidents' during or around the Rising through printmaking.


Dublin City Council and the 1916 Rising. A series of essays by noted historians on the role played by the Corporation, its elected members and its staff. This will also include a contribution on the re-building of the City, tying in with the Dublin City after 1916: re-birth and re-building exhibition.

We were there: 77 women of the Easter Rising 1916 by Mary McAuliffe and Liz  Gillis. A biographical listing by garrison of the 77 women who took part in the Rising and were arrested and held in Richmond Barracks after the surrender.

Exploring the collections

Exploring 1916 Resource List: Both the City Archives and the Dublin & Irish Collections contain much material of relevance to the events of 1916, to the leaders and others involved, and to the social and political context of the City. We have produced an online guide to these resources with examples drawn from the Birth of the Republic collection and online resources published on and Digital Repository Ireland. The Guide will also include recommended non-fiction and fiction reading lists.

Exploring the collections packs: Packs of facsimile material from 1916, aimed at primary and post-primary students are available for the use of school groups visiting their local libraries.

Online Resources

  • Elsie McDermidElsie McDermid Letter. Rare eye-witness account of the outbreak of the 1916 Easter Rising. 26-page letter written by Elsie McDermid, a popular opera singer of the era, in which she relates, among other things, the digging of trenches in St Stephen’s Green and eye-witness accounts of the first casualties on the streets of Dublin
  • 1916 Rising Dublin Fire Brigade Logbook. This unique Dublin Fire Brigade Ambulance log-book covers the period of the Easter Rising, 24-29 April 1916. The log-book relates to Tara Street Fire Station and records hour-by-hour the response of the Dublin ambulance service to those injured in the Rising.
  • Patrick English (1894-1970), Frongoch Letters:  Patrick English (1894-1970) was part of the F. Company, 4th Battalion, Dublin Brigade who fought in the General Post Office Garrison in Easter 1916. This collection features correspondence between Patrick and various family members while he was interned in Frongoch in 1916.Margaret Skinnider
  • 1916: The Women Behind the Men: This collection of images, 1916: The Women behind the Men, offers an insight into the integral role of women before, during and in the aftermath of the Rising. Although it is well known that Countess Constance Markievicz fought in St Stephen’s Green, other important roles played by women are perhaps less known.
  • Eyewitness 1916: Images From 'Dublin After The Six Days' Insurrection': This image gallery is composed of images taken from "Dublin After The Six Days’ Insurrection" (Dublin: Mecredy, Percy & Co., Ltd, 1916). The photos were taken by T.W. Murphy (also known as “The O’Tatur”), the sub-editor of The Motor News.
  • 1916 Rising Eye-Witness Account written by Joshua C. Manly, who held the post of Town Clerk to the Pembroke Urban District Council. Manly’s account was written in the week beginning Monday 15 May 1916 to outline to his employers, the members of Pembroke Urban District Council, the progress of the Rising in the district and the measures taken by him and his staff to ameliorate matters. 

The First World War – online, exhibitions and lectures

Photograph from the John Fields CollectionThe first shots of what became known as the First World War were fired on 28th July 1914.  Dublin City Public Libraries & Archive will mark the centenary of the First World War War and Dubliners’ role in it, drawing on our extensive collections.

The unique Monica Roberts Collection was digitised, transcribed and published online and can be found at Digital Repository Ireland.

The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive and the Monica Roberts Collection form just part of our extensive material relating to the Great War. We are adding to this collection, and received significant donations to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive in 2014.

New WWI Resources at Dublin City Library & Archive

Ancestry Library Edition is now available for consultation free of charge in the Reading Room of Dublin City Library & Archive. Among other items, this contains official records for the First World War, i.e. British Army World War I Service Records 1914-20; British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-20; British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards 1914-20; UK Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919 - so it is very useful if you are searching for Irish soldiers in the Great War.

Digitisation Projects

RDFA/.083.36a Postcard from the Monica Roberts Collection

The Monica Roberts Collection

Monica Roberts was a young woman from Stillorgan, County Dublin who at the outset of the First World War set up a society ‘The Band of Helpers for Soldiers’ to send comforts to Irish men at the Front. 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 online is Monica Roberts' contemporary diary from Easter Week 1916, which includes her eye-witness account of the Rising.

The collection consists of 453 letters from 56 men serving in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Royal Flying Corps and one letter from Monica Roberts. Each item has been digitised and transcribed and is now available to view online in the fully-searchable Monica Roberts Collection Database on Digital Repository Ireland.

Local Government Voters, 1909Dubliners 1898-1915

The Dublin City Electoral Rolls 1898-1916 consist of eighteen printed volumes listing all those who were eligible to vote, including lodgers; rated occupiers; inhabitant householders, and Freeholders and Leaseholders. The digitisation will result in 620,000 records of Dubliners and the data will complement and book-end the online Census Records for 1901 and 1911.

Rolls for 1908-1915 have been digitised and a fully searchable database with images of the original pages published on Digital Repository Ireland.

The Lepracaun cartoons: 1905-1915

Original cartoon by Thomas Fitzpatrick, founder of The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly

The Lepracaun: cartoon monthly was an important satirical magazine, published in Dublin from 1905 to 1915. Its cartoons give a valuable social and political commentary on a ten year period of great social upheaval in the run up to 1916 and the rebellion. Many have become iconic images, dealing with the 1913 Lockout, the Suffragist movement, the First World War etc. Occasional articles feature leading Dublin figures of the day.

All of the cartoons are being digitised and will be published as an online fully-searchable database. Thomas Fitzpatrick and The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly 1905-1915, an accompanying book featuring the original cartoons and a specially commissioned text was published in February 2015.

Browse and search The Lepracaun Cartoon Collection online.

View Image Gallery: The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly and the 1913-14 Dublin lockout

Republicans Stop that Talking!The Birth of the Republic collection

Our Dublin & Irish Collections hold a significant collection of political ephemera including posters, leaflets, and flyers, which are related to the development of the Republic from the late 19th Century through to the middle of the 20th. These items have been catalogued and digitised and are available online, browse and search the Birth of the Republic Collection online.


Dublin Festival of History 2017The Dublin Festival of History

The 2017 Dublin Festival of History takes place from 29 September to 14 October 2017. Expect a stellar line up of best-selling writers and academic historians, all experts in their field and all eager to engage with a history loving public.

The Dublin Festival of History is brought to you by Dublin City Council, and is organised by Dublin City Public Libraries.

The Festival is one of the City Council’s activities in the Decade of Commemorations. As Ireland commemorates a series of centenaries now and over the coming years, the festival will mark these momentous historical events. The First World War, the 1916 Rising and how contemporary Ireland commemorated 1916 were examined as part of the the 2016 festival. The sinking of the Lusitania and the Irish involvement in the First World War’s Gallipoli campaign featured in the 2016 festival as did  the Battle of Waterloo, which occurred 200 years ago in May 1815. Dublin’s involvement in the First World War was one of the main themes of the 2014 festival with talks by historians from home and abroad and a specially commissioned piece of documentary theatre, narrated by actor Bryan Murray, which brought the war experiences of ordinary Dubliners to life.

Listen to Dublin Festival of History podcasts.

Exhibition on the Funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa in 1915

This exhibition, produced by Dublin City Library and Archive, used items from the Dublin and Irish Collections and City Archives and marked the centenary of the lying in state in City Hall of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. Encompassing several panels of text and images and audio/visual elements, the exhibition was on display in the Rotunda City Hall from 1 -6 August 2015 and in various branch libraries in the city thereafter.


2015 - Tercentenary of the Mansion House

Mansion House

2015 was the 300th anniversary of the Mansion House, and the 350th anniversary of Dublin’s first Lord Mayor. Commemorative activities were based around exploring the full history and documentation of the Mansion House, and production of a book on the history of the Mansion House, The Mansion House, Dublin. 300 years of history and hospitality.