Operation Shamrock

Large archival collections can demonstrate to us institutional processes, providing evidence of activities and speaking to wider societal events. Sometimes, though, smaller collections can focus the historical eye on the most personal of experiences. In 2021, UCD Archives acquired the papers of Friedhelm Krüll, a German man who was brought to Ireland in the aftermath of … Continue reading Operation Shamrock

Collecting Folklore by Questionnaire

While visiting Scandinavia in 1928, a visit which influenced him greatly, Séamus Ó Duilearga was introduced to the many approaches to collecting and cataloguing folk tradition already pioneered by scholars there. The Swedish model in particular would continue to influence the systems of classification employed by the Irish Folklore Commission when it was founded seven … Continue reading Collecting Folklore by Questionnaire

Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan: Writer and ‘Fair Hibernian’

The publication of this blog coincides with the anniversary of the death of Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan in April 1859. Born in Dublin, Owenson became a well-known novelist and literary celebrity in the early decades of the nineteenth century.  Writing about Owenson in Some Fair Hibernians (London: Ward & Downey, 1897) Frances A. Gerard noted … Continue reading Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan: Writer and ‘Fair Hibernian’

Personal Papers and Complex Sources: Muriel and Máire MacSwiney

A recent generous donation to UCD Archives illustrates the complexities of archival sources in understanding events which are traumatic, personal, and which are also caught up in the sweep of great events. Muriel MacSwiney (née Murphy, 1892–1982) married Terence MacSwiney (1879–1920) on 9 June 1917 much to the disapproval of her family. They had one … Continue reading Personal Papers and Complex Sources: Muriel and Máire MacSwiney

Special Collections: Inspiring Creative Practice

Interacting with special collections and archival materials can be an impactful experience for the user.  Turning the pages of a sixteenth-century book, reading a propaganda pamphlet from the Irish revolutionary period, finding notes and inscriptions of a former owner on ephemera and photographs, deciphering the handwriting of famous writer, feeling the texture of the paper, … Continue reading Special Collections: Inspiring Creative Practice

100 Years of James Joyce’s Ulysses

The 2 February 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of the twentieth century's greatest modernist novel: James Joyce's Ulysses. It is a fitting occasion also for UCD library to celebrate our holdings of the Curran/Laird Collection which has many intimate and intricate connections with Joyce and his most famous novel. Constantine Curran (1883–1972) … Continue reading 100 Years of James Joyce’s Ulysses

Illustrating Tradition: Maps from the Schools’ Collection

Users of the 1937-1939 Schools’ Collection often comment on the beautiful handwriting of the contributing students. Indeed, it was often the student with the neatest handwriting who copied the chosen material from the smaller copybooks to the larger, final manuscripts now bound into the Schools’ Collection and available online on dúchas.ie. The careful handwriting is … Continue reading Illustrating Tradition: Maps from the Schools’ Collection