Monday, September 19, 2022

Léiriú Póstaer Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag comhdháil Dhébhliantúil Chomhairle Idirnáisiúnta na gCartlann, an Róimh, 19-23 Meán Fómhair 2022

                                                 



Tá cartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, agus obair an chartlannaí Niamh Ní Charra chun í a phróiseáil agus a chur ar fáil do thaighdeoirí, mar ábhar do chur i láthair póstaer ag Comhdháil ICA [Comhairle Idirnáisiúnta na gCartlann] na bliana seo. Tá Ní Charra ag seasamh an fhóid léi féin do chartlanna agus do chartlannaithe na hÉireann ag an gcomhdháil agus is é seo an chéad uair a bheidh an Ghaeilge le feiceáil ó thosaigh an chomhdháil deich mbliana ó shin.

"Archives: Bridging the Gap" an téama a bhaineann le comhdháil na bliana seo, agus tá sé sin roinnte ina cheithre chatagóir eile:"Bridging the Digital Gap""Bridging the Cultural Gap""Bridging the Democracy Gap" agus "Bridging the Distance". Tagann aighneacht Ní Charra faoin dara catagóir agus tá an téasc a théann lena cur i láthair póstaer anseo thíos.

Cartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Éire

Cás-staidéar ar an obair chun cartlann Ghaeilge a phróiseáil, an tionscadal tánaisteach a d'eascair as sin chun téarmaí cartlainne a cheapadh i nGaeilge, agus na buntáistí níos leithne is féidir a bhaint amach agus catalógú á dhéanamh ar chartlanna teangacha mionlaithe.

Sa bhliain 2018 cuireadh tús le hobair ar phróiseáil agus ar chatalógú chartlann mór le rá Chonradh na Gaeilge in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Críochnaíodh an obair agus seoladh an chartlann go hoifigiúil níos luaithe i mbliana. Cabhraíonn cur i dtaisce, próiseáil agus cur ar fáil chartlann na heagraíocht trasteorann agus ollscoil a bhfuil sainchúram uathúil uirthi i leith na Gaeilge, trí chatalógú dátheangach, trí bhreis agus 200 téarma cartlainne a cheapadh i nGaeilge agus trí úsáid a bhaint as an gcartlann chun aird a tharaingt ar obair na heagraíochta féin.

Céard é Conradh na Gaeilge?

    Is eagraíocht é Conradh na Gaeilge a bhunaíodh sa bhliain 1893 chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn in Éirinn agus thar lear. Tugann an t-ábhar léargas uathúil ar an 130 bliain nó níos mó de stair oileán na hÉireann. Rinne an fhoireann úsáid na Gaeilge i ngach gné den saol ó lá go lá a chur chun cinn agus a scrúdú. Clúdaíonn cuid shuntasach den ábhar roinnt feachtas a bhaineann le cearta teanga. Áirítear freisin cáipéisí a bhaineann le cearta na bpríosúnach agus cearta sibhialta i dTuaisceart Éireann.

Bhí an Conradh lárnach i bhfeachtais phobail a raibh na nithe seo a leanas mar thoradh orthu:

  • cruthú stáisiún raidió agus teilifíse Gaeilge [1972, 1996]
  • achtú Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla [14 Iúil 2003] i (bPoblacht) na hÉireann
  • an Ghaeilge a bheith mar theanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh[1 Eanáir 2007]
Tá siad fós i mbun feachtais ar son chearta na Gaeilge i dTuaisceart Éireann. 

Ag croílár na bhfeactas seo tá ceart an duine aonair ar a (h)ainm féin a bheith ina t(h)eanga féin, agus maireachtáil agus idirghníomhú ina t(h)eanga féin, teanga atá dúchasach don oileán seo.
 




Cén fáth a roghnaíodh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe?
    Agus cinneadh á dhéanamh cén áit ar cheart an chartlann thar a bheith saibhir agus suntasach seo a chur i dtaisce, bhí a fhios ag Conradh na Gaeilge a thábhachtaí a bhí sé an institiúid cheart a roghnú chun an chartlann a choinneáil agus an obair riachtanach a dhéanamh. Tar éis machnamh cúramach a dhéanamh, roghnaigh siad Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, (Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimhe roimhe seo). Bhí roinnt cúiseanna leis an gcinneadh seo: 

  • Sainchúram na hOllscoile - gné uathúil de shainchúram Ollscoil na Gaillimhe mar ollscoil is ea a tiomantas straitéiseach maidir le hoideachas ollscoile a chur ar fáil i nGaeilge, a haidhm freastal ar an nGaeltacht agus ar phobal na Gaeilge, agus campas dátheangach eiseamláireach a chruthú.
  • Suíomh - tá an ollscoil suite ar chósta thiar na hÉireann ar imeall Ghaeltacht Chonamara. Chomh maith le sin, tá dlúthcheangal idir an Ollscoil agus an réigiún mar gheall go bhfuil ionaid oideachais agus chultúir Ghailge aici i nGaeltacht Chonamara agus i nGaeltacht Dhún na nGall araon. 
  • Cartlanna i dteangacha eile - tá an cnuasach aitheanta seo anois i measc go leor cartlanna Gaeilge eile san ollscoil, agus baint ag go leor acu sin leis an gcartlann seo.
  • Meas ar an teanga - agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe á roghnú, chinntigh Conradh na Gaeilge go mbeadh comhpháirteach ar leith a raibh meas ar an teanga agus ar an ábhar lárnach sa chúram a bhí idir lámha aici.


Ceisteanna Uathúla:
    Seachas na gnáthchinntí a chaithfidh cartlannaithe a dhéanamh agus cartlann á meas, á próiseáil, á buanchoimeád agus á catalógú, tháinig ceisteanna uathúla breise chun cinn de charr nádúr na cartlainne áirithe seo.
    Mar chuid den chomhaontú idir Conradh na Gaeilge agus an Ollscoil, bhí sé ríthábhachtach go mbeadh an chartlann liostaithe i nGaeilge le cinntiú go raibh sí ar fáil do phobal na Gaeilge. Chinn an chartlannaí liosta a dhéanamh i mBéarla freisin chun a chinntiú go mbeadh an chartlann iontach seo inrochtana do dhaoine nach bhfuil Gaeilge acu chomh maith. (Tá go leor preaseisiúintí agus ábhar eile i mBéarla agus tá 24 teanga léirithe sa bhailiúchán).
    Ba ghná cinntí a dhéanamh maidir leis an litriú fresin: Ní dhearnadh caighdeánú ar litriú na Gaeilge go dtí na 1950idí agus tá go leor éagsúlachtaí litrithe le fáil sa chnuasach dá bharr. Ar mhaithe le leanúnachas roghnaíodh litriú nua-aimseartha agus liostaíodh leaganacha níos sine freisin nuair ba dhá (e.g. Connradh na Gaedhilge [Conradh na Gaeilge]).
    I measc na gcinntí a bhain le CALM bhí cén t-ord a bheadh ar na liostaí Gaeilge agus Béarla, conas an dá cheann a scaradh óna chéile, cibé acu roghanna saorthéacs nó Roghchláir Anuas a úsáid le haghaidh réimsí áirithe, agus cén áit ar cheart na roghanna réamhshocraithe a shárú. Agus liostú dátheangach curtha isteach in CALM, bheadh an áis aimsithe ar fáil go dátheangach freisin dá ndéanfaí tuairisc a ghiniúint trí CALM. Socráiodh mar sin leagan Gaeilge amháin a chur ar fáil chomh maith mar cháipéis Word.
    Le linn an phróisis catalógaithe, baineadh úsáid as seirbhís aistriúcháin na hOllscoile. Cuireadh bac ar a sárobair, áfach, toisc nach raibh téarmaíocht chartlainne Ghaeilge ar fáil ag an am.



Tionscadal tánaisteach - 200 téarma cartlainne ceaptha i nGaeilge:
    Tháinig fadhbanna maidir le haistriúchán na catalóige chhun cinn go luath sa phróiseas mar gheall ar easpa téarmaíocht oifigiúil chartlainne i nGaeilge. De bharr shaibhreas na teanga bhí roghanna iolracha do théarmaí áirithe ar fáil, agus ní raibh aon leagan Gaeilge do thearmaí eile, nó má bhí ní raibh sé ag cur an bhrí ar leith mar a bhain sé leis an gcomhthéacs cartlainne in iúl. Fuair Ní Charra amach, cé go bhfuil bailiúcháin chartlainne Ghaeilge ar fud na tíre, gur fíorbheagán a bhí catalógaithe i nGaeilge, agus má bhí féin gur ar bhonn ad hoc a rinneadh iad. Níor aithníodh na neamhréireachtaí idir liostaí ó thaobh caighdeáin chartlainne de.

    Mar thoradh díreach ar na fadhbanna seo, chuir sí tús le tionscadal ina raibh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Cartlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann agus An Coiste Téarmaíochta páirteach agus bhí sí ina comhstiúrthóir ar an tionscadal. Ceapadh 200 téarma cartlainne go hoifigiúil i nGaeilge mar thoradh ar an gcomhoibriú. A bhuíochas nach beag don Dr Luciana Duranti, tá na téarmaí seo ar fáil anois ar bhunachar sonraí MAT de chuid an ICA, áit a bhfuil Ní Charra ainmnithe mar chomhordaitheoir na Gaeilge.


Buntáistí an tionscadail:
    Ba mhór an tairbhe a bhain leis an déthionscadal chun cartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe a mheas, a bhuanchoimeád agus a chatalógú, rud a d'fhág gur cruthaíodh agus gur ceapadh téarmaí cartlainne i nGaeilge. Ní hamháin gur cás-staidéar maith atá i gcatalógú na cartlainne aitheanta seo - is sárthaispeántas é ar na cúiseanna seo a leanus:
  • Leanúnachas - leis an téarmaíocht nua seo ar fáil, spreagtar leanúnachas i liostú na Gaeilge chun teacht le caighdeáin chartlainne.
  • Cuimsitheach - ciallaíonn sé gur féidir cartlanna Gaeilge a liostú i nGaeilge, rud a fhágann go bhfuil siad cuimsitheach agus go gcinntítear go mbíonn rochtain ag na daoine is mó a mbaineann na cartlanna seo.
  • Meas agus aitheantas - is aitheantas tábhachtach é cartlann chomh suntasach sin a chur ar fáil agus é sin a dhéanamh i nGaeilge, ag baint úsáid as téarmaí oifigiúla sa teanga sin, don teanga dhúchais féin, agus don phobal a labhraíonn í mar chéad teanga.
  • Cruthaítear feasacht - is minic a dhéanann taighdeoirí neamhaird ar bhailiúcháin i dteangacha mionlaithe, in ainneoin go bhfuil siad an-saibhir ó thaobh ábhair de. Is é an toradh atá air ná gur minic a bhíonn na scéalta sna cartlanna seo in easnamh ón scéal iomlán.
  • Glacadh - táthar ag siúl go spreagfaidh an téarmaíocht Axiell agus dreamanna eile glacadh léi agus a gcuid táirgí a chur ar fáil i nGaeilge.
  • Éifeacht iarmhartach - ba chóir go spreagfadh an cás-staidéar seo agus an téarmaíocht nua níos mó institiúidí chun níos mó cartlanna Gaeilge a chatalógú.

An chartlann a dhíchoilíniú - más mian linn comhrá a thosú faoin gcartlann a dhíchoilíniú, caithfimid machnamh a dhéanamh ar theanga na cartlainne.
    
    Nuair a dhéantar breithniú ar choilíneacht na cartlainne i gcomhthéacs teanga, is gnách go mbíonn an plé dírithe ar ábhar na cartlainne, téarmaí áirithe a mbaineann fadhbanna leo á n-úsáid chun cur síos a dhéanamh ar an gcartlann, nó b'fhéidir claonadh na dtuairiscí sin, ach is annamh a bhíonn an teanga féin ina bhfuil an iontráil catalóige curtha san áireamh. Ina theannta sin, tá claonadh san Eoraip smaoineamh ar choilíneachtaí í láthair na huaire agus iarchoilíneachtaí a bheith suite lasmuigh den mhór-roinn féin, agus tá an pobal cartlainne den tuairim chéanna ina leith seo. Mar sin is meabhrúchán séimh é an tionscadal seo go bhfuil roinnt iarchoilíneachtaí i bhfad níos gaire don bhaile, agus go bhfanann codanna eile den mhór-roinn seo ina gcríocha atá faoi chonspóid agus roinnte.




Dúshlán don phobal cartlainne:
    IS é an dúshlán don phobal cartlainne, ní amháin a chinntiú nuair a insítear na scéalta seo, go bhfuil siad caomhnaithe agus inrochtana i gcartlanna, ach freisin a chinntiú go bhuil an rochtain seo chomh cuimsitheach agus is féidir. Bíodh an t-ábhar i nGaeilge nó i dteangacha miolaithe eile (agus tá an téarma "miolaithe" seachas "mionlach" ríthábhachtach anseo), ba chóir do phobal na cartlainne ár ndícheall a dhéanamh a chinntiú nach bhfuilimid mar chuid de na constaicí atá roimh phobail agus iad ag iarraidh teacht ar na scéalta seo. Céim amháin chun an bhearna chultúrtha seo a líonadh is ea níos mó catalógú dátheangach/ilteangach a sholáthar, agus é sin a dhéanamh ar bhealach leanúnach de réir caoghdeáin chartlainne trí théarmaíocht chartlainne a chruthú/a cheapadh.



Naisc:
    Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin gcartlann féin agus faoin tionscadal chun téarmaí cartlainne i nGaeilge a cheapadh le fáil thíos:




Téarmaíocht i bhformáid PDF: Gaeilge-Béarla, Béarla-Gaeilge, Gaeilge amháin.

Bunachar Téarmaíochta Cartlainne Ilteangach de chuid Chomhairle Idirnáisiúnta na gCartlann.






 




Wednesday, September 7, 2022

University of Galway Poster Presentation at the International Council on Archives' biennial conference, Rome 19-23 September 2022.



The Conradh na Gaeilge archive at the University of Galway, and the work by archivist Niamh Ní Charra to process it and make it available for researchers, forms the basis of a poster presentation at the upcoming International Council on Archives conference taking place in Europe for the first time since 2015. Ní Charra is flying the flag for Irish archives and archivists at the conference and her contribution marks the first time the Irish language will have featured in the conference's ten year history.

The theme of this year's conference is "Archives: Bridging the Gap", which is further divided into four categories: "Bridging the Digital Gap", "Bridging the Cultural Gap""Bridging the Democracy Gap" and "Bridging the Distance". Ní Charra's submission falls under the second category and background information to accompany her onsite poster presentation follows below.


The Conradh na Gaeilge archive at University of Galway, Ireland

A case study of the work to process an Irish language archive, 
the resulting side project to designate archival terms in Irish, 
and the wider benefits attainable when cataloguing minoritized-language archives.

In 2018 work commenced on processing and cataloguing the iconic Conradh na Gaeilge archive at the University of Galway. Earlier this year, the work was completed and the archive was officially launched online. The deposit, processing and release of the Irish language organisation's archive at the university helps bridge the cultural gap through the partnership of a cross-border organisation and a university with a unique Irish language remit, through bilingual cataloguing, through the designation of over 200 archival terms in the Irish language and through the use of the archive to highlight the work of the organisation itself.

Who are Conradh na Gaeilge?

    Conradh na Gaeilge [The Gaelic League] is an organisation which was founded in 1893 to promote the Irish language in Ireland and abroad. Material gives a unique insight into the last 130 years or more of the history of the island of Ireland. Staff were actively involved in promoting and observing the use of Irish across all aspects of everyday activities. A significant portion of material covers several language rights campaigns. Also included are documents relating to prisoners' rights and civil rights in Northern Ireland.

Conradh were instrumental in community campaigns which led to the

  • creation of Irish language radio and television stations [1972, 1996]
  • the enactment of the Official Languages Act [14 July 2003] in Ireland
  • making Irish an official language of the European Union [1 January 2007]
They are still campaigning for Irish language rights in Northern Ireland. 

At the core of these campaigns is the right of the individual to their own name, and to living and interacting in their own language, one that is indigenous to this island.
 




Why University of Galway?
    When deciding where to deposit this immensely rich and significant archive, Conradh na Gaeilge were conscious of the importance of choosing the right institution to house the archive and carry out the work required. After much careful consideration, they chose the University of Galway, formerly the National University of Ireland, Galway. There were several reasons for this decision.

  • Remit of the university - a unique aspect of the University of Galway's remit as a university is its strategic commitment to the provision of university education through the medium of Irish, its aim to serve the Gaeltacht [Irish language speaking regions] and the Irish language community, and to create an exemplary bilingual campus.
  • Location - the university is situated on the West coast of Ireland on the edge of the Connemara Gaeltacht, one of several Irish-speaking regions in Ireland. Furthermore, its links with the region are strengthened by its Irish language education and cultural centres in towns in both the Connemara and Donegal Gaeltachts. 
  • Other Irish language archives - this iconic collection joins many more Irish language archives at the university, many of which have links to it.
  • Respect - in choosing the University of Galway, Conradh na Gaeilge ensured a unique partnership where respect for the language and for the material was central to the task at hand.


Unique considerations:
    Apart from the normal decisions archivists need to make when appraising, processing, preserving and cataloguing an archive, the nature of this particular archive brought additional unique considerations.
    As part of the agreement between Conradh na Gaeilge and the university, it was vital that the archive be listed in Irish to ensure it was inclusive for the Irish language community. It was decided by the archivist to also list in English to ensure this wonderful archive was accessible to non-Irish language speakers as well. (Many press releases and other material are in English, and there are in fact 24 languages represented in the collection).
    Decisions on spelling also needed to be made: Irish language spelling was not standardised until the 1950s and many variations of spelling exist throughout the collection as a result. For the purposes of consistency, modern spelling was chosen with older versions also listed where necessary (eg Connradh na Gaedhilge [Conradh na Gaeilge]).
    Decisions on CALM included what order the Irish and English listings appeared, how to separate the two, whether to use free text or drop down menu options for certain fields and where to override the default options. With bilingual listing inputted in CALM, generating a report through CALM would automatically result in the finding aid also being bilingual. It was therefore decided to also provide an Irish-only version as a word document.
    Throughout the cataloguing process, use was made of the university's translation department. However, their excellent work was hampered due to the nonexistence of Irish language archival terminology at the time.



Side project - 200 archival terms designated in the Irish language:
    Issues with catalogue translations arose early in the process due to the absence of official archival terminology in the Irish language. The incredibly rich language meant that there were multiple options for some terms, while other terms simply did not have any Irish language equivalent, or the specific meaning as it related to the archival context was being lost. Ní Charra discovered that while Irish language archive collections exist all over the country, very few had been catalogued in Irish, and those that had been were done on an ad-hoc basis. The inconsistencies between listings from an archival standards point of view had not been recognised.

    As a direct consequence of these issues, she instigated and co-led a project involving University of Galway, the National Archive of Ireland and An Coiste Téarmaíochta [The Irish Language Terminology Committee]. The collaboration led to 200 archival terms being officially designated in the Irish language. Thanks in no small part to Dr Luciana Duranti, these terms are now available on ICA's MAT database where Ní Charra has been nominated as the Irish language co-ordinator.


Project Benefits:
    The dual project to have Conradh na Gaeilge's archive at the University of Galway appraised, preserved and catalogued, which in turn led to the creation and designation of archival terms in the Irish language has been hugely beneficial. The cataloguing of this iconic archive is not just a good case study - it is a perfect showcase for the following reasons:
  • Consistency - having this new terminology available encourages consistency in Irish language listing to archival standards.
  • Inclusivity - it enables Irish language archives to be listed in Irish making them inclusive and ensuring those for whom the archives relate the most, have access.
  • Respect and recognition - making such a significant archive available and doing so through Irish, using official terms in that language, is an important recognition of both the indigenous language itself, and the community who speak it as their first language.
  • Creates awareness - collections in minoritized languages are often overlooked by researchers, despite being very rich in material. The stories in these archives are therefore often missing from the overall narrative.
  • Adoption - having the terminology should hopefully encourage Axiell and others to adopt it and make their products available in Irish.
  • Positive knock-on effect - this case study and new terminology should encourage more institutions to have more Irish language archives catalogued.

Decolonising the archive - if we want to start a conversation about decolonising the archive, we need to think about the language of the archive.
    
    When considering the coloniality of the archive the discussion is generally either centred around the material of the archive, certain problematic terms being used in describing the archive, or perhaps the bias of those descriptions, but very rarely is the language itself the catalogue entry is in considered. In addition, there is a tendency within Europe to think of present and former colonies being located outside of the continent itself, and the archival community are no different in this regard. This project therefore can act as a gentle reminder that some former colonies are much closer to home, and other parts of this continent remain contested and divided territories.




Challenge to the archive community:
    The challenge for the archive community, is not only to ensure that when these stories are told, they are preserved and accessible in archives, but also to ensure this access is as inclusive as possible. Whether material is in Irish or in other minoritized languages (and the term "minoritized", not "minority" here is key), the archive community should do our best to ensure we are not part of the obstacles communities face when trying to access these stories. Providing more bi/multi-lingual cataloguing, and doing so in a consistent manner to archival standards through the creation/designation of archival terminology, is one step towards bridging this cultural gap.



Useful Links:
    More information on the archive itself, and on the project to designate archival terms in Irish can be found below:

PDFs of the terminology in English-Irish, Irish-English, Irish only
International Council on Archives Multilingual Terminology Database.



 







Thursday, August 11, 2022

'Cruinniú na mBád' and the Galway Hooker - From the Archives

This week sees the return of the Cruinniú na mBád Festival in Kinvara. Now in its 42nd year since its revival in the late 1970s, the Festival attracts up to one hundred of the famous Galway Hooker boats, among many others, as part of a celebration marking the tradition and rich history of the Galway Hooker and of sea faring along the West coast.

The boats, with their distinctive sails, are synonymous with Galway and the West of Ireland. Within the Archives of the Library are numerous collections which make reference to and document various histories and information about the history of the boat and its connection to the sea and the people. Material is present in the digitised journal, Rural Ireland, published by Muintir na Tíre, The Tim Robinson Archive includes a photograph of a Galway Hooker from 1953 and the Heinrich Becker Collection has numerous photographs of the boats across the Claddagh and Galway Bay in the 1940s.

G22_59_1_002 From Heinrich Becker Archive

Within the Bob Quinn archive are a number of archive images from previous Cruinniú na mBád at Kinvara. A contact sheet of images is present from the Kinvara festival in 2002. Quinn is a famous Irish film-maker and photographer who has a well renowned list of award-winning films and documentaries. Poitín (1978) was the first feature film made entirely in Irish. The film starred Cyril Cusack, Donal McCann, and Niall Tóibín.

From the Quinn archive of photographs are these images from the 2002 Cruinniú na mBád which show the Galway Hooker in full sail and with the locals enjoying the festivities.

Bob Quinn was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts by NUI Galway in a ceremony in April 2022. The full catalogue of the Bob Quinn Photographic Archive is online here.

P99_4_13 - Galway Hooker at Kinvara, 2002. Bob Quinn Archive


P99_4_13 - Galway Hooker at Kinvara, 2002. Bob Quinn Archive


P99_4_13 - Galway Hooker at Kinvara, 2002. Bob Quinn Archive
.


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Patricia Burke Brogan - An Archive of a "Renaissance Woman".

Patricia Burke Brogan (c) Joe Shaughnessy

The playwright, poet, and artist, Patricia Burke Brogan is to receive the Freedom of Galway City in a ceremony on Friday 20th May. Burke Brogan is widely regarded for her writing which always dared to speak of an often hidden Ireland, and which through poetry or the stage, gave presence and voice to neglected and marginalised women’s voices. The Patricia Burke Brogan archive, containing annotated drafts and scripts of her plays, notes on her writings, correspondence, programmes, posters and press cuttings about her work from Ireland and around the world, along with other collected items, is deposited at the NUI Galway Library Archive.

Burke Brogan’s most well-known play is Eclipsed, which opened on 11 February 1992 in Galway, produced by Punchbag Theatre Company. The play is framed by a present-day prologue and epilogue, the play is set in 1963 in a convent laundry at St. Paul's Home for Penitent Women in Killmacha, Ireland. Eclipsed explores the practice of making pregnant and unwed Irish mothers work as 'penitents' in church-run laundries. Supervised by nuns who regarded these women as mindless vessels of evil, the women were treated as virtual slaves and their infants were forcibly put up for adoption.

Programme from Eclisped, 1992, Burke Brogan Archive,
NUI Galway Library Archives

Following its initial run in Galway the play toured to Project Arts Centre, Dublin and the Richard De Marco Gallery Theatre, Edinburgh. Recent Irish and international revivals were produced by Mephisto Theatre Company at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway in 2013, and later international productions include at the Spiegeltheater performance season in Belgium in March 2015. The play had its American première at the Worcester Forum Theatre in 1994 and was also later produced at the Seattle Fringe Festival in 1995 at the Irish Rep Theatre in New York in 1999. Eclipsed won a prestigious Fringe First award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1992 as well as being nominated for numerous awards at the Los Angeles Are Theatre Awards 1995. Her poetry has been widely published, with volumes including Above the Waves/Calligraphy (1994) published by Salmon Press.

Notes by Burke Brogan within her archive at NUI Galway state:

Under double lock in pious laundry-cages, the “fallen women” of Ireland, unmarried mothers, who had broken the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, washed the stench from our clothes. Betrayed by lovers, signed in by parents, the women were also separated from their children, who were either taken for adoption or enclosed in industrial schools. In the laundries, the only shelters available to the penitents, they lived a Spartan and loveless existence. Those who became institutionalised remained inmates for life and buried in nameless graves.

In 1990, when the Galway Magdalen Laundry building was being demolished, Burke Brogan wrote a poem entitled Make Visible the Tree. A section of the poem together with a limestone sculpture of a Magdalen Woman were unveiled by the author with the sculptor Mick Wilkins on International Women’s day in Galway in 2009. In the poem Burke Brogan wrote:

This is the Place of Betrayal.

Roll back the stones

behind madonna blue walls.

Make visible the tree.

Burke Brogan has long standing links with the University. She was part of the then U.C.G. Writers Workshops, which brought together leading contemporary Irish writers for talks and literary workshops, along with Thomas Kilroy, John McGahern, and others. In 2015 Burke Brogan was awarded an honorary degree by NUI Galway for her contribution to the Arts.#

L - R, Charlie Byrne, Professor James Browne, Patricia Burke Brogan pictured at NUI Galway on the occasion of Honorary Conferring in 2015.

Other materials collected within the Burke Brogan archive include an annotated script for another play, Stained Glass at Samhain (Sister Luke’s Story), first performed at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway in 2002. Set at Halloween in the1990s, the play depicts Sister Luke, a former Mother Superior of the nearby Magdalen Laundry, and who returns to her convent, as the convent buildings are about to be demolished to make way for new apartments.

The memory of Sister Luke’s life, within the Laundry and of her own reflections, are explored within the play. Playwright Thomas Kilroy, speaking at the launch of the publication of the play at the Town Hall Theatre Galway, said “It is a wonderful thing to come across a truly visionary play, a poetic play and a play which used the stage in a very interesting kind of way... I found it very moving and I was even more moved by the silence, the fact that they were talking about those unknown, unrecognised, unnamed graves.”

Excerpt from archived annotated script of Stained Glass at Samhain.
Patricia Burke Brogan Archive, NUI Galway

Speaking at the launch of Burke Brogan’s Memoir with Grykes and Turloughs in 2014, Sabina Higgins commented in her speech, a copy of which is in the archive, that “Patricia emerges as a renaissance woman. The breath of her knowledge and achievement is no many branches of life is both wonderful and impressive.” The archive is a richly detailed insights into one of Galway and Ireland’s most important contemporary writers. Today, students, and scholars of NUI Galway, as well as visiting international researchers and artists, from Brazil to the U.S.A., have consulted the archive and utilised it within new research and productions, ensuring the life’s work of Burke Brogan across the arts and to Irish social and cultural history, is continuing to reach new audiences, informing new generations, and to keep the voices and experiences in particular of the Magdalene women, alive and known to all who read her work.

The catalogue of the Patricia Burke Brogan Archive can be searched online here.  


Covers of first editions of poetry books written by Patricia Burke Brogan


Monday, April 25, 2022

Eoghan Ó’Tuairisc - The Archive of a Bilingual Writer

 

Born in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway in April 1919, Eoghan Ó’Tuairisc (Eugene Watters) was a bilingual writer, with a prolific output through both Irish and English, of poetry, stories, prose, novels and plays. He was educated at Garbally College in his home town of Ballinasloe before joining the army in 1939. His parents were Thomas Watters, a shoemaker, who had been wounded at the Battle of the Somme in France during the First World War, where he was a member of the Connacht Rangers. And his mother was Maud Watters (née Sproule), was a seamstress and clairvoyant.

Following his time in the army, Ó’Tuairisc enrolled in St. Patrick’s College where he trained to be a teacher. The college was run through Irish and which further extended his fluency. He qualified as a primary school teacher in 1939. He later undertook an M.A. at University College Dublin, graduating in 1947. Ó’Tuairisc married the artist Una McDonnell in 1945 but who died suddenly in 1965. Following a period of personal and artistic withdrawal, Ó’Tuairisc married the poet Rita Kelly in 1972. He was the recipient of numerous literary awards throughout his life for his bi-lingual writing and was also elected a member of Aosdána.

Ó’Tuairisc won the Hyde Memorial Award for his early novel, L’Attaque, in 1962. In 1964, his book of Irish poetry, Lux Aeterna again won the award. In 1966, Dé Luain won the American Cultural Award and a stage-play, Lá Fhéile Michíl won the Oireachtas prize. Ó’Tuairisc is associated with a number of theatres in Dublin and Galway, such Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, who staged his 1974 play, An Hairyfella in Ifrinn. He also won an Oireachtas prize for his play Aisling Mhic Artáin in 1977. As well as having works staged at An Damer theatre in Dublin, Ó’ Tuairisic also contributed to work at the Peacock stage and the main stage of the Abbey Theatre, such as Táinbocú, written by Ó’Tuairisc, Criostiór Ó Floinn and Gabriel Rosenstock (1979), and the political revue, A State Of Chassis (1970) with John D. Stewart and Tomas MacAnna.


The Ó’Tuairisc archive at NUI Galway Library comprises twenty-six boxes of materials which documents Ó’Tuairisc’s literary and personal life, including manuscripts, drafts of work, correspondence with family, correspondence with Irish writers, editors and publishers, posters and programmes, photographs and a range of other material from the literary life over a number of decades. Files of letters are present from the likes of David Marcus, a long-time editor of Ó’Tuarisc at the Irish Press and Poolbeg Press, Tomás MacAnna at the Abbey Theatre, and other publisher of his poems and plays, such as Mercier Press.


As well as letters from leading Irish writers, from Martín Ó’Direán to John McGahern, early manuscripts and drafts of novels, such as a memorandum book containing notes on characters and the order of chapters for a novel, which later became "An Lomnochtán" (recently translated by Mícheál Ó hAodha and published in English as “I am Lewy” by Bullaun Press), a commemorative work on the 1916 Rising, and numerous drafts, treatments, outlines, and research files, all capturing the literary process of Ó’Tuairisc. The archive is accessible at NUI Galway Library and the catalogue can be searched online here.







Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Joyce's Masterpiece in Print - Ulysses: A Century Later

 

James Joyce's Ulysses
Shakespeare and Co., Paris.
Special Collections, NUI Galway Library

As Leopold Bloom began his odyssey around Dublin with the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses, on 2nd February 1922, so too began the story of the one of the most famous novels in all of English literature. Ulysses has captivated and confounded readers for a century since it was first published by Sylvia Beach in Paris and at her Shakespeare and Company bookshop. Within Special Collections of NUI Galway Library is a rare fourth printing of the novel.

Sylvia Beach’s first printing in February 1922 of the novel ran to 1,000 numbered copies. The second printing by Egoist Press took place in London in October 1922 and ran to 2,000 numbered copies, with 500 of those famously burned by U.S. Post Office authorities. Egoist Press ran a third printing of the book with a further 500 copies in January 1923, with all but one sole copy of these being seized by Customs.

Printing run and previous editions. 
4th Printing

This fourth printing returns the story of Ulysses back to where it began, in Paris, and at Shakespeare and Company. The edition still contains the original packing slip from Beach’s shop, advertising it as a “Bookshop and Lending Library – Modern English and American Literature”. It was priced at 60 francs. At the end of the novel is a list of “Additional Corrections” with changes and edits made to the text. It was printed in Paris in January 1924, just before the book’s second anniversary.

Original packing slip from Shakespeare and Company bookshop, Paris, run by Sylvia Beach.

The book’s impact on reading, readership, language, and literature is unquantifiable. The edition is in excellent condition and a reminder of the power of words and reading to bring readers together to celebrate a novel a century after it was first published. The 4th printing of Ulysses is currently on display at the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room, Hardiman Building.

Front Cover, Ulysses, 4th printing
NUI Galway Library


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Letters on Bloody Sunday - The International Response - From the Kevin Boyle Archive

 

As the news reached international media of the killings of thirteen (and soon to be fourteen) civil rights marchers in Derry on Bloody Sunday, 30th January 1972, by British parachute regiment forces, international response and condemnation would follow from many quarters. As an Executive Council member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), many figures wrote to Kevin Boyle in the weeks and months that followed, and also in a direct personal capacity, offering sympathy to Boyle on the killings, and in condemning the atrocity that happened.

Murray Sayle, an Australian journalist and foreign correspond with the Sunday Times, wrote to Kevin in June 1972 thanking him for a piece he had written. Sayle adds that “I suppose one day we will learn what really happened on B[loody] Sunday. However, it certainly takes its place with Amritsar, Sharpville, etc. as a turning point”. Sayle, originally from Sydney, Australia, was foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times in the 1960s and early 1970s. Through his career he reported on wars and conflict in Pakistan, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

Letter from Murray Sayle to Kevin Boyle, 2 June 1972. 
Kevin Boyle Archive, NUI Galway Library

Sayle travelled to Derry on the night of the 30th January 1972 and reported directly from the scene in the aftermath of the Bloody Sunday killings, reporting that the soldiers were not fired upon first, as they had reported. The Sunday Times refused to print Sayle's report. The journalist quit the paper later in 1972 in protest to this editorial decision. The letter to Boyle, on Sunday Times headed paper, brings an international dimension to the Bloody Sunday to other colonial-era massacres, such as at Amritsar, India, where over one thousand peaceful protesters were killed by British army forces in 1919, and Sharpville, South Africa, where sixty-nine black marchers were killed by police officers while peacefully protesting the Pass Law system. (Boyle later reported on the Pass Law system in South Africa in the 1980s for Amnesty International, having researcher and lectured extensively on the human rights and legal failings of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.)

On February 12th, less than two weeks after Bloody Sunday, Friedel Malter, wrote to Edwina Stewart, Secretary of the NICRA, from Berlin, expressing condemnation of the killings in her capacity as Chair of the GDR Human Rights Committee:

“On behalf of the citizens of the German Democratic Republic, the Committee for Human Rights condemns the cruel terror of the British Army against the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland which found its most brutal expression so far in the assassination of 13 civil rights marchers in Derry”.

Telegram from Friedel Malter to Kevin Boyle
Kevin Boyle Archive, NUI Galway Library

Malter continues in her telegram to state that “we follow with great interest and deep sympathy the struggle of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland for attaining their political, social, and national rights”. Malter concludes the letter by lending demands for “the immediate release of all civil rights fighters detailed in concentration camps [in Northern Ireland]. Malter was an anti-fascist activist, communist, and trades unionist who had been detailed in German concentration camps during the Second World War.

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers also contacted Boyle with days of Bloody Sunday. Writing to Boyle at the Law Faculty, Queen’s University, Belfast, the organisation updated that after “the tragedy of Londonderry” they had issued a press statement demanding “immediate measures to prevent further escalation in repression and breaches of civil rights [in Northern Ireland]”. Later the next week, the American Congress on Irish Freedom, through its Chair, James Heaney, sent a letter on behalf of the ACIF to “all United Nations Delegations”, and urged the UN to intervene “to end the senseless slaughter” in the wake of Bloody Sunday.

Letter from Joe Nordmann, International Association of Democratic Lawers
Kevin Boyle Archive, NUI Galway

Letter from James C. Heaney, American Congress on Irish Freedom to Kevin Boyle
Kevin Boyle Archive, NUI Galway

The letters that feature here are a sample from wider files within the archive of Kevin Boyle at NUI Galway Library that show the international response by a variety of groups and individuals to Bloody Sunday. Within his role as PRO for the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, Boyle was at the forefront of formulating a response in the midst of the grief and outrage at the killings. Boyle own response to the Widgery Report (published in April 1972 to investigate the events of Bloody Sunday) would come later that year in the form of his paper: “Widgery: A Critique”. The paper takes a legal and human rights perspective on dismissing and dismantling Widgery’s findings. Boyle opens the paper by defining what ‘a whitewash’ is. He undermines Widgery by critiquing the findings on three avenues of investigation: “What was the British Army’s plan for dealing with the N.I.C.R.A. march on 30th January in Derry? [2] What were the consequences of implementing that plan? [3] Was the plan justified?”.

"Widgery: A Critique" by Kevin Boyle, 1972
Kevin Boyle Archive, NUI Galway

Extract from "Widgery: A Critique" by Kevin Boyle (NICRA)
Kevin Boyle Archive, NUI Galway

Boyle's paper was published by the NICRA and a copy is within one of the thousands of files within over 120 boxes of manuscripts and papers which form his archive at NUI Galway. The papers which relate to Northern Ireland and the Civil Rights Movement are a hugely detailed record of not just Boyle’s perspective but also those of his many colleagues and fellow activists from the NICRA, PD, and many regional civil rights branches across Northern Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s. The catalogue of the papers can be searched online here.

For more on Boyle’s life and career, the biography “Are You With Me - Kevin Boyle and the Rise of the Human Rights Movement” is written by Mike Chinoy and published by Lilliput Press.

For previous posts in this series, see: 

Remembering Bloody Sunday: Kevin Boyle and the lead up to 'the Derry march', January 1972

Local Responses to Bloody Sunday - Material from the Boyle Archive