Tuesday 7 May 2013

Follow the decade of 100 years ago on Century Ireland

A website has been launched to tell the story of Ireland's most tumultuous years: 1912-1923. Called Century Ireland, it's an online historical newspaper that will tell the story of the events our ancestors lived through 100 years ago. It will be published fortnightly.

As well as telling us the news story of the time, it provides access to relevant RTÉ archival material, as well as contextual information. Major cultural and educational institutions in Ireland have been involved, and a range of rarely (or even never before) seen material has been made available.

Its opening 'issue' offers the following:
  • Catríona Crowe on video, talking about the rise of the Irish women’s suffrage movement
  • Dr Will Murphy sets out the social, cultural and political background to May 1913
  • Dr Leeann Lane tells the international story of the women’s Suffrage movement
  • Dr Conor Mulvagh provides a Q&A session on the theme: What was Home Rule?
  • Prof. Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh discusses Ireland & the Empire in 1913

There are also News In Brief slots taken from the newspapers of the day, where some lighter examples of Irish life can be found. Just a few examples set the temperature: Boy attacked by organ-grinder’s monkey in Dublin; Haunted house leaves family with ‘pitiable plight’; Marriage annulled on grounds of hypnotism. Every one a winner!

And I'm sure this website will also be a winner. It's presented in an attractive package, got a great mix of video, podcast and reading, and caters across the board from popular interest to more serious examination.

Century Ireland has been produced by a team of researchers at Boston College Ireland and the project is funded by the Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Minister Jimmy Deenihan launched the site this morning). It is hosted by RTÉ and the site is complimented by their broadcast schedule and material from the RTÉ archives.