Thursday, December 17, 2020
2020 has been undoubtedly a strange and difficult year for everyone with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the worldwide heartache and disruption it has caused. It will come as no surprise therefore to state that this has also unfortunately affected the ongoing work of processing the Conradh na Gaeilge collection. Access to the archives to continue the painstaking work of cataloging the collection was not possible for a 7 month period.
From August to October of this year, access was again thankfully possible and I am happy to report that the next tranche of material has now been released. This tranche comprises of five series: G60/3 Committees; G60/13 Ard Fheis; G60/15 Seachtain na Gaeilge; G60/19 Modern Irish Language Literature, Poetry and Writers and G60/21 Music, Song and Dance Material.
The Committees Series relates to the work of various committees and subcommittees of Conradh na Gaeilge including the National Executive; Finance committee; Children's committee; Festival committee; Fundraising committee; Education subcommittee; Gaeltacht subcommittee; Training subcommittee and the Broadcasting and Media subcommittees, and consists mainly of minutes and correspondence.
Friday, November 27, 2020
My ‘association’ with Muintir na Tíre goes back to early 2013. A long fascination with the workings of rural communities led me to undertake some research on the formation of the Ráthcairn Gaeltacht in Co Meath for a magazine article. That research took me on something of an unexpected journey from Meath to England and back. An organisation of English agrarians named the Catholic Land Movement had kept a watchful eye on developments in Ráthcairn, believing that the blueprint for this engineered community of small farmers could be adopted in England to suit their rural utopian ambitions.
Their interest in Irish rural affairs was not limited to the embryonic Ráthcairn project, however. Enamoured with the efforts of Canon Hayes and Muintir na Tíre in the area of rural community development, they viewed Muintir as an inspiration and kindred spirit. Examining many contemporary newspapers I discovered a speech by Catholic Land Movement leader Harold Robbins at a Muintir ‘Rural Week’ in 1938 which emphasised, as he saw it, the connections between the rural mission of his organisation and that of Muintir. Hailing ‘the genius of our common philosophy’, he argued that there were now widely scattered groups across the globe in an almost identical struggle against the excesses of industrial capitalism. This one sentence brought forth so many questions, and ultimately changed the course of my academic research. Firstly, who were these groups engaged in an identical struggle? What was the struggle? And what role did Muintir na Tíre play in it all? This formed the basis of my MA thesis and subsequent PhD studies.
Completely new to Muintir, I was unsure where to go next. Several conversations with people in NUIG, particularly Dr Tony Varley provided some invaluable leads, for which I am still extremely grateful. One of these conversations led me to Mr Tom Fitzgerald, Muintir na Tíre member and one-time secretary to the movement’s leader, John Hayes. Over the course of a long conversation with Mr Fitzgerald, in which we spoke about Canon Hayes, the origins of the movement and its place in Irish society, Tom told me about the Muintir archives which were at that time stored in the old gaol house in Tipperary town. I was kindly invited to come down and explore them and use what would be helpful in my research.
At the time I knew so little of Muintir that I would not have known where to begin with such a resource, therefore I respectfully and temporarily declined. I was, however informed a couple of years later that the Hardiman Library had acquired the Muintir collection. I kept a keen eye on developments there. The collection was now in the best hands and would be properly archived for researchers to explore.
My opportunity to finally explore this fantastic resource came once I had been accepted onto the PhD programme in Queen’s University in 2018. Indeed, I believe it was the possibility of using this relatively untapped resource which helped in my application. My research proposal was to investigate the international relationships Muintir na Tíre developed under John Hayes. The first trip to the newly archived Muintir collection came in February of 2019. Upon consulting the online catalogue I became aware of one important thing. I was correct not to take up Tom Fitzgerald on his kind offer as I would have been completely lost in such an expansive collection.
The NUIG Muintir na Tíre collection is breath-taking. It is only in person that one can get a sense of just how extensive, and valuable this resource is. Helped, of course by the expert advice of the library archivists, my Muintir archive journey began with Canon Hayes himself. Hayes’s section of the archive contains enough for a PhD publication on its own. Collections of papers, speeches and correspondences provide a fascinating insight into the man who founded the movement and show the international impact he made. There is, however, much, much more. Financial records, minutes, correspondences, rural week materials, the Muintir Film and Credit societies, as well as plentiful files on other key Muintir figures provides a goldmine of information for current and future social and economic historians. There are many potential PhD’s and publications to come from this impressive archive.
Even in our uncertain present, where access to archives is limited, there is much to explore. The Hardiman library have digitised a wealth of Muintir publications such as the monthly Landmark newspaper and the annual Rural Ireland publication. These resources have personally proved invaluable in these lockdown months. Articles on Muintir guilds and regional activities appear alongside works by international contributors, showing that while the organisation was primarily concerned with the welfare of rural Irish society, they kept members abreast of international affairs, ensuring they had an informed society with a keen eye on global rural developments.
The Muintir na Tíre archive at the Hardiman Library is hugely important and tells us much about Irish society in the twentieth century. One hopes that once a corner is turned and some semblance of normality returns, that the materials contained within can be used again to their full potential, which should keep researchers busy for years, if not decades to come.
 Irish Independent, 1 Sept. 1938.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Wedding of Henrietta Kathleen Joyce
On 30 April, 1901 a wedding took place at the Roman Catholic church in Castlegar, three miles from the centre of Galway City. It would, perhaps, have been unusual for that church to see such a fashionable wedding party, accustomed as it was to the more restrained and plainer outfits of its parishioners, most from humbler or middle-class farming families. The bride on this occasion was Henrietta Kathleen Joyce, daughter of Pierce Joyce of Merview House. The eagle-eyed reader will spot that this photograph was taken in front of Merview/Mervue House, known to Galwegians in more recent times as Royal Tara China.
Kathleen was marrying a “neighbour’s child”: Thomas David Wilson-Lynch, of the Lynch family of Renmore House though at the time of his marriage he indicated he was living at Kilcornan House in Clarinbridge, the family home of his mother, Frances Redington. Though he was the son of a family who had and still held a large landed estate, it is telling that Thomas recorded his profession as “local government inspector”, signalling the changing times that were then overtaking the landed gentry of County Galway. The witnesses to the marriage were Dr. Edward Stapleton and Lily O’Neill Power. Thomas and Kathleen had a daughter in 1906, baptised Catherine Anne Mary Wilson Lynch, afterwards known as Maureen, and in time she inherited the substantial archives of both the Wilson-Lynch and Redington estates. In the later 20th century she took the decision to deposit this archive in the James Hardiman Library where it is the collection known as LE6. The detailed list of its contents can be accessed on the Archives Catalogue at:.
The archive descriptive list illustrates the breath of content of the collection, covering themes such as estate administration, social and political life as well as personal correspondence.
It is the largest of our landed estates collection and has provided the foundation for a number of studies including a monograph history of the Redington family of Clarinbridge by Joe Murphy (reprinted 2017 ) and articles by Geraldine Curtin (Galway Roots: journal of the Galway Family History Society, 1998) and Brigid Clesham (The Other Clare, 2001). In 2019 the archive was augmented by the addition of some photographs from the Redington family collection, including this splendid photo of a Galway wedding that took place 119 years ago.
Monday, July 27, 2020
|Cover of programme, Galway Races, 1969|
|Entrants in Galway Plate, 1969|
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
- Kinetic Archives – Teaching past performance through sound, vision, and embodied archival performance
- Ownership, copyright and performance as art-work and education
- Devising and the Archive: Ensemble collaboration in digital learning
- Archives and the Curriculum – questioning the canon on issues of sexuality, exclusion, race, gender and minorities
- Digital Performance and Digital Pedagogy: New learning interfaces
- How have digitized performance archives directly generated new forms of teaching and learning practice?
- What are the challenges for digital archive partnerships between universities and theatres?
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Mid-summer in Galway has become synonymous with one thing. For forty years the Galway International Arts Festival has grown to become not just the highlight of Galway's cultural and artistic calendar but also to be one of the largest cultural celebrations in Europe.
The archive of the Galway International Arts Festival resides within the Hardiman Library of NUI Galway. The GIAF archive is a detailed record of the history and achievements of the festival, as well as an account of its establishment and its growth over many years. It offers a record of how GIAF engaged not just the best of Irish artists and performers of all kinds, but also brought leading international artists to Galway each year. The archive consists of over thirty-five boxes of manuscripts and documents, comprising some of the first minute books of the Festival committee, correspondence with leading artists, programmes and posters for various events, an expansive photographic collection, press cuttings, and of course the famous Galway Arts Festival posters.
The archive includes a detailed record of administration, productions, and events held during the Galway International Arts Festival since its inception in 1978. Within the administrative records, there are editions of minutes from Galway Arts Festival committee and management meetings 1980-1982. The production files include a large volume of photographs from productions and events across all disciplines in the Galway Arts Festival. The photographs document events across theatre, comedy, dance, music, literature, visual art, street performance, and children's events. The images are also a record of the audiences and experiences of GIAF - those who each year return, witness, enjoy and take part in a celebration of the arts in Galway and which ripples outward into the world.
The archive also includes a large volume of artist and event posters and other promotional ephemeral material. The series of press files contain records of local (Galway and west of Ireland) press cuttings of interviews and features with artists, members of Galway Arts Festival directors and management, reviews of productions and events at the festival and news on arts, theatre and culture in general nationwide around Ireland. The press files also offer a detailed and comprehensive list of events in various codes including theatre, music, visual art, children's events, literature provide an account of all acts which performed each year at the festival. Hearing the stories of visiting artists as well as local and Irish artists gives an indication of what it meant for a practitioner to have their work as part of the GIAF as well as collecting the many voices and stories of those who make the festival programme a special experience each year.
The records show how the people of Galway, the west of Ireland and from much further afield have been an active part of the spectacle of the festival. Images of crowded streets and venues across the city show how audiences have been enthralled by all the Festival has to offer for all tastes and interests. The archive also compliments other related local artistic and cultural archives, such as those of Druid Theatre Company, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, Macnas and many others, building a comprehensive memory of the Arts in Galway for over the past four decades.
A full listing of the Galway Arts Festival archive is available on the Archives online catalogue
For any visitors to the Galway International Arts Festival and are curious about this amazing archive collection, please contact the Archives service for information on access.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
|Swords Round Tower|
Monday, July 13, 2020
Monday, June 8, 2020
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
There are close to forty boxes of manuscripts in the McGahern archive and with many more related collections at the Hardiman Library of NUI Galway, the literary and personal papers of John McGahern are a pathway through the writing of one of Ireland’s most celebrated of modern Irish writers. This podcast explores the archive of McGahern, its many drafts, letters and insights into the life and work of John McGahern.
|Manuscripts of 'Bank Holiday', McGahern Archive, Hardiman Library|
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
|Professor Kevin Boyle|
|Civil Rights March, Northern Ireland [January 1969] Kevin Boyle Archive, NUI Galway|
Friday, April 17, 2020
Nuair atá ábhar ó bhailiúchán cartlainne á scrúdú, tá sé ríthábhachtach go dtuigeann an t-úsáideoir comhthéacs an ábhair sin. Mar shampla: Cén chaoi a mbaineann an t-ábhar seo leis an mbailiúchán trí chéile? Cén chaoi a mbaineann sé le hábhair eile sa bhailiúchán? Cuidíonn an taispeántas seo leis an úsáideoir teacht ar fhreagraí na gceisteanna sin. Ar an gcéad dul síos, ar an leathanach baile tugtar eolas cúlra faoin eagraíocht féin, faoin tréimhse ama a gclúdaítear sa bhailiúchán, faoin dóigh agus faoin tráth ar bailíodh an t-ábhar seo agus ar tugadh do OÉG é.
Fiú má thugann an t-úsáideoir sracfhéachaint bheag ar an taispeántas seo, ar a laghad, gheobhaidh sé/sí léargas ar obair Chonradh na Gaeilge mar eagraíocht agus ar an ábhar a tugadh do OÉG. Is pléisiúr ann féin é dul trí na 45 íomhá atá ar fáil ar an leathanach “Na sraitheanna”. Le tairbhe cheart a bhaint as an taispeántas seo, áfach, moltar don úsáideoir tuiscint cheart a fháil ar an dóigh chun an chatalóg chartlainne a leanúint. Is trí thástáil agus trí earráid a dhéanamh is fearr a gheofar an t-eolas seo, ach tá iarracht mhór déanta agamsa anseo le cur síos a dhéanamh ar an bpróiseas féin.
CALM a thugtar ar an mbunachar cartlainne a mbaintear úsáid as in OÉG agus is anseo atá gach ábhar atá catalógaithe inár gcartlanna le fáil. Nuair a dhéanann úsáideoir cliceáil ar aon cheann de na naisc ar an leathanach “sraitheanna” de chuid thaispeántas digiteach Chonradh na Gaeilge, ní hamháin go dtugtar chuig an mbunachar cartlainne é/í, ach tugtar chuig suíomh ar leith é/í freisin – an iontráil chatalóige don tsraith sin.
Is é seo ordlathas aon bhailiúcháin agus taispeánann sé sraitheanna, foshraitheanna, comhaid agus ábhar de réir ordlathais ar geall le crann é in ord íslitheach. Sa sampla thuas tá an iontráil chatalóige don 4ú sraith sa bhailiúchán “Craobhacha...” le feiceáil. Trí chliceáil ar an nasc G60/4 sa réimse “Ref No”, tugtar chuig an mbrabhsálaí ordlathais muid, agus ní hamháin go bhfeicfimid mar a bhaineann an tsraith seo le comhthéacs an bhailiúcháin iomláin (tá sé aibhsithe i gcló buí), ach feicfimid freisin na foshraitheanna agus na comhaid atá sa tsraith ar leith seo.