In 1916 a group of Irish Volunteers, among whom were James Connolly, James, Plunkett and Patrick Pearse, insurrected against British rule in Ireland. Part of the rationale for the timing of this Easter Rising was to strike at Britain while she was busy in the First World War. However, it is not always known that very many Irish participated on the side of Britain in the Great War. Records show that over 200,000 Irishmen served in the British Army at this time (a great uncle of mine, Thomas Rapple, a Dubliner, died in October 1918 while serving as a private in the 13th Hussars).
Earlier this summer, the Library of Trinity College Dublin in partnership with the Google Cultural Institute launched The Great War Revisited exhibition. This fascinating digital exhibition highlights some of the riches of First World War material held by TCD’s Library. These include recruiting posters, letters, diaries, photographs, videos, pamphlets and artworks.
From the press release:
Highlights of the exhibition include:
1. Trinity’s celebrated collection of Irish WWI recruiting posters (one of the largest collection in existence)
2. Previously unpublished photographs of the Allied campaign in Iraq and Turkey
3. Letters and diaries from Irish soldiers serving in France, Iraq and Palestine (previously unpublished)
4. A multitude of political pamphlets, songs and ballads and artworks
This years marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo where the Anglo-allied army under the Duke of Wellington defeated the French army under Napoleon Bonaparte. This was one of the most critical battles in European history.
To mark the anniversary the National Library of Ireland has made available over 300 digitized portraits of the Dublin-born Duke of Wellington and almost 100 digitized portraits of Napoleon. It also provides access to a selection of over 100 digitized prints relating to Waterloo.
It is likely that the centenary of the 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland will be commemorated with a number of traditional and online exhibits. However, the National Library of Ireland already has an excellent online exhibition in place, The 1916 Rising: Personalities and Perspectives. This exhibition uses contemporary books, newspapers, photographs, drawings, proclamations and manuscripts, almost all from the collections of the National Library, to focus upon those who set the stage for the events of Easter Week 1916: the seven signatories of the proclamation, the others executed in the aftermath of the Rising, the casualties and the survivors. Over 500 images have been selected for study and analysis.
Yale Divinity Library currently has a very interesting exhibit that traces the history of ecumenical student Christian movements, An Ecumenical Community of Students: Archival Documentation of Worldwide Student Christian Movements. The Divinity Library has extensive archival holdings in this area in addition to support agencies and leaders of related national and international movements.
Anatomie de la tête, en tableaux imprimés, qui représentent au naturel le cerveau sous différentes coupes… d’après les pièces disséquées et préparées par M. Duverney, 1748.
The European Library and the European national libraries have created a fascinating online exhibition: “Reading Europe: European culture through the book”. This “offers a rare opportunity to view some of the hidden literary gems from the national libraries of Europe. Twenty-three countries have selected nearly a thousand works for the public to peruse. Visitors can discover everything from 18th century English bestsellers to the lost interiors of Russian palaces, all presented in an innovative and multilingual form.” Twenty-six countries and thirty-one languages are represented. The exhibition includes curatorial information about each participating national library, in English and their official languages.
The first phase of the Shelley-Godwin Archive has just opened. It consists of a digitized version of all the known manuscripts of Frankenstein. These manuscripts consist of the disbound pages from five notebooks of Mary Shelley. The ongoing goal of the Archive is to add to this digital Frankenstein and provide the digitized manuscripts of all the literary works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, “bringing together online, as for the first time ever the widely dispersed handwritten legacy of this uniquely gifted family of writers.”
If you missed the physical exhibit A Place of Reading: Three Centuries of Reading in America hosted by the American Antiquarian Society at Smith College you may still enjoy AAS’s excellent online exhibit of the same name. The goal of the exhibit is to present “three centuries’ worth of individuals ‘caught’ in the act of reading in homes, taverns, libraries, military camps, parlors, kitchens, and beds, among other places.”
It’s appropriate that the exhibit may be viewed as a book where one flips the pages or as a webpage.