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November 15, 2018 Explore Your Archive 2018
Explore Your Archive 2018: Public invited to discover Ireland’s past through national and local archives

The Archives and Records Association, Ireland (ARAI) has launched Explore Your Archive 2018. The launch programme, which runs from Saturday, 17th November to Sunday, 25th November 2018, aims to highlight the richness and diversity of archives throughout Ireland, and to promote their unique potential to educate and excite people, bring individuals and communities together, and unearth compelling stories.

Coordinated jointly with the Archives and Records Association in the UK, the initiative encourages the public to explore their own past through greater engagement with their local, regional and national archives. Participating organisations, both north and south of the border, will open their vaults to display collections of stories, films, photos and other rare manuscripts throughout the campaign.

Campaigns Officer with the Archives and Records Association, Ireland, Joanne Carroll said: “This year marks the sixth Explore Your Archive campaign and it’s fantastic to see such a broad mix of activities taking place. With topics spanning politics and religion, music and sport, to name a few, there really is something to appeal to all areas of personal interest.

“As we continue through this decade of centenaries, people are more aware of the important role archives play in preserving our cultural heritage and making it widely accessible to all. This campaign is a great opportunity for everybody to expand that knowledge and visit an archive in their local area to unearth and explore one of the fascinating stories of Ireland’s past.

“A particular focus of this year’s programme is influenced by the 1918 centenary commemorations. Events range from exhibitions on the life of an army chaplain, to a suffragette walking tour of St Stephen’s Green and a lecture on the visit of the number 2 squadron Royal Flying Corps to Ireland and the first overseas flight in 1914.”

Highlights from Explore Your Archive 2018 include:

  • The National Archives of Ireland will host a free talk to discuss the ways in which the past can save the future. Guest speaker and RTÉ current affairs broadcaster, David McCullagh will explore how archived evidence can be used to prevent history from repeating itself. Wednesday, 21st November from 6pm – 7pm.
  • The Cork City and County Archives will host ‘Denny Lane (1818-1895): Renaissance Man’, an exhibition showcasing the personal archive of the eminent Corkman, scholar, businessman and politician. The exhibition celebrates the bicentenary of Denny Lane’s birth in 1918. Monday, 19th – Friday, 30th
  • The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) will host a conference to mark the centenary of the 1918 general election. The conference will explore the impact the election had in Ireland; women and the vote; suffrage and creative responses; voices from the archives; and the absent voters lists of 1918. Thursday, 22nd November from 2pm – 4.30pm.
  • The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) will reflect on its 287 years of philanthropic commitment to the economic and cultural advancement of Ireland. It will host a presentation on the history and development of its archives and collections which represent its corporate memory. Thursday, 22nd November at 2.30pm.
  • Dublin City Library and Archive will hold a special walking tour of St Stephen’s Green and its environs. Led by Dublin City Council Historian in Residence, Maeve Casserly, the tour will explore the connections of the local area with the Irish suffrage movement. Friday, 24th November at 1pm.
  • The Irish Traditional Music Archive will bring its archival songs to life through a three-part live radio broadcast series on Dublin’s Near FM from the historically rich surrounds of its Georgian premises on Merrion Square. The broadcast will include performances and interviews. Thursday, 22nd November – Saturday, 24th November from 1pm.

Ambassador for the Explore Your Archive 2018 campaign and presenter of RTÉ Nationwide, Anne Cassin commented: “I am delighted to work with the Archives and Records Association on this year’s Explore Your Archive initiative. Through my own work in media and journalism, I recognise the importance and value of research and storytelling. Our network of archives across Ireland play an essential role in protecting stories, keeping them safe and ensuring that they are available for future generations to discover.

“It is my hope that through Explore Your Archive, people will recognise the centrality of human experience to so many of the materials and stories found in our archives. It is this human dimension which makes our archives so compelling. I would encourage people to take a look at this year’s programme and visit an event in their locality.”

More information on the Explore Your Archive 2018 campaign and the full event programme are available at www.exploreyourarchive.org.

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