In an interview with Dennis O’Driscoll, Seamus Heaney noted that ‘A friendship…is a field of force. There’s a mutuality, a happy shadowing and colouring of minds. You wake to different things in yourself and in the world, just by coming alive in the company of different friends.’  A recent donation to UCD Special Collections … Continue reading ‘Old Friendship & Regard’: The Joseph M. Hassett Donation, 2022
The Final IRA Executive Meeting Attended by Liam Lynch, 23-26 March 1923
The 24 May 2023 will mark 100 years since the IRA Chief of Staff Frank Aiken issued a ‘dump arms’ order to republican forces, bringing an end to the military fighting of the Irish Civil War. It also marked a seminal moment, in what Éamon de Valera (then President of the de jure Republican Government) … Continue reading The Final IRA Executive Meeting Attended by Liam Lynch, 23-26 March 1923
In the Photographic Collection of the National Folklore Collection UCD there is a number of photographs showing the gathering and collecting of seaweed on the shores of the Irish coast in the twentieth century. The images were taken by different people, many of them friends of the Irish Folklore Commission. Domhnalll Ó Cearbhaill, who supplied … Continue reading Gathering Seaweed
A Frenzy for Ferns: Fern-Mania in Victorian Literature
While we might think of viral social media trends as a purely modern phenomenon, the people of the past were certainly no strangers to passing fads and fashions. The Victorian era, the long stretch of time encompassing much of the nineteenth century and ending with the death of Queen Victoria at the turn of the … Continue reading A Frenzy for Ferns: Fern-Mania in Victorian Literature
UCD Archives holds a category of collections which we have designated ‘Small Collections’. These are collections which consist of a single item, a series of disparate items or a few files. There is no defining attribute other than the number of items is too small to create a full descriptive catalogue but the item or … Continue reading Small Collections
When A Handbook of Irish Folklore was first published in 1942, it contained (among many other subjects) a section of questions on personal hygiene, asking about washing of the person and washing of clothing, soap, cutting and combing the hair. The card index in the National Folklore Collection reveals several interesting responses to these questions, … Continue reading Illustrating Hairstyles
Extra! Extra! Finding Bonus Material in a Book
At first glance, Robert Pool and John Cash’s Views of the most Remarkable Public Buildings, Monuments and other Edifices in the City of Dublin (25.J.8) seems like many other eighteenth century books held in UCD Special Collections. Published in Dublin for 'J. Williams, 21 Skinner-row in 1780', the book guides the reader through the streets … Continue reading Extra! Extra! Finding Bonus Material in a Book
The First Successful Non-Stop East to West Transatlantic Flight
As part of the UCD MA in Archives and Records Management course, I am working on a project to catalogue the papers of Timothy Aloysius Smiddy in UCD Archives. Timothy Smiddy was the first official diplomatic agent of the Irish Free State. In 1924 he was appointed as Ireland's envoy extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to … Continue reading The First Successful Non-Stop East to West Transatlantic Flight
What’s in a Name?
In Irish folk tradition, certain cultural significance is attached to surnames and forenames alike. Aside from being a general signifier of family and genealogy, certain surnames might also be culturally important for other reasons. Many will know that the banshee is said to ‘follow’ [i.e. lament for and be heard by] certain families, particularly those … Continue reading What’s in a Name?
The Real Father Brown: Rediscovering John O’Connor
Some time ago, seated at ease upon a summer evening and taking a serene review of an indefensibly fortunate and happy life, I calculated that I must have committed at least fifty-three murders, and been concerned with hiding about half a hundred corpses for the purpose of the concealment of crimes; hanging one corpse on … Continue reading The Real Father Brown: Rediscovering John O’Connor