Friday 26 July 2013

€45k grant for digitisation of exceptional documents

A collection of documents dating from the early 18th century is to be digitised thanks to a €45,000 grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Among the material covered by the project is a collection of contemporary documents relating to significant historical events and movements such as the rebellions of 1798 and 1803, the struggle for Catholic emancipation, the Repeal Association and Young Ireland, the Fenians, the Home Rule movement and the Land War.

Of the later material, by far the most significant is the Easter Week collection – a considerable repository of photographs and documents from the period 1910–1923. This collection includes items of great historical import, such as:
  • The original draft of Patrick Pearse’s order of surrender to General Maxwell in 1916
  • Political documents by Éamon de Valera and Arthur Griffith
  • Administrative records relating to the Irish Volunteers
  • A collection of autograph books and photographs from internment camps in Britain and Ireland
  • The last written messages of a number of the executed leaders of the 1916 Rising, including the letter Pearse wrote to his mother the morning he was put to death.
The collection makes up some of the most important paper-based documents held by the National Museum of Ireland.

The digitisation project, which will be completed this year, also includes the Cashman collection, which contains over 200 photographs — many of them previously unpublished — of events and individuals connected to 1916 and the War of Independence. A number of historical artefacts relating to Roger Casement and Thomas Ashe will also be covered by the project, along with historical and military collections from the period after 1922.