Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NUI Galway Archives brings you Culture Night 2012

Culture Night 2012 at NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library
Culture Night 2012 will take place on Friday, 21 September with cultural institutions from across the country opening their doors to stage a series of special events to mark the occasion. Among those hosting events for this national evening of celebration is the Archives and Special Collections services in NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library.

The Library holds numerous unique archival collections dating from the 15th century to the present day across a range of disciplines. Throughout the night, the James Hardiman Library will be showcasing many of these archival treasures.

The programme of events will begin with an overview of the literary archive, life and legacy of the celebrated Irish playwright Tom Kilroy. The archive is a record of the plays, works, friendships and achievements of Tom Kilroy. This unique event will open up and explore the playwright's archive to the public.

This will be followed by an exhibition and talk on Pomes Penyeach and Nora Barnacle archived letters. This exhibition will allow the public to view an original and rare edition of the James Joyce written collection of poems, donated by Joyce to the Special Collections of the James Hardiman Library following its publication in Paris in 1932.The entire edition, in Joyce’s own handwriting, is printed on rare Japanese paper and bound in green linen with gilt lettering with illustrations from Joyce's daughter, Lucia Joyce.
To complete the event a special film screening of The Dead will also take place. Adapted from James Joyce’s classic story, The Dead was the last film directed by John Huston in 1987. Prior to the screening, Professor Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media will give a short introduction on the John Huston archive.

NUI Galway Librarian, John Cox, said: “Culture Night offers an ideal opportunity to engage the public with some of the treasures in the James Hardiman Library’s archives and special collections and the public are very welcome to attend all or part of our events.”

All events, which are free and open to the public, will take place at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway with doors opening at 5.30pm. For more information or to RSVP contact Barry Houlihan in the James Hardiman Library at 091 493353 or email barry.houlihan@nuigalway.ie.

NUIG Archives and the Archives & Records Association Conference 2012

This week, we at the Archives service of the James Hardiman Library are delighted to be able to attend the annual conference of the Archives and Records Association (ARA) taking place in Brighton, England. This is the first time The James Hardiman Library will be able to be represented at the conference and this is in no small part to the generous bursary received direct from the ARA. The ARA offered ten bursaries across the U.K. and Ireland and we are delighted to be among those chosen.

The conference will run for three days beginning Wednesday 29 August and conclude on Friday 31 August. The schedule is simply packed with a huge range of speakers, talks and events, bringing together the largest gathering of the archival profession in the U.K. this year. The theme across the conference this year is "Progress, Innovation and New Landscapes". It is a very apt title as more than perhaps ever before, archivists and institutions really have to push the boundaries of their innovation and ingenuity in order to make progress. A range of international speakers will cover topics across a huge span of interests including; 'Are we all digital archivists now?', 'Burdened with the truth – Wikileaks', 'Decision making in conservation', 'Meeting the requirements of new audiences', The on-going impact of technology on archivists strategies' and 'The way forward for the archival sector'.

Given the wide range of topics, expertise and backgrounds of archivists from instututions large and small across the U.K. and Ireland, the annual conference promises to be a key event in this years calendar.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Historic University Calendars 1845 - 1934 digitisation project at the Hardiman Library

The historic University Calendars of National University Ireland, Galway, have been made available on-line following a recent digitisation initiative at the James Hardiman Library. Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Galway, the Historic Calendar project provides a truly unique insight into the history, development and achievements of Galway's university, as well as full graduate lists of its alumni. This project provides digital access to the calendars from 1851 to 1934 and tracks the movement of the University from Queen's College to University College Galway to its present identity of National University of Ireland, Galway.

Queen's College, Galway, was founded by Letters Patent under "the Great Seal of Ireland", bearing the date the 30th of December, 1845, and was administered by a Governing Body which consisted of a President, Vice-President, Bursar and included a faculty and academic staff of twenty Professors as well as the University Librarian and a Curator of the University Museum.

The Professors were divided into three faculty: Arts, Medicine, and Law. The Faculty of Arts was further divided into Literary and Science divisions. The literary division of the faculty consisted of languages such as Greek and Latin and also History and English Literature. The Science section included Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Natural History, Logic and Metaphysics, Mineralogy and Geology Civil Engineering and Agriculture.

The Faculty of Medicine featured courses on Anatomy and Physiology, the Practice of Medicine, Practice of Surgery, Materia Medica and Midwifery. The faculty of law included the Professors of English Law, Jurisprudence and Political Economy.

The calendars offer a detailed account of the course structure and content of a given course at Queen's College and the entrance requirements and expected course work of the students. The prescribed reading lists for students across all disciplines also appear.

Other rules and regulations which were outlined to all prospective students was the code of discipline. This stipulated, for instance, "That no student shall appear within the College gates, except in academic costume; and that for every violation of this rule a fine of one shilling be incurred." Students could also expect to face disciplinary measures if they fell afoul of the following offences: "Habitual neglect of attendance, for divine worship, at such church or chapel as shall be approved by his parents or guardians,  Habitual neglect of attendance on the religious instruction provided for students of his Church or denomination in the licensed boarding-house in which he may reside,  Immoral or dishonest practices,  Treasonable or seditious conduct,  Drunkenness,  Grievous offences against College rules or discipline, Wilful and serious injury to the property of the College."

Also of interest to scholars of the history of education in Ireland or of those of the development of particular subjects or disciplines are the exam papers. The Calendars feature annual exam papers for each course and discipline within each faculty and detail the exam process as well as method and type of examination expected by students.

The period 1845 - 1934 covers a challenging and turbulent time in Irish history. Queen's College was founded just as famine was devastating the population in the West of Ireland and also nationally, and continues to trace education and social history in Ireland that ran parallel to the likes of the foundation of the Land League, the Home Rule Movement, The Easter Rising, World War I, the War of Independence and the Civil War and also during unrest in mainland Europe. Some of these political and social changes are reflected in the Calendars with the Irish language and cló Gaelach increasingly being used after 1926. The increased use of the Irish language in the university is just one important initiative that was debated around this time and also was considered in the revised Irish Universities Act of 1929. The calendars are a vital resource in studying and examining third level education in Ireland while also providing a record of those who studied and taught at the College and University. Advertisements and references to local services and businesses offer an important social reflection of those suppliers who were servicing the college and its population at the time. The historic calendars will also play an important role for genealogical researchers as well as research of local history in the West of Ireland.

The calendars of Queen's College Galway/University College Galway are available in full and online at this link: http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie/calendars
Further digital projects from the James Hardiman Library can be viewed here: http://www.library.nuigalway.ie/collections/archives/digitisedarchives/

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Michael Cusack Papers - New Online Exhibition

Croke Park's famous Cusack Stand takes its name from Michael Cusack (1847–1906), one of eight men present at the founding of the G.A.A. in Hayes's Commercial Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on 1 November 1884.  Cusack was appointed honourary secretary of the new organisation, whose aim was to promote and codify Gaelic games.   Prior to the founding of the G.A.A. Cusack had founded the short-lived Dublin Hurling Club in February 1883 and Metropolitan Hurling Club in December 1883.

In 2007 the nieces of Cusack's daughter in law Kathleen O'Connell donated a collection of documents and photographs associated with Cusack and his family to the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway.   Among the most important historical items in the collection are the complete minutes of the Dublin Hurling Club, from 1883. Cusack was Vice-President of the club, a predecessor to the national organisation founded the following year. In addition, there is a diary kept by Cusack on a visit to his native Clare in 1902 and a range of personal, biographical and photographic material on Cusack's family.   Many of these items are now available as part of this online exhibition created by the NUI Galway's Library archives service.  This is one of a number of digital resources and exhibitions created by the archives service to promote access to its valuable collections.

As well as his involvement in Gaelic sport, Michael Cusack a teacher by profession was a prolific journalist, contributing to titles such as United Ireland, Celtic Times, Shamrock, Fáinne an Lae and The Nation.  Many of these titles are available in the James Hardiman Library's Special Collections .  It is generally suggested that James Joyce's "Citizen" in the Cyclops chapter of Ulysses, is based on Michael Cusack.  However the character could also be seen as a caricature of the nationalist-militarist type and as critique of the "cult of Cú Chulainn", not as a depiction of Cusack himself derived from personal acquaintance. Patricia O'Connell (one of Kathleen O'Connell's nieces) wrote that "his nationalistic outlook may not have endeared him to James Joyce, who was a man of the Pale."

 Further reading:

James Quinn. "Cusack, Michael". Dictionary of Irish Biography. (ed.) James McGuire, James Quinn. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Cronin, M., Murphy, W., Rouse,P.(eds.)  Gaelic Athletic Association, 1884-2009, Irish Academic Press, Dublin; Portland, OR.,2009.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blog Awards Ireland 2012 - Nominated

Here at the James Hardiman Library we have received the really great news that our Archives and Special Collections blog is among the nominees for 'Best Arts and Culture Blog' in the 2012 Blog Awards Ireland.

We are delighted to be among such great company and among those other nominees who realise the value and potential of good blogging. With more and more people and institutions sharing their services and news on their blogs and connecting with a wide audience rather than more traditional media, blogging is a considerably influential tool for all arts and cultural institutions.

It has enabled us to keep in touch in a regular fashion with our users, share news and events in new and interactive ways and receive feedback and comments from those who use our service. Thank you all our readers and followers of our Archives and Special Collections blog. So to all the other blog-tastic nominees. . . Congratulations and Best of Luck to all!