Monday 7 December 2015

National Library of Ireland launches 1916 digital collections and 2016 activities & events programme

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has launched its 2016 programme this evening. It includes the release of a unique digital repository of personal papers and photographs that tell the story of the momentous events of 1916 in Ireland.

In addition to the 70,000 digital images already available through the NLI’s online catalogue, the digitised personal papers and photographs of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation - Eamonn Ceannt; James Connolly; Tom Clarke; Sean MacDiarmada; Thomas MacDonagh; Padraig Pearse; and Joseph Plunkett - will be added in the coming months. The first of these – the full collection of Ceannt's papers – went live during the launch event.

In January 2016, the NLI will issue the material related to Tom Clarke and James Connolly papers; followed by Seán MacDiarmada and Thomas MacDonagh in February, concluding with the papers of Patrick Pearse and Joseph Plunkett in March 2016. The digitised papers include diaries, postcards and photographs that tell the stories of the family and working lives of each signatory, alongside dramatic records of their activities during Easter Week 1916.

The Irish Times has a detailed article, and a video, about the digitisation of the personal papers.  

Speaking at the launch event, Dr Sandra Collins, Director of the National Library, said: “At the heart of the National Library’s plans for 2016 is our core mission: collecting and making available Irish memory and heritage for people everywhere. Our 1916 programme is ambitious and includes digitisation, exhibitions and events, and I am delighted that we will be adding to our archive of the Irish Internet by capturing websites related to the commemorations for people to explore as a record of this momentous year.”

The NLI's 2016 programme of free events, exhibitions and activities to mark the centenary commemorations of the Easter Rising is on the Library's website:

The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme is a national programme, co-ordinated by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, to commemorate the events of the 1916 Rising, to reflect on Ireland's achievements over the last 100 years and to look towards Ireland’s future. For more information, visit