Wednesday 23 December 2015

A Christmas feast of Irish Genealogy and history on podcasts, videos and multi-media

As usual, I'm intending to get some quiet time over the Christmas break and have been saving up some podcasts and videos to enjoy. Here's my list of goodies. You might enjoy them, too.

Fin Dwyer's Irish History: Fin is a historian who runs tours, writes books and publishes a blog. He also creates podcasts. I'm planning on listening in to two of his most recent: the
Superstitions and strange customs of medieval Ireland
and Ireland's hidden hand in history. The title of the former is self-explanatory. The latter looks at Irish people who you have never heard of but nevertheless played key roles in history. Among them are a 50-year-old Irish woman who tried to assassinate the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1920s; Eliza Lynch, a Cork woman who became the first lady of Paraguay in the 19th century; and Joseph Kavanagh, a leading figure in the French Revolution. This podcast also includes a competition and an update on Fin's book on the Black Death.

The Genealogy Radio Show: Since launching her weekly show on RaidiĆ³ Corca Baiscin, Lorna Moloney has interviewed a good number of Irish genealogy's best-known names on a wide range of topics. The third series has just finished so there are thirteen informative interviews freely available on the radio station's website. They're all around 30 minutes long. See the full menu of Series 3 recordings.

Genetic Genealogy Ireland (GGI): Some 14 videos of lectures presented at the Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2015 Conference in Dublin are now available for free viewing on YouTube. Among the presenters are some of the most world's most popular and renowned genetic genealogists and the lectures are aimed at all levels. I'm still very much beginner level, but I shall be hoping to consolidate my current understanding and shift myself along with a good bit of viewing of these videos over the next couple of weeks. The GGI YouTube channel is here.

Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF): The UHF hosted a fascinating talk about five weeks ago called All roots lead to Chicago: Irish Railroad workers and canal workers in the 19th Century. Held at PRONI, it was presented by Deborah M Dudek and Tina Beard, both from Illinois. I've watched it once already, but I think it deserves a second viewing as it held a lot of information. This time round, I'll have an atlas with me. Among all the other detail learned in the first viewing, I discovered that my knowledge of North America is pretty poor.

History Ireland Hedge Schools: I haven't managed to listen in to many of this year's Hedge Schools, so I've made a selection from those now available as Hedge School podcasts here. Top of the list will be 'Policing in Ireland 1814&2014', 'The Emigrant’s Song: the impact of Irish music on American culture' and the most recent one, recorded earlier this month at the National Library of Ireland, 'From popular culture in the Great War to the Great War in popular culture'.

Websites to explore: I have a list as long as my arm of websites with which I should (probably) become acquainted. There are only so many hours, however, even over the festive season, and I don't hold out much hope of making any great dent in the list. I will, though, invest some time exploring the last few months' output on CenturyIreland. In my opinion, this site, which is produced by RTE, sets a new high for multi-media presentation of history. Only trouble is, there's so much information produced each week, I've failed to keep up. I'll also be keen to read new additions to the Letters1916 site.