Digitising 1916 Memorabilia

Digitising 1916 Memorabilia

The Embassy of Ireland invited British residents to visit and share their personal objects and family stories related to 1916.

The public memorabilia ‘collection day’ allowed items such as letters, diaries, photographs and ephemera digitised by experts, free of charge.

The Inspiring Ireland day welcomed 200 visitors, and was the first ever open day at the embassy.

Volunteer interviewers explored the background of objects provided and an expert from University College London undertook the digitisation.

Contributors came from across the UK to participate in the event, and Inspiring Ireland collected and digitised over 40 unique objects for sharing in upcoming exhibitions, including medals, correspondence, political pamphlets, photographs and even a Celtic kilt pin worn by a member of a pipe band.

In particular, the story of Liam Parr, a 1916 volunteer from Manchester was recounted by his daughter, Bernadette Ward, and provided a fascinating insight into the links from Britain to the events surrounding the Easter Rising. The Embassy arranged an Open Day to allow members of the public to visit the Embassy and learn more about the Ireland 2016 commemorative programme in Britain.

All visitors were welcomed by Ambassador Dan Mulhall (pictured), who gave a talk on the causes and consequences of the Easter Rising and its legacy, as well as the commemorative programme in Britain.

All visitors were then offered a guided tour of the Embassy by colleagues and learned about the Embassy’s interesting history and Ireland’s diplomatic ties here.

The digitised material is now preserved and displayed within Inspiring Ireland 1916, a series of online exhibitions that form part of the multimedia, multiple award-winning website Inspiring Ireland. www.inspiring-ireland.ie

Created in partnership with Ireland’s national cultural institutions and public broadcaster, these new exhibitions use fascinating objects from public and private collections, together with expert interpretation, to tell the stories of people whose lives were changed by the events of Easter Week and paint a vivid picture of the events and legacy of 1916 that have inspired Ireland.

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