The aim of the Towards 2016 project was to survey University College Dublin’s holdings of material relating to the 1916 Rising and to digitise a selection of this material in order to make it available on the IVRLA. The material which has been selected is of considerable historical and cultural significance and provides an insight into disseminated interpretations of the Rising in the years immediately after it and later. This project also provides indexes detailing UCD’s holdings of this type of material which will be of use to scholars, researchers, members of the public and those involved in future digitisation projects.
Postcards, poems, songbooks, photographs, pamphlets, commemorative material, ephemera and accounts of the Rising, which are housed in UCD Archives and Special Collections in the James Joyce Library have been digitised for this project. This material reveals the narratives and interpretations of the 1916 Rising that emerged in its wake.
The project has also digitised two significant first-hand accounts of the rising: the diary of J.R. Clark (which contains a graphic account of the events, sights and sounds of Easter Week in Dublin’s city centre) and Ernie O’Malley’s interview with Liam Manahan (together with an interview transcript, courtesy of Cormac O’Malley). The papers of Ernie O’Malley, housed in UCD Archives, containing over 450 interviews with people active in the revolutionary period, are very helpful in elucidating the events associated with the 1916 Rising; this project has also digitised a significant number of these for preservation purposes.
Finally, five indexes of relevant material have been compiled detailing publications and ephemera held by UCD Special Collections, listing UCD Archive collections related to 1916, and providing significant detail of relevant material included in the O’Rahilly papers, the Desmond Ryan papers, and other UCD Archive collections. Together, these digitised materials and indexes will allow scholars greater access to contemporary accounts of the 1916 Rising and to both subsequent understanding and cultural responses to this important event in Ireland’s history.