Friday, December 23, 2022

A Christmas Archive Miscellany - Festive Acts and Writings

Christmas has inspired many personal stories and writings for so many of Ireland's writers. From playwrights to novelists, the story of Christmas and what it means, in comedy and tragedy, for many have found readers and audiences over many decades. A selection of such Christmas-themed writings can be found within various collections among University of Galway Library Archives.

Draft of story, Christmas, by John McGahern

The novelist and short-story writer John McGahern explored this particular time of year in one of his short stories. How that story even came to be is a story in itself. Christmas is the story of the young boy deposited to a family at Christmas time from an orphanage. He rejects a gift he is given, that of a toy aeroplane and this act forms the 
focus of McGahern's attention in the drafting of the story. The McGahern Archive contains numerous drafts of the story which was first published in the Irish Press in 1968. Numerous titles range from Santa ClausA Gift for HimselfThe Aeroplane, before finally being published as Christmas in the volume of short stories Nightlines in 1970.

Draft of story, Christmas, by John McGahern

The opening line of many of the drafts begin with "The thaw overhead in the bear branches had stopped the evening we filled the load for Mrs. Grey". This would imply that winter has passed and Christmas is over. Yet the published story opens with a different scene, one of a young boy being boarded onto a train, described as a "ward of State" and being sent to live with 'Moran' for the Christmas period. Moran is a recurring name within McGahern's work, also being the family name within his 1991 novel Amongst Women. The novel itself was nearly called The Morans, only to be changed very close to publication.

Given so much effort of redrafting, editing and re-titling of the story is evident with McGahern's papers, it is clear this particular story meant quite a deal for the writer in the late 1960s. The variances in handwriting styles also show the revisions were carried out over a number of years, as McGahern's hand changed over the years.

Cover of A Christmas Carol, Lyric Theatre Archive, 1981
Another traditional Christmas tale is that of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. In 1980, the Lyric theatre in Belfast staged a version by John Boyd. Boyd was a prolific playwright during the previous decade of the 1970s, writing some of the most important plays regarding the ongoing conflict in Northern Ireland with works such as The Flats in 1972 also presented by the Lyric Theatre. In his introduction to the play, Boyd writes of Dickens' story being linked to the plight of everyday life in Belfast at the time. The Lyric theatre founding director, Mary O'Malley, was so enthused with Christmas-themed drama that one of the very first productions by the Lyric players was a version of The Nativity, by Lady Augusta Gregory in November 1950. The script of this had to be procured from the Gate Theatre, Dublin, as seen in the letter here.
Scene from the Nativity by Lady Gregory, Lyric Theatre Archive, 1950
Letter from Gate Theatre sending script of The Nativity to the Lyric Theatre
Lyric Theatre Archive.
At the Gate Theatre itself, the theatre staged a revival production of Micheál MacLiammóir's Christmas play, Home for Christmas or A Grand Tour. First staged in 1950, in the original programme note, reproduced in the 1976 revival programme, MacLiammóir recounts how he was prompted to write the play by Orsen Wells about an prosperous English family touring across Africa and Europe at a time of Victorian empire and exploration. MacLiammór took that advice but set the story among an wealthy Irish family who are returning from world travels to Ireland for Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Winter Solstice and Newgrange - Images from the Etienne Rynne Archive


Entrance of Newgrange passage tomb - Rynne Archive

The Winter solstice took place this week and included an annual gathering of people at the historic site of Newgrange in Co. Meath, to witness the sunrise and illumination of the inner chamber on the shortest day of the year, 21st December.

Within the archive of archaeologist Etienne Rynne at University of Galway Library Archives are a number of records including photographs, postcard images, some dating from the 1950s, and later research files by Rynne into the history, archaeology, and culture of the site at Newgrange. Etienne Rynne (1932–2012) took up work as a lecturer in Archaeology at then University College Galway in 1967, having previously worked at the National Museum of Ireland. Rynne retired as Professor of Celtic Archaeology at UCG in 1998 after thirty-one years. 

Rynne's archive holds a wealth of material about many of Ireland's greatest archaeological sites and objects, including Newgrange. His research files include studies and analysis of the carved symbols and artworks on numerous stones around the entranceway of the passage tomb on the site. The images show the layout and condition of the site at the mid-point of the 20th century but also interestingly show the appeal and interest, nationally and internationally, about the site and its symbolism, as its image, such as the famous carved stones at the entranceway to the tomb, were used and reproduced on postcards which were available for purchase at the time of the 1950s.

Material relating to Newgrange Passage Tomb - Rynne Archive

An internationally renowned UNESCO world heritage site, the Brú na Bóinne complex, including Newgrange, and the solstice lighting of the inner chamber of the passage grave, is a spectacle to behold and the Rynne archive provides new insights into archaeological record of Newgrange.

The wider Etienne Rynne archive (and Rynne family archive, comprising of records of other members and branches of the Rynne family) is a hugely detailed archive of Irish archaeological sites and objects, and a record of a life’s research into Ireland’s early history and the discovery, recovery, and care of its archaeological heritage through the twentieth century.

Postcard with image taken at Newgrange - Rynne Archive

The full Rynne Archive catalogue is available to searchonline here.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Pan Pan Theatre Company - Archive Launch and Digital Exhibition.


Pan Pan Theatre Company Archive and Digital Exhibition Launch

29th November 2022

Location: ‘The Bridge Room’, Hardiman Building, University of Galway 

2pm Welcome and Introductions:

Barry Houlihan, Archivist, Library Archives.

John Cox, University Librarian


2.15 - 3.15pm: Panel 1: ‘A Theatre of Ideas’ - Pan Pan and Contemporary Irish Drama

Ian Walsh - Out of the dark: Pan Pan’s Staging of Beckett’s Radio Plays, All that Fall and Embers.

Charlotte McIvor: ""Pan Pan's Conceptual Theatre of Rigour and International Lineages of Resonance."

Emer McHugh: ‘Playing [with] Shakespeare, Playing the Dane’.

Chair: Finian O’Gorman


3.15pm - 4pm: Pan Pan and the Archive - "Noise and People, People and Noise"

               Barry Houlihan

               Aafke Van Pelt 

Break: 4pm – 4.15pm          

4.15 - 5pm Gavin Quinn and Aedín Cosgrove in conversation, moderated by Patrick Lonergan


5pm Launch of Pan Pan Archive and Digital Exhibition

Welcome and Introductions: Dan Carey, Director, Moore Institute.

Launched by Willie White, Artistic Director, Dublin Theatre Festival. 

Refreshments provided. 

Andrew Bennett and Judith Roddy, in Everyone is King Lear in Their Own Home,
Pan Pan Theatre Company, 2012. Photograph (c) Ros Kavanagh.

Pan Pan Theatre Company Archive and Digital Exhibition launched at University of Galway Library

The archive of the award-winning Pan Pan Theatre Company has been donated to the University of Galway Library Archives. Established in 1993 by Gavin Quinn and Aedín Cosgrove, Pan Pan Theatre Company have established international recognition as one of Ireland’s premiere theatre companies, touring throughout Ireland, Europe, the United States and from China to New Zealand. The archive is fully catalogued and available to researchers at University of Galway Library. A new digital online exhibition will share the Pan Pan archive with a global audience.

The Pan Pan archive consists of annotated scripts, production notebooks, photographs, designs, programmes, posters, and a vast collection of digital show recordings, spanning more than fifty boxes of materials from the last thirty years. The papers document the early years and development of the company led by Quinn and Cosgrove, who have directed and designed the majority of Pan Pan productions. Pan Pan were established in 1993 as “Ireland’s first deaf ensemble”. Pan Pan produced work for and with deaf practitioners and audiences, creating a new space of accessibility for Irish theatre in the mid- and late-1990s. New original works by Pan Pan at this time Tailors Requiem (1996), Cartoon (1998), and Standoffish (2000).

In later years Pan Pan adapted Irish and European classics in new and innovate productions. Oedipus Loves You by Simon Doyle and Gavin Quinn (2006), which starred Ruth Negga, toured to international acclaim. The Crumb Trail by Gina Moxley (20009) revisited the form of the fairy tale for a modern technology-driven society. Pan Pan engaged with the works of Samuel Beckett and William Shakespeare across a number of productions. Pan Pan produced Beckett’s radio plays, All That Fall in 2011, and Embers in 2013, and also Beckett’s Quad (2013) and Endgame (2019). Shakespeare’s works were explored in Mac-beth 7 (2004) and The Rehearsal: Playing the Dane (2010), a reworking of Hamlet. In 2006, Pan Pan staged an all-Chinese cast production of J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World in Shanghai, translated into Mandarin, setting the production in a contemporary hairdresser’s salon.

Pan Pan are today producing new works and regularly touring nationally and internationally. The recipients of many international awards as well as Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards, the Pan Pan archive documents a company that has always sought to innovate, reinterpret, and connect Irish theatre and culture to the worldwide audience.

Dr. Barry Houlihan, Archivist, University of Galway, commented that “working on the Pan Pan archive and cataloguing its vast array of materials is a reminder of the immense contribution that Pan Pan have made to contemporary Irish drama in Ireland and internationally. The archive will be in an immersive and fascinating resource for anyone interesting in the company and modern Irish theatre and culture.”

Gavin Quinn and Aedín Cosgrove, co-founders of Pan Pan Theatre Company added: “It's an amazing opportunity that University of Galway has given Pan Pan to make our work available in this archive, we are blown away by the dedication and curatorial excellence of the Archive team. We are delighted that our little contribution to the theatre scene in Ireland will be preserved."

Dr. Charlotte McIvor, Head of Drama, Theatre, and Performance at University of Galway commented: “The acquisition of the Pan Pan archive gives us another opportunity to bring together history and practice in our Drama and Theatre Studies classrooms and across the School of English and Creative Arts.  Pan Pan have always been at the vanguard of moving Irish theatre forward as a landscape since their founding, and we are now delighted to be partnering with them to bring the transformative story of their history and their future directly to our students.”

The Pan Pan archive digital exhibition, curated by Aafke Van Pelt with Eimhin Joyce and Barry Houlihan, includes over four hundred digital objects from across the Pan Pan archive, all freely accessible online via the University of Galway Library Digital Repository.

John Cox, University Librarian, University of Galway adds that, “We are delighted to have secured the archive of such an innovative company as Pan Pan. This archive is a tremendous collection in its own right and complements our archival coverage of other Irish theatre companies, including the digitised archives of the Abbey and Gate Theatres and others in paper format such as those of the Druid, Lyric and Taibhdhearc.”

The Pan Pan archive and digital exhibition will be launched at an event in University of Galway by Willie White, Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival on 29th November. All are welcome to attend.


Link to Digital Exhibition:

Video message from His Excellency, Adriaan Palm, Dutch Ambassador to Ireland on the occasion of the launch of the Pan Pan Theatre Archive and Digital Exhibition. 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Léargas ar Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh (1874–1951)

Mar chuid den bhailiúcháin leabhar a bhronn Conradh na Gaeilge ar Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, tá roinnt foilseacháin ó pheann Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh, scoláire agus ollamh ar fáil i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin, (Bailiúcháin Speisíalta).


(English version below)


Luathshaol agus oideachas

Rugadh agus tógadh Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh in aice le Achadh an Iúir i gContae an Chabháin. Tar éis seal le Eoin Mac Néill mar múinteoir Gaeilge aici,  bhain sí céim amach i gColáiste Ollscoile Bhaile Átha Cliath (An Ollscoil Ríoga), (BA 1899, MA 1900). Tuairim an ama chéanna, chaith sí téarma i bPáras ag staidéar faoi Henri D’Arbois de Jubainville, ollamh le Cheiltis sa Collège de France.


Oileáin Árann

Thug sí cuairt ar Oileáin Árann don chéad uair sa bhliain 1898 agus d’fhan sí ar Inis Meáin i dteach an iascaire (Páidín Mac Dhonnchadha) a bhí fágtha ag Synge díreach roimpi. Lean sí ar aghaidh ina dhiadh sin ag tabhairt cuairte ar an oileán chuile bhliain agus i mí Lúnasa 1899 bhunaigh sí ‘Craobh na mBan’ de Chonradh na Gaeilge, bliain tar éis bhunadh Chraobh na bhFear den Chonartha in Inis Mór agus Inis Meáin. Choinnigh sí dialann taistil agus i 1902 foilsíodh 'Smuainte ar Árainn' ag Conradh na Gaeilge, cáipéis luachmhar shóisialta agus chultúrtha, ina bhfuil grianghrafanna comhaimseartha ar fáil inti. Foilsíodh eagrán nua dhá-theangach: Smaointe ar Árainn ag an Dr Ríona Nic Congáil sa bhliain 2010.

Conradh na Gaeilge agus cúrsaí foilseachán

Bhí baint mhór ag an triúr: Úna Uí Fhaircheallaigh, Máire Ní Chinnéide agus Máire de Buitléir, le forbairt Chonradh na Gaeilge mar ghníomhaithe teanga. Foilsíodh a húrscéilín Grádh agus Crádh i 1901 agus deirtear gurb í an chéad banúrscéalaí ag scríobh sa Ghaeilge. Le cois sin bhi sí ina stiúrthóir leis an chlódóir gaelach: An Cló-Chumann Teoranta. Chuir sí in eagar Filidheacht Sheagháin Uí Neachtain, an t-aon saothar amháin léinn dá cuid, a foilsíodh i 1911. Rugadh an file agus scoláire Seaghán Ó Neachtain c.1640 i bparóiste an Droma, Co. Ros Comáin ach chaith sé an chuid is mó dá shaol i mBaile Átha Cliath i gceantar Shráid Thomáis.


Gairm acadúil

Chabhraigh sí le Cumann Céimithe na mBan agus Ábhair Chéimithe a bhunú in éineacht le Máire Ní Aodáin agus throid siad ar son comhdheise agus cothramaíochta do mhná san ollscolaíocht. Ceapadh Úna ina léachtóir le Nua-Ghaeilge nuair a bunaíodh Ollscoil na hÉireann i 1909 agus ceapadh ina hOllamh le Nua-Ghaeilge í, tar éis imeacht Dubhghlas de hÍde ar scor i 1932.


Coláistí Samhraidh agus imeachtaí eile

Bhí sí i lár an aonaigh maidir le h-imeachtaí cultúrtha eile freisin. Mar shampla, sa bhliain 1914 bhí páirt lárnach aici nuair a bunaíodh An Cumann Camógaíochta in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Baile Átha Cliath. D’iarr sí ar a cara, Edward Gibson, Lord Ashbourne (deartháir Violet), corn a bhronnadh don chomórtas camogaíochta tríu léibhéal: An Corn Ashbourne. B'í an ceathrú uachtarán ar Chumann Camógaíochta na hÉireann. Deirtear go raibh  sí ar cheann de na gníomhaígh teanga ba dúthrachtaí ag an am sin. Bhí sí ina cathaoirleach ar Chomhchoiste na gColáistí Samhraidh agus baint aici le bunú agus réachtáil na gcoláistí samhraidh i gCloich Chionnaola; i dTuar Mhic Éadaigh agus Coláiste Laighean. 

Ní beag sin!


Spotlight on  Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh (1874–1951) 

The collection of books recently donated by Conradh na Gaeilge to the University of Galway includes a number of publications by Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh, academic and writer, which are now available  to researchers in the James Hardiman Library, (Special Collections).

Early life and education

Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh (Agnes O'Farrelly; nom-de-plume 'Uan Uladh') was born and raised near Virginia  in Co. Cavan. She studied the Irish language first with Eoin Mac Néill  and later graduated from the Royal University of Ireland (BA 1899, MA 1900). During this period she spent a term in Paris studying under Henri D’Arbois de Jubainville, professor of Celtic languages  in the  Collège de France.

Aran Islands

She visited the Aran Islands for the first time in 1898 and she stayed in a fisherman's house (Páidín Mac Dhonnchadha) on Inis Meáin which had  been vacated by Synge just before her arrival. She continued to visit the island every summer and in August 1899 she founded Craobh na mBan (women's branch) of Conradh na Gaeilge following the establishment of the men's branch of Conradh na Gaeilge on Inis Mór and Inis Meáin. She kept a travel diary and in 1902, Smuainte ar Árainn was published by Conradh na Gaeilge, a valuable social and cultural document which includes contemporary photographs. A new bilingual edition: Smaointe ar Árainn was published by Dr Ríona Nic Congáil in 2010.


Conradh na Gaeilge and publishing activities

Together with Máire Ní Chinnéide  and Máire de Buitléir, Úna Uí Fhaircheallaigh played a significant part as language activists in the development of Conradh na Gaeilge.  Her short novel, Grádh agus Crádh was published in 1901 resulting in  her being the first Irish language female novelist. In addition, she was a director with the Gaelic printing house: An Cló-Chumann. Her edition of a selection of poetry by Seaghán Ó Neachtain: Filidheacht Sheagháin Uí Neachtain was published in 1911.  The poet and scholar Seaghán Ó Neachtain was born c.1640 in the parish of Drum, Co. Roscommon but he spent most of his adult life living in the Thomas Street area of  Dublin city.

Academic life

A founder member in 1902, along with Mary Hayden, of the Irish Association of Women Graduates and Candidate Graduates, to promote equal opportunity in university education, she gave evidence to the Robertson (1902) and Fry (1906) commissions on Irish university education, arguing successfully for full co-education at University College Dublin. In 1909 Úna Uí Fhaircheallaigh was appointed lecturer in modern Irish upon the establishment of the National University of Ireland. She took over from Douglas Hyde  as Professor of Modern Irish in University College Dublin on his retirement in 1932; she was president of the Irish Federation of University Women (1937–9) and of the National University Women Graduates' Association (NUWGA) (1943–7).


Irish summer colleges and other activities 

Úna Uí Fhaircheallaigh poured her energy into many cultural activitiesFor example, in 1914 she played a central role in the founding of An Cumann Camógaíochta (the Camogie club),  in  University College Dublin. Through her influence, her friend Edward Gibson, Lord Ashbourne (a brother of Violet),  donated a cup for the third level colleges camogie competition established in 1915: the Ashbourne Cup.   She was the fourth president of the Camogie Association of Ireland and one of the most dedicated Irish language activists of her time. She chaired Comhchoiste na gColáistí Samhraidh (Joint committee of the Irish summer colleges) and was involved in the founding and administration of the Irish summer colleges in Cloich Chionnaola;  Tuar Mhic Éadaigh and Coláiste Laighean.


Tuilleadh eolais:

McMahon, Timothy G. 'All Creeds and All Classes?? Just Who Made Up the Gaelic League?' Eire-Ireland 37 no3/4 118–68 Fall/Wint 2002

Ní Shéaghdha, Nessa. ‘Irish Scholars and Scribes in Eighteenth-century Dublin’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 4 (1989), pp 41-54.

Nic Congáil, Ríona, Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh agus an fhis útóipeach ghaelach, Dublin : Arlen House ; Syracuse, NY : Syracuse University Press, 2010.

Scríofa ag/written by Patricia Moloney, Catalógaí, Bailiúcháin Speisíalta/Cataloguer, Special Collections


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.

    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.