Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New exhibition on Irish and Russian Theatre coming to Hardiman Library


A new co-exhibition, “Unchanged but the Spirit. . . ’, launching 7 October 2014, between the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway the Russian State Art Library, Moscow, will for the first time in Ireland, present archive material on the production and stage history of The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, from initial staging in 19th Century Russia to later adaptations in contemporary Ireland.

The Chekhovian classic The Seagull has engaged and provoked audiences since its Moscow premieré in 1896. From a poor initial reception from audiences and critics alike, the play was close to being abandoned and forgotten until it received its production at the Moscow Art Theatre, directed by Constantine Stanislavsky in 1898. Since then, the play has been regarded as one of Chekhov’s finest works. In an Irish context, the play received a translation and adaptation by playwright Thomas Kilroy, premiering at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 1981. In opening up and combining the archive sources of Kilroy and other theatre archives of the Hardiman Library and of the R.S.A.L collections in Moscow, the exhibition will highlight how across cultures, languages, societies and centuries, theatre and its impact can remain unchanged.

This exhibition will simultaneously stage material from the theatre collections of the Hardiman Library and the Russian State Art Library in both Galway and Moscow throughout the month of October and is a unique chance to see a visual and archival history of The Seagull, in its many manifestations, from Chekhov to Kilroy.

All are welcome to attend the launch of the exhibition by Dr. Ian Walsh, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway, at the Hardiman Building (Room G011) at 6pm, Tuesday, 7 October.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Announcing: 'Interpreting Landscape': Symposium on Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson
Interpreting Landscape

Moore Institute International Symposium
Tuesday 30 September 2014
Hardiman Research Building, National University of Ireland, Galway

Schedule:

10.30 Registration and coffee/tea. Venue: entrance to Room G010, Atrium of the Hardiman Research Building

11.00 Welcome by Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute. Venue: Room G010

11.05 John Wylie, Exeter University: So near and yet so far'.

Discussion

11.50 Justin Carville, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design: 'Lines of sight and historical topographies: photography, anthropology and archaeology in the West of Ireland'

12.30 Nicolas Fève, photographer: introduction to his photographic practice and interpretation of landscapes evoked by Tim Robinson, followed by Justin and Nicolas in conversation, and discussion

13.00 Lunch break and opportunity to visit the exhibition ‘Interpreting Landscape: Tim Robinson and the West of Ireland' / ‘Rianú Talún: Tim Robinson agus Iarthar na hÉireann', in the Atrium, Hardiman Research Building. This exhibition displays elements of the Robinson Archive in the James Hardiman Library, together with photographs by Nicolas Fève and extracts from John Elder, Nicolas Fève and Tim Robinson, Connemara and Elsewhere (Royal Irish Academy, 2014). A display of other archives relating to landscape can be viewed in the nearby Special Collections Reading Room.

13.45 Nessa Cronin, National University of Ireland, Galway: ‘Interpreting island space: gender, science, and empire in the life and work of Maude Jane Delap (Valentia Island, 1866-1953)'
Discussion

14.25 John Elder, Middlebury College, Vermont: 'Dwelling on the edge'
Discussion

15.15 Short break

15.30 Screening of ‘Unfolding the landscape', a filmed interview with Vincent Woods, Tim Robinson and Nicolas Fève. Venue: Seminar Room G011, Hardiman Research Building

16.30 Close of symposium

Please click on the link below to register for this event

Monday, September 15, 2014

Join Us For Culture Night 2014 at the Hardiman Library!


The annual wave of all things culture is ready to pour over Galway City and County (as well as all of Ireland!) as Culture Night 2014 arrives on 19th September. The Hardiman Library is delighted to be staging a series of events that celebrates the richness of its Archive collections. From 6pm all are welcome to join us for a special evening of film, talks and tours that covers over 500 years of local and national history as well as opens up the story of how Galway and Hollywood came together and is recorded in the archive of the Oscar-winning director John Huston, whose vast film archive is held by the Hardiman Library.

Commissioned by John Huston in 1958 to prepare a scenario for a film on Sigmund Freud, Jean Paul Sartre, the French philosopher, actually wrote two scenarios - the first before visiting Huston at St Clerans, County Galway in autumn 1959, and the other afterwards. Both were far too long, but after much pruning and rewriting Freud: The Secret Passion premiered in 1962.

This illustrated talk by Prof. James Gosling will explore the script of The Secret Passion, contained within the Huston Family Archive at the James Hardiman Library, written by Sartre, edited by Huston and then later rejected by Sartre. Prof. Gosling will share his extensive archive research on the script held at the Hardiman Library and also on the other various versions held in Paris. The findings will prove to be an entertaining and enlightening evening showcasing one of Galway's great cinematic histories.

There will be a special showcase of archival material from the Huston Family Archive.

Following this event, at 7pm, all are welcome to join us for a tour of 'Performing Ireland 1904 - 2014', an exhibition showcasing the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive and also a tour of the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room of the Hardiman Library.

Date: 19th September
Time: 6pm
Venue: Moore Institute Seminar Room, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway
Contact: barry.houlihan@nuigalway.ie

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Land - Ownership, Occupancy & Use: the O'Connor Donelan Archive

Letter from John O'Connor Donelan to his mother
21 July 1893
Land–its ownership, occupancy and use– has been a central motif in Irish history and in the Irish imagination for centuries. Land has been a source of wealth and income, as well as a key marker of social rank and political power. A history marked by confiscation and plantation resulted in the land being a site for conflicting claims and identities in Ireland. Accordingly, primary documentary records relating to Irish landed families and estates provide a rich resource for the investigation of many aspects of Irish history. 

The Archives of the Hardiman Library hold a number of landed estate collections relating to major estates and families in the West of Ireland. The O’Connor Donelan collection provides a good example of the value of such records. The papers relate to the O'Connor Donelan family of Sylane, Tuam, County Galway. The papers cover the legal dealings of the family, the management of their various lands, and personal papers relating to various family members. The bulk of the personal material relates to Thomas O'Connor Donelan (1812-1874) and his sons. His eldest son Dermot had an interest in genealogy and forestry, and his other three sons were doctors in Dublin, Leeds and Manila.
Thomas O'Connor Donelan,
c. 3 years old, c. 1870

A Galway landowning family, the O’Connor Donelan family papers relate principally to the nineteenth century, though reflecting the activities of both the Donelan and O’Connor families in earlier centuries. The papers document various aspects of the lives and range of interest and responsibilities of the family: the legal aspects of their affairs, the challenges of estate management and the personal concerns (including political activities) and contacts of family members in the nineteenth century. The collection offers the researcher a valuable case-study of a modest Galway landed estate of the nineteenth century.

Also available online from NUI Galway is the Landed Estates web site, www.landedestates.ie, a comprehensive and integrated online resource guide to landed estates and gentry houses in Connacht c.1700-1914.


Lease for Cuilmore [Peterswell, County Galway]., containing three acres, for use as a priest's residence for 999 years, at £11 per annum. 31 January 1846



Monday, August 18, 2014

Minutes and moments in Galway History - Galway Urban District Council Archives


As part of the Local Authority Collections of the Hardiman Library Archives, the minutes books of  Galway Urban District Council, ranging from 1899-1922, cover a key period in the development of Galway city and its environs. The Urban District Council was set-up after the 1898 Local Government Act, it replaced the Board of the Galway Town Commissioners. As an 'Urban District Council' rather than a 'Corporation' the body was subordinate to Galway County Council, in administrative terms this put Galway City on the same level as towns such as Athlone and Clonmel.

Galway Urban District council was responsible for the upkeep of Galway'’s roads, street lighting and the collection of tolls. Unlike it predecessor body the Galway Town Commissioners it was also responsible for the provision of 'social housing'. During the period covered by this collection a number of housing schemes in Galway city were undertaken by the Urban District Council, including the construction of 'working class' homes in Henry Street. The period covered by this collection also saw the replacement of the tram service to Salthill with a bus service.

The minute books of the Galway Urban District Council also include a number of references to political events of the time including The First World War, The Conscription Crisis and the War of Independence. One such entry on 18 July 1918 sees a request for assistance made to The Galway U.D.C. from the Irish Recruiting Council, regarding recruitment into forces fighting in the First World War. The Galway U.D.C minuted that they were willing to meet and hear the request from the Irish Recruitment Council. A following meeting, dated, 1 August 1918, notes that Colonel Arthur Lynch M.P. addressed the meeting on behalf of the Irish Recruitment Council and explained the necessity of having voluntary recruiting carried out in order to obviate the necessity of conscription.

18 July 1918

A resolution passed on 17 June 1920 explicitly stated that the Urban District Council recognised "the authority of Dáil Éireann as the duly elected Government of the Irish people".
17 June 1920
So much economic, social and political evidence can be gleaned from such documents. When considering one of the duties and responsibilities of the Galway U.D.C. was upkeep and maintenance of roads within the district, even details regarding condition of the roads can steer researchers toeards information regarding population growth, increase in number of vehicles in Galway City at the time and even the impact the First World War was having by increasing military traffic in the region. An entry from Aril 1919 gives reasons as following for degrading of road conditions:

 ". . . .That the traffic from the County districts over the roads within the Borough boundary has been considerably increased in recent years, and that to this has been added a large volume of Army motor traffic which resulted in increased expenses in the repair and up-keep of the roads."

17 April 1919
All these images are from volume LA4/3 and are from just one volume of a series of four which are a vital and unique resource for a study of the period of key development in Galway and indeed nationally at the time. A full description can be seen here: http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie/FlatList.php?col=LA4


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Creative Collision from the Beginning - The Galway (International) Arts Festival Archive

At the half-way point in this year's Galway International Arts Festival, it is a good time to catch a breath after what has been such a packed week of the festival. This year being the first 'International' Galway Arts Festival (though of course it always was International!) it is a good opportunity to open up the archive of the Galway Arts Festival and look back at some of the hits and big events from over the years.

We are proud to hold the archive of the Galway Arts Festival here at the James Hardiman Library. It is a rich resource of history, great memories, major names and acts from all spectrum of the Arts and a record of just how the Arts Festival has grown and developed over the years, where today it stands as one of the great international arts festivals.

Here we open up some of the archives to see just how strong the programming was from its early years in the 1980s. Theatre names such as Druid of course stand out, along with Footsbarn Theatre Company and also a version of Waiting for Godot by Jim Sheridan . Literary names are full of heavy-hitters like John McGahern, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Kilroy and Paul Durcan to name a few. Art exhibitions from Robert Ballagh, Brian Boske, Patricia Burke-Brogan and others filled the visual art programme. Music from Padraig O'Carra, De Dannan, Doloros Keane, again to just but a few, were among the musical acts.

We hope you enjoy just a few highlights from the Galway Arts Festival Archive. The Archive catalogue can be viewed in full here and any queries please be in touch! Email - library@nuigalway.ie













Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Life in NUI Galway, 110 years ago


A set of 20 photographs, mainly from 1904, the Anderson Family Photographs refer to Alexander Anderson and his family, and show life in Galway University at a time of transition both for the family themselves and society as a whole.

Anderson was the first person to suggest the existence of black holes and the first to speculate about what would happen if a star collapsed under its own gravity.  He was a great man, whose ideas were ahead of his time.  Anderson was a teacher and researcher in Experimental and Mathematical Physics as well as being an able University Administrator.  He devoted much of his life to University College Galway. 

Originally from Coleraine, Anderson began his career at Queen’s College Galway in 1877.  He graduated in 1880 with a gold medal for his BA.  He then took first place in an open scholarship to Sydney Sussex College in the University of Cambridge where he studied Physics and Mathematics and came out as sixth wrangler in 1884.  He returned to Galway in 1885 and shortly after, succeeded Joseph Larmor as Professor of Natural Philosophy.  He was also president of Queen’s College Galway for thirty-five years.  Anderson’s interest in the practical applications of physics is illustrated by the fact that his department was providing a medical radiography service in Galway from 1898.  He was also involved in industrially sponsored research.  Around 1899 the Eastman-Kodak Company provided a fellowship for the study of X-ray photography.  Unfortunately the tissue of a child was damaged and scarred by an X-ray exposure.  This activity attracted worldwide attention, as it was the cause of probably the first instance of litigation on the injurious effects of ionising radiation though the verdict was in favour of the College. (Details of the case are available from one of our small collections, P61, at http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie/col_level.php?col=P61 ).

During his career in Galway, Anderson ensured that the Physics department had state of the art equipment including the then newly invented X-ray and radio apparatus and cathode ray tubes.  It is said of Anderson that his primary interest lay in teaching and that he was rarely content to give a piece of theory from a textbook without first improving or simplifying it.


He married Emily, daughter of William J. Binns of the National Bank in Galway; they had a son and three daughters. Mrs Anderson was active in reform organisations and, with her daughters, attended local suffrage meetings; they were founder members of the Connaught Women's Franchise League in Galway in January 1913. Their daughter Emily was educated privately before entering QCG in 1908; she won a literary scholarship after an exceptional performance in her first-year examinations, when she placed first in English, French, German and Latin; in 1909 and 1910 she held the college's Browne scholarship, and in 1911 graduated BA. She specialised in German, and undertook postgraduate work at the universities of Berlin and Marburg. She was professor of German in UCG from 1917 till her resignation in 1920, when she moved to the Foreign Office in London. She was awarded an OBE for intelligence work in the Middle East, and translated and published The letters of Mozart and his family (1938) and The letters of Beethoven (1961). With her mother she was a founding member of the Connaught Women's Franchise League.

Their only son, also Alexander, enlisted in the 4th Connaught Rangers Battalion as a lieutenant, and was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. He was reported missing on 23 November 1916 and ended up as a Prisoner of War. He was awarded a B. Sc. (Honoris Causa) in 1917 and later appears on the Army List for the Connaught Rangers from 1918-1920.
 

The photographs are part of the research material gathering by the late Dr. Tom O’Connor, Department of Physics, for work he did on a history of that department. They give us a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Anderson family who grew up on the grounds of University College Galway.