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Abbey Theatre Minute Books Jan 1904 - May 1939
Abbey Theatre Minute Books Jan 1904 - May 1939
A collection of Abbey Theatre minute books from January 1904 to May 1939. These minute books contain hand-written minutes from Abbey Theatre meetings. Each minute book has been transcribed and this collection provides access to both the transcribed text and the original text displayed in a side-by-side searchable manner.
Balfour Album
Balfour Album
The Balfour Album of photographs was originally created in 1893-1895 by the Belfast photographer, Robert John Welch. It was a gift to the former Chief Secretary for Ireland, Arthur J. Balfour in recognition of his support for the building of the Galway-Clifden Railway. The album was presented to Arthur Balfour in the summer of 1896, a year after the railway had opened. It remained in the property of the Balfour family until 1987 when the then Earl of Balfour offered to sell it to the National Library of Ireland. Staff at the National Library felt that it more properly belonged in Galway and it was accordingly offered to the Librarian of the James Hardiman Library who purchased it for the library's collection. The Midland and Great Western Railway Company had concentrated its efforts from the mid-1840s on developing a rail line to Galway. The line was extended to Athlone and, following the construction of the major bridge over the Shannon, finally reached Galway. The rail link between the East and West of Ireland opened on 1 August 1851.The coming of the railway had a major impact on tourism in the West. Within a few years several guidebooks had been published outlining the glories that visitors could enjoy by travelling to Galway on the new rail-link and then using a variety of conveyances to bring them through Connemara. A notable variation on road transport is that mentioned in Black’s Guide to Galway and Connemara, published in 1877, which suggests taking a steamer from Galway to Oughterard or Cong. The extension of the railway to Westport in 1866 and Ballina in 1873 created further scope for round trips, allowing visitors to arrive at Galway, be conveyed through Connemara to Westport and onwards to North Mayo, from where they could return to Dublin by train. Further major development in the transportation of tourists in Connemara occurred in 1890 with the decision finally to build a railway line to Clifden. This idea had been mooted earlier and major planning had taken place in the late 1870s and early 1880s but lack of investment capital had prevented the project going ahead. Its construction was one of the causes championed by Arthur Balfour in his role as Chief Secretary for Ireland and funding became available as a result. Balfour had made an extensive tour of Connemara in 1889, which convinced him that this was a necessary project. Work commenced in 1893 and, at its peak, 1,500 men were employed on the Clifden line. The building of the railway would have been underway when R.J. Welch made his first visit to Connemara in 1894 and it is likely that he took photographs, including that of the construction work at Recess, on that occasion. The plate 'Construction of the Galway–Clifden railway at Recess' perhaps best illustrates the Balfour Album’s purpose. This image shows approximately fifteen men working on the section of the line close to Recess station. We can deduce from the timescale and evidence from Welch’s diaries that the photograph must have been taken during his first visit to Connemara in 1894 since, by the time he returned in 1895, the line had opened to rail traffic. Other photographs in the Balfour Album portraying the railway are views of the magnificent metal bridge constructed to carry the railway across the Corrib at Woodquay in Galway. The Album contains fifty plates of Welch's work with their captions in calligraphy. Its superb binding is by the renowned Belfast firm of Marcus Ward, one of the leading decorative bookbinding companies in the United Kingdom at that time. The Album was presented to Arthur Balfour in June 1896 as a tribute from people in Connemara for their railway. Those who contributed to the Album are listed in the illuminated address to Balfour, the fine artwork of which can probably be attributed to John Vinycombe, the Artistic Director at Marcus Ward. Prominent among the contributors are members of the local landed gentry, Poor Law Guardians and local clergy of various denominations. It seems likely that Welch’s work, as depicted in the Album, comes from both his earlier trip in 1894 and a later trip, in July 1895, which he took with other members of the Irish Field Club Union (IFCU). These annual meetings were meticulously planned and organised beforehand, principally by the leading Irish botanist of the day, Robert L. Praeger. Evidence elsewhere indicates that Praeger and F.J. Biggar was also in this group. Some of the photographs that were later used to illustrate the beauties of Connemara and the activities it had to offer were probably taken at this time or during the IFCU excursion the following year. Notable in this regard are the series of photographs of Ben Lettery and the section of the Twelve Bens known today as the Glen Coaghan horseshoe. There is a particularly fine depiction of a party of ladies and gentlemen ascending Ben an Saighdiúr. The account of the IFCU excursion certainly indicates that some of the party visited this area. Mountain walking was becoming a popular pastime among the middle and upper classes in all parts of Europe, including Ireland, during this period. We know from other accounts that hill and mountain walking were widely enjoyed in Connemara at this time. Indeed, shortly afterwards, in 1905, a Scottish lady is alleged to have fallen to her death from a spot in the Maamturk mountains, an event commemorated in the place name, Áille na Lady. In view of the fact that the Album was a gift to Arthur Balfour it is somewhat surprising that these photographs are the only depictions of the line that are featured in the Album. Other collections of Welch’s photographs held in various repositories, however, appear to include other photographs of the line. Six were stations constructed during the building of the line: at Moycullen, Ross, Oughterard, Recess, Ballyinahinch and Clifden. All of the buildings, with the exception of Maam Cross station which is derelict, still survive, being used either as private dwellings or business premises. The illuminated address at the beginning of the Balfour Album gives us some idea of the expectations of people in Galway and Connemara regarding the economic improvements the railway would produce. It states: 'Differ as we may among ourselves as to political creeds we all cordially unite in offering to you our best thanks for the great service that you have done for us. You have put this country on the high road to prosperity and contentment, if its people will devote their best energies to practical industry and the development of its natural resources which have too long laid waste'. The image captioned 'A Connemara long car' is a fine example of Welch’s sense of context, a depiction of the means of transport as well as the spectacular scenery through which it travelled. The ‘long car’ was a ubiquitous vehicle in the West of Ireland until the advent of motor transport. A regular service operated between Galway and Clifden before the coming of the railway. The entry in the 1856 edition of Slater’s Commercial Directory indicates that Bianconi’s car travelled to Galway every day except Sunday, starting from Carr’s Hotel in Clifden at 9 a.m. A car also went in the opposite direction, departing Galway at 9.30 a.m. A mail car left Galway at 1.30 a.m. every morning, while one went to Oughterard from Clifden every afternoon at 4 p.m. Natural phenomena fascinated Welch, especially the seashore and its myriad life forms, from biographical information we know that this one of Welch’s life long interests. The image captioned 'The Limpet shell midden, Dog’s Bay'. Welch’s own scientific preoccupations are very successfully demonstrated in a significant number of pictures in the Balfour Album highlighting either natural history or archaeological subjects. This photograph of a prehistoric kitchen midden of limpet shells exemplifies how Connemara was regarded as a rich source for the study of both subjects. Welch's photographs, as well as providing accurate depictions of monuments and sites, encouraged like-minded tourists to travel to see them. The photographs of archaeological remains on the island of Inchagoill in Lough Corrib are of special importance as the earliest photographic depictions of these monuments. Inchogoill was a favourite destination of visitors interested in archaeology or natural history. The appeal of sites like Dog’s Bay to naturalists is evident from the accounts of trips to the West of Ireland organised by groups such as the IFCU, which have been documented by Timothy Collins. The caption to the Balfour Album photograph of the IFCU landing at Arranmore specifically mentions that this excursion was to take advantage of the new railway. Trips organised by such learned societies provided safe opportunities for travel to hitherto remote regions, especially for women. Rosamund Praeger, sister of R.L. Praeger, was one of the party visiting Connemara in the mid-1890s, as is evidenced by her sketch of Welch attempting to cope with the Connemara climate in his photographic endeavours Organisations such as the IFCU and the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club provided Welch and others with opportunities for publishing. The latter society, for example, produced a comprehensive handbook entitled Belfast and the Counties of Antrim and Down in 1902, on the occasion of the visit to Belfast of the British Association for Advancement of Science. This latter publication contains twenty-three plates by Welch illustrating chapters on antiquities, botany and geology. There is also much evidence for the photography of antiquarian remains in Welch’s work. Since the publication of the Earl of Dunraven’s Notes on Irish Architecture in 1875, the use of photography in the study of what were essentially archaeological monuments had been developing. As W.A. Maguire has pointed out, Welch’s excursions with his father as a boy gave him an unusually wide knowledge of the topography and antiquities of Ireland, particu larly Ulster. He was later to assert that he had travelled 80,000 miles in Ireland to photograph antiquities alone This continued to be a lifelong interest and he published several pieces on archaeological sites, including a shell midden at Cranfield Point, Co. Down. Shell middens were clearly one of Welch’s favourite subjects and he photographed several of the famous examples at Dog's Bay on the Connemara coast in the 1890s. Inchagoill Island in Lough Corrib was a popular destination for those wishing to study the remains of early Christianity in the area. Contemporary Irish antiquarians who studied the remains on Inchagoill included Jerome Fahey, Patrick Weston Joyce and R.A.S. Macalister. It is likely that all three would have been familiar with the work of R.J. Welch. It is clear that Welch derived enjoyment as well as professional advancement from his visits to Connemara and the West. Perhaps the most important and far-reaching commission he was to undertake there was his involvement, between 1909 and 1911, with the Clare Island Survey, sponsored by the Royal Irish Academy, of which he was a member. This has been described as the most ambitious natural history project ever undertaken in Ireland. Welch was part of a team of experts in the fields of archaeology, botany, geology and zoology, who carried out the first comprehensive survey of a specific land area. The monumental three-volume work published as a result remains one of the great achievements of early twentieth-century scientific publishing. As with the Balfour Album, the many photographs in the Clare Island Survey publication contributed by R.J. Welch are a testament to his dedication and his appreciation of the unique natural surroundings to be found in Connemara and the West.
Brendan Duddy Papers
Brendan Duddy Papers
Brendan Duddy was born in Derry on 10 June 1936. He became a businessman in his native city, and by the early 1970s he owned and managed two fish-and-chip shops, one in Beechwood Avenue (Creggan) and another in William Street. His motivation for involvement in community affairs, and eventually in behind-the-scene politics, grew out of a deep interest in politics and debate ("I have been a political analyst all my life"), and out of an upbringing in a mixed community where Protestants marginally outnumbered Catholics, a fact he highlighted when making his statement for the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in 1999. Read more about the Brendan Duddy Papers
Cusack papers
Cusack papers
The Michael Cusack collection is the unique personal collection of the founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), generally acknowledged to be the greatest amateur sporting organisation in the world. The GAA, which remains a dominant force in Ireland's cultural and sporting life, was founded in 1884 as a highly influential element of the Irish cultural renaissance of the late nineteenth century and of Ireland's struggle to re-establish its own political, linguistic and cultural identity. Among the most important historical items in the collection are the complete minutes of the Dublin Hurling Club, from 1883. Cusack was Vice-President of the club, a predecessor to the national organisation founded the following year. In addition, there is a diary kept by Cusack on a visit to his native Clare in 1902 and a range of personal, biographical and photographic material on Cusack's family. Aside from its value for researchers into the cultural forces at work in that seminal period, and in particular the events leading up to the foundation of the GAA, the collection is unique in constituting the only known surviving material in Cusack's own hand and also in affording an unparalleled insight into the resilient personality of Cusack, the private family man, and his vibrant and gentle wit.
Library Podcasts
Library Podcasts
Podcasts of lectures and events hosted by the Hardiman Library.
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Welcome to the digital exhibition from the archive of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Marking fifty years since the Lyric Theatre opened on 28th October 1968, the Lyric Theatre has fulfilled a central role in the cultural life of Northern Ireland. Founded in 1951 as the Lyric Players Theatre, Mary O’Malley worked on growing a theatrical venture, initially for friends and family within her home, that later became the largest and one of the most important theatres in Northern Ireland and internationally. Mary, working with her husband, Dr. Pearse O’Malley, created a dynamic and diverse arts centre within Belfast that became synonymous with verse drama of W.B. Yeats and Austin Clarke but which also brought important international works by the likes of Anton Chekhov, August Strindberg, and Henrik Ibsen, to Belfast audiences for the first time. As the Lyric Theatre expanded its repertoire, it also grew in artistic ambition. The Lyric Theatre included an art gallery, an academy of music and drama, a craft shop, as well as publishing an internationally respected literary journal, Threshold, which included works by the likes of Mary Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, John Hewitt, John Montague, and Mary Lavin, as well as cover art-works by Colin Middleton and Louis Le Brocquy. The Lyric Theatre maintained a constant presence and operation during the worst years of the Troubles and sectarian conflict. The Lyric Theatre premiered important plays reflecting contemporary experience in the North such as Over the Bridge by Sam Thompson, The Flats by John Boyd, and later works by Stewart Parker and Christine Reid. Actors such as Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds got their start at the Lyric Theatre with others such as Stella McCusker having a career-long association with the theatre. The 1980s also saw a number of important premiéres at the Lyric, including Stewart Parker's "Northern Star" in November 1984 and Christina Reid's "The Belle of the Belfast City" in May 1989. The archive of the Lyric Theatre is housed at the Hardiman Library NUI Galway. Comprising over eighty boxes of files, the archive contains voluminous correspondence with important literary figures, photographs of productions, annotated prompt-scripts, finance and board records of the Lyric, as well as programmes, posters, and other ephemera from the Lyric’s rich history of over five decades. This exhibition explores the rich archive of the Lyric Theatre which is located at the Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. The archive includes over one hundred and twenty boxes of manuscripts, typescripts, photographs, letters, ephemera, posters, and other records that document the history of the Lyric Theatre, from 1951 through to the 1990s. As the Lyric marks five decades since it moved to its new home at Ridgeway Street, this exhibition traces the growth of the theatre, from its roots as a studio space 1951, in the home of Mary and Pearse O'Malley, to becoming an important arts centre and theatre, from where it grew in its new home in 1968 and where it is still based today. Exhibition Credits: Curator: Dr. Barry Houlihan Co-Curator and Digitisation: Betty Attwood Digital Repository Support: Aisling Keane
Professor Kevin Boyle Archive
Professor Kevin Boyle Archive
Material from the archive of Professor Kevin Boyle, human rights academic and activist and lawyer. Kevin Boyle was born in Newry, Co. Down in 1943. Boyle attended primary school at St. Colman's Abbey primary school, Newry, before continuing his education at the Christian Brothers Grammar School, also in Newry. Boyle earned a Degree in Law at Queens University Belfast in 1965 and a Diploma in Criminology from Cambridge University in 1966. At this time, Boyle returned to Belfast where he became a member of faculty at the Department of Law at Queen's University. At this time in Belfast of the late 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum and Boyle would find himself at the centre of the movement and its energy. These times were formative to Boyle developing a keen understanding of peaceful and democratic means of attaining equality and justice for those discriminated against in the North and internationally. Boyle would be named as Public Relations Officer of the 'Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association' and so also a key member of the group's leaders. Boyle would also be a member of the group 'People's Democracy, along with others such as Bernadette Devlin, Eamon McCann and Michael Farrell. Boyle was one of the marchers on the Civil Rights March from Belfast to Derry on 1 January 1969 which came under abuse and attack at various points along the March until tensions escalated on 4 January at Burntullot Bridge where the marchers came under further attack from Loyalists. Key documents in the series of records relating to the Civil Rights period in Northern Ireland includes minutes of meeting of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and of the group 'People's Democracy' as well as regional civil rights groups across Northern Ireland. Letters between Boyle and various others involved in the movement offer a new and engaging insight into emotions, tensions and experiences in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s and onwards through the 1970s. "Co-Ordination of Civil Disobedience - New Proposals", a manuscript copy of which, in Boyle's hand, within the archive is a powerful account of new projections to which the Civil Rights Movement, under Boyle's opinion, could take in Northern Ireland. (A44/1/1/5/5) In September 1972, Boyle took up a position as a post-doctoral student and visiting fellow at the Law School, Yale University, Connecticut. In an account of his time in America, Boyle would write of his experiences of racism and discrimination of Black communities in the United States as well as the role of policing. Boyle would describe a visit to Detroit as "These very streets remind me of the ghettos of Belfast." (A445/4/4) Security and policing would remain one of Boyle areas of expertise throughout his life and career. Following Boyle's return to Ireland from the United States of America in 1974, Boyle would leave Queen's University Belfast, where he would take up the positions of Chair of Law and Dean of Law, in 1978, at University College Galway. While at U.C.G. (NUI Galway) Boyle would be instrumental in developing and expanding the Law Department and also the Law Library collection of the Hardiman Library. Boyle would also work on establishing the Irish Centre for the Study of Human Rights at University College Galway in 1980, which would become the first such institution on the island of Ireland. Today, the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway stands to the early work of Kevin Boyle and others. In 1984 Boyle and fellow academic Tom Hadden would work in an advisory role to the 'New Ireland Forum', chaired by Colm O'hEocha, who himself was President of University College Galway. Boyle would write much on the constitutional and political fallout from ongoing debate on Northern Ireland at the time. As well as contributing to the New Ireland Forum, publications by Boyle, co-authored with Tom Hadden and others regarding Northern Ireland include "Ten years on in Northern Ireland: the legal control of political violence" (1980) and "Northern Ireland: The Choice" (1994). In the early 1980's Boyle was involved with Amnesty International, Ireland, which saw him compile research and observations trips to areas such as the Gambia and Somalia in Africa and also to South Africa where Boyle compiled key reports on the effect on the 'pass law' system and of the wider apartheid regime. Boyle's legal work over the previous decade and more would ensure he was one of the pioneering legal minds in Ireland and the U.K. at this time. He took and challenged many cases to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, with many focusing on alleged assaults and killings by security forces in Northern Ireland. Boyle was also deeply interested in the Diplock (non-jury) court system in operation in Northern Ireland for much of the period of the conflict. Other cases include Boyle representing Jeffrey Dudgeon, whose case Dudgeon Vs the U.K. was central to homosexuality being decriminalised in the U.K, Northern Ireland and also later as a reference point in the Republic of Ireland. A move to London would come in 1986 where Boyle would become the founding director of the international NGO 'Article 19' - a body concerned with international defence of freedom of expression, press and media standards, anti-censorship, freedom of religious belief and related causes. Boyle would head this body and establish it as an organisation of global importance. Boyle was expert in press, media and broadcast law and the papers around Boyle's work with 'Article 19' and also in an Irish context regarding press and media standards, cases such as the 'Section 31' of the Broadcasting Act which prohibited media coverage that might entice support of organisations who advocate violent means, including Republicans in Northern Ireland, the I.R.A. and Sinn Féin, form one of the indispensable sources on understanding the role of and place of media in Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s. Boyle would also serve as Chairman of the International Committee for the Defence of Salman Rushdie, who was under threat of Fatwa owing to his writings. Boyle would return full-time to academia in 1990 when we took up the position of Director of the Human Rights at University of Essex, Colchester, where he would act as Director of the Centre for Human Rights until 2001 and again from 2002 - 2006. While at Essex, Boyle worked tirelessly as academic and international advocate for a huge range of areas and disciplines of human rights. Boyle would also continue his legal work and contribute to major cases. One such case was 'Jersild Vs. Denmark, where a documentary film-maker was accused of inciting hatred owing to a film work he had made focusing on a group of right-wing racists known as 'The Green Jackets', in Denmark. One of Boyle's highest regards is as a teacher and educator. From Belfast to the United States to Galway and finally Essex, among others, Boyle was immensely passionate about a firm understanding and teaching of law and human rights. Boyle was president of the Irish Association of Law Teachers in Ireland and was made an honorary member shortly before his death. In 1998, Boyle was jointly awarded, along with his colleague in Essex, Professor Françoise Hampson, as United Kingdom Human Rights Lawyer of the year. September 11th, 2001, Boyle took up position of Special Advisor and speechwriter to Mary Robinson, in her capacity as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, based at Palais Wilson in Geneva, a position he held for the following year. One of Boyle's first acts in office, was, along with Mary Robinson, on behalf of the United Nations, was to declare the attacks on the World Trade Centre, New York, as a war crime. Kevin Boyle passed away on Christmas Day, 2010, following a battle with illness. The Boyle archive represents a wealth of material and unique insights into the field of human rights and law research and scholarship. Its breadth of subject matter, from the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland, later conflict throughout 'the Troubles', international freedom of expression and freedom of religious belief defence, legal analysis and representation, academia and teaching as well as vast amounts of personal correspondence allow for new insights and understandings of Boyle's contributions to the discipline of human rights but also the far reaching effect his work had on individual people's lives.
Ritchie-Pickow
Ritchie-Pickow
In 1996 the Ritchie Pickow Phototgraphic Archive was acquired by the NUI Galway Library, along with tapes of sound recordings. The photographs were taken and the recordings made by the husband and wife team George Pickow and Jean Ritchie on visits to Ireland in 1952 and 1953. Two exhibitions of the Ritchie Pickow Photographic Archive have been held at NUI Galway in 1992 and 1996. It was under the auspices of Dáibhín Ó Cróinín, lecturer in the History Department of the university and a grandson of one of the vocalists recorded by Jean Ritchie, that the collection was acquired for the Library Archives. Read more about the Ritchie Pickow collection.
Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe
Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe
The history of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe is one of the great success stories of Irish theatre. Established in 1928, at a time when Saorstát Éireann (the Irish Free State) was struggling for legitimacy, An Taibhdhearc set out to achieve an unparallelled cultural project, a Galway-based national Irish language theatre. Since 1990 the archive of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe has been held in the NUI Galway Library. The library has received additions to the collection since then, and the entire collection continues to be preserved and made accessible by the Library’s archival service. Details of the administration of An Taibhdhearc are to be found in minute books, correspondence, and financial records. Information about the individuals involved in running the theatre and their sometimes fraught relationships with each other, as well as the many practical difficulties facing the company, may also be found in these documents. In addition there is material relating to each production, including correspondence, theatre programmes, posters, photographs and newspaper cuttings. The latter offer the researcher a detailed record of the plays staged, as well as audience and press reaction to the different productions. There are, in total, over 1500 items of correspondence, 500 programmes, 300 photographs and 250 posters.
Tim Robinson's townland index for Connemara and the Aran Islands
Tim Robinson's townland index for Connemara and the Aran Islands
An extensive card catalogue compiled by Tim Robinson throughout the 1980s and 1990s, drawn from his field notes. The series has been arranged by Robinson into civil parishes, and further divided into townlands. For most of the townlands, there are several record cards that give a detailed description of the local landscape. These describe historical, ecclesiastical, geological, and archaeological features. Anecdotes and local lore also feature in these. Robinson adds the names of people who helped him compile his information, usually local people, and often correspondents who sent him information helping him identify the origins of placenames, or certain landmarks and artefacts. The cards also credit several secondary sources, including the OS maps and corresponding Field Name Books, Hardiman's History of Galway, Alexander Nimmo's map of the bogs in the West of Ireland, and many more. In all cases in this series, the placename Tim Robinson used as his title appears as the title here. Many are in Irish, and some are in English. The corresponding translation is provided in the description.

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