Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A Galway Wedding - From the Archives

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

Riders Upon Galloping Horses - The Galway Races from the Archive

Cover of programme, Galway Races, 1969
An evening at the Galway races over a century ago inspired the poet W.B. Yeats to write a poem especially to mark what he had experienced. Written at the home of his friend and collaborator, Lady Augusta Gregory, Coole Park, in county Galway in 1908, "At the Galway Races" sums up the spectacle, passion and revelry that the unique annual Galway race meeting brings. There is also a series of watercolour sketches by Jack.B Yeats which depict various scenes from the Galway Races, race meetings, horse and trade fairs in the West of Ireland dating from 1900 and which are on display in our Archives and Special Collections Reading Room.

At Galway Races
There where the course is,
Delight makes all of the one mind,
The riders upon the galloping horses,
The crowd that closes in behind:
. . . .
Its flesh being wild, and it again
Crying aloud as the racecourse is,

And we find hearteners among men
That ride upon horses."                                  

Within the archives of the Hardiman Library is a race card from the centennial meeting of the Galway Races. The 1969 meeting marked 'a century of racing at Ballybrit' and in particular, its centrepiece event, the Galway Plate. The programme includes a note on the history of the races written by Christy Townley, then Librarian of the Hardiman Library, U.C.G., as the University was then known. 

The runners and riders for the centennial plate race are listed - thirteen listed starters in all. The prize money is detailed and the distance noted as being "two miles and about five furlongs". The owner of the race-card lists the placed finishers with the winner of the 1969 Galway Plate being "Royal Day", owned by Mr. P. Dunne Cullinan and trained by P. Sleator. (there is no evidence that this racegoer had the winner backed!)

Entrants in Galway Plate, 1969
Also of note on the back cover of the programme is a tip for "an essential for Galway Week . . ." and being "a credit or deposit account with Tote Investors (Ireland) Ltd." Hopefully that 'credit account' did not grow too large. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

CFP New Journal Issue: 'Performing in Digital' - Archives and Education

Druid’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, in a version by Tom Murphy, directed by Garry Hynes. 2020.

Call for Papers - Themed issue of RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance

Title: Performing in Digital

Key words: archives, performance, theatre, universities, memory, education

Guest Editors:
Dr. Barry Houlihan and Dr. Catherine Morris, NUI Galway

The global virus pandemic transformed lives tragically and accelerated the world into a digital co-existence at multiple heightened levels of interdependencies. In this new context that took Higher Education, Arts Institutions, educationalists, artists and cultural workers by surprise almost over-night, performing in digital became a new way of life. The boundaries of private spaces became blurred with public spaces of cultural production. Home spaces became points of public broadcast that were often at once live in the immediately intimacy of the local community while simultaneously being received globally. From March 2020, epic scenes of emotional turmoil were matched with instances of opera sung from balconies in Italy. Filmmakers, photographers, documentary makers and writers began communicating a collective art of living in lockdown. The inequalities of access to digital and indeed to home space and income became very apparent across the global spectrum. The concerns of the artist and teacher in the socially distant but technologically present era raises concerns for the meaning, production and distribution of culture within performance and education settings.

From performing in digital to existing in digital, current practice in theatre-making and education is increasingly presented and mediated through digital means. Documentation as the process of archiving now records an archive of society and theatre and performance practice in action. This is a multifaceted performance archive often born digital or re-animated through the digital. This in turn has reconfigured the learning process and engagement with the archive of performance in education and practice. The tensions between ‘live’ and ‘liveness’, ‘presence’ and ‘absence’ become porous within the digital archive and within this new dynamic learning and performance space. This Themed Issue will address the tensions produced within a theatre education context in which potential digital barriers and borders emerge in terms of access, curation, ownership, copyright and use in teaching.

We invite contributions that will respond to or question how digital theatre archives are utilized within a theatre education context and within applied theatre development. Recent scholarship addressing the uses of digital performance, the ethics of theatre historiography, as well as new media in/as dramaturgy provide a foundation in which to situate this themed issue.[1] The digital archive, while redefining the documentation of work and labour of current practitioners, repositions the training and educational possibilities of future theatre makers. We welcome contributions on any of the following topics from academics, theatre-makers, policy makers, curators, artists, cultural workers, archivists, specialist librarians and others who engage with archives of performance in education settings.

Sample topics and questions to address include:
  • 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
·         Capturing virtual & augmented reality and virtual classrooms within applied theatre learning spaces
  • 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?

We gladly invite the following forms of submissions:

·         Research articles of between 6,000-8,000 words.
·         ‘Document Essays’ of between 3,000 and 5,000 words with curated photo-based material.
·         Recorded-media-based responses/provocations
·         Interviews with practitioners/artists/researchers also welcome

Potential contributors are required to submit an abstract of 500-700 words, along with a biography of maximum 250 words.

Please send any enquiries and abstracts to the editors:

Deadline for submissions of abstracts: 21 August 2020

Contributors will be notified by: 18 September 2020

Full papers will be required by: 26 January 2021

[1] Such publications include: Rob Roznowski, Transforming Actor Education in the Digital Age, Theatre Topics, 25.3 (2015); Sarah Bay-Cheng, Pixelated Memories: Performance, Media, and Digital Technology, Contemporary Theatre Review 27.3 (2017); Sarah Bay-Cheng, Digital Historiography and Performance, Theatre Journal 68.4 (2016); Claire Cochrane and Jo Robinson, eds., Theatre History and Historiography: Ethics, Evidence and Truth (2016); Peter Eckersall, Helena Grehan and Edward Scheer, New Media Dramaturgy: Performance, Media and New-Materialism (2017); D. Dean, Y. Meerzon, and K. Prince, eds., History, Memory, Performance (2015); and Toni Sant, ed., Documenting Performance: The Context and Processes of Digital Curation and Archiving (2017).

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Galway International Arts Festival - An Archive of Stories and Spectacle

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

A (Staycation) Travel Miscellany - Sources for History of Travel in Ireland

As we are allowed to expand our horizons to travel anywhere in Ireland from 29 June, it is worth looking back at some of the tourist accounts and travel guides relating to Ireland published during the twentieth century. The first half of the century witnessed the zenith of the Irish railway network when the whole island was connected by rail. In 1906 a map was published to accompany the report of the Vice-regal Commission on Railways in Ireland. It is contained in the Commission’s full report which is available through the House of Commons Parliamentary papers database on the library website or the Enhanced Parliamentary Papers Ireland website at You can also access the map on Wikimedia Commons at

The Midland and Great Western Railway Company’s branch line to Clifden ran through our university campus. When you walk from the library towards Distillery road, you are walking on the railway! If you would like to read some of the guides to excursions on this and other West of Ireland lines you can do so at We have the original edition of the Midland & Great Western’s detailed handbook from 1900, Ireland from Sea to Sea but sadly that’s not yet available digitally.

While lots of travel guides for 19th century Ireland have been digitised and made available online, fewer volumes from the 20th century are on offer yet, mostly because quite a lot of the material is still subject to copyright. You will have to wait for the reopening of the Archives and Special Collections Room, hopefully in the next few months, in order to read these volumes for yourself but here are a few illustrations from them to whet your appetite!

O’Neill Lane, T. Round Erin or Highways and byways in Ireland (Abbeyfeale, County Limerick: [the author], c.1900).
Irish Tourist Authority. Ireland: Official Guide (Dublin, c.1946),
Bord Fáilte. Illustrated Ireland guide. (Dublin, 1968),
Newby, Eric & Petry, Diana. Wonders of Ireland: a personal choice of 484 (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1969)

In the meantime, though, you might like to try Thomas O’Neill Russell. The beauties and antiquities of Ireland (1897), and Dorling Kindersley’s Eyewitness Guide to Ireland (2012), the full text of which is available through the library catalogue. If you would like to read more about Irish travel writing the journal Studies in Travel Writing devoted a special issue to the subject in 2016 (Volume 20, Issue 2) which can also be accessed via the library catalogue. Enjoy your trips and stay safe!

Swords Round Tower

Monday, July 13, 2020

Remembering 'Big Jack'

The recent passing of the former Irish football team manager, Jack Charlton, has prompted an outpouring of memories and tributes from many who fondly remember 'Big Jack'. 
In the archive of the Galway International Arts Festival is this press cutting from the Galway City Tribune with an image of a sculpture of none other than Jack Charlton. The sculpture was made from discarded oil drums by Galway city motor mechanics Gay and Patsy Farrell. It was placed outside the Kenny Art Gallery, then located in Middle Abbey Street during the Heroes and Heroines exhibition in conjunction with the 1994 Galway Arts Festival. Ireland was in the grip of World Cup fever in the summer of 1994, as well as Arts Festival fever at this time, so it is no wonder ‘Big Jack’ made an appearance on the streets of Galway that summer. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Public Health in Galway 150 years ago - new online source

Some of the excellent Galway history sources digitized by Galway County Archives have now been indexed by the family history website '' to which the Hardiman Library has a subscription. These resources include some surviving Galway Poor Law Union and Galway County burial records. While these have been available in pdf format on the County Archives website for some time they have now been indexed and transcribed by Find My Past, meaning it is easier to search for individual names of people and places within the documents. 

Much of the Poor Law Union records are the minutes of Board of Guardians meetings. These provide an insight into how public health was managed as well as the provision of relief to the poor in 19th century County Galway.  Geographical areas covered in the Poor Law Union or Workhouse area records include Clifden, Glenamaddy, Gort, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam.

Find My Past can be accessed by signing in to the library catalogue with your NUI, Galway log in. 

PDFs of the documents can also be viewed on the Galway County Archives website at

The illustration shows plans for the Galway County Infirmary building and a ticket permitting the patient named to attend the Dispensary doctor for medical advice and 1884. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Podcast - John McGahern: The Writer and the Archive

John McGahern
John McGahern said of the world of the writer and of the reader "I think each of us inhabit a private world that others cannot see" – the archive brings those two private worlds together and is perhaps the only place this can happen.

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

Podcast - Kevin Boyle: The Archive and Human Rights

Professor Kevin Boyle
An activist, a scholar and a leading human rights advocate, Kevin Boyle has left a legacy of impacts and memories working on behalf of others both in Ireland and internationally. Boyle is a figure who witnessed and was part of the growth and direction of the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland in the 1960s; was instrumental in the development of the Law Faculty and Human Rights Centres at NUI Galway and later at University of Essex; as well as leading major international NGOs, and later working alongside Mary Robinson at the United Nations in 2001. Boyle's archive of over 120 boxes of manuscripts includes letters, records of legal cases, academic research, notebooks, as well as ephemera from major international political and social events around the world.

Available at the Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, the Boyle archive is an insight into the life and career of activist scholar, Kevin Boyle. This podcast is an overview and introduction to the archive of Kevin Boyle and of the documentation of a career and life spent working in law and human rights, from Northern Ireland in the 1960s to the United Nations in the post 9/11 world.

You can listen to the podcast below and also search the catalogue of the Boyle archive online here.

Civil Rights March, Northern Ireland [January 1969] Kevin Boyle Archive, NUI Galway

Friday, April 17, 2020

Cartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge - Taispeántas Digiteach Seolta


An mhí seo caite seoladh miontaispeántas digiteach de Chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge, ina raibh níos mó ná 40 íomhá ón mbailiúchán ar taispeáint, mar chuid d’imeachtaí Sheachtain na Gaeilge. Maith mar a tharla, bhí an obair ionann is críochnaithe sular tugadh ordú dianghlasála de bharr COVID-19, agus bhíomar in ann an taispeántas iontach seo a sheoladh go cianda Lá Fhéile Pádraig, lá deiridh an fheachtais bhliantúil. I mblaganna roimhe seo (féach na naisc thíos) rinne mé cur síos ar an obair a bhíonn ar bun sa chúlra sula gcuirtear bailiúchán ar fáil don phobal, ar na cúraimí a chaithfidh cartlannaí a chur i gcrích agus ar na cinntí a chaithfear a ghlacadh. Fógraíodh freisin go gcuirfí ábhar ar fáil don phobal diaidh ar ndiaidh, in ionad fanacht go mbeadh an bailiúchán uile próiseáilte go hiomlán, de bharr ollmhéid an bhailiúcháin iontaigh seo. Mar sin de, dearadh an taispeántas nua seo le feidhm an-tábhachtach eile a chur i gcrích - tugann sé comhthéacs don úsáideoir, rud a bhfuil tábhacht nach beag leis nuair atá rochtain á soláthar de réir a chéile ar an mbonn seo.


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.

Ar an dara leathanach den taispeántas ar líne ("Leagan amach"), tugtar mioneolas ar an dóigh a leagtar an bailiúchán amach, ar an gcúis ar grúpáladh ábhair áirithe le chéile, agus ar an gcúis ar glacadh cinntí áirithe. Nuair atá leagan amach bailiúcháin á shocrú, bíonn an cartlannaí i gcónaí ag smaoineamh ar cé chomh hinaimsithe a bheidh ábhar an bhailiúcháin agus cé chomh furasta agus a bheidh sé ag úsáideoir an bailiúchán a leanúint. (Déantar cur síos ar chuid den phróiseas cinnteoireachta sin anseo).

Ar deireadh ar an leathanach “Na sraitheanna”, tá 45 íomhá le feiceáil, tagraíonn gach íomhá do shraith ar leith, agus tá cur síos ar an tsraith chéanna ceangailte le gach íomhá. Faoi láthair tá 13 shraith ar oscailt don phobal, mar a luadh cheana, agus sna cásanna seo tá naisc chuig catalóg na cartlainne le fáil sa chur síos. Tá an-tairbhe ag baint le bheith in ann cur síos ar gach aon cheann de na 45 sraith a fheiceáil (ní hamháin na cinn atá inrochtana), agus ciallaíonn sé go dtuigeann an t-úsáideoir an comhthéacs lena mbaineann an t-ábhar atá curtha ar fáil, agus eolas aige/aice ar céard le bheith ag súil leis ó ábhair a chuirfear ar fáil amach anseo.

An chaoi leis an Taispeántas Digiteach a leanúint:

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.

Nuair a chliceálann úsáideoir ar cheann ar bith de na 45 íomhá a bhaineann le sraitheanna aonair, tugtar chuig bosca dialóige iad ina bhfuil leagan níos mó den íomhá ar chlé, agus cur síos dátheangach ar an tsraith féin ar dheis.

Faoi bhun an téacs sin tá deilbhín beag den íomhá chéanna le feiceáil, agus nasc taobh leis nó faoina bhun (féach íomhá). Más mór agus más fada an téacs, seans go mbeidh ort scrollú síos leis na deilbhíní seo a aimsiú.

Trí chliceáil ar an deilbhín nó ar an nasc osclaítear leathanach nua mar a dtugtar ní hamháin an cur síos, ach meiteashonraí eile amhail eolas faoin bhfoilsitheoir, teideal na sraithe, aitheantóir uathúil agus, i gcás gur cuireadh an tsraith ar fáil don phobal, nasc chuig catalóg na cartlainne (is féidir teacht air seo sa réimse “relation”). (Arís eile, beidh ort scrollú síos an leathanach le teacht ar an eolas uile seo.)

Tugtar leagan níos mó den íomhá freisin agus is féidir tuilleadh scrúdú a dhéanamh air sin trí zúmáil isteach.

An chaoi le Catalóg na Cartlainne a úsáid:

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.

Taispeánfar arís an cur síos mar aon le haon eolas nua amhail an raon dátaí, an fhormáid (e.g. páipéar, grianghraif, comhad fuaime) agus an líon (cé mhéad bosca, foshraith, comhad etc.). Mar sin féin, is dócha gurb é an nasc chuig an mbrabhsálaí ordlathais an uirlis is úsáidí atá ar fáil ar an leathanach seo, nasc atá le fáil sa réimse “Ref No”. (San íomhá thíos, tá an cúrsóir ar an nasc seo).

Céard é an Brabhsálaí Ordlathais?

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.

Taispeánann na deilbhíní + agus – ar thaobh clé na sraithe, na foshraithe etc. gur féidir a thuilleadh fairsingithe a dhéanamh [féach na híomhánna].

Is dóigh gurb é an brabhsálaí ordlathais an bealach is fusa leis an mbailiúchán catalógaithe a leanúint. De réir mar a chuirtear tuilleadh tráinsí ar fáil, is amhlaidh a chuirfear na hiontrálacha catalóige a bhaineann leo le bunachar na cartlainne. Cuirfear naisc ón taispeántas digiteach leis seo freisin d’fhonn aird a tharraingt ar na hiontrálacha nua seo.

Mar sin de, ní hamháin gur taispeántas oideachasúil spraíúil é an taispeántas seo as féin, ach is uirlis thábhachtach é freisin le comhthéacs an ábhair agus na sraitheanna i mbailiúchán Chonradh na Gaeilge a thuiscint AGUS mar nasc áisiúil le rochtain a fháil agus cuardach a dhéanamh ar chatalóg chartlainne CALM. De réir mar a dhéantar dul chun cinn ar phróiseáil agus ar chatalógú an bhailiúcháin, is amhlaidh atá an taispeántas seo ina fhráma foirfe tagartha leis na sraitheanna is déanaí a chuardach de réir mar chuirtear ar fáil iad.

Más é go bhfuil an taispeántas á fheiceáil agat den chéad uair, nó más é go bhfuil tú ag seiceáil le fáil amach ar cuireadh sraitheanna ar leith ar fáil, tá súil agam go mbainfidh tú taitneamh as!

Go dtí an chéad uair eile,

Beir bua,


English version:

Naisc eile:

Conradh na Gaeilge - Digital Exhibition Launched

Last month a mini digital exhibition of the Conradh na Gaeilge Archive, featuring over 40 images taken from the collection, was launched to tie-in with Seachtain na Gaeilge. As luck would have it, work was almost complete before we went into lockdown for Covid-19, and we were able to remotely launch this wonderful exhibition on St. Patrick’s Day, the final day of the annual campaign. In previous blogs (see below for links) I have described the work that goes on behind the scenes before a collection is opened to the public, the processes an archivist needs to carry out and the decisions that need to be made. It was also announced that material would be released to the public in tranches, rather than waiting for the whole collection to be fully processed, due to the vast size of this wonderful collection. This new exhibition is therefore designed to perform another very important function - it gives the user context, something which is of particular importance when access is being rolled out in this gradual manner.


When examining an item from an archival collection, it is vital that the user understands its context. For example: How does this item relate to the collection as a whole? How does it relate to other items in the collection? This exhibition aids the user in discovering those answers. Firstly, on the homepage the user is given background information on the organisation itself, the timeframe covered in the collection and the history of how and when this material was gathered and donated to NUIG.

On the second page of the online exhibition ("Arrangement"), a detailed explanation is given on how the collection is arranged, why certain topics were grouped together, and why certain decisions were made. When considering the arrangement of a collection, the archivist is always thinking of how discoverable material in the collection will be and how easy the collection is for the user to navigate. (Some of that decision making process is covered here).

Finally on the page labelled “The series”, 45 images can be seen, each representing an individual series, and each one attached to a description of that series. Currently 13 of these series are open to the public, as mentioned previously, and in these cases the descriptions include links to the archive catalogue. The benefit of being able to see descriptions of all 45 series (and not just those accessible), means the user understands the context within which the released material sits, and knows what to expect from future releases.

How to navigate the Digital Exhibition:

A casual browse of this exhibition will give the user, at the very least, an overview of Conradh na Gaeilge’s work as an organisation and an idea of what has been transferred to NUIG. Trawling through the 45 images available on the “The series” page is a pleasure in itself.

However to fully benefit from this exhibition, gaining a proper understanding of how to use it to navigate to the archival catalogue is recommended. The best way to gain this knowledge is through trial and error, but I have gone some way towards describing the process here.

When a user clicks on any one of the 45 images representing individual series, they are brought to a dialogue window that shows the image in larger detail on the left, and a bilingual description of the series itself on the right.

Under this text a small icon of the same image can be seen, with a link beside or under it (see image). If the text is substantial you may need to scroll down to get to these.

By clicking on either the icon or on the link a new page opens which gives not only the description but other metadata such as publisher information, title of the series, unique identifier and, where the series has been released to the public, a link to the archive catalogue (this can be found in the field “relation”). (Again, you will need to scroll down the page to access all this information).

It also gives a larger version of the image, which, if clicked on, can be further examined including through zooming.

How to use the Archive Catalogue:

The archive database that is used in NUIG is known as CALM and this is where anything in our archives, which has been catalogued, can be found. When a user clicks on any of the links within the “series” page of the Conradh na Gaeilge digital exhibition, they are brought not only to this archival database, but to a specific location – the catalogue entry for that series.

This will again show the description, along with new information such as the date range, the format (eg paper, photographs, audio) and the extent (how many boxes, sub-series, files etc.). However, probably the most useful tool available on this page is the link to the hierarchy browser, which can be found in the “Ref No” field. (In the image below, the cursor is pointing at this link).

What is the Hierarchy Browser?

This is the hierarchy of any collection and shows series, sub-series, files and items in a tree-like hierarchy in descending order. In the example above the catalogue entry for the 4th series in the collection “Branches...” can be seen. By clicking on the G60/4 link in the “Ref No” field we are brought to the hierarchy browser, and can see not only where this series comes in the context of the overall collection (it is the one highlighted in yellow), but what sub-series and files are in this specific series.

The + and – icons to the left of a series, sub-series etc. show that further expansion is possible [see images].

The hierarchy browser is probably the easiest way to navigate through the catalogued collection. As more tranches are released, their catalogue entries will be added to the archive database. Links from the digital exhibition will also be added to point to these new entries.

This digital exhibition is therefore not only an educational and fun exhibition in its own right, it is also both a key tool to understanding the context of items and series within the Conradh na Gaeilge collection AND a handy link to accessing and exploring the archive catalogue CALM. As progress continues on processing and cataloguing the collection, this exhibition also becomes the perfect reference for exploring the latest series as they are released.

Whether exploring the exhibition for the first time, or checking back to see whether specific series have been released, I hope you enjoy it!

Until next time,

Beir bua,


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