This year’s culture night takes place on the 22 September. Culture night is an annual all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. The James Hardiman Library is holding an evening of talks and an exhibition to celebrate culture. The focus of the talks is on community development with the focus on materials from the Muintir na Tíre collection as well as volumes from the 19th century printed collections.The James Hardiman Library’s collections hold a rich source of material on local and community studies. In the archives we have collections from The Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre, Professor Kevin Boyle, Brendan Duddy, Ritchie-Pickow, Éamon de Buitléar, Tim Robinson and Druid Theatre company to name but a few. The James Hardiman Library has recently acquired the archive of Muintir na Tíre, a national voluntary organisation dedicated to promoting the process of community development. A series of blogs have been written about the work to date of making the collection accessible for researchers.
The recent stepping away from active political life by Martin McGuinness and from his role as Deputy First Minister, signalled a polemic shift in the political landscape in Northern Ireland, His passing today, aged 66, has further intensified the consideration of his life and role in Northern Ireland, and his journey from conflict to peace, over many decades.The perhaps unknown role that Martin McGuinness played, over many years, in negotiating a peaceful and sustained end to conflict in Northern Ireland can be seen within the archive of mediator Brendan Duddy. Brendan Duddy was born in Derry on 10 June 1936. He became a businessman in his native city, and by the early 1970s he owned and managed two fish-and-chip shops, one in Beechwood Avenue (Creggan) and another in William Street. Duddy knew Martin McGuinness in the 1960s when McGuinness worked for a supplier company delivering burgers to Duddy’s shops – at a time when McGuinness’s interest in politics was not yet kindled.
The Digital Cultures Initiative (DCI) is a forum intended to bring together all those interested in researching, supporting and creating forms of “digital culture” at NUI Galway. This includes digital arts, humanities and media researchers, information and data science specialists, experts in digital teaching and learning, creative practitioners, archivists, and interested stakeholders from creative, heritage and industrial communities beyond the University.
It will support co-ordination among these differing groups in order to share our growing expertise and experience. By so doing, we greatly enhance our scope for innovative interdisciplinarity, exciting new research and pedagogy, and new forms of partnership inside and outside of NUI Galway.
Mary Robinson will not avail of tax credits for donating her archivePlans for a Mary Robinson Presidential Library in Ballina, Co Mayo look to have stalled, after the former president announced that she would gift her archive to NUI Galway and have it stored there. The Victoria House Foundation, which has been working to develop a centre at Ms Robinson’s childhood home in Ballina, says storage of the archive in Galway will mean there is no need to have archival facilities in Co Mayo.
On Tuesday 1 November, NUI Galway Library will host the first in a series of lunchtime events.
Our first event will focus on the Archive of Fear na Mapaí, Tim Robinson, which resides here at NUI Galway. This archive documents four decades of Robinson’s pioneering work in Irish landscape, which began in 1972 when he visited the Aran Islands with his wife Máiréad. His 1975 one-inch map of the Aran Islands was the first substantial map of the area to be created since the 6 inch Ordnance Survey map a century before, and its composition brought up several complexities that exist in this unique landscape, from place-names, to the geological, archaeological, and botanical features that are all inherent in the landscape. Beyond the publication of the map, he explored these subjects in a deep-mapping project of Aran, that led to the publication of two books, ‘Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage’ in 1986, and later ‘Stones of Aran: Labyrinth’ in 1995. His work brought him to map and consider the Burren and Connemara landscapes with equal emphasis, and in 1987, Tim and Máiréad won the Ford Ireland Conservation Award. They proceeded in the competition as Ireland’s official entry, and won the European Award in Madrid.
One particularly special element of Robinson’s archive is a meticulously accumulated index of the townlands of Connemara and the Aran Islands, which has inspired the Library’s first steps to a Digital Mapping project, focusing on Robinson’s archive, but with applications to future projects. This will be the focus of our inaugural Brownbag Pitch. As the name suggests, lunch will be provided, and we will take you through the story of the archive, the digital project, and plans for the future, before opening up the floor to some discussion about what parts of the project you consider useful, not useful, and if you think this has applications to your own research.
Venue: Room G011, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway
Date and Time: 12:00-14:00, Tuesday, 1 November 2016
The Brendan Duddy Archive
This new online resource contains digitised items from the archive of Brendan Duddy, the Derry businessman who maintained and operated a secret channel of communication between the British government and the IRA Army Council for twenty years. Duddy was a key figure in the 1975 ceasefire negotiations, the 1981 Republican Hunger Strikes, and ceasefire talks between 1990 and 1994 and was the subject of Peter Taylor’s BBC documentary ‘The Secret Peacemaker’.
The digital archive makes available documents such as secret communications concerning the 1975 ceasefire; ‘the Red Book’, being Brendan’s diary of transcribed phone negotiations to help bring a resolution to the 1981 Hunger Strikes and also documents relating to critical moments from the Peace Process of the early 1990s.
Venue: Tuesday, 25 October, 2016, Room G010, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway.
Along with libraries around the world, the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway will be celebrating International Open Access Week the final week of October, from the 24th – 30th. The theme for the event this year ‘Open in Action’, which puts a spotlight on the concrete steps that are and can be taken to open up research and scholarship, while encouraging others to do the same.There are a number of ways for you to take your own steps towards opening up research and scholarship at the Library during Open Access Week. You can sign up, for example, for two key events that we’ll be holding on the theme of Open Access.